(Journal) Representing Cantine del Notaio at Blenheim Palace

It's funny how things work. Last night I attended the gala dinner of the Literature, film and culture festival at Blenheim Palace on behalf of Cantine del Notaio, a winery very close to my heart. Back in 2007, while discovering the villages of my grandfather's childhood, I had the kind »

Wine notes from Macedonia

What better way to open up my first Riddle Magazine column than with some wine notes from the Republic of Macedonia. Well off the beaten path, few have considered this landlocked Balkan jewel as a source of exceptional food and wine, but four years on from my first visit, that's »

(Journal) Visiting Herdade das Servas in the Alentejo, Portugal

One of the most quality orientated producers in Alentejo, Herdade das Serves are one of the wineries to keep an eye on. With a centuries long family tradition in winemaking, the Serrano Mira family started work on constructing the winery in  1999.Situated in Estremoz, they cultivate more than 350 »

(Journal) Visiting Brzanov in Skopje, Macedonia

Formed in 2012 by winemaker Tony Brzanov and his business partner Dimitar Stojanovski, Brzanov is a small, independent winery located on the outskirts of Skopje known for producing full bodied reds from international varieties.It's small scale, almost rudimentary when you compare the technology they have available with that of »

The evolution of Kamnik's 10 Barrels Syrah

In modern wine making terms Macedonia is still a very young country. It only gained independence as recently as 1991, and with little history of quality focused producers before this, there is no legacy of fine wines for us to turn our attention to when seeking to understand today's wines. »

Producer Guide: Domaine Lepovo (Tikves, Macedonia)

Macedonia Domaine Lepovo is a new boutique winery owned exclusively by Tikves Winery. As part of their strategy for increasing the company's reputation for premium wine, they set about looking for additional premises and vineyards from which to launch a new brand. In 2013, when Fonko Winery ran into financial »

Ferghettina's 2010 Franciacorta still going strong

I've just opened up Azienda Ferghettina's 'Miolo' 2010 vintage brut to see how it has developed since its release. Although seven years isn't exactly an eye opening period of time to leave a quality sparkling wine to age, I was still curious to see just how much life was left »

(Journal) Judging @ Citadelles du Vin 2017 - Bordeaux, France

There's a fantastic atmosphere in Bordeaux just before Vinexpo. Wine people from all over the world descend on the city to meet clients and do business. This year, I had the opportunity to start the buildup with a four day competition in Blaye, just across the Garonne from Bordeaux city »

Why I'm heading out to Bordeaux for two weeks

So after a decade in the trade, I'm heading out to Bordeaux to take my first serious look at the region. I concede, it's about time. Although I've been to Bordeaux many times over the last ten years I have never given it the professional study I've subsequently given to »

(Journal) Judging @ IWCB - Bucharest, Romania

I'm just back from my first experience with the Bucharest International Wine Competition where I've spent five days in Bucharest judging wines and familiarising myself with the Romanian wine scene. Now six years in, IWCB has grown to one of Eastern Europe's premier wine competitions. With over 1700 samples from »