Category Archives: Grape&Grain

Natural Selection prepares to launch 2017 beer

Peter Ranscombe finds out more about Natural Selection, a partnership between Stewart Brewing in Loanhead and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to train the next wave of brewers. SCOTLAND’S craft brewing scene is thriving – there are more than 115 breweries dotted throughout the country, the highest number for more than a century. Gordon Brown’s introductionContinue Reading

Searching for regionality in English sparkling wine

To mark the start of English wine week tomorrow, Peter Ranscombe ponders whether it’s possible to spot regional identity in the country’s sparkling wines ASK a connoisseur of Champagne about their favourite bottles and more likely than not they’ll start waxing lyrical about the different areas that make up the famous French sparkling wine region.Continue Reading

Keeping California affordable

Wines from California can be expensive by the time they reach the UK, but there are still plenty of bargains to be found, as Peter Ranscombe discovers THERE’S no arguing with the quality of the wine being produced in California – some of the pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay I tried during a recent visit wasContinue Reading

Finding a wee bit of heaven on earth at Champany Inn’s Creation wine dinner

PETER RANSCOMBE FEW sounds are more inspiring than hearing a winemaker talking about their love for their vineyard – and Jean-Claude Martin is clearly smitten with his vines. Along with Carolyn, his wife, he grows grapes and makes wines at Creation, their estate on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, in South Africa’s Walker Bay region.Continue Reading

Organic, biodynamic and natural wines

PETER RANSCOMBE WINEMAKERS have many motivations for tending their vineyards using organic methods; some want to improve their soil, some want to enliven the taste of their wines and some want to protect the land that’s been home to their family for generations. Vincent Rochette has another reason for farming organically – the health of hisContinue Reading