Past Tours and Tasting Weekends
18-20 May 2018 : Weekend in Birmingham
Well over two years passed after the very successful (apart from difficulties with the journey) weekend at Huntingdon without any successor having been arranged; and we are indebted to Simon and Christine Rowntree for proposing their home city as a possible venue for a weekend. Over the last few months they put in much hard work to compile the necessary combination of a comfortable yet inexpensive hotel, a venue and presenter for a tasting, and a restaurant, preferably with a suitable private room, for the dinner. They succeeded in all three respects, and they committed themselves by staying at the hotel rather than commuting from their home in Harborne. The Chairman with his usual skill managed the contractual arrangements. The party would have numbered seventeen but for Terry and Christine Page having to withdraw because of his illness. They were much missed, but the remaining fifteen of us, augmented by two of Simon and Christine’s friends for the tasting, made a jolly party. St Paul’s House proved, on the whole, to be a successful choice. It is one of the elegant buildings in St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter, and conveniently it was, for most of the party, within walking distance of the other two venues. The constant music in the open ground floor area was not to everybody’s taste, but it was not unduly intrusive in the bedrooms, and the breakfasts were good.
Most of us had a very good dinner on Friday evening at an Italian restaurant close to the hotel. We managed the early 10 a.m. start prescribed by Loki Wines for the Saturday morning tasting at their attractive premises in Great Western Arcade: the cause was a tasting at noon which had already been booked. Paul Creamer, who is on his way to qualifying as a MW, guided us entertainingly through a set of five wines preceded by a fine champagne. Perhaps having in mind that the noon tasting was of prosecco, he recommended that we look for Brut rather than Extra Dry when buying prosecco, and that the sub-region of Valdobbiadene produces the best wines. A further tip was to cover the glass with the palm of a hand before swirling and sniffing. But if this is obvious why had none of us heard of it before?
6-8 November 2015 : Tasting Weekend in Huntingdon
Based at The Old Bridge Hotel. Owner John Hoskins MW presented a tasting based on pairs selected from the Old and New Worlds. This was a semi-blind tasting in that tasters were made aware of the names but had to state the order of tasting. The Old World was represented by Loire Valley, Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux and the New World by New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and California.
15-17 February 2013 : Tasting Weekend in Bristol
This was based on a Saturday morning tasting at Averys, and accommodation was provided in the nearby Grand Hotel by Thistle. An excellent tasting on a world wide scale was selected from Averys extensive list. Sight-seeing in the afternoon was followed by a memorable meal at Bordeaux Quay.
12-18 June 2011 : Tour of Gascony
19 members participated in a week-long tour of this lesser known (at least in vinous terms) region of south west France. The tour was based principally on Pau with daily visits to wineries in Irouleguy, Jurancon, Madiran, Armagnac, Plaimont and Eauze.
8-15 June 2008 : German Tour
Freddy Price led an exciting and extensive tour which included 5 regions (Mosel, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pfalz),15 estates, 9 grape varieties, and many dry wines including Grosses Gewächs (top growth vineyards). The tour started and ended in Luxembourg. This was a very special tour for the Winetasters as Freddy had indicated that this would be his final tour as Leader.
25 June - 1 July 2007 : Bordeaux Tour
Tastings were held at Châteaux d'Angludet, Leoville Poyferré, Palmer, Lafite, Charmail, Leoville and Langoa Barton and Branaire Ducru in the Medoc, Domaine de Chevalier and Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan, Guiraud in Sauternes and Châteaux Quinalt, Gazin and Canon la Gaffelière In St Emilion and Pomerol. Finally a visit to Entre-Deux-Mers to take in Château Bauduc and Clos Jean. Some of the lunches were taken at the château being visited, whilst on other days good use was made of local watering holes.
3-9 Sept 2006 : Rhone Tour
A tour of all the principal wine making areas of the Rhone. The starting point was in Avignon, visiting Les Baux-de-Provence, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas, and then north to Cornas and Tain l’Hermitage, and ending with Condrieu and Côte Rôtie.