Cotes de Provence, South of France

Now as I’m sure you’re all aware, the 3rd Friday of September (today) is International Grenache Day, and to celebrate this, I’ll be focusing my piece on this amazingly diverse grape variety- often the unsung hero in many wines, and on one of the traditional homes of the grape, where it really comes into its…

Canada

Now when I ask you think of a classic wine region, what would most likely come to mind would be warm, rolling green hills- warm, dry and lush. Now, think of Canada; you’re most likely thinking of cold wind and ice- do these two things gel together? Most people would think definitely not, however there…

Montagne de Reims, Champagne

The Champagne region has been considered the pinnacle of sparkling wine production for centuries, imitated in wine growing regions across the globe with varied success. Whilst imitation of French wine is nothing new, I believe that Champagne is the truest example of a product that is head and shoulders above its replications; it is heavily…

Rioja Part 3; Baja

In part 3 of 3 for the Rioja region, I will be speaking about the largest sub-region of the Rioja DOCa, both in terms of physical size and also wine production; the Rioja Baja. As a quick summary for those that missed the previous 2 pieces, Rioja, located in the north-east of Spain, is the…

Rioja Part 2; Alavesa

First up for those that missed it, a quick wrap of last week’s piece on the importance and significance of the Rioja region. Rioja was the first Spanish region to be awarded DO (Denominación de Origen, a classification of quality) status, back in 1933, and in 1991 became the first to be upgraded to the top-level…

Rioja Part 1; Alta

Slightly confused as to where the Rioja Alta is? Well, I started this piece on Rioja, and quickly saw how big of a job it would be to cover the whole region of La Rioja in one go, so I decided to split the next few Friday Focus pieces into the 3 distinct sub-regions of…

Greece

Today, with the opening ceremony only hours away, I thought I’d write my weekly piece on the original home of the Olympics, Greece. This is the country with the longest recorded history of winemaking, with cultivation of the grape vine dating back to the Bronze Age, and solid evidence of the specific production of wine…

Margaux, Bordeaux

One of the most recognised appellations in one of the world’s Premier wine-growing regions, Margaux holds an esteemed position in winemaking folklore- but why? What makes it so special? It’s long history? It’s climate? Soils? Chateaux/People? Today we’ll try and find out just what it is that makes the name Margaux synonymous with quality in…

Vougeot, Burgundy

Today we travel right to the heart of Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits to a region that, when speaking of quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is legendary – a name synonymous with quality for several centuries; Vougeot. This appellation is unique for 2 main reasons; first, Vougeot has the highest percentage of Grand Cru vineyards of…

Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais

With yesterday being Bastille Day, I thought it pertinent to speak today about one of the most iconic and uniquely French regions, Beaujolais, and most specifically Moulin-a-Vent, the region that translates to ‘Windmill’, with its picturesque namesake on its famous hill. Of the nearly 100 communes and 10 “Crus” of Beaujolais, Moulin-a-Vent is often considered…