It's that most wonderful and magical time of the year:
the moment when the year's labour and toil is brought to fruition
with the bringing in of the grapes. Geoff's harvest in the Pebblebed
vineyards started this past week with the early-ripening Rondo and
will continue through much of October (check the Pebblebed web site
for harvest dates and come along and lend a hand).
In Piedmont, Mario Fontana completed the harvest
of Dolcetto grapes last week. The grapes were in superb condition
and Mario is hopeful that 2010 will be a successful vintage. But
much depends on the weather in the coming weeks. In about another
week, the Barbera grapes will be ready to be harvested; then Nebbiolo
Sinio will follow for Nebbiolo delle Langhe. Finally, Nebbiolo
grapes from Mario's
most prized vineyards in Castiglione Falletto will be brought in
sometime in late October, perhaps even into November. These are
the grapes that will be utilised to produce
his greatest wine, Cascina
Here are some photos of the Dolcetto 2010 harvest:
Dolcetto grapes at Cascina
Fontana, harvested in small crates to ensure they reach the
cantina in optimum condition
Zio Armando helps with the harvest in the vineyards of the Castello
di Sinio. Armando, who is more than 90 years old, has been working
in these vineyards for most of his life.
Not yet wine, but by the end of October the
fermentation will have been completed and the young, new Dolcetto
will be enjoyed straight from the vat for the annual bagna
Next Vino Kitchen dates
As we move into autumn, we're looking forward to the next
Vino Kitchen on Wednesday October 13th. This is the time of year for warming
autumnal foods with deeper, richer flavours, perfectly accompanied
by Mario's warming wines such as Barbera d'Alba.
What's on the menu for October? Mmnn, not sure yet
- depends on what the weather is doing. But I'm beginning to think
mushrooms - maybe a warming zuppa di funghi, maybe risotto . .
The November Vino Kitchen will take
place on Wednesday
There will be a special December
Vino Kitchen on Wednesday December 15th.
To find out more, visit www.vino.co.uk/vinokitchen.html
To reserve your places please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxford Gastronomica – ‘The Language of Wine’
This event took place successfully in September at Hertford College,
Oxford, as part of a programme of short courses run by Oxford Gastronomica,
the important new centre for food, drink and culture studies. Oxford
Gastronomica provides a framework in which subjects such as wine
can be approached from the context of civilisation, culture and
society, while tasting and learning along the way. I was delighted
to prepare and present the course, covering topics such as the
history of wine, wine and literature, wine and cinema, the language
of taste, wine and food, wine tourism and wine and society. Guest
lecturers included Dr Damian Robinson of the Institute of Archaeology,
who gave a fascinating overview of the Roman wine trade, the concept
of terroir and the Roman connoisseur. Alastair Peebles of the Devon
Wine School joined us to give a masterclass on the language of
wine together with a blind tasting. And food and wine expert Fiona
Beckett gave an interactive taste workshop matching historic wines
and foods. It was amazing to discover how the tastes of Georgians
and Victorians were so very different from ours. We also visited
the wine cellars of Pembroke College which boasts no less than
9500 bottles, mainly of fine claret, Burgundy and port.
Approaching wine in the context of its place
in our culture and society is something that fascinates
me. If you are interested in this approach and would like to take
part in other such events or activities, please email me for further
Geoff's Pebblebed Partnership Vineyards
Following Geoff's appearance on the Dragon's Den, Pebblebed Partnership Vineyard
has now been successfully launched, with the support of Dragon Duncan Bannatyne
as one of the Founder members. This is an exciting new venture that will enable participants
to have a real and direct interest in Geoff's vineyard, all year round, as well
as to be able to drink the liquid assets of their investment. It's a great idea,
Geoff, even if Deborah Meaden didn't quite get it. Well done - and hats off for
braving the Den!
For more information about Pebblebed Partnership Vineyards click
Café Lingua at Route 2
Topsham really is a remarkable place and all sorts of things are happening
here all the time. Liz's latest imaginative venture is the creation of Café
Lingua, in partnership with St Peter's Language College. Café Lingua
starts on October 7th and will take place each Thursday in Route 2 from 6.30-8.30pm.
It is a free language club where everyone is invited to come along to speak
in and practise the various languages that will be offered on a rotation basis.
At the same time, students from St Peter's will devise a simple menu, help
to prepare the foods, and take orders in that language.
1st Thurs of month French (7th Oct
2nd Thurs of month German (14th Oct 2010)
3rd Thurs of month Spanish (21st Oct 2010)
Other Thurs of month, guest language Italian, Dutch, Mandarin, Arabic
What a great idea, Liz! We're certainly looking forward to coming
along. For further information, see Liz at The Globe or email email@example.com
Autumn, it's always been my favorite season. The weather is usually surprisingly
good even though we can't escape the fact that the nights are drawing in.
Summer is over. Time to get back to work. Perhaps, too, it's a back-to-school
ethos, but autumn always seems to me a time of year to start new things, to
look ahead, to plan and to learn. And of course, it is the season when the
grapes come in, when wine is made, the tumultuous fermentation in the vats
bubbling and gurgling away, like new ideas, new projects . . .
Best to all,
Marc and Kim