1. Adventures In Wine' podcast, episode 13 - In Praise of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Posted On: February 6th, 2019

    Adventures In Wine' podcast, episode 13 - In Praise of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

        "In the very teeth of winter, Jason and David battle all the way to the wine cellar in search of bottled sunshine; to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in fact, historical home to the Avignon Popes in exile, a recent ruin, some very big pebbles and thirteen varieties of grape, all of which are permitted into a […]
  2. Southern Symbolism
    Posted On: November 19th, 2014

    Southern Symbolism

    I was hosting a tasting for WSET diploma students last week and an inquisitive attendee from Korea asked me what the embossed crossed keys on the bottle of 2011 Châteaunueuf-du-Pape from Le Vieux Donjon symbolised. I was able to elucidate with a degree of professionalism that Avignon-based Clement V had been installed as the first […]
  3. Fountain Of Delight
    Posted On: April 28th, 2014

    Fountain Of Delight

    Our founder Robin Yapp is well known for having original ideas and putting them into practice. I wouldn’t say he was impetuous but he certainly has the courage of his convictions and is capable of taking quite a long-range outlook. Thus it was in the early 1970s when he decided our courtyard was lacking a […]
  4. Season of Mists
    Posted On: October 12th, 2011

    Season of Mists

    Summer (assuming, of course, we actually get a Summer) is a time for carefree and irreverent imbibing when we can quaff pretty, coral-coloured rosés and aromatic, young Sauvignons en plein air. Salads and picnic foods cry out for simple, supple wines. Nobody wants to drink anything too demanding while relaxing in a deckchair – clean […]
  5. Autumnal Traditions
    Posted On: December 1st, 2010

    Autumnal Traditions

    We’ve been hosting Autumn wine tastings for the Oxford and Cambridge colleges for many moons. On my very first venture to Oxford 10 years ago with Robin (Yapp), no sooner had we set up the tasting in preparation for the arrival of the dons than he rushed me off to the Covered Market to seek out […]
  6. Wine Growers’ Tasting at Vintners’ Hall
    Posted On: November 17th, 2010

    Wine Growers’ Tasting at Vintners’ Hall

    There are few wine tasting venues that can match the regal splendour of Vintners’ Hall in the City of London and we are inordinately grateful to the Vintners’ Company for allowing us to visit periodically. Bedecked in oak panelling and dazzling with silverware amassed over 6 centuries this is a great setting for a wine […]
  7. Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 4)
    Posted On: November 9th, 2010

    Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 4)

    It’s our final day in the Rhône valley and we are beginning to flag a little as we wend our way out of Orange once again at 8.30am. We’ve long since given up trying to convince friends and family that tasting wine is an arduous task, but you can have too much of a good thing. We […]
  8. Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 3)
    Posted On: November 8th, 2010

    Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 3)

    Fortified by a superb dinner at Guy Julien’s truffle-orientated restaurant ‘Le Beaugravière’ in Montdragon (which has a legendary Rhône wine list) we arrived in Châteauneuf-du-Pape on Wednesday morning greeted by a blue sky and southern sunshine. At Le Vieux Donjon Marie-José Michel and her daughter Claire gave us a warm welcome and the happy news […]
  9. Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 2)
    Posted On: November 3rd, 2010

    Rhône Reconnaissance (Day 2)

    (Continuing the voyage down the Rhône valley this week, to catch up with vigneron friends and get an insight into the Rhône 2009 vintage). Domaine Jean-Louis Chave is a key reference point for the entire Rhône valley, and securing an audience with Jean-Louis himself is never easy. Space precludes going into too much detail here, but […]
  10. Soixante-Neuf
    Posted On: August 13th, 2009


    There is a widely held belief that while the red wines of the Northern Rhône will age almost indefinitely the reds of the South don't make old bones. This is a bit of a generalisation and, of course, is rather vintage dependent but it is true that by and large the Syrahs of the Northern […]

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