Meet Aitken’s Folly Winery in Wanaka, Central Otago

From one end of the world to the other for the love of wine

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Ian, owner of Aitken’s Folly winery.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit Wanaka, a little town in the Central Otago wine growing region. Wanaka is mostly known for its lake, its spectacular mountain scenery and all the activities that you can do on a lake and in the mountains. Walking, hiking, all sorts of water sports… You might know me that well now to know that I was not too keen on those activities.

No, my mission was to find some wine, some good wine.  So I went into Wanaka’s wineshop and aksed John, the owner, to recommend some places to go to. Unfortunately, on the one hand, there were not too many wineries  I could visit from Wanaka. I was a little dissappointed, I thought Wanaka would be a wine paradise. But fortunately, on the other hand, there are a few small producers that the owner of the wineshop encouraged me to visit. He was even so nice to give me the phone number of the owners of Aitken’s Folly winery. And that’s how I got to meet Ian and Fiona. Continue reading

Wine on Waiheke Island

Come and see for yourself!

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I am back. Haven’t posted in a while since I was recharging my travel batteries. In the meantime I was on Waiheke Island helping out with canopy management at a vineyard. Today I want to share some of the beautiful scenery that I encountered on Waiheke Island. It truely is a paradise. And what makes it even more beautiful is the fact, that on this tiny little island, you get a lot of good wine! In practically every corner, there is a vineyard that boasts stunning views and gorgeous wines. Continue reading

Elqui Wines: The Northern star of Chilean winemaking

Meet winemaker Steffan Jorgensen and Find out about his Unique wines

I wonder if it was a mistake to start my Chilean wine tour in the Elqui valley visiting Elqui Wines. Why? Because I don’t think it can get any better. Why? Because I tasted some mind blowing red wines and learned about a truely unique region.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Elqui valley, the winery and the people behind it as well as show you the wines I was invited to taste. I hope you will get curious about the region as well as Elqui Wines.


If you order your wine here, this is what you will get – from the outside.


The Elqui Valley: Where Vines have to struggle a bit

This valley is the most Northern wine growing region of Chile. It borders the Atacama desert, the world’s driest desert, in the North, the Andes in the East and the Pacific in the West. But how does this influence wine growing? Well, it’s dry, very dry, there is a lot of sunshine which is good for a continuous growing period. But at the same time the Pacific blows its cold wind, known as the Humboldt current, directly into the valley. There are no coastal ranges as in other parts of Chile that function as a barrier. This wind cools down the air and brings freshness and saltiness into the vineyards. Continue reading

Join the tour: Bodega del Tupun in the Uco Valley, Mendoza

Spoiler alert: I could kill for that Pinot Noir!

This bodega comes to me as a surprise. Literally! Let’s do a bit of story telling here before I give you the hard facts and a tour of the bodega.

One sunny morning I take the bus from Mendoza to Tupungato to meet Javier Aller who is supposed to show me his wine and where he makes it. When I get off the bus Javier is already waiting for me and with him a friend, Diego, who turns out to be our translator. What a great surprise and thank God for that! The next surprise comes a few minutes later: Javier drives pass Bodega del Tupun, the oldest winery in the region, as he explains, and drives right into their parking lot where apparently he arranged a tour for me by winemaker Ariel Angelini. I am thrilled and excited when greeted by Ariel and even more thrilled and excited once we enter the old bodega building that dates back to the 1920s. Javier later shows me his wine production as well, this I will tell you in another blog post.


Let’s start with the hard facts, quick and dirty, about Bodega del Tupun before I give you the tour: Continue reading

Roussillion wine region at its best

Meet winemaker CaRrie Sumner: From New York to the South of France

Carrie Sumner and her husband Marcel Bühler run Domaine des Enfants in Maury, in the Roussillion wine region in South of France. The closest biggest city is Perpignan. For a long time, wine making in the Roussillion was dominated by cave cooperatives. This means that individual wine growers would deliver their grapes to the cooperatives which would then make the wine under a cooperative label.


Carrie testing the reds for the upcoming blending.

In recent years, however, the Roussillion saw a change to this practise. An increasing number of wine makers run their own domaines and sell their wines under their own labels. This gives them more flexibility in the whole process of wine growing and making.

One of these domains is Domaine des Enfants. Carrie and Marcel own vineyards in different parts of the region with different soils and grapes as old as 70 years. This diversity is refelcted in their complex and well-structured wines.

I was lucky to work along Carrie and Marcel for a period of two weeks just before and during harvest 2015. Carrie in particular has been my mentor and my guide, explaining to me the single steps in the wine making process. It was a real pleasure to work along Carrie and be able to learn so much from her. Continue reading