Tag Archives: Shrewsbury
More and more wine producers are turning to environmentally friendly methods, but it is less common for wine makers to apply for full organic or even biodynamic accreditation. Those that do are, however, very passionate about it and one winemaker who typifies this is Sam Weaver of Churton in New Zealand.
Sam has written a short piece for us below and is coming to the UK in a couple of weeks to conduct two tastings - one in Shrewsbury on Wednesday 5th June and one in Bridgnorth on Friday 7th June. He will talk about his techniques and show a selection of top wines from Churton as well as some fine wines from France, which will be very interesting to contrast and compare. The evening will be relaxed and informal and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Click here for tickets at £20 each.
At Churton we have always aimed to have a minimal impact on the environment. The vineyard was planted in 2000 into the natural and long established pasture and we have never used insecticides or systemic sprays. As our experience and confidence evolve we are progressively converting the vineyard to full organic certification in time for the 2014 vintage. We have continually evolved our biodynamic philosophy and practice.
Often, biodynamics is regarded at the crazy end of organic production. What could be dafter than stirring cow dung matured in buried cow’s horn in water for 60 minutes then throwing it about on the farm, and then what relevance do lunar cycles have to farming practices. Yes, we really do this! Are we lunatics or what?
At Churton, I have a strong belief that our biodynamic farming approach is rational and makes complete sense. Above all, it helps us produce better wines that have more individuality and really demonstrate the farm (terroir) where they come from.
As a microbiologist I believe biodynamics works from the ground up. We work hard to improve our microbiology by using composts and various biodynamic preparations (such as the matured dung or an oak shaving mixture buried in a sheep’s skull in a swamp). We run a system that is a polyculture, and actively encourage biodiversity by increasing our plant and animal species. We plant companion species of flora between the rows in the vineyard, raise our own cattle and keep bees. And yes, we do take note of lunar cycles, after all didn’t our grandfathers plant by the moon?
Wine making is an art as much as a science. Growing the best grapes to make the best wine combines both of these disciplines too. Biodynamic philosophy gives us a structure to help understand these disparate approaches and in the end really make our wine sing.
If I have whetted your appetite for finding out more about biodynamic practices and the beneficial effect on the resulting wines, I am coming to the UK in June and will be conducting two tutored tastings at Tanners Wines – one in Shrewsbury on Wednesday 5th June and one in Bridgnorth on Friday 7th June. I will talk about our techniques and show you selection of wines from our vineyards at Churton as well as some wines from France, which will be very interesting to contrast and compare. It will be relaxed and informal and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.
Look forward to seeing you then,
This post was posted in Guest Blogs, Tanners Tastings and was tagged with Biodynamic Wine, Churton, New Zealand, Organic Wine, Pinot Noir, Sam Weaver, Sauvignon Blanc, Shrewsbury, Viognier, Wine tasting
**Please note revised course dates below**
Tanners customers often ask us if we run wine courses. We have the ‘masterclasses’ of course, which are open to all and normally explore specific wine regions. However, taking a formal Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) accredited course is a great way to improve your appreciation of wine and can help anyone embarking on a wine career too.
We are delighted that Antoinette Milne from ‘Wine For Life Learning’ is about to run two WSET courses at Tanners’ premises in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. They are suitable for anyone who wishes to learn about wine – whether for fun, personal interest or to gain an officially accredited qualification. Although these courses are run independently from Tanners, we do hope they will be useful to those of you who would like a more formal approach to learning about wine.
The Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits
(£329 which includes wines, study pack, lunch and exam fee)
Saturdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd June + Exam on 29th June
11am to 4pm
Mondays 20th May and 3rd June + Exam on 10th June
8am to 5.45pm
These courses would appeal to wine enthusiasts who wish to acquire more in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits and to people employed in the drinks and hospitality industries. The Saturday courses will have slightly more relevance to regular customers and the Monday course is better suited to those in the trade but everyone is welcome.
The course covers:
- how wine is made
- key grape varieties
- wine producing regions
- spirits and liqueurs
- label terminology
- food and wine pairing
- how to taste wine.
To achieve the internationally recognised wine qualification, you will need to pass a multiple-choice paper of 50 questions.
The Level 1 Award in Wines
(£129 which includes wines, study pack, lunch and exam fee)
Saturday 18th May
9am to 5.45pm
This is a one day course, the aim of which is to give a basic introduction to wine, followed by some basic food & wine matching. It is ideal for beginners as well as boosting the confidence of new or inexperienced front line staff in the hospitality or retail sectors.
The course covers:
- the main styles of wine
- how to taste
- common grape varieties
- how to serve wine
- how to pair wine with food.
To gain the qualification you will need to complete a range of tasting notes and answer a simple multiple-choice paper of 30 questions.
Please see www.wsetglobal.com for more details about the courses.
Antoinette Milne* from Wine For Life Learning has worked in many areas of the wine trade over 20 years, from wine sales & marketing manager at one of the largest independent wine agencies in Canada, through to wine marketing and wine wholesale in Wales. This is paired up with wine teaching and training over the same amount of time and gaining the WSET Diploma with an award for highest regional (Bristol) mark for woman in the trade.
*Associate of the Institute of Wines & Spirits (AIWS) *Certified WSET Educator *WSET Level 3 Assessor *WSET Diploma with highest regional mark for woman in the trade *Bachelor of Applied Arts Hospitality and Tourism Management (Toronto, Canada)
This post was posted in Events, Tanners Tastings and was tagged with Antoinette Milne, Learn about wine, Level 1, Level 2, Shrewsbury, Wine and Spirit Education Trust, wine course, Wine for Life Learning, WSET
Book your tickets for a Tutored Chocolate and Wine Tasting with BBC Good Food Magazine's Sarah Jane Evans MW
You may remember that I wrote a blog, about a year ago, all about the fun I had at the ‘Academy of Chocolate’ Awards in London. I had been invited by Sarah Jane Evans MW of BBC Good Food Magazine, to be a judge for the day. It was hard work (no, really) and it opened my eyes to just how much choice there is beyond the usual selection you see every day on the High Street. The results for 'best chocolate' in various categories, are on the Academy of Chocolate website and they really highlight how, like wine, if you delve beyond the big brand names, the best are often the ones made by artisan producers.
Fast-forward a year and we've kept in touch with Sarah Jane. In association with The Chocolate Gourmet of Ludlow and Shrewsbury, we're thrilled to announce that she is visiting us in Shrewsbury to host a rather special tasting! Here's what you need to know:
Who? Sarah Jane Evans MW is the wine writer for BBC Good Food Magazine, co-founder of the Academy of Chocolate and author of 'Chocolate Unwrapped, a tasting guide to the world’s top chocolate bars'.
What? A Tutored Chocolate and Wine Tasting with Sarah Jane. Tickets £25 each.
When? Thursday 31st May 2012 at 7pm (prompt - sorry we lock the doors)
Where? In our Tudor ‘Clive Tanner Room’ at Tanners Wines, 26 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury SY1 1XD
Why? So that you can discover the similarities between chocolate and wine, learn how to taste chocolate like a pro and decide for yourself whether wine and chocolate go together and if so, how they can.
If this is sounding rather appealing then all you need to do is decide who to bring with you! You can book your tickets now either by visiting us at Tanners in Shrewsbury or by telephoning 01743 234455.
(Please note - tickets, as always, are limited with only 36 available and we suspect they might be popular!)
This post was posted in Events, Food and Wine Matching, Tanners Tastings and was tagged with Academy of Chocolate, BBC Good Food Magazine, Chocolate, Chocolate Gourmet, Food, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Shrewsbury, Tanners Wines, Tasting, Wine, Wine tasting