Notes, ideas and reflections on my various travels.

Travel - Concorso di Vermentino (Sardinia)

In February 2020 I flew in to Caglairi for a few days in order to judge at the relatively new Concorso di Vermentino, a competition designed to showcase Sardinia's top expressions of the Vermentino grape, a variety blessed with massive potential for fine, mineral rich white wines. You can listen »

Travel - A few days in Salento with #NegroamaroStories

Guagnano is one of the key winemaking villages of Salento. More specificially it's home to some of the best vineyards in Puglia's classic DOC of Salice Salentino. Here, bush vines of Negroamaro planted up to a century ago provide premium quality grapes capable of making stunning wines. It's just.....only »

(Journal) Visiting Romina Tacchino

The Dolcetto grape has two capitals - Ovada and Dogliani. The small village of Castelleto d'Orba is a stone's throw from Ovada, and here, the Tacchino family cultivate the variety in order to create a wine capable of ageing. You can see my profile of Azienda Agricola Tacchino on Vinorandum »

Travel - A snapshot of Liguria

I spent a few days seeing Liguria for the first time. Starting off in La Spezia and heading west along the coast, virtually as far as San Remo, I was able to get a feel for the terrain that characterises appellations such as Cinque Terre DOC, Ormeasco di Pornassio DOC »

Travel - On the road in Hungary with

Here are a few notes from my recent four day study tour to Hungary, courtesy of, the PR and marketing arm of the brilliant Ágnes Németh and Tamás Dobos. The format was a whistle-stop tour of Hungary by bus that incorporated the awards ceremony of the Hungarian Wine »

Travel - Judging at IWCB in Bucharest, Romania

Last week I flew to Bucharest to take part in IWCB for the second time. I first attended the Bucharest International Wine Contest back in 2017, and having missed the event last year when it was held in Iasi, I was delighted to return to look into developments across the »

Travel - A few days in Soave and the Venetian hills - Part 1

I woke up one day in early May to find two, presumably unrelated, emails waiting for me. The first alerted me to a UK trade campaign intended to highlight one of the Veneto's most misunderstood wines under the rather fun banner of Summer of Soave. The second was an invitation »

Travel - Dining at Michelin Starred L'Oustalet in Gigondas

Here are a few moments from a fabulous lunch in the village of Gigondas. Michelin starred L’Oustalet (awarded earlier this year) is a collaboration between the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel (Chateaneuf-du-Pape fame) and highly acclaimed chef Laurent Deconinck who has been expressing his interpretation of Provençal cuisine for »

Travel - A short visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape

A big thank you to Michel Blanc and the syndicate of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for facilitating a few days in the appellation and an opportunity to engage with both the terroir and the wines. Despite tasting, drinking, selling and writing about these stony vineyards and full-bodied blends for years it was my »

Travel - Judging at Citadelles du Vin 2019, Bordeaux, France

Back in Blaye for the second time! In mid March I spent a few days judging at Citadelles du Vin, a small but long-standing competition held in Blaye, just across the Gironde from Bordeaux. The afternoons were filled with various visits - Lunch at Chateau des Tourtes in Saint-Caprais-de-Blaye and »

Travel - My first time at Mundus Vini, Germany

Impressions of Mundus Vini 2019.... Mundus Vini has grown exponentially since its conception by the Meininger publishing house in 2001. It's importance in Germany, but also across the whole wine is demonstrated by the almost 12,000 samples that are submitted for judigng. The purpose of the competition is to »