Welsh vineyards – The hidden gems ! 

Just look how beautiful the set of photos are  – highlighting almost every single welsh vineyard in the UK

On the quest for an unstuffy world i thought how could i make this topic of Welsh wine unstuffy. I thought I would highlight  rather than state facts.

So over a period of weeks if you would like me to talk about anything – let me know. This will grow organically

EMAIL ME !!!

thegrapewizard@gmail.com

 

IMG_5321

That’s me folks !!!!

Of course i cant speak from authority if the following are not true

1. I am Welsh (born in St. Asaph 13th August 19…)

2. A passion for everything Welsh

3.  Not been on Holiday to my homeland more than once

All are true

We have great producers producing award winning wines.

Indeed some producers don’t rely on the obvious varietals (grapes) to increase their revenue. They work with what they know will grow according  to the climate and the terroir

Grape Varieties Grown in Wales

welshdragon

SEYVAL BLANC (White Grape)
crops heavily even in the most unfavourable of summers and has effective disease resistance. It is a good ”˜all rounder’ and is often used for blending –  well suited to oak ageing and used for still or sparkling wines. Can produce a neutral white wine with crisp acidity.

TRIOMPHE (Red Grape)
French hybrid. Very vigorous in growth and disease resistant. Produces close knit bunches of small red grapes which give a dark red juice – flavours of strawberries and blackcurrants.

BACCHUS (White Grape)
Bacchus is considered to be one of the best grape varieties of Wales and in 2003 was the third most widely planted grape in the UK. Its grapes are intense and aromatic, with high sugar content. Bacchus wines age well and develop interesting flavours.

KERNLING (Red Skinned Grape with White Flesh)
produces a typical Germanic-style white wine with high acidity.

HUXELREBE (White Grape)
 Huxelrebe produces large tightly packed bunches of grapes which produce a pleasant medium wine It has a high natural acidity and strong aromas of elderflowers, producing very fruity wines that age well.

REICHENSTEINER (White Grape)
this German variety ripens early and regular cropper producing grapes with good sugar levels. It is reliable but a little neutral and is often used for blending in both still and sparkling wines, having good sugar levels.

SIEGERREBE (White Grape)
A small berried and intensely aromatic variety. It is often used to bolster blended wines and a few growers use it as a varietal in its own right

MADELEINE ANGEVINE (White Grape)
It flowers late and crops early. It is useful for blending since it ages well and its relative low acidity will blend well with higher acid varieties. On its own it produces wines that are light and fruity with a pronounced muscat bouquet.

 

Vineyards of Wales – some not included as is neither a commercial business or not enough information is known

  • Pant Du Vineyard
    Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard has been planted on the south facing glacial slopes of the beautiful Nantlle Valley.Selling wine, cider, apple juice, and spring water, it’s a family-run business with a café on site. Tours, private parties and wine tastings are available. www.pantdu.co.uk
  • Tŷ Croes Vineyard   The vineyard covers two and a half acres of vines that have now been turned into delicious Welsh wines. Producing white wines from Phoenix and Seyval Blanc, and Rondo which is red, you can pop in for a tour of the vineyard and you can have a tipple tasting too.  www.tycroesvineyard.co.uk
  • Penarth Vineyard
    Situated on a unique riverside location in Powys, they say their Welsh wine is unique because they grow varieties which are believed to be unsuitable for the climate, yet the grapes face the elements giving them a richness of flavour and depth of character.  You can make an appointment to visit the vineyard, or visit, Quince’s, their delicatessen in Newtown, to sample their wine, or indulge in chocolates and local produce.www.penarthvineyard.co.uk
  • Kerry Vale Vineyard
    Planted in 2010, the vineyard covers six acres of farmland in Churchstoke. The land it’s situated on was once part of the ancient Roman site of Pentreheyling Fort, and pottery found on the site is displayed in the vineyard shop.You can visit the vineyard for tours from June to September, scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday throughout the season, plus bank holidays and occasional midweek times. They also take bookings for group tours at other times by special arrangement. www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk
  • Llaethliw Vineyard
    A new, family run vineyard, the first grapes were picked in October of 2013 and the first 2000 bottles of white, red and rosé came in May 2014.  Llaethliw Vineyard is situated on the coastal plain at the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains in Neuaddlwyd, Aberaeron, on the West Coast of Wales.The winery, shop and café/restaurant are under development.www.llaethliw.co.uk
  • Jabajak Vineyard
    Previously a working farm and stables Jabajak has been converted and restored into a restaurant with bed and breakfast accommodation, set within a vineyard. Self guided, guided and private tailored tours available, including cellar door and lounge tastings.www.jabajak.co.uk
  • Cwm Deri Vineyard
    A working smallholding which first opened to the public in 1992, Cwm Deri is surrounded by the Pembrokeshire National Park.  Taste their wines and liqueurs and sample home-cooked food in the conservatory restaurant.www.cwm-deri.co.uk
  • Meadow View Vineyard
    Benefitting from the rich clay loams of the Vale of Glamorgan and the relatively frost free environment, Gwin y Fro (Wine of the Vale) is produced from grapes grown at the family-run vineyard. Vineyard tours by appointment only.
    www.meadowviewvineyard.co.uk

So the Total Hectares of Welsh Vineyards is 34.72 or 34 football pitchs

with 26 Vineyards.

Some are not listed here as there is not enough information but this brings me onto my next point. This is a blog first.

It is going to be interactive.

I have highlighted grapes, vineyards and size . What I would like readers to do is ask me any questions about any information above or if you would like to know something else let me know.

796312_a_glyndwr-white

Waitrose cellar £11.99 Glyndwr White

 

email me !!!

 

thegrapewizard@gmail.com

 

Music Pairing

sting57th9th1472601281

 

 

 

 

Unstuffy Learning: How to love Chardonnay – Petit Chablis.(1/4)

Chablis Grand Cru. These are of the highest quality vineyards, particularly Les Clos,  and have both freshness and age well.  Six other Grands Crus include Blanchots, Bougros, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir.
The map of Chablis, below, shows these seven Grand Crus all packed together tightly on the same hillside.
11580
Secondly, Chablis Premier Cru which lie on the west-facing hill immediately above the village of Chablis also and should be drunk young. (also highlights Petit Chablis)
11579-e1500538203715.jpg

Town of Chablis

 Petit Chablis principally found on the outskirts which were all planted to keep up with global demand

25809

 

Beauregards, Beauroy, BerdiotBeugnon, Blanchot, Bougros, Butteaux
Chapelot, Chatains, Chaume de Talvat, Les Clos, Côte de Bréchain,Côte de Cuissy, Côte de Fontenay, Côte de Jouan,  Côte de Léchet

Côte de Savant Côte de Vaubarousse, Côte des Prés Girots, Les Epinottes Forêts Fourchaumes, Les Fourneaux, GrenouillesL’Homme Mort, Les LysMélinots,

Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnerre, MontmainsMorein, Pied d’Aloup, Preuses, Roncières, Sécher TroesmesVaillons, Valmur, Vau Ligneau, Vau de Vey, Vaucoupin, VaudésirVaugiraut, Vaulorent, Vaupulent, Vaux Ragons, Vosgros

 

 

images-5

So forty seven Climats in total: Forty for Chablis Premier Cru, and seven for Chablis Grand Cru. The latter are all on the right bank of the Serein, whereas the Climats of Chablis Premier Cru are on either side of the river, twenty four on the left bank, sixteen on the right bank.
So in essence: Grand Cru Chablis has the most presence of oak, Premier Cru less so, followed by Chablis which shows some sign of oak and finally Petit Chablis which has little or no oak at all
BEST Grape Wizard VINTAGES – Petit Chablis
2010 , 1990 ,
2012, 2005, 2002, 1996, ,1995,
2015,2014,2013,2011,2008,2007,2000,1997,1992,
1989,2009,2006,2003,2001,1999,1998,1988,
1986,1985,1983, 2004,1994,1993,1982,1979
If you want to try the best years work from the top. If you want to invest – work from the top and you cant go far wrong !
(taken scores from a host of leading authors on wine and assesed in a best overall GW score.)

Petit ChablisProduction surface area

Area under production = 884.15 ha.

 Over the coming weeks I will be highlighting more Chablis and Premier Cru as well as Grand Cru Chablis. Each has their own style, each has different characteristics to suit different foods. It is a versatile as it is noble. 

But for those of you who like little to no oak, try this Petit Chablis from DOMAINE MILLET Petit Chablis 2014
Dom_Millet_Petit_Chablis__37107.1447329881.480.750.png
 shopping
Uvinum £18:12
Music Pairing
 imgres
Elements

From Montelauro to Ochio Rias – well almost!! Just a little closer and arguably a lot prettier ! 

Having spent a wonderful 2 weeks in Puglia 2 years ago I thought this time would be time repeating itself .  Puglia has grown to be one of my favourite places in the world. Gone are the glitzy sidewalks of California.  Gone are the elegant Parisian pavements. Even the mere hint of a passigiata is rarely seen.  I was here ( with the better half ) for a wedding down in the heart ❤️ of Italy. In a place where only locals go and in a place so tranquil you can hear a cat 🐱 tiptoe.

The wedding was for a good work friend of mine and his long suffering (now) wife  The hotel was fabulous and so was the hospitality. (Please visit the website : Montelauro)

IMG_5233
Monopoli

I did have a booking at grotto palazzese (Restaurant in the rocks) but having read the  reviews i saw that you would be paying premium rate just to have the chance of sitting at potentially 1 of 6 tables sea-side with overated food and super expensive bills  . The odds were against it we declined this time !. We had earlier in the week visited La sommita and that was out of this world (michelin starred and didnt dissapoint !)

IMG_5234.JPG

Because the Wallet was in meltdown we opted for this view from the terrace of the restaurant in Monopoli …

IMG_5088.JPG

Wasn’t a hard choice to make !!!

We settled for  Terrace restaurant . Fabulous setting and super great location. We watched the 🌅 and settled down to 3 courses. Being a seaside town we had a glorious choice of the best fish. What we got was very average  squid 🐙 and dishes that were a bit bland. It seems like this part of Italy has the sun and location but what lets them down is  the lack of specialist abilities that offer modern twist on cooking.  It’s not often I refuse food but this time too much of one thing made me feel 🤢. Great atmosphere,great location just ok food !

One thing Puglia has to its credit is the emerging cottage industry that is gin and olive oil and the very recent observation that Italian cooking is getting modern and sexy.

( Cucini Komera)

 

Late on in the week long holiday we stayed in a lovely apartment hosted by Albergo diffuse –  A stones throw from all the action of Monopoli

We even found through chatting to locals that there was a guy who was making gin out of olive oil EVO Gin

Wine 🍷 we bought primitivo a lovely gin (with cinnemon )& negramaro

IMG_5238

(All three will be tasted and reported on , i promise )

but here are the links in the meantime

Quota 29

Jerry Thomas project

Polvanera

 So after a busy week  which felt like a 2 week holiday we were ready to return to the uk.

In essence this holiday could be life changing. A lot of love was felt for this region but is this experience mearly just a dream or will we jump off into the unkown , only time will tell. Reading between the lines i think what will happen is that this event contributed to what’s about to happen   Enriching the soul ( and I’m not spiritual) is becoming a central part to most people’s lives as we grow ever more stressed at the day to day .9-5

Apologies for short blog this week

Jason

 

Wimbledon 2017 : Strawberries and Champagne ! A very British affair !

It’s that time again in a little corner of SW London . That every year the peace and tranquility of Southfields is shattered by the sound of thousands of feet marching up to the tennis in Wimbledon Village

Wimbledon has the honour of being the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe and the average quantities supplied by Championships’ caterers include a 40-year-old relationship with

It is during the 2 weeks that 29,000 bottles of Lanson are drunk. A mighty feat in any producers handbook. To complement the amount thats drunk,  28,000 kg (140,000 servings) of English strawberries are consumed.

strawberries-wide

This is the time to celebrate , to worship the “god of tanning” of which turns us Brits from  pasty white into

Lobster red !!!

We can only do this, it seems by drinking lots of champagne in the hot weather and loads of strawberries to boot.

Strawberries and  raspberries will always be the fruits of summer for the UK  but what about drink.

The historical bit……….

Champagne was originally produced in England, where the technology for bottling and corking drinks containing carbon dioxide was developed in the latter part of the 1500s,  In 1662, scientist Christopher Merret reported to the Royal Society of London that adding sugar “promoted effervescence,” lending champagne its signature sparkle.

However, determining the right amount of sugar required careful experimental processes to avoid bottle explosions. 100 years later and champagne was perfected. The original, sweet version became trendy in Paris among the wealthy, whilst the English preferred dry champagne and the English wine-making method became popular throughout the wine-making world.

The tradition of drinking champagne started in the Royal courts of Europe prior to 1789, where champagne was viewed as a status symbol and became very popular in the late nineteenth century. Today, it’s often used to commemorate joyous occasions, from launching ships to throwing champagne glasses on the floor at Russian weddings and Wimbledon.

 I can think of no better way to celebrate a relaxing time with friends or a trip to wimbledon tennis  than a nice chilled bottle of the following :

Billecart Salmon Cuvee Nicholas Francois 2002 champagne £120 The Whiskey Exchange

champ_bil2002

or Bollinger Grande Annee 2002 Bollinger G.A. 2002 Millesima £130

This champagne are restrained refined and  elegant and one of the best years for vintage in the last 15 years.

Lanson Brut (Wimbledon’s preferred champagne) on the other hand is composed of 35% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier, aged for three years.

The wine is fresh and fruity, with fresh apple notes and a grassy, mineral characteristics coming on later. Refreshing and well-balanced although I found it a little one dimensional. Ok if you want an unassuming champagne and 1/2 the price.  There is a champagne for everyone out there .and even sparkling wine’s from the UK  Although far to mention on here in this short piece , I will however highlight a few which i think is worth of a mention

some great producers  include

Camel valley Camel valley rose  £26.95

Pinot-Noir-Rose-Brut-1250x1875

Really individual English style in the best possible way. Delicate salmon pink colour, lovely floral and strawberry aromas, pure refreshing palate.

 

Bolney

8731828cdec8b5a8b1a64edd36bef642

A simple, light and refreshing English sparkling wine. Very easy to drink with a charming elderflower creaminess. £23.99 Bolney bubbly

not to mention Wales

 Jabajak vineyard

Welsh Blush Sparkling 2014

A delicate sparkling rosé produced from our hand-picked Seyval and Phoenix grapes. Blushed with Rondo giving fabulous hints of strawberry on the nose leading to summer berries on the palate with a crisp dry finish. £35.00 Welsh sparkling

2up

As a footnote to the piece , there is so much talent and so many producers, now is the time for the government to support UK producers and UK brand in wine and champion the fabulous products we have on offer.  Champagne will be forever a celebration but there is nothing wrong in having sparkling wines as an alternative to it.  We have a slight restriction in that the size of the vineyards and yield of the grapes might be a little on the small side. Local grapes mean distinctive characteristics, so gentle interaction from the winemaker is needed to appeal to the palate of the consumer. But what ever the case champagne or sparkling wine should be drunk in times of happiness, in times of tears,in times of victory and in times of despair. It is a wine for enjoying.

A point worth thinking about ….

Do we as consumers pay champagne prices for champagne

or

Pay champagne prices for UK sparkling wine as the price of loyalty/patriotism or look to alternative markets !

Email me your favourite champagnes + photos   at  thegrapewizrd@gmail.com or merely just your comments

and sign up at thegrapewizard.com

Sorry its a short one this week !!!!

 

Music pairing

Sgt-Pepper-1495808517