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

Viognier: One Lucky Grape

Written for The Guardian, 5 May 2017 Always a tricky one to pronounce (ignore the g, it’s pronounced vee-on-nay), viognier has a long and interesting history. While most consider viognier a Rhône variety, it actually originated in Croatia. Legend has it that Roman Emperor Probus was so enamoured with the wine – and its characteristic peach, apricot and blossom aromas – that he ordered the … Continue reading Viognier: One Lucky Grape

10 Surprising Wine Pairings: from Pizza & Prosecco to Breakfast & Bordeaux

Written for The Guardian Popcorn and champagne This Lady and the Tramp-style pairing might seem strange, but the toasty, buttery goodness of lightly salted popcorn with a well-aged champagne is pure delight. Add truffle butter to pimp your popcorn. Macaroni cheese and chardonnay Macaroni cheese is a child’s proud favourite, and an adult’s guilty pleasure. Ramp up the guilt by pairing your mac and cheese … Continue reading 10 Surprising Wine Pairings: from Pizza & Prosecco to Breakfast & Bordeaux

Chile fires: 100-year-old vines lost in ‘national catastrophe’

Written for Decanter, January 2017 Century-old vines have been destroyed and up to 100 vineyards damaged in wildfires that Chilean authorities have declared the ‘worst forestry disaster in the nation’s history’. The viticultural fallout of the forest fires still raging in Chile has begun to emerge, with century-old vineyards burnt to cinders and small producers worst affected. So far, more than 100 vineyards in Maule … Continue reading Chile fires: 100-year-old vines lost in ‘national catastrophe’

Decanter report harvest north america amanda barnes

North America 2016 Harvest, Decanter October 2016

Written for Decanter.com North America’s 2016 vintage saw advanced harvests across the board, with some of the earliest picking dates on record. Despite the early start many regions experienced cooler ripening periods, and drought was less of a defining characteristic than last year. California A warm spring jump-started the Californian season up to a month early, similar to 2015. June was hotter than normal and … Continue reading North America 2016 Harvest, Decanter October 2016