At about this time, many of us are planning the glorious wine adventures we’d like to have in the coming year. To whet appetites and help with choices we have asked our writers to recount the most unforgettable vinous journeys they have taken in recent times.
UK-scribe Margaret Rand urges us to head for the fairytale landscape of Alsace where the rich history, as well as the wine and food culture, have much allure. While Natasha Hughes MW recommends making a beeline for the Willamette Valley in Oregon to become immersed in both the beguiling pinot noir and jaw-dropping scenery.
On home turf Tony Love spends three days winding his way through the Adelaide Hills enjoying panoramic views at every bend and crest, and visiting all the worthwhile cellar doors. Dom Sweeney ventures forth on a ripping drive through the Remutaka Ranges to Martinborough on New Zealand’s North Island where the wines prove to be just as thrilling as his journey.
Coincidentally, Martinborough is home to this year’s NZ Winemaker of the Year, Helen Masters of Ata Rangi who features along with other award winners honoured at a dinner held at Auckland’s Gusto at the Grand in conjunction with Vintec.
We also turn our attention to Italy, where David Brookes seeks out another outstanding female winemaker, Elisabetta Foradori. From her vineyards set beneath the dramatic Dolomites she tends to, mainly, teroldego grapes, using biodynamic practices and clay vessels to produce wines of quality and purity.
Meanwhile, at GT WINE HQ, the tasting panel members experiment with both local and Italian white wines made with indigenous Italian grape varieties. The hit rate is high with a good number of bottles from both countries receiving their tick of approval.