Why Chile is more exciting than you think

Written for The Tasting Panel, August 2017 Chile sometimes gets pigeonholed as a safe, New World producer with good, simple wines at a fair price point. It’s not a bad rep, but it isn’t exactly riveting either. However, boasting both the oldest vines and the newest wine regions in South America, Chile is plump with diversity and spilling over with innovation. While the industry is … Continue reading Why Chile is more exciting than you think

Argentina’s new appellations

Written for SevenFifty Daily, August 2017 The freedom of the New World, and its lack of draconian appellation rules, might be much envied by producers in the Old World, but winemakers in Argentina are seeking more rigorous legislation for its regions. As a country with a 500-year history of vinification, Argentina is by no means new at the wine game. However, until recently, Argentina’s appellations—known … Continue reading Argentina’s new appellations

Climate change: The next frontier

Some areas of Chile and Argentina are experiencing changes in the frequency and severity of weather extremes. While many winemaking regions struggle to adapt, there are some visionary producers who see it as an opportunity to explore. Amanda Barnes investigates… Decanter July 2017Decanter July 2017 THE WINE MAP is undeniably changing. The worldwide phenomenon of climate change is creating new, once-unimaginable wine regions, while at … Continue reading Climate change: The next frontier

Argentina Harvest Report 2017

Off the back of a very wet El Niño vintage last year, it was a relief for winemakers in Argentina to return to its more characteristic dry climate. Although quality is considered high across the board, damaging spring frosts significantly reduced the quantity. ‘2017 is a fantastic harvest in terms of quality,’ said Santiago Achaval, winemaker at Matervini. ‘After 2014 and 2015 were challenged by rain … Continue reading Argentina Harvest Report 2017

Harvest Report Chile 2017

‘It has been the earliest harvest I remember,’ said winemaker Marcelo Retamal, comparing 2017 to the last two decades of Chilean vintages. Chile’s 2017 harvest arrived up to a month early in some regions, but was also notable for high temperatures and low yields. ‘2017 is clearly an atypical vintage, marked by extremely high temperatures, early physiological stages from budding to harvest, and particularly low … Continue reading Harvest Report Chile 2017

Riesling: The Queen of Grapes

Citrus aromas and a refreshing acidity make riesling a great accompaniment to food, and the latest offerings, ranging from bone dry to lusciously sweet, are nothing short of regal. Written for The Guardian, print May 2017 Riesling is a polarising wine, but once you get the riesling bug it’s hard to shake. Originating in Germany, this white grape took the fancy of the clergy folk … Continue reading Riesling: The Queen of Grapes

Pinot Noir: The Beauty & The Beast

Written for The Guardian, published print 12 May 2017 Pinot noir is, notoriously, the world’s most fickle grape. So why have vintners been on a mission to make good pinot noir for thousands of years? Because when you get it right, it can be one of the finest wines in the world. Resplendent with red fruit aromas, such as cherries, cranberries and raspberries, and with … Continue reading Pinot Noir: The Beauty & The Beast