Yarra Valley cellar doors – what’s changed?

Image designed by Freepik As restrictions ease in Victoria, cellar doors have been given the green light to open albeit under slightly different circumstances. With that in mind, I headed to the Yarra Valley to see how different things are, if at all. First stop was Giant Steps winery in the new pop-up cellar door […]

Gourmet Traveller WINE: Getting Around Gisborne

Wainui Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand At the end of last year I visited Gisborne, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Pristine coastlines, outstanding local produce, delicious wine and the warmest of welcomes are to be found here. In the February/March issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE you can read about some of the […]

Mornington Peninsula: Paradigm Hill

Winemaking on the Mornington Peninsula dates back to the late nineteenth century, however today’s cellar doors are populated by members of the modern chapter in this region’s history. The early 1970s saw a revival in interest around viticulture and winemaking due in part to the potential offered by the maritime climate for producing quality wines. […]

Mornington Peninsula: Main Ridge Estate

The view from the Main Ridge Estate cellar door verandah. Drive down the dusty, winding William Road of Red Hill and you will be faced with a dilemma – turn left for Red Hill Cheese or right for one of Mornington Peninsula’s icons, Main Ridge Estate. It’s a tough one, particularly in our household as […]

Spirito di Vino: Giant Steps, Yarra Valley

Written for Spirito di Vino Asia Issue #24. Image: Redfish Bluefish Photographic. Driving into Healesville, the town around which Australia’s Yarra Valley is centred, I am due for an early morning meeting with Steve Flamsteed, before his day starts to fill up with the duties of Head Winemaker and now part owner of Giant Steps. […]

My inner geek and the Champagne Bureau of Australia

Image credit: Michel Guillard – Collection CIVC Since completing my WSET Diploma last year, it is not often I find myself in a room geeking out about structure, blind tasting and blending components. But a few weeks back that is just where I found myself and it was perfect! The Vin de Champagne is a […]

Postcard from CapeWine 2015: Day 1

This is my first trip to South Africa, a region whose wines I have come to enjoy with increasing frequency, so as you can imagine I was super excited to be part of the Asia group travelling from Hong Kong to attend the CapeWine 2015 Conference in Cape Town, South Africa September 15 – 17 […]

Bubbles in Wan Chai – Champagne Thiénot at Berry Bros. & Rudd

A relative newcomer to the world of sparkling wine, Champagne Thiénot was established in 1985 by Alain Thiénot. Given that many of the great names in Champagne can trace their history back centuries it speaks volumes that a comparative youngster has gained such a foothold in the minds of Champagne drinkers. Last night Berry Bros. […]

The Drinks Business: BIVB Live and Chardonnay

Published The Drinks Business 22 May 2015 (Image credit: Saint-Aubin Credit BIVB) The summer months have arrived in Hong Kong and the weather is rather grey at the moment, which makes the latest installment of the BIVB’s (Burgundy Wine Board) Live and Interactive seminars the perfect antidote. We arrived to find six little glasses of sunshine waiting for […]

Australia: Chardonnay – Kevin John, Cullen Wines

Vineyard in Margaret River. Image by Sean Blocksidge (Margaret River Discovery Co). A recent trip back to Melbourne afforded me the opportunity of getting into our cellar and drinking one or two bottles we left behind in the move to Hong Kong. One such bottle was the 2008 Kevin John Chardonnay from Cullen Wines in Margaret River, […]

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Hawke’s Bay

Chardonnay grapes. Source: Vidal Estate Winding north up the east coast of New Zealand from Martinborough you will come to the city of Hastings, the largest city in the Hawke’s Bay wine region. The weather here is gloriously sunny during the summer giving the region a true Mediterranean feel. Add to that the endless array of […]

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Martinborough

Rimutaka Range with Martinborough in the distance. At an hour’s drive northeast of Wellington you wind through the Rimutaka Ranges before descending down into the valley of Martinborough, a tiny town framed by the Ruamahanga and Huangarua Rivers. We are headed just outside the township to visit Larry McKenna of Escarpment Wines. Martinborough is a sub-region […]

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Marlborough

Image credit: Mahi Vineyard. The drive north along the coast from Waipara to the Marlborough region offers some spectacular scenery and if you are fortunate enough to have a brilliantly sunny day as we did, it makes for a rather memorable journey. This was my first visit to Blenheim – a bit of a surprise […]

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Waipara

Pegasus Bay Winery, Waipara. Source: Pegasus Bay Wines Tasted Pegasus Bay, Waipara, New Zealand, Chardonnay 2012 Pegasus Bay, Waipara, New Zealand, Chardonnay 2008 As part of our trip home for the Christmas holidays we took the opportunity to drive from my family home in Dunedin, in lower half of the South Island, up the east coast […]