Welsh Wine Week 2021 - what a triumph!

Sadly my workload prevented me from travelling back to Wales to attend any of the in-person vineyard visits (or the seemingly-unmissable Ancre Hill Wine and Yoga event). So, I had to "make do" with participating in as many virtual events as possible and promoting the events that were being organised by my wine buddies. I might have left it too late to order the wines for some of the early events - but that's a cloud with a Silver Lining (geddit?) as it was a great excuse to open a few bottles from my collection of Welsh Wine. 

I've been patiently saving the Ancre Hill Pet Nat for Welsh Wine Week ever since #TheBigEnglishWineEaster, back in April; and the three bottles from Gwinllan Hebron, Cwm Deri and Velfrey Vineyard were souvenirs from my Welsh wanderings in early May 2021 so it's only appropriate to open them this week.

Friday 4th June - Velfrey Vineyard Live! on Facebook

The subject of my most recent Vineyard visit and blog, Andy Mounsey hosted a live video event, giving viewers an introduction to the vineyard and showing how the vines are responding to the increasing temperatures. Andy was joined by Ivan Wilson from the fabulous Fire & Ice in Narberth, launching his new products - alcohol-infused gelato and sorbets. Perfect timing for the summer! 

Click https://fb.me/e/6eUNhZ4VR to watch the video from Velfrey Live - no Facebook account required.

Monday 7th June - Slurping Welsh with White Castle Vineyard

"In a twist on our usual Italian shenanigens" Lee Isaac said, "Pietro and I took our bad shirts, ill judged hair styles, and caustic wit to visit Nicola and Robb Merchant of White Castle Vineyards."

And so it transpired that two of my favourite people, the Wine Legends from #SlurpingItalian, Peter Dickens (@Peter.Pietroivni) and Lee Isaacs (@Wineman147) joined Robb for a special, in-person #SlurpingWelsh event, straight from the vineyard and presented live on Instagram (link to video).

Working late, I missed the live event - but I did catch up afterwards. It's just over 50 minutes long but worth watching in its entirety as there are moments of pure hilarity alongside some amazing insights into the history of Robb and Nicole's vineyard. Although between the evening chorus, Peter's loafers on the deck and the wind, all adding to the somewhat slapstick ethos, it was sometimes difficult to make out what was going on.

And Lee definitely won the #battleoftheshirts hands down - its design was even louder than the birdsong (previously seen making a guest appearance at the most recent #slurpingitalian event, the Puglia masterclass).

I will be sampling Robb's wine with the guys from Grape Britannia later in the week (see below).

Wednesday 9th June - Vin Van Caerdydd and the Burum Collective

Sara Hobday of Vin Van Caerdydd hosted a Welsh Wine tasting with Helen Anne Smith and Rachel Hendry of Burum Collective on Instagram Live.

This much-anticipated big #welshwinewednesday tasting offered three new Welsh wines for me to try, from three Welsh vineyards that I haven’t visited (yet).

The event opened with a Tintern Parva 2017 Bacchus from the Parva Farm vineyard near Tintern Abbey. This Bacchus was a pleasantly easy-drinking wine; light and fruity with aromas and flavours of citrus with a hint of elderflower - a sort of don’t-scare-the-horses introduction for those who might never have tasted a Welsh wine.

Gwinllan Conwy's offering was a 2018 Rondo. This was surprisingly luscious; kirsch, jammy, medium-bodied with smooth, integrated tannins and a pleasant finish, showing off mightily its 12 month maturation time in French Oak, ageing being still a rarity for Welsh Wines.

But the undisputed star of the show was the one in the middle - the Gwinllan Llaethliw 2018 #Rosé, an inviting salmon hue from a blend of Orion and Regent grapes that, although only 11% ABV, packed a huge punch of ripe red fruit. Intense aromas and flavours, of every red berry, off the charts. Great intensity and balance.

These three still wines are definitely not just for #welshwineweek2021 - fill your online shopping basket and look forward to some sumptuous summer sipping and socialising!

A recording of the event is on Vin Van Caerdydd's Instagram Reels https://www.instagram.com/tv/CP6XboFJptM/?utm_medium=copy_link

Friday 11th June at 7.00pm - White Castle Vineyard Live! on Facebook

Llinos from Dolgellau's legendary wine emporium Gwin Dylanwad Wine joined Monmouthshire's White Castle Vineyard on Facebook Live for a tasting event. Not sure how, but I found it on Instagram! 

Like a cosy fireside chat with your favourite pub landlord, Robb interspersed tasting notes with family history, wine trivia and exhortations to the viewers to buy more Welsh wine.

Link here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CP_X4kKoxDW/?utm_medium=copy_link

Sunday 13th June 7.30-8.30pm - Grape Britannia Live Zoom Tasting with White Castle Vineyard

Unless you've been under a rock during Welsh Wine Week, you must be aware that White Castle is one of Wales’ leading vineyards. Matt Hodgson of Grape Britannia has arranged an online "Live" tasting of five of White Castle's wines on 13 June, at 7.30pm. My order arrived on Thursday so I  had to wait a long 4 days before the event began. Thank goodness I had more Welsh wines from Cwm Deri and Ancre Hill to bridge the gap...

Gwin Gwyn 2019 | Siegerrebe 2018 | Harry’s Rondo NV | Pinot Noir Reserve 2018 | Regent 2017

ORDERS for tasting packs have closed; but grab yourself a glass of your favourite wine and join the event anyway. If Robb has any voice left at all after his total takeover of all forms of social media for #WelshWineWeek - or even if he hasn't - it's sure to be both entertaining and informative.

To conclude…

If my sojourn to the vineyards of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire last month hadn't already convinced me of the quality and variety of Welsh Wine, then Welsh Wine Week certainly would have. I finished off my Hebron "Silver Lining" on the Friday evening; enjoyed my Ancre Hill PetNat on the Saturday - light, bright and sparkling and perfect for a blazing hot day - and finished in fine style on the  Sunday with the White Castle tasting pack, tasted live with Grape Britannia. 



The Knowledge

Ancre Hill Vineyard: Organic and Biodynamic wines

Ancre Hill Estates, Monmouth NP25 5HS Wales 

+44 (0)1600 714152 | info@ancrehillestates.co.uk | https://www.ancrehillestates.co.uk/

Cwm Deri Vineyard: Martletwy, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA67 8AP Wales

01834 891 274 | enquiries@cwm-deri.co.uk | https://www.cwm-deri.co.uk/

Fire & Ice: 65/66 St James Street, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA67 7DB Wales

01834 861995 | info@fireandicewales.co.uk | www.fireandicewales.co.uk

https://pietrovini.com/ |Twitter: @pietrovini | Instagram: peter.pietrovini

Vin Van Caerdydd The Bridge Studios, 454 Western Avenue, Cardiff CF5 3BL Wales

 +447375495911 | vinvancaerdydd@gmail.com | https://vinvancaerdydd.co.uk/

Gwin Dylanwad Wines Porth Marchnad Dolgellau Gwynedd LL40 1ET Wales

dylan@dylanwad.co.uk | 01341 422870 | www.dylanwad.co.uk 

Grape Britannia 1a Arbury Road, Cambridge, CB4 2JB

01223 311100  | matt@grapebritannia.co.uk | https://www.grapebritannia.co.uk/