It has been quite a year. I need a rest. I’m tired but thrilled by everything I’ve experienced. Here’s a quick summary of the year’s travel, with trip numbers in brackets.
(1) January: off to Marrakech in Morocco for a few days to celebrate Emily Harman’s birthday with some good wine folk
(2) January: a big New Zealand trip. It started off in Central Otago with six days of visits to producers, followed by the Central Pinot celebration. Then it was off to Marlborough for Sauvignon 2019. Then Gisborne, for the Chardonnay conference, followed by some time in Hawke’s Bay.
(3) February: Japan, to visit Nagano wineries. An excellent week.
(4) February: Porto, for the Simplesmente Vinho event. Lots of excellent wines, and good company.
(5) February: Vancouver, for the International Wine Festival.
(6) March: Tenerife, to visit Suertes del Marques in Orotava for their cellar-opening party. Some amazing wineries took part.
(7) March: Porto, for the climate change conference
(8) March: Champagne, for some in-depth visits with top producers
(9) March: Dusseldorf, for ProWein, the biggest wine fair of the year
(10) March: Bordeaux, for the Millesime tasting of the 2017 vintage in bottle, plus a couple of producer visits
(11) April: Spain, for the Torres climate change workshop
(12) April: Turkey, to judge a wine competition
(13) April: Chablis, for a week of visits with producers
(14) May: a quick stop in Montreal, then off to Toronto for the Terroir conference
(15) May: Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria for the Top Drop event
(16) May: Alto Adige/Trentino, to visit Cavit
(17) June: Prince Edward County (Ontario, Canada) to Judge the NWACs
(18) June: Quebec to visit the wine region
(19) June: A trip to Salina, one of the Aoelian islands next to Sicily, to investigate Malvasia
(20) June: Jerez and Sanluca, to research a story on the new wave of unfortified sherries
(21) July: Galicia, for a Lallemand conference
(22) July: Kelowna, for five days of visiting wineries and having some lovely down time
(23) July: Visiting Bourgogne, to research a story on alternative Bourgogne, away from the most famous vineyards
(24) July: Penticton, Okanagan, to speak at a conference
(25) July: i4C in Niagara, Ontario
(26) July: New York State for the Finger Lakes Riesling conference
(27) July: Portland and McMinville for the IPNC
(28) July: Victoria, BC, for some down time
(29) August: Los Angeles, followed by TexSom in Dallas
(30) August: Languedoc trip, visiting interesting producers
(31) September: Japan, to visit Château Mercian’s vineyards and wineries
(32) September: Cortes de Cima in Portugal’s Alentejo, to catch a bit of harvest
(33) September: Okanagan, Canada, for wine judging
(34) September: Greece, for a visit to Lyrarakis on Crete
(35) September: Georgia, to visit wineries
(36) September: Ribera del Duero and Toro, with Vega Sicilia/Pintia
(37) October: Moscow, to speak at the Simple Wine congress
(38) October: Beaujolais and Bourgogne, seeing some natural producers
(39) October: Okanagan, Canada, for a Boot Camp and also the Judgment of BC
(40) November: Ribera del Duero, for some winery visits
(41) November: Alentejo, for the amphora wine day
(42) November: a big trip to South Africa, taking in Franschhoek and the Swartland, plus some other bits and pieces
(43) December: a quick trip to the Mosel in Germany, looking at the alternative wine scene there