We source wine from a variety of winemakers and producers around the world; you can read more about them here:
- English and Welsh
- New Zealand
- South African
The Atamisque winery is situated on a road we’d like to live on, the ‘Ruta del Vino’ in Tupungato, UCO Valley. The winery is a small to medium size and aims for the highest possible quality. In their words: “We want to make great wines, we want to be successful, but we don’t want to be big!” They are obviously doing something right because they won new world producer of the year in the 2015 Sommelier wine awards. The wines they produce are something different because they combine French flare with Argentinian wine making. All their wines are named for indigenous trees and shrubs that grow among the vines.
Sebastian Zuccardi of Familia Zuccardi (one of the families at the heart of Argentinian winemaking) started this project with his wife Marce, and good friends Nuria and Pancho. The winery is tiny and its vineyards are in the shadow of Cara Sur (South Face) a famously treacherous mountain face, which gives this wine its name. The location is 1500m above sea level in the Calingasta Valley, a province of San Juan. Despite the youthfulness of this project, the vines are over 50 years old and their wines are truly spectacular.
Mauricio Lorca’s speciality is top class wines without any oak ageing. These wines are made from vines in high density, high altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley in Mendoza. He makes a range of wines to cater for everyone from budget-friendly right through to some really stunning premium brands. Mauricio’s dream from his college years was to be a winemaker; with his relatively small winery in Luján de Cuyo, he is definitely living that dream.
Being the first female winemaker in Argentina make Susana Balbo one of our wine heroes. She has been making wine since 1983 and released her first vintage in 2002. Susana is a proponent of single vineyard wines, which are evocative of their location. She has led the charge in producing simple, drinkable Argentinian wines, which are fresh and elegant rather than in keeping with the more heavy traditional styles. As a result, Susana is renowned around the world for her exceptional talent.
The winery is a family business with her daughter Ana heading up all the marketing and her son Jose becoming a talented winemaker in his own right. She also has Edy Del Popolo on board, who is an esteemed winemaker responsible for the BenMarco range of wines.
Tacuil is an incredibly remote vineyard in the Salta region. It’s one of the highest vineyards in the world at 2250 metres above sea level. It’s also outside the normal range of latitudes where it’s deemed possible to grow grapes, because the height tempers the extreme heat. On top of all this adversity, these winemakers are totally off grid. No electricity beyond a generator and no internet! Amazing, we take our hats off to them and their wines.
Francisco (Pancho) Lavaque is part of the Lavaque family, a long established producer of wines from Cafayate in Salta. Since 2016, Pancho has been working on a smaller project with acclaimed winemaker Marcelo Pelleriti. This project is Vallisto, which really extols the virtues of the unique terroir found in the Cafayate valley. A Vallisto is a person from the valley (specifically the Cafayate Valley). During this time, they have rediscovered old vineyards and reclaimed them for winemaking. The combination of these old vines and some modern wine-making practices have resulted in some incredible, unique wines, with complex flavours and big tastes.
16 Stops wines are made with grapes from McLaren Vale and the Adelaide region. They are made alongside the Willunga 100 wines in McLaren Vale and therefore benefit from the same winemaking skills of Tim James.
Dandelion Vineyard is a venture of love for its four talented owners. Initially, they sourced old vineyards across Mclaren Vale, Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills. They then produce the wines in the famous Mclaren Vale with love and attention. And the results are stunning.
This winemaker was taken over in 2016 by the Brown Brothers, but has not lost anything in the process. The winery remains in the Yarra Valley and continues to use the same grape growers. The grapes used in this wine come from five different vineyards in the Yarra Valley: Sexton, Tarraford, Arthurs Creek, Quarry Ridge and Primavera. As a result, this Yarra Valley producer makes wine that speaks of the local area. The cool climate of the region really makes the Innocent Bystander wines stand out.
Willunga 100 is in McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. The grapes come from several different vineyards, some of which are over 80 years old. They produce unique wines that capture the essence of the region, successfully combining modern technology with traditional winemaking techniques.
Emiliana is the largest producer of organic and biodynamic wines in South America. They have just under 1000 hectares of vineyards across the valleys of Casablanca, Maipo, Colchagua, and Cachapoal. Over 90% of these are already certified organic with the remaining ones undergoing conversion.
Espíritu de Chile is an excellent value producer of classic Chilean wines in the central valley. They employ modern winemaking techniques and aim to make good quality affordable wines. We certainly think this is something they do very well.
Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand started Montes in 1987. They formed Montes with the intention of producing some of the best wines in Chile. Their meticulous approach to wine making really broke the mould. They control all aspects of the process and pick their grapes by hand. As a result, their Villa Montes Cabernet Sauvignon raised the bar for wine making in Chile. A number of different brands make up the Montes portfolio. For instance, the Alpha wines are made from premium sites, which guarantees complexity; the Villa Montes wines are made from Montes’ estate vineyards, which make them excellent value for money.
Sanama Reserva wines are made at Château Los Boldos from a combination of estate fruit (younger vines) and grapes from neighbouring growers in Cachapoal. The wines each express the different varietal characters well and are ready for drinking.
Dunleavy Vineyards are located just outside Bristol in the picturesque Chew Valley in Somerset. Ingrid Bates (owner and manager) planted the vineyard herself in 2008. After 5 years of hard work, they produced their first rosé wines and now also have a sparkling wine in their collection.
Polgoon is a true Cornish gem. The vineyard was set up in the early 2000s and they completed their first harvest in 2006. They are based just outside Penzance at the tip of Cornwall; if you’re down that way, you really should pop in and say hi! Their location gives them a special micro-climate that allows them to produce some excellent wines, including one of the best English reds we’ve tasted. Their wines have won multiple awards including the Waitrose Trophy for “Best Still Rosé in the UK”. They also have an orchard, where they grow apples and pears for making ciders and juices.
They are vegan certified by the vegetarian society.
Baron de Badassière is in the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc. It is situated near the coast, which gives the vineyard a cooling influence. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel; an interesting character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV.
Boris Kovac is a contract winemaker in Languedoc-Roussillon with an in-depth knowledge of the unique terroirs of this area. He owns several hectares of vines in the Vallée d’Agly, where Carignan, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre thrive in the rocky conditions. Here he makes small batch wines by hand, with some exceptional results.
Château de Santenay dates back to the 9th century. It is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi because it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous because he banned growing Gamay in the Côte d’Or in favour of the already established Pinot Noir. In recent years there has been much investment in this château with an emphasis on quality. They currently have 98 hectares of vineyard; 72 of them are in Mercurey and they produce extremely well made wines that are good value from the Côte d’Or and Côte Chalonnaise.
Château Haut-Blanville is a family run domaine situated in Languedoc Pays d’Oc. They have been running since the late 1990s when they left Paris in search of becoming winemakers. Since then they have built up their estate with additions of vineyards across the region. They cultivate all their vines according to hybrid sustainable principles which combine Lutte Raisonnée, organic cultivation and biodynamics. Their overriding aim is to preserve the quality and diversity of the soil without using any chemical fertilisers at all.
Château Larose Perganson is situated in Saint-Laurent-Médoc on the border of Pauillac and Saint-Julien. Frank Bijon the winemaker produces a Cru Bourgeois that rivals the Classed Growths of the Médoc. Larose Perganson has focused intently on sustainability since 1999 and it is the only vineyard in Europe to have been awarded the highest Exemplary Level in Sustainable Development. They even keep bees on the vineyard to help the declining bee population!
Château Laville is situated in Sauternes and produces some award winning Sauternes. However, they also have a small parcel of 1.3 hectares of red vines, which are producing some excellent reds. As the winemaker employs his own full time grape pickers, he can ensure the grapes are picked at the optimum time rather than waiting until pickers are available, meaning his quality is excellent.
Château Macquin has one of the best elevations on the Bordeaux right bank. Located in the small Saint Georges-Saint Emilion appellation, they have a 31 hectare vineyard which is mostly planted with merlot. The vines face south giving their wines depth and freshness, allowing them to produce some excellent Saint Emilion style wines without such a hefty price tag.
Domaine Belle was established in 1990 in the Northern Rhone Valley. The vineyard covers 25 hectares over six towns and three appellations. The vineyard has its own microclimate that provides perfect grape ripening conditions. Combined with low yielding Syrah vines, they produce high quality, full-bodied yet elegant wines.
Domaine des Brosses is about 10km South of Sancerre. Established in 1875, it has a long history of winemaking. Their vineyards are on a mixture of clay and chalk soils, which give the classic minerality of a good Sancerre. Since the late 90s they have used a machine harvester so that they can harvest the Sauvignon Blanc grapes at night. It is this process that helps to retain the gooseberry and citrus aromas of a Sancerre.
Domaine de Corbillières was found in 1905 and has been in the same family ever since – now run by Dominique and Véronique Barbou, They have 16 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and local red varieties in the Loire. According to Robert Parker, they have a “long-run track record for generating some of the consistently finest – not to mention best-value – Sauvignon Blancs on the planet”.
Dominique Morel has 12 hectares of vineyard in Beaujolais and Fleurie. His vines are up to 70 years old, which adds significantly to the intensity of his wines. He only makes wines he enjoys. In his words, “I make wines that I like to drink, with lots of fruit, good colour and a rounded mouth-feel”.
Domaines Paul Mas owns more than 600 hectares of vineyards in the Languedoc region of southern France. Additionally they work with grape growers across an additional 1312 hectares of vines. In total, they have access to 40 different grape varieties including local and international ones. Jean Claude Mas, the current owner, leans towards producing wines in a new world style.
The Cuvée Secrete portfolio of wines are organically grown and include no added sulphur wines to create wines that are a pure expression of the grape and terroir.
Didier Defaix and Hélène Jaeger-Defaix are the family behind Les Hauts de Milly. They own vineyards across the region in Chablis, Rully and the Côte d’Auxerre (just south of Chablis). All the vineyards are farmed organically, and some are in the process of going through a three year conversion period before being officially certified. The winery and cellar is located in the small village of Milly on the left bank of the Serein, where all of the grapes are brought for vinification so Didier and Hélène can keep a watchful eye over the quality and ageing of the wine.
Maison Plantevin consists of 40 hectares of vineyards in the Southern Rhone, with a focus on the classic grapes of the region: Syrah and Grenache. Starting from humble beginnings in his father’s shed back in 2007, Laurent now makes wine in a purpose built winery, using hand-harvested grapes. The wines are blended to express the specific terroir of each individual vineyard plot.
The wine making at Mas La Chevalière is headed up by Géraud Blanc. Géraud Blanc believes in a sustainable approach to winemaking. For instance, he sources all the grapes from local organic vineyards that he has worked with for a long time. This Pinot Noir comes from the Northern Gard at the foothills of Cévennes. They only use natural products in the vineyard, so no pesticides or herbicides of chemical origin are used at all. Finally, they do all the work in the vineyard by hand, assuring a fine quality wine as a result.
Based in the Rheinhessen region of Germany, Jochen Dreissigacker has been making excellent wines. Since 2010 he has also been organically certified and he uses biodynamic methods in most of his estate (although he has decided against certification). The secret is simplicity and limited intervention, letting the grapes speak for themselves. He only picks fully ripened grapes and uses wild yeasts to make the wine.
His wines are acclaimed in the wine making community, rightly so in our eyes. Their wines are vegan although not yet certified. He explained to us that to be vegan certified in Germany, everything about the wine including its bottle and label must also be vegan. So this is a process they are currently working through.
A Mano consists of a partnership between Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero, who have both been in the wine business for most of their lives. Elvezia is a northern Italian wine marketing expert and Mark is a Californian winemaker. They fell in love with Puglia and decided it was the place for them to start their own label. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and produce high quality wines in a modern style. As a result, they have succeeded in making Primitivo one of Italy’s most talked about grape varieties.
Cantina Colli Vicentini has been on the up ever since winemaker Alberto Marchisio joined as director and winemaker in 2012. The vineyards are in the hills South of Vicenza, the Colli Berici. The location of the vineyards results in lower yields and increased ripeness. As a result, you get much higher quality wine; in fact some of the best in the area.
The Santa Tresa winery dates back to 1697 and is located near Vittoria in south-east Sicily. It has been producing organic wines since 2009. Stefano and Marina, the current owners, aim to work in complete harmony with the natural environment. Growing conditions for grapes are so perfect here that they can cultivate their vines in the most natural, non-interventionist way possible. They actively seek to encourage biodiversity and have recently introduced a colony of bees to the estate to aid pollination. They also allow weeds to grow amongst the vines, and have gardens around the estate planted with herbs and flowers to attract all sorts of insects.
The maintenance of the ancient wells on the estate and the implementation of an eco-friendly system of moving water from a local reservoir enables Santa Tresa to irrigate their vines in a very controlled manner when necessary. The soil on the estate’s 50 hectares of vineyards has ideal characteristics: a 40-100 centimetre surface layer of light red sandy loam on a well-drained limestone base, which helps to guarantee a constant supply of vital water. All grapes are hand harvested with great care. Vinification follows a similarly meticulous, careful regime in order to ensure that the pure, natural fruit flavours are retained.
Winemakers Francesco De Santis and Rino Santeusanio make the Gran Sasso wines in Abruzzi. They make their wines in a fresh, fruit forward style, which sets them apart from other wines from this area.
Mandrarossa wines come from some of the best sites from Cantine Settesoli’s 6,000 hectares of vineyard, situated in South Western Sicily. These vineyards are located near the sea, combining intense sunlight, cooling sea breezes, mild temperatures, multiple elevations and an array of soil types to create the perfect grapes.
Franco Massolino, the winemaker, embraces change whilst producing quality wines in a traditional style. He uses grapes sourced from several vineyards in the commune of Serralunga d’Alba, including ones from vines up to 60 years old. This allows him to create structured, robust and long-lived Barolos.
Alberto Antonini (the winemaker) sources grapes from the wider Chianti area, with a large portion of the Sangiovese grapes coming from the hills around Florence. Alberto selects and then blends the wine before bottling it in Cerreto Guidi. This range is an excellent value for money introduction to this historical Tuscan wine.
Alberto Antonini has only owned this vineyard in Chianti Classico a while but is already making some great wines. The vineyard is fairly small at seven hectares and is located in Montefioralle between Greve and Badia a Passignano, which is in the North-Western part of the Chianti Classico appellation.
Based just outside Verona, Ponte Pietra is the stone bridge that has stood there since Roman times. Vines have been grown in this area since before the Roman era. Matt Thompson, the winemaker produces some excellent value for money wines.
Vigneti del Salento has two wineries in the Taranto province on the western edge of Salento, Puglia. They specialise in fresh white wines and soft, full bodied reds. Filippo Baccalaro is the winemaker behind this. He has been working in Puglia for nearly two decades and brings a lot of experience and knowledge of the local grapes to his winemaking style.
Vigneti Zabù is a young estate in South Western Sicily. Located in a valley near Lake Arancio, the lake creates a small microclimate, which protects the vines from the blistering Sicilian sun.
Winemaker Fiona Turner makes Tinpot Hut wines from grapes predominately grown in her own vineyards. Although she has a number of vineyards, her main one is in Blind River. Blind River is in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley in the North-East of New Zealand’s South Island. Marlborough itself is home to over 500 growers and winemakers, with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc being a classic from the region.
Wild Earth was established in 1998 by Quintin Quider, a Californian who now considers South Island his home. This winery consists of 35 hectares of vineyards in two of Central Otago’s finest locations. At the end of Felton Road overlooking the Kawarau River and in the North Lowburn district beneath the imposing Pisa Range.
The winemaker named the house after businesswoman Antonia Ferriera, who was fundamental in starting the port business in the region. Eventually her countrymen nicknamed her ‘Ferreirinha’; therefore this house pays homage to her memory. This is the first house in the region that specialises in making light wines. The house owns 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in total. This land spans all three of the Douro’s sub-regions: Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.
The vines grow on the split terraces that are cut into the steep slopes of the Douro. Amongst the vines, they also grow olive trees for diversity.
The vines grow on the split terraces that are cut into the steep slopes of the Douro. There are walls around the terraces to prevent erosion and to protect the schist soils from being washed away in torrential rains.
Bellingham is one of the oldest wineries in South Africa, dating from 1685. It was set up by Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk who transformed a neglected Franschhoek farm into this wonderful winery.
Bellingham believes in a sustainable approach throughout the whole wine making process to safeguard the community and environment. For instance, this includes protecting and promoting biodiversity in their vineyards, the introduction of light-weight bottles and packaging to cut down on carbon emissions during the production phase, and continuously improving their waste management processes. They also launched a progressive community carbon emission offset project that involved establishing bamboo plantations in rural regions. This project won them the international Drinks Business Green Awards Ethical Environmental Award in 2012.
Award winning Boschendal lies half way between the Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains, just 40 minutes outside of Cape Town. As recently as five years ago, Boschendal was in a state of ruin and disrepair with fewer than 50 employees. Five years later with the help of committed investment, Boschendal is revitalising. The company now employs 550 workers; they have planted 600,000 fruit trees (plums, pears, citrus and olives); they have started an ambitious project to regenerate soil health. Their aim is to farm ethically by improving their soil ecology and providing dignified employment that develops the potential of each person. Their core aim is to make Boschendal a place of ecological and social justice for the land, its workers and their communities.
Brampton are a new style of winemaker in the heart of Stellenbosch. This urban modern winemaker combines grapes from other producers and creates some great affordable wines whilst maintaining quality.
Franschhoek Cellar make their wines under the Bellingham umbrella.
Tall Horse wines come from the South Western Cape of South Africa. They are a young winemaker, having started in 2005. But don’t let this put you off. They know what they are doing and make excellent value, very drinkable wines. Their tag line is “Tall Horse goes with anything and anything goes with Tall Horse” which sums them up nicely! In addition, they have good eco credentials; the Tall Horse lightweight glass project saves 120kg of Carbon for every 1000 bottles and they recycle.
Please note their whites are only vegan as of 2019.
The translation of Alma Atlántica is Atlantic soul and it pays homage to the wines created near the Atlantic Ocean. The grapes in this wine are grown in the oldest sub-region of Rías Baixas, Val do Salnés. Aside from this being the oldest sub-region, it is also the wettest. The vines grow on the steep slopes of the river Temega, 400-500 metres above sea level.
Bodega Esteban Martin is in the Cariñena region of Spain, which is to the South-West of the larger and more famous Rioja region. Cariñena is well known for its Garnacha wines and also crisp, fruity, dry whites. Esteban Martin produces some excellent value wines without compromising on quality. The winery is a large modern site. The ground is stony and hot, perfect for those fruity flavours.
Bodega Montecillo established themselves in 1870 in the town of Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta. This town has one of the longest histories of wine making in Rioja. Over the decades, Bodega Montecillo has built relationships with many local vineyards. Because of this, they only buy the very best grapes from over 800 different parcels of land in the area. They have invested heavily in technology in recent years and now use some of the latest winemaking techniques.
Bodegas Piqueras is a fourth generation estate in South East Spain, with grapes grown at 2500 feet above sea level. Due to its semi-desert climate, it’s an ideal place to grow grapes organically because the altitude, heat and dryness reduces the chance of disease. The cool nights combined with hot days result in rich flavoured wines with balanced acidity. All grapes are grown in conjunction with nature and biodiversity is actively encouraged.
Situated just north of Murcia in the South of Spain, the Castaño family owns 410 hectares of vineyards. They have become known as one of the very best producers in the area. The hot weather and altitude of the area allows them to produce wines with great fruit flavours and interesting aromatics. Additionally, they told us they don’t need pesticides because the hot weather means a lack of pests. They fine the wine using bentonite clay.
Bodega Garzón led the revolution of winemaking in the South of Uruguay. Starting out 10 years ago, Bodega Garzón has evolved into a scattering of 1,150 different plots. Each plot is chosen to suit the grapes grown there. Bodega Garzón has sustainability at its core. For instance, they are the first winemaker outside of North America to apply for LEED status. They try to use only renewable energy in their winemaking process and use a gravity system to minimise energy usage, whilst maximising quality.