Freddy Price RIP
Freddy’s first presentation of a tasting for The Winetasters was in September 1977, shortly after Dolamore Ltd had been selected as our supplier in succession to Hedges & Butler. From then until 2012 Freddy was our valued expert presenter and friend, though in the last four years, during which he presented seven of thirty-one tastings, we became used to the practice of DIY tastings presented by members, with occasional tastings presented by professionals.
A trawl through the history shows how devoted to the Winetasters Freddy was. He shared his vast experience with us: he had been twenty-five years in the wine trade by the time we first knew him. His vast list of contacts brought many first rate experts to present tastings. Many of these contacts enabled Freddy to arrange superb tours of an individual quality unachievable in a purely commercial tour. He opened for us many doors which were closed to the ordinary lover of wine. We had no hesitation in following Freddy through various changes in his association with wine merchants over the years; and this continued when he continued as an independent wine writer and consultant.
To add to all this, Freddy was a man of sunny disposition and humour. His tastings usually involved diversions of a charming nature, and it did not matter that some were perhaps not altogether relevant to the topic in hand. We became well acquainted with his schooldays at Oundle and his boxing bouts with Peter Sichel of Ch [d’]Angludet. There were also diversions of a different kind during tours, when Freddy, unaided by anything like Google Maps, frequently led our coach drivers astray.
Freddy was to present the pre-Christmas tasting in 2013, but on the day he suffered a serious fall from the effects of which he never really recovered. There was much sadness felt by us all at news of his condition; but it is comforting that at the end he was placid and much loved by the staff and residents of the care home where he spent his last days.
Freddy would have been unhappy if he had proved to be altogether irreplaceable; and I guess that he would have been pleased at the way in which we have muddled on as a group of good friends who truly are members of ‘a sociable wine club’ in which the tradition of diversions has been maintained.
We send Janet, Toby and Eloïse and all the grandchildren our loving sympathy at the loss of a truly fine man who will be very much missed.
Freddy Price dedicated his life to wine through buying, selling, marketing, lecturing and judging on tasting panels and it is through his writing that he has really voiced his passion for German wine.
After studying French and German at Oxford University, Freddy Price moved to London where he developed an interest in wine. He pursued this interest with a visit to Germany, Champagne and Alsace to learn more about wines from these regions.
In 1955 he joined Dolamore, a specialist in German and Bordeaux wines. Here Freddy worked in sales for a number of private customers including Oxford University. He worked up to director level, responsible for tasting and buying German wine and other wine regions in Europe, as well as selling wines to his ever-increasing number of customers. Thirty years after he first took the position at Dolamore, he resigned to set up his own business.
With the help of Dirk Max Richter in Mosel in 1988, Freddy set up “The Magnificent Seven”,an agency representing seven major estates from different regions of Germany. This was a great success at a time when German wines were not popular.
He also began to write regular articles for Decanter Magazine and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Janet, his wife, travelled solo to most of the wine growing regions in the world, taking photographs to illustrate wine books and magazines. They regularly travelled together by car to Germany, France, Italy and Spain, whose wines he was also representing.
Freddy’s passion for Riesling drove Janet and him to travel round Europe and all the regions of USA, Canada, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa for their book, “Riesling Renaissance”. The book received the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for “The best Book on Wine, Europe”.
“A Travellers Wine Guide to Germany”, written by Freddy and illustrated by Janet was published in 2013, and Freddy was awarded The Herkunft Deutschland by the President of the VDP, at Mainz for his work for German wines.
“No one can lead us through the Riesling vineyard with a surer touch, with more assurance or more involvement than Freddy Price, a benign presence in the London wine trade for many years.” Hugh Johnson
Books by Freddy Price
Riesling has recently undergone an incredible leap in reputation, establishing itself once again as one of the world's great wines. Freddy Price documents this renaissance, celebrating Riesling's fascinating history and heritage, and covering the nine countries and fifteen regions that produce Riesling - from the cool-climate, steep slopes of the Mosel Valley to the hot, dry plains of Australia. He gives detailed accounts of the world's top Riesling producers, including vital information on specific vineyard sites, production methods, and the range of wines produced. There are reviews of the best vintages, as well as recommendations of which wines are best to drink now. Over fifty full-colour photographs illustrate the diversity of the landscapes, and ten maps locate the top vineyard sites and the key Riesling producers
Anyone looking for delicious food and wine, stunning landscapes and a warm welcome will find Germany wine country truly delightful. The tremendous diversity of its wines is a revelation to many visitors to Germany. This book offers many tips on where to enjoy the local cuisine with these delightful wines as well as meeting the winemakers, as it guides visitors on a journey through Germany's thirteen wine regions.
A Traveller's Wine Guide to Germany provides a basic introduction to German wine, from the vineyards to the cellars, with guidelines on what to expect when sampling it. It also take the wine tourist on a journey through remote areas that are infrequently visited in order to taste the best of German wines.