The AWE Blog

The AWE blog is a collection of posts from AWE members.
  1. Angela Reddin

    Banged up and locked down.

    By Angela Reddin
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    Hi all.  Laura’s lovely report illustrated what so many of us are going through at the moment.  All work cancelled.  A very iffy position for all of us I assume.  Also I have just received the dreaded letter from the NHS.  I have to stay ‘in isolation’ for 12 weeks.  Not because I have Covid plague, but because 2 years ago I had to spend a month on a ventilator with pneumonia and therefore I am a very high risk category who will need a ventilator if symptoms develop.  I am great!  Survived getting back on a BA mercy flight from Spain, happily cooking up things that will hopefully languish in the freezer until as and when the situation blows through to clear skies.  And, about time i got into my garden and used what talents I might have there.  Stay well all, Angela
  2. Kevin Ecock

    Kevin Ecock’s WinePod

    By Kevin Ecock
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    I launched my podcast, Kevin Ecock’s WinePod, one year ago. For a few months before that I needed to learn how to be tech friendly, decide on a logo, a title and above all an interesting format. Wine is visual and sensory – is it also something we like to ‘listen’ to?  Would anyone listen to a wine podcast that wasn’t jokey, semi alcoholic, loud, brash – well, that’s what so many of them were (and still are)! There are exceptions. How long should each episode be? When do we get bored? I listened to as many wine podcasts as I could find and settled on a format – 30 minutes chatting with as many leading lights as I could catch from the world of wine.  As an educator and a writer I decided that I would treat every episode the same – I would assume my potential listeners knew nothing and yet wanted to know something! One year on I have published 39 episodes have covered most of the wine world, gathered a fabulous listenership and achieved a tremendous load of downloads. I am available across all of the usual sites, Spotify, Apple, Stitcher and others with Libsyn as...
  3. Laura Clay

    Cellier des Dauphins

    By Laura Clay
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    Wine cooperatives are underrated – discuss. I’ve never quite understood the slightly negative view of buying wine made by a co-operative. These are wineries jointly owned by vine-growers, grape-growers, vignerons, farmers, whatever you like to call them, which produce wine from the area in which their vines are situated. Over half of all French wine is made by co-operatives. It seems to me to make a great deal of sense to pool resources with your neighbours to buy expensive equipment, some of which is only needed for a couple of weeks a year, and to be able to employ a qualified, often well-travelled and experienced wine-maker to do a job you may not be quite so skilled at as you are at growing grapes. Sourcing grapes from a larger area than one or two plots of land also gives options unavailable to the individual wine producer. This is very much in evidence in the diverse range of Cellier des Dauphins in the Rhône Valley along with a new aim to highlight specific appellations and producers. Cellier des Dauphins was founded over fifty years ago, a brand created by the Union des Vignerons des Côtes du Rhône which is today one...
  4. Richard Bampfield MW

    Musings on recent visit to New Zealand

    By Richard Bampfield MW
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    Some musings following the recent MW visit to New Zealand in February 2019 Not intended to be exhaustive – simply a summary of some of the highlights, key learnings, wines/producers I will be looking out for in the future…….and general reflections.  Climate change – more likely to be wetter in winter when vines don’t need more water and dryer in summer when they do!  But it was mentioned on more than one occasion that, at present, New Zealand’s vineyards appear to be less affected by climate change than those in many other parts of the world. Sustainability SWNZ – Sustainable Wine-growing New Zealand 98% of NZ’s vineyard certified sustainable. Water use, waste management/recycling, biodiversity. An extension SWNZCI (continuous improvement) goes further and includes economic sustainability. As James Milton says “you can’t be green if you’re always in the red”.  Viticulture Even if NZ wine producers want to dry farm, it is often not realistic because so many soils are so porous. During veraison a vine’s water needs double. If you green harvest you halve a vine’s water requirement, so can be useful when water is short.  Clos Henri – Damien Yvon – some vineyards in Marlborough irrigate up to 8...