Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Zealand. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

An engaging Tempranillo from Toro, "different from its peers". New Zealand Wine Week Returns Jan 30th.

An engaging Tempranillo from Toro, "different from its peers" 


New Zealand Wine Week Returns Jan 30th. Details below.


Liberalia “Dos” Toro (DO) 2021, 14% ABV, €15.40 Heart of Spain

Heart of Spain is an online and actual shop in Fota Retail Park in East Cork and specialises in wine (and charcuterie and cheese) from the heart of Spain, mostly from the areas known to wine drinkers as Toro and Rueda. 

This bottle of young red wine (known as joven, though you don’t normally see it on the label) is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha (20%, according to the producers’ own website).

Here, in the valley of the famous Duero river, over the last two decades or so, Toro has become famous for the quality of its Tempranillo based wines, the grape known locally as Tinto de Toro. Neighbouring Rueda of course is best known for its white wines made from Verdejo (and the shop have some of these on sale as well). 

It looks well and inviting in the glass with its cherry red colour and some violet hues. Aromas have black and red fruits coming through strongly in a wrap of vanilla (it has spent three months in barrel). And, in the mouth, it is loaded with fresh fruit flavours, some sweetness from the light tannins. The finish, with balsamic notes and a little influence from the oak, is lengthy. 

There is a certain Intensity and complexity to this but don’t let that put you off. This is a young juicy and easy-drinking wine, all on a typical Tempranillo base with a nicely judged oak contribution. Don’t think about it too much, just enjoy! Highly Recommended.

With its “large fruit load and pleasant mid palate” it is quite a wine for the price and the producers recommend pairing it with semi-cured cheese, cured cheese, blue cheese, goat cheese, pork, veal meat, chicken, turkey, game, lamb.

Liberalia is a family winery located in the area of the historic and prestigious Toro Denomination of Origin, province of Zamora (Spain). The vineyards are located where traditionally there has been vine cultivation.

When I first saw the English language list of varieties in the area, I also saw Bull’s Ink. It took a while before the penny dropped and I managed to translate that back to Tinta de Toro, which currently enjoys the seal certification as an autochthonous variety, with its own name, with well-defined agronomic and ampelographic characteristics. That means that the Tempranillo in Toro, while related to that in Rioja, is officially regarded here as indigenous.

Its ampelographic characteristics are very similar to Tempranillo, but which, nestled in the area for several centuries, identifies it with its own name and personality, different from its peers.” .


New Zealand Wine Week returns in 2023


After the success of New Zealand Wine Week events in 2021 and 2022, New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) will be kicking off the third New Zealand Wine Week on 30 January 2023.


Themed ‘Altogether Unique’, activities for the event are planned across the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Sweden. New Zealand Wine Week will be a hybrid event this year with both physical and virtual sessions, with a wide-ranging programme spanning tastings, masterclasses and online discussions.


“Being able to run hybrid events, with a combination of virtual and physical in-market platforms, is an impactful way to share the New Zealand wine story in our key export markets, broaden our reach, and shine a light on our premium and diverse wines to our trade and media audiences,” says Charlotte Read, General Manager Marketing, New Zealand Winegrowers.


“The theme of the week, ‘Altogether Unique’, comes hot off the heels of the launch of New Zealand Winegrowers’ new global brand platform New Zealand Wine, Altogether Unique.  This is underpinned by a significant piece of work to define the essence of the New Zealand Wine brand and its three key pillars of purity, innovation, and care - things that make New Zealand wine, so unique and special.”


Throughout the week there will be bite-sized webinars covering research at the forefront of New Zealand wine and New Zealand’s commitment to climate change. In these sessions, local producers and international trade will have conversations about sustainability, site, and Sauvignon Blanc. A longer tasting webinar will see Stephen Wong MW present what puts the ‘new’ in New Zealand.


The New Zealand Wine Week 2023 programme will include:

Virtual Events

  • ‘NEW New Zealand – Through the Lens of Smaller and Rarer Plantings’ – Stephen Wong MW will present what puts the ‘new’ in New Zealand.
  • ‘Beyond Sustainable – Next Steps for a Carbon Neutral Environment’ – Michelle Bouffard of Tasting Climate Change and Belinda Jackson of Lawson's Dry Hills will discuss the strategies wine producers are putting in place to support and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • ‘Terroir and technology – A Guarantee of Origin’ – Christina Pickard is joined in conversation by Alastair Maling MW from Oritain and Steve Smith MW of Pyramid Valley, to explore how technology can guarantee the origin of a wine down to vineyard parcels that may only be a hundred metres apart.
  • ‘Expanding the Scope of Sauvignon Blanc Vine Diversity in New Zealand’ – Dr Jamie Goode, Dr Darrell Lizamore of New Zealand's Bragato Research Institute and Emma Marris of Marisco discuss New Zealand Winegrowers' research into how plants adapt to external stress to produce a collection of diverse Sauvignon Blanc vines.


Physical Events

  • London Annual Trade Tasting – 50 exhibitors showing more than 200 New Zealand wines.
  • Dublin Annual Trade Tasting – 20 exhibitors showing more than 90 New Zealand wines.
  • Swedish Embassy New Zealand Wine Reception
  • Independent Wine Education Guild Masterclass – ‘Sub-Regional Expressions of New Zealand Pinot Noir’ with John Szabo MS


View full programme details and how you can participate in New Zealand Wine Week here.


Thanks to Jean Smullen for above info.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Two Very Highly Recommended From Down Under. Giant Steps Chardonnay and Tinpot Hut Riesling.

Two Very Highly Recommended From Down Under. 

Giant Steps Chardonnay and Tinpot Hut Riesling.


Giant Steps Chardonnay Yarra Valley 2020, 13%

€33.99 64 Wine; Avoca Handweavers Shops; Blackrock Cellar; Ely Wine Store; La Touche Wines; McHughs Off Licence - Kilbarrack Road; Mitchell & Son; Station to Station Wine; 

Giant Steps single varietals are regarded as distinctive varietal expressions from the Yarra Valley. Hand picked grapes from estate vineyards, minimal intervention winemaking at their gravity flow winery in Healesville, one hour from Melbourne.

Colour is a light and bright straw. Quite a nose with citrus and melon prominent. All nice and gentle so far. But, like an over-enthusiastic handshake, it grips the palate, getting your attention with bright fruit flavours and an unmistakeable acidity. Soon though you relax. This has loads of very easy-to-like personality, that fruit and acidity in perfect harmony all the way through to the delightfully lingering finish. A stylish and complex wine wine, it is a super introduction to the Yarra Valley and is Very Highly Recommended.

All this after a rollercoaster of a vintage in 2020, though the Yarra Valley were luckier than other parts of Australia. The Yarra began with a cool wet spring, a dry December, then a mild February, punctuated by a few significant rain events. The Yarra team were stretched. Chardonnay yields were lower than average but a consequence was that naturally high acidity and those incredible fruit flavours. It’s an ill wind…

Prior to pursuing his passion for wine, Giant Steps’ Steve Flamsteed developed many culinary passions, including cheese making, which would take him to France to study his trade. But it was after working in Beaujolais that he was inspired to become a winemaker. Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1993 from Roseworthy Agricultural College. 

Prior to joining Giant Steps as Winemaker in August 2003, he worked for Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River and Yarra Burn Winery in the Yarra Valley. Steve is a Len Evans Scholar and has completed several vintages overseas, including in Alsace and Brouilly, and is an experienced show judge.

The vintage: 100% hand-picked, all fruit was chilled overnight to 12 deg C.
Whole bunch pressed, fermentation on full juice solids, wild yeast.
Fermented entirely in 500L French puncheons – 10% new, 90% older.
No lees stirring. 20% of the blend has undergone spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Matured in French oak – 10% new, 90% older – for only 8 months. It was then coarse filtered and bottled by gravity in late Spring.

Food suggestions from Giant Steps include:
Fried soft shell crab Bao, with fresh coriander and bean shoots.
Grilled fresh goats curd and olive tapenade on grilled sourdough and fresh rocket salad.
Roast crispy skin baby chicken, preserved lemon and roast garlic.
Aged Pecorino cheese drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Tinpot Hut “Turner Vineyard” Riesling (Marlborough) 2019, 9.5%

RRP € 24.99 Blackrock Cellar, Bradleys, Cashel Wine Cellar, Cinnamon Cottage, Egans Off Licence, Mitchell & Son, Searsons Wine Merchants,, World Wide Wines

The palate experience is irresistible, lively with fruit (citrus, apple) and acidity, lively but harmonious from initial sip to the long and pleasing finish. Fresh aromas of lime and grapefruit, floral notes. Pale, very pale, straw is the colour.  A marvellous Marlborough Riesling from the consistently top notch Fiona Turner, one with low ABV, and Very Highly Recommended.

Attention to detail is key. They say: Low yielding vines were monitored closely and hand-picked when the right balance of flavour and sugar ripeness was reached to produce this lower alcohol style of Riesling. The fruit was crushed and only the free run portion of the juice was retained. Specialty Riesling yeast was used for a long cool ferment. The resulting wine was then balanced and prepared for bottling under a screw cap closure to retain as much of the freshness and fruit character of the vineyard as possible.

The Tinpot Hut winery is named after the huts, famed in New Zealand sheep country, huts used by musterers as they round up the sheep who have spent Spring to Autumn in the hills. Fiona Turner, no stranger to Ireland, is the winemaker.

Liberty: Sourced from winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard and made in small quantities, this wine displays attractive lime and grapefruit aromas and has a distinct mineral quality which is reflective of the Blind River sub-region.

Food pairing: Ideal as an aperitif and a great match for seafood, pork or with lightly spiced Thai or Chinese meals. Perfect for drinking immediately, this single vineyard Riesling will be at its best over the next 2-5 years.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Two highly recommended wines to savour. A Hawkes Bay Chardonnay and a Touriga Nacional from the Dão

 Two highly recommended wines to savour. 

A Hawkes Bay Chardonnay and a Touriga Nacional from the Dão

Trinity Hill “Gimblett Gravels” Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2017, 13%, 

RRP € 34.99 Baggot Street Wines; Blackrock Cellar; C Morton & Sons; The Corkscrew;; World Wide Wines

Colour of this New Zealand Chardonnay is a bright mid-gold. Aromas are fruity, grapefruit and lemon and no shortage of floral notes. Quite stunning on the palate where, along with the minerality, you again meet the citrus accompanied by a lively natural acidity. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in 500 litre oak puncheons followed by a further four months in tank on lees has enhanced the experience, including the texture. 

Delicate, rich and elegant this beauty finishes long. It is a very distinctive, harmonious Chardonnay, is closer to cool Burgundy rather than the rest of the (warmer) New World, and is Very Highly Recommended. Try with Pork (including belly), rich fish (salmon, trout, tuna), and poultry.

The year 2017 was a very good one in the Hawkes Bay area, a moderate spring with low frost risk and generally good flowering led to an extremely dry and warm summer, recording above average temperatures in January and February before rainy weather came in late February followed by humid conditions with heavy rainfall from March to May.

Importers Liberty: Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill and knows Hawkes Bay and the Gimblett Gravels exceptionally well. The wines reflect this. Warren and his team make wines that show the best of what Hawkes Bay and the Gimblett Gravels can produce. The wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour that makes them a joy to drink.

The gravelly soils resulted from a flood in 1876 when the Ngaruroro River changed its course and a vista of gravel was left behind. Probably best known for red wines. But Chardonnay grown here has distinctive floral notes and pronounced minerality on the palate. 

The Gravels have been described as “the most famous single vineyard in New Zealand”. And from these gravels come surprising wines. It is now a highly sought-after sub-region renowned for the quality and Trinity Hill was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay in 1993. And soon after Warren Gibson arrived.

Quinta Dos Carvalhais Touriga Nacional DAO (DOC) 2017, 13.5%

RRP € 31.99 Baggott Street Wines, Lucey’s - The Good Food Shop,

Info on the label is brief and to the point

Complexity 4/5; Tannins 3/5; Body: 4/5; Fruity: 4/5; Oak: 4/5.

Pair with: Seafood, fish, chicken.

12 m in oak.

Serve at 16-18 degrees.

This intense, complex and elegant Touriga Nacional from the heart of the Dão has a dark ruby colour, slighter lighter at the rim. Aromas hint of its black fruit and the well-integrated spice from its 12 months residence in oak. Vibrant dark fruit and spice again on the palate and more besides. Great depth, acidity too and smooth, harmonious all through to the persistent finish.

The Touriga Nacional is a much loved indigenous variety but you rarely see it, in these parts, on a solo run. Quinta dos Carvalhais are credited with spearheading the quality renaissance of wines from the Dão in the early ‘90s. And it is located in the heart of the Dão. The 105-hectare estate, with 50 hectares under vine, was purchased by the Guedes family in 1988. They invested a huge amount into improvements in both the vineyards and the winery.

And part of that improvement is a series of single varietals from indigenous grapes. Along with the Touriga Nacional, look out for Encruzado and Alfrocheiro. While our bottle is single varietal, some three different batches of Touriga Nacional grapes were used in this Highly Recommended wine, each of which was harvested separately.

This wine is aged for 12 months in used and new 225-litre French oak barrels. The final blend was made to fully express the high quality of the Touriga Nacional, as well as the distinctive character of the Dão region. Serve at a temperature between 16ºC-18ºC. Pairings advised for this “Very gastronomic and perfect for meal-times” wine are “with dishes such as octopus à lagareiro, oven-roasted pork and mushroom risotto”.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Two to Recommend: A Kiwi Gruner and an Aussie Shiraz.

Two to Recommend: A Kiwi Gruner and an Aussie Shiraz.

Tinpot Hut `McKee Vineyard` Gruner Veltliner Marlborough 2017 13.0% ABV

RRP € 24.99 Baggot Street Wines, Drink Store,

Very pale gold in the glass with micro bubbles clinging to the sides. Aromatic for sure, citrus prominent and subtle hints of the grape’s trademark white pepper. The lovely mouthfeel makes an immediate impression as does the lively acidity. And then the fruit, peach and nectarine, quickly begins to show in this excellent crisp wine. Terrific lip-smacking finish lingers. Very Highly Recommended.

The Tinpot Hut story began in 2003 when winemaker Fiona Turner and her husband Hamish established their own 20 hectare vineyard in Marlborough's emerging sub-region of Blind River. Naming her range of wines after a historic Marlborough mustering hut, the 'Tinpot Hut' links the area's sheep farming past with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions. 

Fruit is sourced from Fiona's 'Home Block' and is supplemented by grapes from selected vineyards (grown by the McKee family, Fiona’s friends and neighbours). Fiona is assisted by Matt Thomson, a friend and colleague with whom she has worked for many years.

Tinpot say: The 2017 growing season presented some challenges with a major earthquake in November affecting trellising at the home block. Variable weather during the flowering period in Spring delivered moderate crop levels and a cool and windy Summer required a lot of canopy manipulation. This hard work rewarded us with good quality fruit showing classic flavours and balance. Careful harvest decisions along with fast, flexible picking and good management in the winery have ensured an exciting spectrum of flavours in the harvested grapes.

Suggested pairings: Enjoy with oily seafood such as salmon and tuna or, alternatively, roasted pork and duck.

16 Stops Shiraz South Australia 2019, 14.0%, 

€ 15.99, Baggot Street Wines, Blackrock Cellar, Clontarf Wines, Drink Store, Ely Wine Store, Fresh - The Good Food Market, Jus de Vine, Station to Station Wine, The Cinnamon Cottage Cork,, World Wide Wines


This Shiraz (no messing around with Syrah here) has a crimson colour,  a little lighter towards the edge. Aromas are of dark fruit, including plum. Only a small proportion has been matured in French oak hogsheads for added complexity. And the oak supports rather than dominates on the palate which has intense fruit. The lively spice though is not as shy. Round tannins evident too as this well balanced wine proceeds smoothly to a dry finish. Quite a bit of character and Highly Recommended. Good value too by the way.

Importers Liberty: We felt it was best to invest in premium regions for our 'entry point' Australian wines. Given the quality of the fruit from which they are made, the 16 Stops wines offer tremendous value for money.The wines are made with fruit from the McLaren Vale and the Adelaide regions. They are produced alongside the Willunga 100 wines in McLaren Vale and benefit from the same expert input from Mike Farmilo.

The name 16 Stops refers to the number of stations on the railway line from Adelaide. It was built in 1915 to transport goods and people between the country town of Willunga and Adelaide. I know an Australian who would rename it as 16 Stubbies.

Monday, November 2, 2020

A Stunning Pinot Gris and a "more serious" Vinho Verde. Quite a double!

Quite a double!

A Stunning Pinot Gris and a "more serious" Vinho Verde.

Ata Rangi “Lismore” Pinot Gris Martinborough 2018, 13.5%

€35.99, The Corkscrew, The Ely Wine Store Maynooth

Pinot Gris, originally from Burgundy, is a relation of Pinot Noir. You’ll know the Italian version as Pinot Grigio but many Italian examples don’t reach the standard of this Martinborough wine. 

It has a beautiful light gold colour. Aromas of white and yellow fruits are quite intense. A luscious mouthfeel but the main feature on the palate is the fresh acidity, from attack to finalé. 

The grapes are harvested relatively late to enable the grapes to develop their full flavour profile, and that is certainly the case here. Great fruit, terrific texture and a long and concentrated finish. From a vineyard now 23 years old, the roots of the old vines drive metres deep into the gravels and consistently deliver fruit with great texture.

They say: A classic Pinot Gris originally influenced by the style of wines from Alsace but developed over the years into our own, uniquely Martinborough style. With just a few grams of residual sugar, Pinot Gris is a delicious stand-alone aperitif. It is also one of our favourite food and wine matching choices, especially for anything with heady spice and/or challenging flavours. 

The fruit is hand-picked and whole bunch pressed. Juice cold settled. A combination of ferments in small stainless tanks and 500 litre oak puncheons; in both cases left on lees for several months. Native yeast. No malolactic fermentation. Very impressive from start to finish and this distinctive wine with the Irish name is Very Highly Recommended.

Azevedo Reserva Vinho Verde (DOC) 2019, 12%, 

€18.99 Blackrock Cellar, Clontarf Wines,, McHughs Off Licence, World Wide Wines, Alain and Christine Wine and Card Shop, The Ely Wine Store, Maynooth, J. J. O’Driscoll, The Cinnamon Cottage 

This Vinho Verde has a light yellow colour, and looks pristine in the glass. Lime leads the aroma charge, herbal notes in there too. Terrific concentration on the palate, more weight and texture than normal due to the skin contact and lees stirring during vinification plus an unmistakable acidity. A complex and compelling wine.

It is a blend of Loureiro (70%) and Alvarinho (30). You probably know that the Vinho Verde area is close to Spain where Alvarinho is called Albarino. Here, in the particular wine, Loureiro is credited with giving it intensity and freshness while Alvarinho contributes texture, creaminess and volume. All in all, a more serious Vinho Verde, well balanced with a persistent finish, and Highly Recommended.

No extremes during the 2019 season, though harvest occurred slightly later than usual. The conditions resulted in aromatically expressive wines with a fresh profile and balanced acidity. After fermentation, the wine was matured in stainless-steel tanks with "bâtonnage", stirring of the lees, for three months.

When Fernando Guedes acquired this historic estate in 1982, he revolutionised the viticulture by planting 35 hectares of cordon-trained vineyards, rather than the traditional high-trained pergolas, and built a modern winery with state-of-the-art facilities for the production of fresh and elegant wines. Today, winemaker António Braga makes an impressive range of whites, all marked by a signature freshness and pure and precise flavour and this is one of them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Matt Thompson's Blank Canvas in Marlborough. Harvest 2020 almost knocked out by Covid19!

Matt Thompson's Blank Canvas in Marlborough
Harvest 20 almost knocked out by Covid19! 

Experienced winemaker Matt Thompson and partner Sophie Parker-Thomson told us about their big escape as they gave the latest masterclass in the current Liberty Wine series. As the virus struck the country, there was a local campaign in Marlborough, where their Blank Canvas winery is, to shut down the industry. “It would have been a nightmare,” said Matt. “The shutdown would have been effectively for a year, not just weeks, a very scary time. There was panic, no insurance to cover it. “ 

But in the Year of the PPE (personal protection equipment), they were able to continue the vintage. Sophie: “Everything took longer. Both the weather and the fruity quality were fantastic.”

The weather had also been kind earlier, in December, leading to the "most spectacular flowering". The yield was up and, with some varieties having highly packed bunches, there was a danger of disease. “But it stayed dry and there was no disease”, said Matt. “A dream vintage,” concluded Sophie.

The work in the winery is not quite finished yet. While they operate mostly on Marlborough, their Syrah comes from the North Island, from the small Element vineyard in the famed Gimblett Gravels area. This has three or four weeks more to go before bottling.

Liberty Wines MD David Gleave introduced the couple saying he first met Matt in Italy in 1994. “He has done numerous vintages in Italy since and also in Marlborough where he also works as a consultant. He knows Marlborough inside out. With his own label he is pushing Marlborough into areas where it hasn’t gone before, making some great wines, including a terrific Gruner Veltliner (with “its stunning yet restrained aromatics”).

Sophie confirmed that they are pushing boundaries, ”wine without recipes”. Matt said they “make wines for grown-ups”. “We keep it small, helps us experiment. When it works, we bottle it. We have no vineyards, yet, and we choose very carefully where and who we work with."  Note too that all their wines are single vineyard.

“The vineyards are quite spread out,” said Sophie “and we have a very important partnership with our growers.” While the vineyards are “spread out”, the distances between them are not great. For instance, the Reed family vineyard (see map) is just 25 miles inland from Cloudy Bay. The Reeds are not only trusted suppliers but they are also great customers!
Mission statement!

The Holding family are nearer the sea and that saline note is present in their Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Healthy soils here too and great diversity. “They don’t plough at all,” said Matt. “Ploughing is a huge contributor to climate change and destructive to organic matter.”

Grüner Veltliner, highly praised by David Gleave, is a relative newcomer to the Blank Canvas portfolio. “It’s fun to make it, totally different,” enthused Sophie. Unusually, the Syrah was co-fermented with 7.5% Grüner Veltliner skins. Matt: “I preferred the white pepper character of the Grüner to the riper Viognier fruit.” 

David asked about climate change and specifically mentioned copper sulphites (“effective but doing long term damage”).
Matt confirmed the copper usage in Marlborough “is next to nil”. “Copper is destructive on some flavours of Sauvignon Blanc so that benefits form the next to nil usage here.” He also hinted that a  “biological spray” may be a way forward in the vineyard in future. “It is a spray of competitive microbial bugs that swamp out the pathogens.”

And then we were on to SO2.

Okay, so what is SO2? You’ll see the words Contains Sulphites on every bottle of wine as sulphites occur naturally as well as being added during the process. SO2 is the active form of sulphites and is used in very small concentrations in wine (and in lots of other drinks and food, eg dried apricots, soups, and orange juice). Some wine-drinkers say they get a headache from the sulphites. But, if that were the case, then a couple of dried apricots would give you one as well.

So why is it used?  It can be a bit technical. It is used as an antioxidant and also as an antimicrobial agent (where it is very effective against most bacteria, germs don’t like it). It comes in a bound form and in a free form (each has its own properties) and total S02 is simply the sum of the bound and free. Matt emphasised that winemakers should know more about bound and free as it “is in everyone’s interest to manage it properly”. He also said that industry should talk more about the subject, as it is the preservative of choice for winemakers and the wine industry.

Its use is limited by European regulations, less for red wines, more for white and the highest limit is for sweet (eg Sauternes). If used at those limits or, preferably below, it keeps the wine fresh and, importantly for Matt, helps keep the qualities of the fruit and the place. “S02 can be used to ensure that the wine’s sense of place, or origin, is expressed rather than the microbial diversity under the winemaker’s fingernails.” 

Sulphites should not be confused with Sulphides! So I won’t add to the confusion here!

Matt and Sophie are quite a busy and experienced couple. He has 53 back-to-back vintages (northern and southern hemisphere) to his credit, while Sophie has 17. Matt has won countless awards, including being International White Winemaker of the Year (IWC 2008). Sophie, a lawyer by training, comes from a wine-making and hospitality family,  and her wine studies are very well advanced.

He says: “Blank Canvas represents my story as a winemaker.” We’re looking forward to the next chapter.

In the meantime, check out the Black Canvas wines on the Liberty Wines website here.