Tantalus Estate, Waiheke

As I’m up to my ears in wine all week, I don’t make a habit of visiting producers on my days off. But a long standing invitation to taste the wines made by one of my students, Alex Perez, at Tantalus Estate on Waiheke Island proved irresistible. With relatives visiting from New York and a… Read More »

2014 Trinity Hill Homage Syrah

One thing I have found through teaching wine courses is that students who are new to wine bring a refreshing perspective to the way they describe it. Wine should be described in an evocative (but hopefully pretention-free) way and we shouldn’t feel shackled by use of conventional anglo-saxon lexicon.

Hippies, unite here

  Human life depends upon the soil and yet we abuse it, degrade it, pour endless indelible chemicals upon it and suck the very life from it. Crazy, no? And yet apparently it’s people who practise organic and biodynamics who are the crazy ones. Yes that’s right, it’s those people who nurture, value and place… Read More »

Alto Adige

I’d never been to Alto Adige so an opportunity to visit was one I couldn’t refuse.  Alto Adige is a small (5400 hectare) but incredibly diverse region.

2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

The start of the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards judging week did not bode well. I’d been excused judging on the first day (not enough NZ entries apparently) so was catching up on emails when I received a fraught text from Emma asking me if I could venture out buy her something warm to wear… Read More »

The Douro

A flying visit to Porto meant an opportunity to go to the Douro, a region I’ve always wanted to explore, but never made the time. A new motorway takes you most of the way there but the final 30 minutes is on roads so winding, they make the road over the Rimutakas look like the… Read More »

One for the soul

Wine, balm for so many and so much. Dark days might send the majority scurrying for the embrace of any calmly cool white or warmly welcoming red to hand, but a stress-induced need for a drink turns me into a curiously specific wine hunter. I rummage in boxes from here to there, not knowing what… Read More »