Field Trips

Field trips

Nothing beats experiencing wine and talking to wine-makers in situ, so I am committed to embarking on regular wine excursions whenever I can. Here are my latest ‘field reports’  – watch this space as more to come during 2023 …

Chianti Classico


My younger son once remarked “Dad, why is it that we always have to include a vineyard on our summer holidays?”.  To which the obvious answer is why wouldn’t you, especially when the setting is the glorious landscaped hills of Tuscany, half-way between Florence and Sienna.  This is the heart of Chianti Classico country which was the location of our late summer break in September 2022.

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The name Burgundy, or Bourgogne as you will see it on wine bottle labels, conjures up, at least it has done for me, mystique, elitism and generally wines that can often represent poor value-for-money.  So, in the spirit of ‘demystifying the world of wine’ I went there in person in the Autumn of 2022 and also conducted a tasting of 2017 reds from different sub-regions (appellations) with some of my trusted wine buddies.

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Rioja – Red and White – Hot and Chilled!

hills trees and sky

I had the fortune to spend a couple of days in Rioja, Northern Spain during June 2022. Whilst the reds were as reliable as usual with their oak-origin textures of coconut and vanilla overlaying their dark fruit and spice flavours, the real revelation was that they still worked when served slightly chilled – the only way to approach them really in the Spanish heatwave! Maybe the way forward for us in the UK too after the summer we have just had.

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