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Author: Fionnuala Harkin

by Fionnuala Harkin | September 21, 2022
Wine always tastes better on holidays, that’s a scientific fact*, isn’t it? When that holiday tasting is also in the middle of a vineyard the effect is multiplied exponentially. The concept of terroir- the characteristics which come from the environment in which the wine is produced- is very important in winemaking, and this extends to […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | September 13, 2022
The names we give our children are thought about long and hard: will that be who they are; will it define them; will it hinder them; is it who I am, am I the mother of a Zachary or a Jack? The names chosen by Angelo and Marilina Paterno for their wines show the same […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | September 6, 2022
It is absolutely pelting rain here in Mullingar – the dog days of summer are truly wearing thin. The days of the glistening sea are just slightly in the rearview mirror now as we start to begin our hibernation for the cold and rainy season. Could Fionnuala’s blog on from Valentia Island come at a […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | August 30, 2022
*unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case you should keep those sleeves down! I’ve heard it said that the only thing Bordeaux winemakers can do in August is pray. Pray that nothing goes wrong, no disease, rain or hail. It seems they now have to do a bit more than that. All across […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | August 22, 2022
The first thing you notice when you walk the vineyards at Chateau la Baronne are the wonderful aromas- flowers, herbs and trees all emanating their distinctive scents. This is not only very pleasant, but it tells an important story. Passing through a neighbouring vineyard, those aromas are pointedly missing. The ground is free of grass […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | August 16, 2022
The Eradus family came to New Zealand from their native Holland in the 1990’s, attracted by what Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson describe as ‘a bucolic life….producing, in the most pleasing environment, one of life’s more delicious commodities from the earth’. This was very young winemaking country, the first wines really only having been released […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | August 10, 2022
The canny wine drinkers of Ireland have long been fans of Paddy Borthwick’s Paper Road Pinot Noir, so we are delighted to see what we already know confirmed by Decanter Magazine. When I asked Paddy for his reaction to the stellar 95 points, he modestly credited “a bit of luck amongst the big boys”. Of […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | July 26, 2022
In a time of online banking, the ‘Bank Holiday’ is a quaint, but very welcome, little anachronism. As a child, the bank holiday held a special delight as it was a much better day off school than the dreaded ‘Holy Day of Obligation’. How could that be a good thing, all that obligation to cope […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | July 25, 2022
Wines Direct started its life in the venerable cellars and vineyards of Bordeaux, a land steeped in the history and tradition of wine. I don’t think Paddy Keogh, himself a Francophile through and through, ever thought Australia would woo him with its vinous charms, but that’s the wonderful thing about wine- it constantly surprises us. […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | July 20, 2022
“The whims of youth break all the rules.” – Homer. Breaking the rules, that’s what the next generation is for! This collection of wines is all about eschewing the restraints of the Appellation Controllée, the weight of family tradition, and the conventions of winemaking. The Courselle sisters wanted a wine to drink with their friends […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | July 12, 2022
For a woman who has become an iconic worldwide figure in the wine industry, I was surprised to learn that winemaking was not Susana Balbo’s first career choice. Another surprise is her favourite red wine: not Malbec which has become the national wine of Argentina, but Cabernet Sauvignon, which she believes is Argentina’s hidden treasure. […]
by Fionnuala Harkin | July 6, 2022
Who doesn’t dream of giving up the day job and buying a vineyard in France? Can’t be that hard, can it? Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carles are fully wearing that tee-shirt, and talking to Franck about their life-changing move from Paris to Bergerac over 20 years ago,  is a fascinating insight into the highs and […]
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