Take the Plunge!

Last month we had an interesting conversation with a couple in our shop during an Open House Tasting. They had in their own words been “very brave” and come to sample the selection of wines we had open that day. They had wanted to visit us because they loved wine, had heard about us and we were local! However, they felt a little apprehensive not knowing what they would find! So just to reassure anyone who may feel the same, our Tastings are a relaxed and fun experience. Our aim is to make you, our customers, feel at ease the moment you step through the door and be on hand should you want to know more about the wines or events. Why not pop in and see for yourselves!

The next Open House weekend is 18 & 19 August 12 noon until 3.00pm.

“Wines for sunny days”  

Remember we open every day so grab a bottle whilst you’re out and about this Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Holiday? Family visiting? Need something different to do?

If there is a group of you (18 yrs+) who would like to come for a Private Tasting whilst holidaying down in South Devon we would be delighted to organise that for you. Prices start at £12 per person. Just get in touch to talk through how we can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have had several events at The Stables in July, the space really does work very well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available to hire for Private Dinner/ Birthday Parties/ Business Meetings / Workshops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Tasting in France

A week in France, Wine Tasting!

Last week we visited one of our French suppliers Jean Curial in a pretty village called St Véran in the Maçonnais region of France. We import their wines direct which are great value and very popular. Phillipe, Jean’s son, took us around his
‘parcelles’ of vines in his 1957 2CV – just fantastic fun, if a little bouncy! We had an interesting lesson on appellations discovering that it is as much to do with geology as it is geography. We visited Pouilly and Fuissé, St Amour-Bellevue, all famous for their Chardonnays.

On we travelled south to the stunning Northern Rhône with regimented vineyards clinging to the steep slopes of the West bank. This is home to the world-famous wines of Condrieu, Côte Rôtie, St Joseph and Hermitage. Every inch of the terraces are planted with Syrah or Viognier grapes beautifully maintained on very precarious hill sides.

The Southern Rhône was just as fascinating with a trip to the iconic village of Châteauneuf du Pape and sampling a range wines made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourdèvre.

We would definitely recommend such a trip to anyone who enjoys wine, it’s uncomplicated and fun! The winemakers are very willing to tell their stories and are proud to pour their wines for you. We did taste some really gorgeous wines including those made by another of our existing suppliers Roger Sabon, they were a real standout!

The unusual weather pattern was a common topic of conversation with all the winemakers that we met; April was unseasonably hot and windy but May and early June has seen very heavy rain & thunderstorms and little bright sunlight. The prevailing southerly wind, the Mistral, has not appeared since the end of April so the humid conditions have sat over the valley for too long and the crops are showing signs of mildew. The winemakers are optimistic that the sun will do its magic and the vines will produce a healthy crop for 2018. Can’t wait to try them!

Phillipe & Murielle Curial

Domaine Jean Curial

Italian wines

A great opportunity to taste the riches of Italian wines

 

As our regular customers will know we love sourcing wines which deliver on flavour, price and quality; some to drink whilst young and exciting and others for laying down to mellow quietly. During our research, it has been Italy that has come up trumps with some excellent examples, so many in fact we have put together a Special Italian Shipment of our favourite wines, so everyone can enjoy our discoveries.

Italy wine has a fascinating history and has recently over taken France as the largest producer in the world. The harsh Spring frosts seen in France over the last few years has reduced yields dramatically particularly in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and this coupled with high demand from the Far East, has resulted in a squeeze on supply. Prices sadly reflect this and for many, French wines have become less affordable, and this is where the Italians can and have stepped in.

 

Wine is produced in all of Italy’s 20 regions from with well-known names such as Soave, Chianti, Valpolicella, Barolo and Montepulicano D’Abruzzo. The wines are characterful, interesting and diverse and available in many different styles. The varying effects of climate and terroir on the viticulture from the North to the South of Italy is extensive, add that to the enormous number of indigenous grape varieties grown alongside international varieties, and the picture painted is complex.

 

Within the Italian wine laws, DOCG is the highest quality classification followed by DOC and IGT equivalent to Vin de Pays in France. Other commonly used terms are Classico which acknowledges “that wines have been made solely from the original classified land and includes many of the best wines from the area” and Riserva meaning “wines have higher alcohol levels and longer ageing minimums stipulated by the appellation laws” (WSET)

 

Italian producers are a passionate and flamboyant bunch and their continued investment in modern winemaking machinery and techniques has paid off handsomely along with improved vineyard management. The greater understanding of “green harvesting” or crop thinning and accurate temperature control in the winery, has given their wines freshness, replacing the baked jammy stewed fruit tastes of the past.

 

Interested in delving into the delights Italy can offer? Then please do get in touch to find out more about our Special Italian Shipment (min. order 6 bottles)

2018 BRINGS NEW WINES & A NEW EVENTS ROOM

 

Goodness where did 2017 go! Our wine business had another good year continuing to grow organically and we are enjoying meeting lots of local people, some of whom just enjoy drinking wine and some who wish to learn more about the fascinating subject.

 

The main news in the wine trade at the moment is not surprisingly the effect the exchange rate is having on the price of a bottle of wine but also the impact of the devastating frosts that hit the Bordeaux area and other European regions a year ago and the subsequent 30% drop in yields. Last Autumn we also witnessed many vineyards and wineries in California, Portugal and Northern Spain being destroyed by wildfires. But what we are constantly hearing is that although volumes are low, putting pressure on prices everywhere, the quality is high and in many regions grape varieties, Grenache, Syrah particularly, loved the conditions of the hot summer with just the right amount of rain.

 

We have been spending the early part of this year travelling to  several Trade Tastings sourcing such wines to find the best examples of the new vintages.  Our aim is to increase the number of wines in our portfolio that deliver great flavour whether it be full-bodied or delicate and which still offer great value.  We are particularly focusing on Italy and Spain where producers continue to challenge the French by bringing exceptionally well-made wines to the market. We can’t wait to show-off these new wines in our forthcoming free tastings.

 

Back in Devon we are looking forward to the end of May when we will be opening our newly converted Stable Events Room formerly an old barn. It is in a charming location with wonderful views up Blackpool Valley. There is a large kitchen perfect for outside caterers and a pretty upstairs room suited to all kinds of functions from Wine Tastings & family celebrations to corporate days. So if you think it is just what you are looking for, come and see how lovely it is just call us first to sort out a convenient time.

01803 770737 or email: wines@michaelsuttonscellar.co.uk