In the Rioja region the favourable conditions of 2018 produced one of the largest harvests of the past decade, resulting in balanced classic styled Rioja wines with great bouquet and good ageing potential. The 2019 summer was extremely hot, and the yields are predicted to be reduced considerably on the 2018 harvest, but vineyards are generally reporting great quality. While visiting Bodegas Ontañón’s vineyards near the village of Quel in Rioja Oriental, Raquel Perez explained, “Due to the intense heat in the last few months, the grape sizes are smaller than normal, this allows good air circulation through the grape bunches, all the grapes are very healthy” said Raquel, something we witnessed when she showed us the tempranill..
You may have noticed a new label on some of our French winemakers’ bottles or they may appear in due course on newer vintages. The certification is called Haute Valeur Environnementale and was introduced in 2011, it encourages farms and vineyards to focus on increasing biodiversity, reducing and eliminating the use of pesticides, managing fertilizer inputs, and improving water management. Once a farm has attained the third and most stringent level of the certification process, it is deemed worthy of the title “High Environmental Value” (“Haute Valeur Environnementale” or HVE) and the wine maker can include this label on their wines. Customers and wine drinkers are now more than ever curious about where their wine comes from and..
Doing what comes naturally. An ever-increasing question we come across in our shops has been, do you stock natural wines and what are they? Unlike organic, there is no official or legal definition of a natural wine and there are no organisations that can certify a wine is natural. This has led to a lot of confusion for wine drinkers. Some winemakers are following a philosophy and making so called natural wines and some wine retailers are jumping on the bandwagon by classifying a large section of their wine portfolio as natural. In opposition to this you have some likening natural wine to the “emperor’s new clothes”. So, natural wine could just be considered a marketing tool? Yes, in a lot of cases it could, as food manufacturers..
While last week we outlined the rise in certified organic wine making, this week we have moved onto the philosophy of Biodynamic farming. Many organic growers follow the Biodynamic practice, you can regard Biodynamic farming as a philosophy and organic farming as adhering to rules. Biodynamic farming is rooted around the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner to integrate a scientific understanding of agriculture and the spirit of nature. This philosophy has continued to evolve with further research, but it remains an ecological, and ethical approach to farming, recognising the dynamic nature of the individual environment from the plants to the farmer. On vineyards, Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to Organic agriculture, the en..
As you browse the wine selection, you may find yourself wondering what’s in an organic wine. It is more about what is NOT in an Organic Wine. There are winemakers around the world converting to organic wine production as a result of the movement towards clean eating and growth in mainstream organic products. Our partner winemakers have been following this farming philosophy for generations to protect their land and produce a wine that is true to the grapes they grow. As with food, organic farming on vineyards is regulated, and there are strict rules that determine if a wine can be labelled organic. These rules cover everything from farming the land, growing the grapes, production processes and bottling practices. If a vineyards wine ..
Confused about the winemaking jargon and wonder if they’re just marketing angels? The farming philosophy is more than just jargon for The Wine Buff and the winemakers we partner with, it’s a way of life. We believe the process from bud to bottle is as important as the grapes. As we said earlier in the week; don’t get hung up on the grapes alone. To help demystify the terms, this month we delve deeper into the different methods of vineyard farming that you can find in your local Wine Buff shops. You’ll notice we will not delve into mass-produced wines with fertiliser treated land, regular spraying of pesticides and fungicides and mechanically harvested grapes (good & bad). Simply because The Wine Buff does not stock any mass pro..
The Wine Buff, Ireland’s largest independent wine shop group has opened its newest shop in Co. Wexford at 31 Main Street Gorey. The shop is in the centre of Gorey and offers an exclusive selection and a unique shopping experience for customers looking for the best quality/priced wines from around the globe. “We are really excited opening The Wine Buff in Gorey town” said Declan and Emily Murphy. Both from Ferns, they have previous retail experience, having owned an artisan food shop and have been on the lookout for a new venture for the last few years. “We were looking for something new for Gorey, we have excellent restaurants and great food, and felt The Wine Buff, with its offering of wines from small winemakers and sustainab..
We recently visited the 17-acre Bordeaux vineyard of Château des Graviers located in the Arsac region of Margaux and has been in the Dufourg-Landry family for generations. Some of the adjacent parcels of land are Grands Crus Classes such as Chateau Issan, Rauzan-Ségla, Prieuré-Lichine and Marojallia. Christophe Landry is the fifth-generation winemaker and like many winemaker’s sons was sent to college to study wine making. Christophe was frustrated by the techniques and manipulative processes he started to learn in college, so he decided on his own path. Leaving college and approaching wine making from his purest ideals and his precise attention to detail. Each grape in his wine is produced on the terroir best suited to its qual..
Diemersdal is one of the oldest family owned estates in South Africa, founded in 1698 and owned by the same family since 1885. The Louw family is now farming the vines. Every first-born son is called Matthys Michael Louw and there are currently three generations living and working on the estate. It has been handed down from father to son since 1885 and now has three generations working and living on the farm. Thys Louw is the sixth-generation winemaker, his father, Tienie snr has been making wine on the farm for more than 30 years. It was under Thys and Tienie snr that the farm moved away from bulk wine, selling the grapes on to other wine makers. "My father is a forward thinker. He realised back then that we could add value without a..