Oh the places you’ll go: the trips of 2019

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

The stunning scenery of Central Otago, New Zealand

(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.

Vineyards in Nagano, Japan

(3) February: Japan, to visit Nagano wineries. An excellent week.

Porto, a great city

(4) February: Porto, for the Simplesmente Vinho event. Lots of excellent wines, and good company.

Harbour Air, Vancouver

(5) February: Vancouver, for the International Wine Festival.

Trenzado training, Orotava, Tenerife

(6) March: Tenerife, to visit Suertes del Marques in Orotava for their cellar-opening party. Some amazing wineries took part.

Hello again, Porto, viewed from Gaia

(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

Cos in St Estephe

(10) March: Bordeaux, for the Millesime tasting of the 2017 vintage in bottle, plus a couple of producer visits

Carbon capture technology

(11) April: Spain, for the Torres climate change workshop

Istanbul, Turkey

(12) April: Turkey, to judge a wine competition

The vineyards of Chablis

(13) April: Chablis, for a week of visits with producers

Niagara winemakers from a panel on working with appassimento in Toronto
Montréal, Canada

(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

Vineyards Prince Edward County

(17) June: Prince Edward County (Ontario, Canada) to Judge the NWACs

At Les Pervenches, Quebec

(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

Albariza soils, Jerez

(20) June: Jerez and Sanluca, to research a story on the new wave of unfortified sherries

Cambados, Galicia

(21) July: Galicia, for a Lallemand conference

The view from McIntyre Bluff, Okanagan, Canada

(22) July: Kelowna, for five days of visiting wineries and having some lovely down time

A rather famous Chardonnay vineyard, Bourgogne

(23) July: Visiting Bourgogne, to research a story on alternative Bourgogne, away from the most famous vineyards

The Okanagan, looking over the vineyards of Qualis’ Gate to the lake

(24) July: Penticton, Okanagan, to speak at a conference

i4C, Niagara

(25) July: i4C in Niagara, Ontario

Finger Lakes, NY State

(26) July: New York State for the Finger Lakes Riesling conference

IPNC 2019

(27) July: Portland and McMinville for the IPNC

On a ferry from Victoria BC to the Olympic Peninsular, USA

(28) July: Victoria, BC, for some down time

An ancient Zinfandel vineyard in southern California: Abe Schoener sources grapes from here
In Abe’s urban winery
TexSom: Larry Stone and Raj Parr on stage

(29) August: Los Angeles, followed by TexSom in Dallas

Languedoc: Hatues Corbières

(30) August: Languedoc trip, visiting interesting producers

Château Mercian: working in the vines, Nagano, Japan

(31) September: Japan, to visit Château Mercian’s vineyards and wineries

Hamilton Reis, winemaker, and Hans Jørgensen, owner – Cortes de Cima

(32) September: Cortes de Cima in Portugal’s Alentejo, to catch a bit of harvest

Judging crew, in the Okanagan

(33) September: Okanagan, Canada, for wine judging

Lyrarakis, Greece

(34) September: Greece, for a visit to Lyrarakis on Crete

In a marani, Georgia

(35) September: Georgia, to visit wineries

Harvest, Vega Sicilia

(36) September: Ribera del Duero and Toro, with Vega Sicilia/Pintia

(37) October: Moscow, to speak at the Simple Wine congress

In Fleurie

(38) October: Beaujolais and Bourgogne, seeing some natural producers

Similkameen, BC, Canada

(39) October: Okanagan, Canada, for a Boot Camp and also the Judgment of BC

Ribera del Duero

(40) November: Ribera del Duero, for some winery visits

Opening a talha (amphora), Alentejo

(41) November: Alentejo, for the amphora wine day

Swartland, South Africa

(42) November: a big trip to South Africa, taking in Franschhoek and the Swartland, plus some other bits and pieces

Piesport, Mosel

(43) December: a quick trip to the Mosel in Germany, looking at the alternative wine scene there