About Wine Routes
This website is for anyone who loves wine. It is a growing collection of my reports, reflections and notes taken from a decade of working in the trade. I now spend my time travelling and writing about lesser known regions and grape varieties.
I started out 10 years ago after tracing my family heritage back to a small vineyard in Basilicata. Surrounded by Aglianico vines I spent three months living in a tiny village, absorbing the culture of the region, its people, its food and of course its wines. On returning to England I set about studying everything I could and soon found myself importing small quantities of wines from small, boutique growers. Presenting them to anyone that would listen around Chester, my adventures continued, leading me to ship my own Aglianico del Vulture. After a few years though it became clear that growing an internet retail business wasn't what I wanted to do. Instead my passions were to be found in telling the stories behind the wines and the often great people that make them. And so, after a period of study, endless travel and a lot of reflection on how to share my knowledge and experiences, this website was born.
Communicating the stories behind the label is a crucial aspect of the wine business and there is no better way to achieve this than to visit the vineyards, experience the cellars and talk face to face with the people responsible for creating them. But the wine world is a big place and one can’t be everywhere at once.
Consequently I am always hugely appreciative when a producer wants to send me their wine. Bottles arrive every week from all over the world, often at significant cost. It’s a gesture that is not taken for granted. The motivations behind sending these bottles differ enormously, as you would expect.
Accepting samples is an important part of the work I do. It allows me to familiarise myself with producers, grapes and regions that I may not otherwise get to. Effective, entertaining, stimulating communication requires insight. The more I can taste and learn the more I can bring context to what is in the glass, and therefore, the more worthwhile the endeavour.
So, you are more than welcome to send me your wines to taste. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and discover. I will reciprocate by showing the wine due respect. It will be tasted in the correct environment and subjected to an open minded, honest analysis.
In the same way I respect the amount of work that goes into growing, making and marketing your wines I ask for the same professional respect in return. Sending your wines does not guarantee that I will write about them. That’s what paid advertising is for. But you know that. : )