Awards and citations:


1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for investdrinks.org

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award




Thursday, 28 May 2015

Amongst the vines – Touraine fin mai



We arrived in Epeigné early evening yesterday following a fine drive down from Calais. The good weather has continued today – indded some of the locals here would have preferred for once if we had brought rain with us as the ground is certainly dry and hard. After tackling the 'lawn' with over knee high grass after a month of neglect, I foud time to take the mountain bike out into the vines to have a quick look at home the vines are progessing. 

On a very quick look while riding through the local vineyards, backed up by comments from the RAW Fair (17th May) and at the London Wine Fair (18th May), there seems to be quite a big 'sortie' of potential grapes this year. Probably certainly bigger than the last three vintages. It is, of course, still very early days. The next step flowering is crucial. If the weather during flowering is cold and wet, then the yield this year will be considerably reduced. If instead the weather is hot, sunny and flowering is over in a few short days then most of the potential bunches will have become real ones. Time will tell! For the moment the forecast for the next few days is good unless you are a gardener and need rain. 

        





Tuesday, 26 May 2015

2015 Vitiloire 30th-31st May (central Tours) + Vendredis du Caveau 29th May (Saint-Lamert-du-Lattay)

Monday, 25 May 2015

Corrour – excellent family meal in the wilderness to celebrate Netta's 91st

 Corrour Station House @1338 feet above sea level

On Saturday we had a family celebration to mark Netta's 91st birthday on Wednesday 20th May at Corrour Station House. Railway buffs will be familar with Corrour in the middle of the desolate Rannoch Moor, which apart from a rough, private road, is only accessible by rail. Corrour is on the Glasgow to Mallaig via Fort William line and 17 miles from the nearest metalled public road. 

Despite being in the middle of nowhere there is a Youth Hostel at Corrour and the very good Corrour Station House restaurant, which also has four rooms run by Ollie Bennett and Lizzie MacKenzie
    


 The bleak moorland looking westwards 



 The line northwards towards Spean Bridge and Fort William 


Corrour Station and the Station House to the left 


Tulloch Station looking north-west

Towards Corrour and Rannoch Moor

Early Saturday evening we caught the southbound train from Tulloch Station just after 6pm. Tulloch is about a 15-minute journey to Corrour sharply uphill all the way. 

Understandably the Corrour Station House is well set up to serve three courses and then get guests onto the last train at around 21.30 northwards to Tulloch and stations to Mallaig. 

We had an extremely good meal – no need to make allowances for the restaurant's isolation. 

11-strong family group 

Home smoked trout  

Loin of venison 

A very clever dessert – chocolate and rhubarb cake

Two bottles from the short but well-chosen wine list: 
Picpoul de Pinet and an Argentinian Malbec



 Restaurant view westwards .... and eastwards below 


 Ollie Bennett and Lizzie MacKenzie with Netta