I really enjoyed visiting the Napa Valley recently, I saw much and learnt a lot. I saw many wonderful wineries, but one of the absolute highlights was visiting a small family owned winery called Robert Biale Vineyards.
Whilst in the Napa Valley I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit Domaine Carneros. This is a dramatic and beautiful winery surrounded by vines and perched on a hill overlooking the rolling Carneros countryside.
It was created in 1987 as a partnership between US wine company Kobrand and Champagne Taittinger. Indeed Claude Taittinger had been looking for a suitable site for a Californian sparkling wine vineyard since the 1970s. Continue reading
Sometimes I feel left out and sometimes I just feel annoyed – about Pinot Grigio.
I just don’t get Pinot Grigio, I sort of understand why it sells – it usually doesn’t taste of anything, so the focus of your evening remains the conversation, the wine stays in the background to lubricate your palate.
I need acidity in a white wine though, so the slight bitterness on the finish of virtually every Pinot Grigio is unpleasant to me.
It is fair to say that, with the exception of some rich Friulian examples, I avoid Pinot Grigio if I possibly can. Pinot Gris however can be a very different thing, and I enjoy the occasional taste of that from Alsace or even New Zealand – Pinot Gris seems to me to generally have more depth, honesty and concentration but even then I really want more acidity. Continue reading
I have long had a fascination for wines from California and as Napa Valley is the most famous wine region in California I was honoured to be invited to attend the Master Napa Valley Course 2009.
This was an intensive course spread over three days visiting wineries and vineyards as well as hearing from wine makers and leading wine industry figures. It was especially interesting as only the week before I had attended something similar in Burgundy and was thus able to compare many aspects of these two seemingly different wine regions. Continue reading