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Portfolio Tasting 2019

Another portfolio tasting done and dusted and we couldn’t have been happier with how everything went. This was out first time using the space in Temple Bar Gallery Studios and everything was perfect, from the illuminating light streaming in, to the general atmosphere in the room. We hope you enjoyed it too. Here are a … Read More

Basking in Mt. Etna’s Glory

In the (three) words of John Szabo, volcanic wines are salt, grit and power.

I will need more than three words to describe my recent trip to Tenuta delle Terre Nere, which is located in the extraordinary location at the northern slopes of the hyperactive volcano, Mt. Etna. Everyday life round Mt. Etna is dominated by the Volcano, referred to by locals as Mama as she both nurtures and scolds her dependents. Her presence is a constant reminder of the delicate balance between life and death.

I visited 5 vineyards during my visit, each with its own very unique personality.

Santo Spirito 1er Cru
The vineyard comprising of 4 parcels makes up 15 hectares. The age of the vines is between 50-100 years. The rich and fertile soil is sandy and deep, made up of 90% ash. Bowl shaped vineyard fills up with debris and ash nutrients from land above. The vineyards suits the very intense variety Carricante letting it produce ample quantities which allows for the intensity to be diluted somewhat. Find our Etna Bianco, Santo Spirito 2017 here.


Guardiola 1er Cru
Meaning to guard, Guardiola aptly sits above Santa Spirito (800-1000 metres above sea level). Here the soil becomes steadily poorer with a high proportion of pebbly basalt along with sand and ash which tends to get washed down to Santo Spirito below. The style of (red) wine in this vineyard goes towards lean and structured with an austerity akin to Barolo. Find our Etna Rosso Guardiola here.


Calderara Sottana Grand Cru
This vineyard surrounds the actual property of Tenuta delle Terre Nere, elevation 600-700 metres. Stoney pebbles with black pumice. This vineyard offers the broadest spectrum of flavours from any of the vineyards. Harvest here can be late, often the second or third week of October. Find our Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2015 here.


San Lorenzo Grand Cru
750 metres above sea level, San Lorenzo has similar soil types to Calderara Sottana but with its higher elevation and remote location surrounded by wood on three sides, it is a cool vineyard. The wines therefore are richly concentrated but with a very good ageing capacity. Find our Etna Rosso San Lorenzo here.


Tenuta delle Terre Nere owner, Marco do Grazi was drawn to the power of Mt. Etna, recognising her strengths and weaknesses, “Some things were true (referring to terroir) while others had to be perfected”. Grazi had previously shone the spotlight in Piedmont over many years, however his discovery of volcanic soil and its mouth-watering qualities set him on his life mission to express as purely as possible the refined and multifaceted microcosm of this ancient volcanic land. The soil composition of this volcanic land varies astonishingly; even pure lava comes in technicoloured variations. There is a lightness and freshness to everything in Etna, be it grapes, olives or honey. The bond between the winemakers and nature is what really sets Tenute delle Terre Nere apart from other winemakers, allowing themselves to be guided by the soil and the climate – it’s almost a conversation between the two.

Spit Was Back, With a Bang!

Well it was another successful year for Spit festival where we teamed up again with Grape Circus, Nomad Wine and Vinos Tito. This was the first time we ventured across the Liffey and took Spit to… The North Side. The river may divide the city but it certainly doesn’t divide Dublin’s love of wine. The … Read More

Portfolio Tasting 2018

Monday the 9th of April saw our 2018 Portfolio Tasting. We were delighted with the turn out, thanks to everyone for coming down – it was great to see you. With the first day of summer sunshine, the light was streaming in through the windows at The Drury Buildings giving way to a jovial start … Read More

Port Can Be Cool

Many venues serve port too warm. Reducing temperature offers greater versatility, and increases the uniquely enjoyable qualities that port offers. We suggest temperatures of 13 – 16°C for Ruby Port and 10 -13°C for Tawny Port. When serving an LBV or Vintage Port we recommend 16°C to balance alcoholic warming against astringency. These recommendations are … Read More

Spit Wine Fair Round Up

Another successful year for the SPIT wine show has come and gone…     “The hugely influential independent importer show” – Thomás Clancy on SPIT festival 2017 We didn’t think we could top last years SPIT wine fair, but we somehow managed to surpass our own expectations. We see SPIT festival as a chance for restaurants … Read More

Austrian Red Wines

Austria makes great red wines. While the success story for Austrian exports may be Gruner Veltliner, following on its heels are distinctive and compelling red wines. The main red grape varieties are Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, St Laurent and Pinot Noir. Merlot and Syrah are also found alone or more typically in blends. The two regions of … Read More

Riesling Vorfreude (“Riesling Anticipation”)

Here are some notes on the two Riesling master classes which we held on 17 May 2017, presented by Anne Krebiehl MW who we flew over for the day from London. Germany’s wine regions cover 4 degrees of latitude from 51 to 48 degrees north and wine production is strongly influenced by and would be … Read More


In the same way that there are trends in food, there are wine trends. Here are just four that apply equally to wine and food.