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.
Angulo Innocenti is a 4th generation family business. Their vineyards are in the very special terroir of La Consulta in the Uco Valley at around 1,050 metres above sea level. The land has a lot of large white surface stones on the top soil, which hold heat and help to keep the chill off during the night. The sandy rocky subsoils lead to a distinctive minerality in the wines.
Los Toneles was founded in 1922 but more recently was bought by the Millán family, who rescued its vintage spirit and combined it with modern technology and structural reforms to bring back its glorious past. The winery still features the huge French oak barrels where the wines were aged but also incorporates modern tanks.
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 certainly living that dream.
At Cavas Rosell Boher, they continue the family tradition of making sparkling wines, with the aim of making the best product in Argentina. They use only top-quality grapes grown in their vineyards in the Uco Valley at 1,300 metres above sea level. They also use the Champagne method to add complexity and only make limited amounts of wine to ensure the high quality.
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.
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 use 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.
A Growers Touch focuses on the production of more traditional varietals, all grown locally out of the Riverina and by farmers who we have worked with for two decades. The label offers credit to the farmers responsible for growing the grapes. It showcases local fruit and places emphasis on the importance of ‘terroir’.
It is those farmers who love and nurture their fruit that we pay homage to. Each farmer responsible for the grapes that go into the wine feature on the wine labels, in order to share with you the faces and hands gone into making these stunning wines.
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.
FS (Family Selection) De Bortoli Wines is a third generation family wine company that was established in 1928 by an Italian couple. De Bortoli’s winemaking philosophy is that great wine begins in the vineyard. The belief is that sustainable vineyard practices will deliver exceptional fruit quality to the winery as well as real environmental benefits.
The focus is on careful site selection, vine maturity and high input viticulture with a move towards biological farming principles. There is also increasing awareness of the importance of single vineyard wines. In the winery minimal interference, allowing the wine to ‘make itself’ and the mantra ‘it is harder to do nothing’, encapsulate this belief.
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.
Charlie O’Brien is responsible for Silent Noise wines. The name comes from his excitement as a small child surrounding the noise of tractors, trucks and everything machinery to do with viticulture and winemaking. The noise stops when the wine is made and it sits silently in the bottle waiting to explode with a different kind of noise when the wine hits the nose and mouth.
Charlie has an ongoing interest in ensuring he works more sustainably and effectively while looking after the vineyard.
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.
Château Los Boldos is located to the south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. The first vineyards were planted in 1948 and the estate was founded in 1991. As with Montes, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines. Today, Château Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Syrah. The Mediterranean climate, with its clear, bright skies during the summer and a high diurnal temperature range, is ideal for growing fruit that retains fresh acidity while achieving optimum ripeness. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore retaining control from grape to bottle.
Las Mercedes is a winery set up by siblings Julio, Juan and Maria. They are part of the Bouchon family who have a long history of making wines in Chile’s famous Maule Valley. The name is a reference to the 17th Century land grants (Mercedes) that were given to hardworking entrepreneurs who grew the first vines in the valley. These young winemakers make wines in the pioneering spirit of those early grape growers and their philosophy is “… to dare to make wines with absolute freedom”. They are succeeding and are making premium wines in Chile that are well worth trying.
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 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.
Domaine Château de Rougeon is located in the Côte Chalonnaise at the top of a hill. Organically farmed, the Domaine produces friendly, simple, unpretentious wines with a dynamic energy. They grow Chardonnay, Aligoté, Pinot Noir and Gamay and favour a low intervention approach.
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 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 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.
Jean-Christophe Barbe is mostly famous for his outstanding Sauternes, but he also produces some stunning reds. The Château Mouras Graves comes from a six hectare property that lies in the Graves communes of Portets, Illats and Landiras. His vineyard management includes leaf thinning to ensure the grapes fully ripen and a green harvest (removing excess grapes) to reduce yields and improve concentration.
Domaine Aubai is a former wine co-operative in Aubray, Languedoc. They produce biodynamic and organic wines from a range of grapes. The wooded hills protect their 50 year old Grenache and Carignan vines from the worst of the weather. They also grow recently planted Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Viognier.
The domaine includes 20 hectares of vines, Pinot Noir, Aligoté and Chardonnay – all organically farmed since 2007. Their reds are made with zero sulphur and the whites are under 15ml/Litre, essentially none, making the terroir expression of their wines shine through. The brothers look for maturity in the grapes, to produce generous quality wines with low intervention. The key to their wines is simplicity.
This domaine is relatively young because it was established in 1990, but the winery has existed since the Cistercian monks started to make wine in 1212. The domaine consists of 31 hectares of vineyards – all organically farmed since 2003. Dominique is very conscious of the grape’s lifecycle and his philosophy combines respect for tradition while being open to more modern approaches.
Domaine des Brosses
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”.
Levin Wines is a family-owned, certified organic winery that has been producing wine in the Loire Valley since 1986. David Levin MBE, the founder of the Michelin-starred The Capital Hotel and restaurant in London, originally started growing grapes in the Loire Valley to produce his private label wines.
The wines are grounded in the Loire Valley terroir, using modern, organic winemaking and organic and biodynamic viticulture practices – to pursue a pure expression of Sauvignon Blanc, from its original home, the Loire.
The Levins are committed to the complex Ecocert organic certification (in both the winery and vineyards) because their experience is that by excluding artificial interventions and nurturing a healthy ecosystem, their vines are more resilient, grape flavours are more complex and the resulting organic wines are more nuanced in both youth and maturity.
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.
Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet works with trusted growers who share similar viticultural and winemaking principles to produce a range of wines in the Northern and Southern Rhône. They don’t take themselves too seriously (as evidenced by the cute bear on the label) but they are very serious when it comes to making wine. Matthieu aims to make wines in an approachable style that are intended for drinking young. They farm organically and use biodynamic methods to grow their grapes.
Mirabeau are deeply committed to the environment and aim to produce wines in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. They have started to move beyond organic farming practices to a holistic regenerative agricultural approach. This approach is essentially about encouraging biodiversity by taking steps to re-nourish the soil, helping build up the earth’s resilience to erosion and drought, and helping the vines store more CO2 in the soil by limiting the amount of ploughing they do. They don’t use any harmful pesticides as part of this.
They are also continuously striving to reduce their carbon footprint. They’ve set ambitious goals to become entirely plastic-free, minimise their use of energy, water and raw materials as well as exploring other ways to reduce waste.
Axel Pauly is one of the dynamic young stars of German wine. He took over the Pauly estate from his father after having done vintages in California, New Zealand and other parts of Germany. Most of the nine hectare estate is situated in the village of Lieser in the heart of the Mosel Valley, with the exception of a small parcel in neighbouring Bernkastel. The grey and blue slate soils of Lieser are cooler than the red slate in Bernkastel, which results in more minerally wines than those from its more famous neighbour.
The Pauly vines cling to steeply sloping, vertigo-inducing vineyards, where Axel uses crop thinning, leaf plucking and grape selection at harvest to ensure a concentration of flavour in the grapes that he preserves through to the final wine.
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.
Run by Luca Degani since 1995, the Cantina Valpantena is now one of Italy’s best co-operatives, with 700 hectares of vineyard producing excellent quality fruit. Matt Thomson makes some of the Alpha Zeta wines here and has worked closely with them since 1999.
The Torre del Falasco wines are the standard bearers of this co-operative, situated in the Valpantena, northeast of Verona. Known as the ’valley of god’ to the ancient Greeks, this area is well-known for its high quality red wines, due partly to the soils but also because of the cool breeze that blows down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites.
Azienda Agricola Cortese is Stefano Girelli’s new estate in Sicily. Cortese has a rich history in winemaking and has been resurrected under Stefano’s ownership.
Cortese farms in a traditional way, using organic farming techniques from a time where organic was not a choice, but the only option. The dry, sun-drenched Sicilian climate provides perfect conditions for organic farming. As a result, no chemical fertilisers or pesticides are used and biodiversity is encouraged.
Dea Del Mare, the Sea goddess, is The Wine People’s acknowledgment of the legitimacy of nature’s power as a beneficent and independent power. In Dea Del Mare nature is not feared, but it is understood to be a part of life, followed by birth and renewal each time they prune our vineyards. These are great value wines, and great expressions of Italy.
Fedele is an organic and vegan range from Sicily by TWP Wines. Stefano Girelli runs TWP Wines and comes from a family with a long history of Italian winemaking. Stefano’s portfolio stretches the length of Italy and places a strong emphasis on Stefano’s passion for organic methods. Many of the wines are certified organic (and vegan!). Additionally, they are all made in an eco-friendly way, with a long-term commitment to the environment.
Leading consultant winemaker, Stefano Chioccioli, a friend and colleague of Stefano Girelli for many years, uses the best possible indigenous grapes to create wines with great quality and individual character. The Wine People’s wines speak of their terroir.
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.
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.
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.
Villa Sandi is a beautiful Palladian style villa which dates back to 1622 and lies in the heart of Treviso, at the bottom of the foot of the Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG hills. The Villa is owned by the Moretti Polegato family, who have been devoted to winemaking for three generations. Today they are one of the leading Prosecco producers, recognised across the globe for their outstanding award-winning wines. The winery is at the forefront of technology and innovation.
They take sustainability very seriously too and are certified “Biodiversity Friend” by the WBA (World Biodiversity Association). They also produce 40% of their energy requirements using a combination of solar panels and a hydroelectric power plant located inside their grounds.
The Vavasours hold a unique wine making pedigree in New Zealand. Their family first settled there in 1887, pioneering commercial grape-growing and winemaking. The first vines were planted in the Awatere Valley in 1986 and established the region’s first winery, Vavasour Wines. Their son, Louis, continued this journey by establishing Awatere River Winery 15 years ago. This winery is in Lower Dashwood, Awatere Valley, beneath Mount Tapuaenuku, Marlborough. Louis is passionate about sustainability, and as a result, all his wines are 100% sustainably produced and vegan friendly.
Winemaker Fiona Turner makes Tinpot Hut wines from grapes predominantly 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.
Sustainable practices are paramount and Tinpot Hut Wines proudly displays the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing logo on all their wines. This initiative was established in 1995 to help protect New Zealand’s beautiful landscape as well as the flora and fauna.
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. 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.
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.
The Solaz estate is located just outside the town of Malpica del Tajo in central Spain. The landscape is determined by two nearby mountain ranges and the Tajo river. The river provides pure melt water and mineral-rich clay soil for the vines to thrive in. Due to its location, they get a lot of sunshine all year round and low temperatures at night, which creates the ideal microclimate for vines. Additionally, this location and geography means they are able to grow their vines organically with no pesticides or fertilizers.
Vallformosa is the 4th largest Cava producer (12 million bottles), with a history spanning over 150 years. This is a characterful, unconventional and nonconformist brand. It is synonymous with partying, fun and quality, and sponsors a range of high-profile events across Europe such as Tomorrowland Belgium. Yet underneath Vallformosa’s party image, lies a company focused on quality, innovation and sustainability.
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.
Viña Progreso takes its name from Gabriel’s local village, Progreso, and the project is aptly named as these are indeed progressive wines, made by a guy whose enthusiasm, energy and open-mindedness shine through in the wines themselves. Progreso is in the department of Canelones, probably the country’s premier wine region in the south of the country. This is a gently undulating, low altitude environment where irrigation is rarely if ever necessary. These wines are a real eye-opener, offering a spectrum of styles from some quite unexpected grape varieties; the common theme being lovely concentration, open fruit, intelligent balance and impressive length.