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Shining A Light On Chardonnay

Ruinart’s Chef de Cave Frédéric Panaïotis was in London recently to host a Chardonnay tasting at Ruinart’s inaugural ‘Lighthouse’.

Widely recognised as a reference for Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Ruinart’s Lighthouse was an exploration, exhibition and celebration of all things Chardonnay - including Hubert Le Gall’s photogenic ‘The Glass Calendar’ sculpture collection.

Fred’s innovative tasting showed Ruinart wines alongside other New and Old World Chardonnays.

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ewpr Christmas Card 2015

The ewpr Christmas Card for 2015 is out!

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Turkey's Kayra Makes Its Mark

What do you get when you blend characterful Californian winemaker Daniel O’Donnell with a forward-thinking Turkish winery, more indigenous varietal wines than you can shake a stick at, and some of the more unexpected (and unexpectedly good) food and wine pairings encountered in recent years?

The Kayra Wines tasting and lunch / dinner at Hakkasan is what.  We’ll let the pictures do the talking.  Oh, and guest Roger Jones (@littlebedwyn): "Possibly one of the best wine tastings I have been to.  @ew_pr promoting #kayrawines @hakkasan_group. Turkish wines are glowing @will_lyons"

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Exploring Alsace Through Riesling & Pinot Gris

Alsace: picture postcard perfect villages… 15,500 hectares of vineyards… the Vosges Mountains to one side and the River Rhine on the other…  and around 13 geological formations found in its soils - from granite and gneiss in the foothills of the mountains to loess and alluvial on the valley floor.

All this means a mosaic of terroirs with a huge spectrum of different wine styles.  What better way to explore this than through a free-pour tasting of Alsace Rieslings and Pinot Gris - two grape varieties, and many different taste profiles - and focus tastings led by a true Alsace wines expert?

That’s exactly what members of the UK Press and Trade were able to do when they came to Chandos House on Monday 12th October: over 80 different wines from leading producers in the region, and two Masterclasses led by Alsatian and Master Sommelier, Eric Zwiebel.

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Experience Napa Valley - Class of 2015

Napa legends and their wines, also meeting the next generation of vintners… hot air balloon rides across the Valley, and ‘down & dirty’ in the vineyards… a visit to Spring Mountain to experience the billowing blanket of cooling coastal fog first hand, followed by a tasting on the Valley floor… fine Californian cuisine and Sauvignon Blanc at Silverado; vintners in rolled up shirt sleeves at a home-cooked lunch picnic-style up in the hills at Somerston surrounded by hummingbirds…

Just when you think you know Napa and its wines… 

Press Pupils

  • Jamie Goode - Sunday Express / wineanorak.com
  • Julie Sheppard - Imbibe / Square Meal

 Sommelier Students

  • Romain Audrerie - Chiltern Firehouse
  • Jose Luis Hernandez - Hakkasan
  • Eric Zweibel MS - Summer Lodge Hotel 

Top Of The Class – ‘The Wine Merchant’ Competition Winners

  • Lesley Freer - Amps Fine Wines
  • Ciaran McErlean - The Tasting House
  • Archie McDiarmid - Luvians
  • Gordon Minnis - Calistoga & Sideways 

And Planet of The Grapes grafter, Matt Harris.

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Alsace Press Trip, July 2015

In early July this year, Ali and a group of intrepid Wine Press braved near 40oC heat to visit the wineries and vineyards of Alsace.

With visits to famous names such as Hugel and Josmeyer, as well as boutique producers like Boeckel and Boxler, the trip was designed to show the richness and diversity of wines and styles that Alsace can produce.

On the trip were: Anne Krebiehl MW, Simon Woods, Margaret Rand and Sally Easton MW.  It was hot, but it was worth it!

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Veni Vidi Vici Vini... Lots of Napa Vini!

No less than 18 Napa Vintners boarded the wine train in June, destination London where they shared a spoil of vinous delights with the UK Wine Trade, Press and punters.  A packed programme of 10 events over 3 days included a Napa Masterclass and lunch at Beast, a divine walkaround tasting for Consumers at a church in Kensington and a studious one at Oxford University, together with a sold out Winemaker Dinner at 28:50.

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Think Red Nose Day, Think Côtes du Rhône

On Monday 9th March, Vinopolis played host to the Wine Trade event of the year - Skin Côntact LIVE! - which raised over £10,000 for charity.

The barnstorming one-off gig in aid of Wine Relief, a fund-raising imitative for Comic Relief, was the brainchild of Wine Writer and regular contributor to jancisrobinson.com, Richard Hemming MW.

ewpr secured exclusive sponsorship of the gig for project client Côtes du Rhône: from striking branding on all promotional material, to a Press & Trade Tasting before the band took to the stage and an Ôde to Côtes du Rhône on the set-list.  Because, after all…

‘Think Red Nose Day, Think Côtes du Rhône’

Band members Richard Hemming MW, Alex Hunt MW (Berkmann Wines), Ben Smith (Concha y Toro), Matt James (The Bordeaux Cellar) and backing singers Helen Chesshire (The Chesshire Set PR) and Anne McHale (Berry Bros. & Rudd) were joined on stage by guest singers throughout the evening.  Rocking Vinopolis were: Wine Writers Charles Metcalfe, Tim Atkin MW and David Williams, plus Square Meal’s Lucy Britner, The Wine Society’s Ewan Murray and Joe Wadsack (who probably doesn’t need any introduction…).

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Getting Giggy With It, November 2014

The 10th November 2014 saw over 25 producers from the Rhône Valley’s Gigondas AOC descend on London for a Tasting and star guest-studded dinner designed to boost awareness of the region and its wines with the UK Press and Trade.

As Gigondas Inter-Rhône Co-President Louis Barruol put it, “We felt that the UK Consumer could know our wines a lot better and the first step in achieving this is to educate the Trade about our terroir, our wines’ freshness and finesse and their considerable ageing potential.”

And educated the Trade most certainly was, with over 100 wines to taste and two Masterclasses exploring ‘The Ageability Of Gigondas’ and ‘Gigondas And Its Terroir’. 

Plus, there was the small matter of the ‘Gigondas Ageability Dinner’ that evening at 28-50 Fetter Lane - 20 wines served by the ultra efficient 28-50 wine team, with vintages ranging from 1995 to 2006.

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Millésimes Alsace 2014

'What is going on in Alsace?' read the title of an email we received in June.

The answer was 'Millésimes Alsace' - a day-long tasting of wines from over 80 of Alsace's top producers, attended by - amongst others -  a group of 17 top UK Press and Sommeliers that ewpr invited, rounded up, hosted and herded!  The UK contingent then extended their stay for a few days to make the most of their time in this highly individual wine region with visits to established stars as well as rising ones.

Punchy Press

  • Sarah Abbott MW
  • Tom Cannavan - wine-pages.com
  • Jamie Goode - Sunday Express & wineanorak.com
  • Richard Hemming - jancisrobinson.com
  • Victoria Moore - Daily Telegraph
  • Jane Parkinson - Restaurant, Stylist & Saturday Kitchen
  • Anthony Rose - The Independent on Saturday
  • Bob Tyrer - The Sunday Times

Super Somms

  • Hamish Anderson - Tate Restaurants
  • Isa Bal - The Fat Duck
  • Laurent Chaniac - Cinnamon Club
  • Jan Konetzki - Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
  • Christine Parkinson - Hakkasan
  • Clément Robert - Medlar Restaurant
  • Xavier Rousset MS - Texture & 28˚ - 50˚
  • Ronan Sayburn MS - RS Wine Academy & Consultant
  • Eric Zwiebel MS - Summer Lodge Hotel
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