Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 22 May 2015

Tour de l'oc: Wine trade charity ride from Tain-l'Hermitage to Collioure via Le Ventoux

The Ventoux from Rasteau January 2006

The Drinks Business:
'The ride will begin on Monday 1 June when the cyclists head south from a start point at the M. Chapoutier winery in Tain l’Hermitage, finishing at Collioure near the Spanish border on Thursday the same week – and the challenge has been dubbed the Tour de L’Oc, after the ancient name for the region, Occitania.

Organised by Mentzendorff managing director Andrew Hawes, this is the ninth charity cycle ride led by the head of the UK wine importer for Bollinger Champagne, and probably the hardest. Taking in the punishing ascent of Mont Ventoux, the intrepid wine trade cyclists will have to climb the 1912 metre mountain, famous for its barren summit and high winds.'

'Importantly, the aim of the cycling challenge is to raise a target of £30,000 of vital funds for the drinks industry charity The Benevolent.'

Read the rest here.

The ten cyclists include Patrick Schmitt, the editor of The Drinks Business

Patrick Schmitt:
'For the first time in four years I’m bringing out my bicycle for more than the daily 10 kilometre trundle to work, and this time it’s for the toughest challenge I've ever entered. Starting in the northern Rhône in Tain-l'Hermitage on 1 June, and finishing four days later in the coastal town of Collioure, I’ll be covering around 500km across some of France’s most extreme terrain.

In particular, I’ll be climbing just short of 2,000m in a single ascent as the route includes Mount Ventoux – the hardest climb of the legendary Tour de France, and famous among biking fans for claiming the life of 
English cyclist Tom Simpson.

My preparation? A few rides round Richmond park. I’ve also bought some new rims for my bike, which is now almost 15 years old and dented and scratched like a beer keg.

Like the last long distance ride I attempted in 2011, this is a personal test, but it’s also for an extremely good cause, so once more I’ll be raising funds for The Benevolent – The Drinks Industry Charity. I urge you to visit their website to read more about their good work, but I should say here that it’s being brilliantly run by David Cox to really support the most needy in the drinks trade.

All that's left to say is thank you very much for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page and any donation would be hugely appreciated.'

I hope the ride goes well. Certainly climbing Mont Ventoux, I assume from the Bedoin side, was the toughest climb I ever did. It's a long, steep unrelenting climb and likely to take some of them a good two hours. I trust, in addition, to buying new rims for his bike, Patrick has made sure that he has suitably low gears for the Ventoux.   

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Lamé Delisle Boucard: inauguration of un tonneau pique-nique à Bourgueil

 The 60-year-old barrel on top of Mont Sigou

Last Monday Lamé Delisle Boucard inaugurated a large 60-year-old wooden vat on top of Mont Sigou above Ingrandes de Touraine now kitted out for picnics.

Invitation to the opening of the picnic barrel: Monday 18th May

 Putting the barrel into place
(above and below)

Accommodating a group picnicing

More details here:

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Netta Macintyre@91 years young


Netta Macintyre, CRM's mum, is 91 years young today. True to form she insisted on making her famous Scotch pancakes before she left on the bus to go down to Kinross and then onto Edinburgh for a reception held by the Rev Dr Angus Morrison, who is the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2015. Netta also just had time to cut her birthday cake before departing southwards.

 Just one candle to keep the cake uncluttered 

Out it goes 

Happy Birthday Netta!


 Tea may be the secret of longevity....

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

@The London Wine Trade Fair – Monday 18th May 2015

A massage Sir before the start of the Fair? Brett Crittenden relaxes!

The Benevolent Bus

The bus and the Benevolent Team headed by David Cox 

José Manuel Ortega tutoring the CWW O Fournier Master Class

Stephen Brook (above) and Steven Spurrier (below)
Ortega's 'godfathers'

Sarah Jayne Evans MW@CWW Master Class 

Colin Hampden-White 

Mathieu Fleuriet, Domaine Bernard Fleuriet, Sancerre

 Chanel and Denise Gitton, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé

  Chanel Gitton
Pascal Gitton

Pascal Guilbaud, Guilbaud Frères (Muscadet)

 Aynard Clermont-Tonnerre, Touraine and Montlouis

Isabelle Clermont-Tonnerre, Touraine and Montlouis