A brief history of chaptalisation


2013 was a difficult year in France for the production of wine. A cool summer and excessive rain meant that it was difficult for grapes to achieve maximum ripeness. Even in Bordeaux, many of the top châteaux...

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How important is alcohol in wine?


How important is strength in a wine? I ask this because yesterday, at lunch-time, I had a bottle of a petit château from Bordeaux which weighed in at 14º. Forty years or so ago I would have been surprised...

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A beginners guide to Sherry


I’m a sherry fan! There I’ve said it, I have ’outed’ myself in front of the British public! Too late to take it back and the thing is you should be a fan as well. ‘Why?’ I hear you cry! Read on and find out…

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Felton Road


John Saker book, Pinot Noir – the New Zealand Story, says, “it seems barely credible that Felton Road’s first Pinot Noir was a product of the 1997 vintage. It is not the only book to say this, but is just not true. I am the proud possessor of invoice no.1 for 25 cases of the 1995 vintage. How did this come about? 

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A brief view of the vintage


A brief holiday in the Loire Valley at the beginning of October, just happened to be at a time when the vintage was in full swing. Well, that is not quite the expression as off/on rain meant that it was a stop/go sort of harvest. 

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A Guide to Rioja


Located in Northern Spain, Rioja is the country’s most renowned wine region. With the mountains protecting it from heavy Atlantic rains and scorching continental heat, Rioja enjoys an ideal climate to produce exceptional red, white and rose wines.

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Diversity of French Wine


There can be no other country in the world which has such strength in the market at all levels.

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Tips on Buying Fine Wine


The key word is provenance. Here, at Fine Wines Direct UK, the great classified growths of Bordeaux that we offer, were bought, at the opening price, direct from the château. 

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Spain’s vineyards are characterised by their often extreme climatic conditions. Vines may be found growing in desert or volcanic regions or in landscapes blanketed by snow.

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The climate in Chablis is marginal for the production of wine, with spring frosts being a particular danger.

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