The Institute kicked-off it's 2017 Programme with a return visit from Andrew Imrie DipWSET of KWM Wines of Kilkeel. Andrew talked us through his own journey into wine and the slow and gradual development of the online side of his business, which now exports wines all across the world and represents an ever growing proportion of his total sales. This was of course accompanied by a varied selection of wines, hand-picked from his available stock, beginning with the Akarau Brut,
On Tuesday we welcomed Anne McHale MW back to the institute following on her star turn last year. Having left Berry Brothers & Rudd, Anne had taken the opportunity ti spend the harvest working in the Keermont Vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She availed us of tales of long days of back breaking and exhausting work carrying out some of the basic processes in all wineries, before moving on to speak about the various techniques and methods used by winemakers the across th
If ever a title of a tasting was understated, it was this one. Last night our three Vice Presidents treated us to one of the most eagerly anticipated tastings we've ever had at the Institute. From the time the circular went out and the wines were revealed, it was clear we were in for something very special. A First Growth; a First Growth second wine; a Second Growth; a Second Growth second wine; a Third Growth, and to start us off, we only had Bollinger and an Imperial sized
For our return from our summer hiatus, we welcomed recent WSET Diploma graduate Judith Scott to speak on two of her favourite subjects - yoga & wine. Not two subjects that you'd immediately imagine would go together, however Judith expertly weaved together a number of parallels along with a superb selection of wines, predominantly from New Zealand, where she had spent time working in a winery. Following on from our delicious opener of Cloudy Bay's Pelorus, Judith highlighted
Our final day. Another morning to blame on those "Cloches" as we set out with a drop or two of rain in the air.
Today's first visit took us to Kientzheim and the Paul Blanck winery. This was undoubtedly our biggest tasting - both by personality and by quantity! Phillipe Blanck one of two cousins who are the current winemakers, graciously greeted us on what was their first day of harvest for the year. After a brief introduction to their philosophy of producing terrior based
A cold, dull morning greeted us today as we set out for our first tasting. Another short trip to Domaine Weinbach in Kayersberg: a winery purchased from a monastery back in 1898 and operated as the Faller family business every since. Our host Catherine Faller runs the winery with her mother and sister as a biodynamic vineyard. With only 30 hectares of vines, their philosophy is to make wines that show a good concentration of fruit but still well balanced. The grapes are picke
A rather damp start to the day apparently due to a strange weather phenomenon known as 'L'effet des Cloches'. Also known to occur on occasion in the only place in France dryer then Alsace, Perpignan in the extreme south! Our first tasting today was within walking distance of our hotel here in Riquewihr at Dopff au Moulin winery. Our host Ulrika explained that the harvest for the grapes to make their Crémant had begun the day before and that would would be able to view them ar
A beautiful sunny morning welcomed us onto the continent as we continued our journey to Alsace and to continue the theme, yet another first for me - Luxembourg wines!
Our first tasting of the day however was again en route aboard our luxury coach as we sampled four wines from producers we won't have the opportunity to visit during our stay. Two wines from Cave de Ribeauvillé Collection - a Gewürztraminer- Muscat, 'Andante' and a Pinot Gris - and one each from Domaine Bott-G