Writing and winemaker interviews

France Trip 2021 - Loire, ANJOU CONNECTION: Mai & Kenji Hodgson, Simon Batardiere, Simon Rouillard & Garo'vin

Posted by Joel Wright on

For the final part of our trip to France we were spending a couple of nights staying with Kenji & Mai Hodgson at their beautiful little house in Rablay Sur Layon. A visit here is always one of the highlights of our trips to France, and their wines have long become some of our favourite to drink, offering thought-provoking expressions of place; detailed and fine wines that are built to last. We had planned to help harvest fruit, but weather had pushed back the picking for a few days, so the new plan was to help prepare their new cellar. Just a five minute...

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France Trip 2021 - Loir-et-Cher. La Lunotte, Laurent Saillard & Julien Pineau

Posted by Joel Wright on

  It is always a privilege to visit the remarkable Christophe Foucher, who has been working in the little hamlet of Couffy since 2000. Amongst local vignerons he is incredibly well respected, regarded as one of the best producers in the region. We are happy that Christophe retains cult status in the UK, which is slowly cottoning onto the magic coming out of his tiny cellar. Christophe always seems happily ignorant of this demand, happy that it is easy fo him to sell his wines and he can concentrate on his work. Since he started there have been two disastrous vintages; 2012, when...

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September 2021 France Trip Part Three - Beaujolais! Robin Goutallier, Romaine Des Grottes, Victor Blondin.

Posted by Joel Wright on

Our trip through Beaujolais continued with our first visit to see Robin Goutallier up in the hills of Quincié-en-Beaujolais. Only 50 minutes from Raphael, but such a different landscape, at 400m altitude, surrounded by mountains, it is a quite breathtaking view. It's very obvious why Robin chose this place to move from the city, back in 2015. He semi-retired and now works part time as a teacher, using his spare time to make wine, honey and look after his incredibly beautiful vegetable garden, geese and two cows.  Another pull to this beautiful place was the the vineyard right behind his house, the fruit of which...

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September 2021 France Trip Part 2. Beaujolais-Sud! Nicolas Pavie, Raphaël Beysang and Emélié Hurtubise

Posted by Joel Wright on

Our next stop was Beaujolais, which continues to be one of the most exciting regions in France for new producers - particularly further south, where vineyards are more available and affordable. We now work with a total of 5 producers in this region, all out of the appellation, (as Nicolas Pavie said to us, classification is a cheat, you can do good wine wherever you are.)    Our first visit was to see Nicolas himself. We started working with him earlier this year after a tip off from Raphaël Beysang. He is based just ten minutes down the road from their place in Saint-Romain-de-Popey. After tasting...

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September 2021 in France - Bugey: Louis Terral & Caroline Ledédenté

Posted by Joel Wright on

For the first time in 18 months I was back in France last week and it was such a pleasure to catch up with some of our producers. Here is the first of a few reports on our visits. Starting in Bugey, though not our first stop of the trip, but the first to producers whose wines are currently available in the UK. Reports on Champagne and Burgundy to follow later in the year, as those wines arrive... Bugey is a very exciting place to visit at the moment, with many new winemakers setting up here. It's a place with very interesting terroir, altitude and vineyards...

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