2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My new Wine Journal

January 3, 2013

My new journal

My daughter Lucy gave me the above new wine journal as a Christmas gift. Now I can again systematically record the wines I was tasting.

Often I displace my notes and when I want to write about a specific wine a frantic search stands at the beginning of a blog entry.

Alas, order has been restored. Now I only have to use the book for the intended purpose.

I am ready for the wines of 2013 it seems. Bring em on!

2012 in review

January 2, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 72,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Winery review – The Grange of Prince Edward, Prince Edward County, Ontario

February 2, 2012

The Grange of Prince Edward (all photos by Lucy Adam)

While touring Prince Edward County in Ontario last summer, we also visited The Grange of Prince Edward, a winery in the West of the peninsula (Latitude: 43.947510, Longitude: 77.42377). It was the third and last winery we visited that day.

Established in 1999 on the Trumpour farm, the Grange is a family-owned wine business with about 60 acres under vines subdivided into 6 distinct vineyards. On the first vineyard of about 10 acres Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir vines were planted. Today, annual production is about 10,000 cases.

The soils in the West of Prince Edward County are consisting of limestone and clay gravel. The growing seasons are short and the vines need to be buried in the soil to survive the cold winter.

The place is quite impressive. The buildings seem to be new (maybe on old foundations), but the style is very rural, traditional, one could say. Some of the wood is old which gives the tasting room a homely and warm atmosphere.

But the term “tasting room” may be an understatement. The place where the guest can acquaint themselves with the wines is barn type hall with a large bar and round tables along the windows. There are several side-rooms for functions, wine storage etc.

I liked the fire place, the assembled furniture, the way the wines were presented.

A wide range of wines are produced…

…and many awards and medals are displayed

The happy tasters from afar in discussions with the friendly staff

Two very different Pinot Noir wines

The Grange makes Burgundy style wines. We tasted and drank two glasses of Pinot Noir, one from the 2008 and one from the 2007 vintage. Both were exquisite specimen of Pinot Noir with the right varietal expression (I admit here that I lost my tasting notes).

In the end we bought a bottle of the 2007 vintage for about 20 C$, which we took home with us. We would have bought more but were afraid we could not carry them on the plane.

I presented our booty in an earlier blog entry about wines from Ontario.

If only we would have had more time….

The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery
990 Closson Road, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
Tel.: +01-866-792-7712 Facsimile: 613-399-2164

The program is out – 3. International Symposium on Tropical Wine

August 24, 2011

I have already announced and informed you about the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine to be held from 12. to 18. November in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Now the first draft program is out. Gosh there are so many interesting sessions, international and national speakers, and exciting field trips on offer that I might not know where to go. I cannot attend all for them.

Have a look and check it out.

By the way, you should register, I have already done it.

Vineyard work at Two Hills

January 20, 2011

Un-attended vines

A mothballed vineyard is not a pretty sight, especially not after downy mildew had gone through it. It was so humid this spring that mildew was a real problem and we missed to treat the outbreak in good time. Luckily it was only downy and not powdery mildew. The difference is shown in the next picture.

The two mildews (with a spelling mistake)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Downy_and_Powdery_mildew_on_grape_leaf.JPG

Mothballed vineyards react forcefully to being chopped off at the top. If no spurs or canes are left there, the vines respond to the brutal treatement with increased and vigorous growth of side shoots all over the place. These need to be removed.

So what did I do during my holidays on the farm?

I was “desucking”, as it is called colloquially. Every morning from about seven to nine I walked through the Sauvignon Blanc and the Merlot blocks of our vineyard and brushed the suckers (side shoots) off.

The work is easy. It is ritualistic and has an almost religious quality. You bend down in front of the vine (and show your respect) while breaking out all the shoots except the ones on the top.

After my work of “de-sucking”

The fruit of hard labour: clean vines everywhere

Unfortunately, I could not finish the two other blocks, the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay. Next time I will be smarter and take longer holidays.

Happy New Year from the Man from Mosel River

December 31, 2010

Greetings from Two Hills Vineyard in Glenburn, Victoria, Australia. Today, the year 2010 is coming to an end. As usual it was another busy year, a year which made us mothball our small family vineyard and wait for better times of the Australian wine industry. We are not giving up at this point in time.

Blogging has been fun and a great learning experience. Although my day job does not leave me much time for my food and wine passion, I was able to turn our a few pieces.

To all my friends, readers and followers: thank you very much for supporting me and my blog by your visits, comments and suggestions during the last year.

You folks keep me going; now that I will be entering the fifth year of “my life as a food and wine blogger”.

I wish you and your beloved ones all the best for the festive season at the turn to the new year. May you enjoy life, health and togetherness and, of course, a glass of wine here and there.

I have another poem by Jelalludin Rumi for you.

This We Have Now

This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come
and go.

This is the presence
that doesn’t.

What else could humans want?

When grapes turn to wine,
they’re wanting this.

Happy New Year. Have a good start into 2011.

November ambience in a Saar vineyard

November 29, 2010

Vineyard near Schoden, Saar

When I recently visited my home town Trier, I also had the chance to explore mother nature in nearby Schoden, Saar.

It was a grey and rainy November day as we like it. The weather makes you wish for a hot tea in a warm place, maybe near a window with a view. Or a walk through the steep vineyards in the Saar valley.

Individual vines trained on a “stick”

Some of the vineyards were already pruned. One could spot pruners here and there, alone or in small groups. Please note the pruning style of these vines. November is a good time to visit wine regions. It is less crowded and people have time for a yarn.

To cork or not to cork – the problem of wine closures

September 10, 2010

Book cover

Recently, I finished reading the above book by George W. Taber. It is an excellent work. I was amazaed that one could write so much about the different aspects of this little think: the stopper in a bottle. Nowadays, quite a few different materials and techniques are available and every poor vintner needs to make up his mind what to chose.

At Two Hills Vineyard we went for the DIAM solution (technical cork) for our Merlot wines. Our German customers want a cork to pull and DIAM has never let us down. We have experimented with other corks but found that DIAM suits us best.

Moreover, I hate plastic. It does not do the job. I love glass. It is elegant and suggests superior quality of the wine because of its high price. In Australia screw caps are very widespreach. Almost 100% of white wines and maybe 80 % of all bottles are now under screw caps.

I learned from “To cork or not to cork”, that the last word is not yet spoken. It will be interesting to see how wine ages under screw cap and glass stoppers. If we make white wine again, I would chose screw caps for our Sauvignon Blanc, but maybe DIAM for Chardonnay. Our Merlot will definetely stay under DIAM. For Pinot Noir I would remain undecided. Hmm, I wonder what would be the best solution?

And out they go: The exodus of vintners in Australia

April 29, 2010

The recent ABC Landline report nicely summarizes the predicament of the Australian winegrowers. A$ 250 per tonne for your fruit is just not covering costs. Grape growing has no future, it seems. I find it quite shocking somehow. The documentary depicts the individual detiny in a very touching way.

Click on the link below and watch this very informative film.

ABC Landline