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The week in pictures

New Zealand winery Villa Maria welcomed a fresh crop of worms to its Hawkes Bay and Marlborough vineyards to help create nutrient-rich fertiliser for its vines. The worms will be fed with scraps from Villa Maria’s restaurant kitchens, staff lunchrooms and organic wastes to create a natural, nutrient rich fertiliser to use in its vineyards.

db kicked off the year in style with a visit to London’s first urban winery, London Cru in Earl’s Court, where we were given a grand tour by its winemaker, Aussie-born Gavin Monery. First out of the blocks will be a Chardonnay and a Syrah from the Rousillon, which are expected to go on sale this summer.

London Cru boasts some 50 French oak barrels, the majority of which are 2-3 years old. Given its tiny nature, in order to make room for the new wines, most of the wines made at London Cru will spend no longer than 10 months in oak, which fits with winemaker Gavin Monery’s pursuit of freshness. 

Musician Tinie Tempah was looking sharp at the launch of this year’s London Collections: Men, sponsored by English sparkling wine estate Nyetimber.

The three-day event saw guests including underwear model David Gandy, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Dermot O’Leary and Nick Grimshaw attend.


Champagne Taittinger and Villa Maria were on hand to help toast the nominees of the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards. This year’s nominees were announced by Hobbit star Luke Evans and actress Helen McCrory at a special press conference at BAFTA on 8 January.

Spanish winemaker Benjamin Romeo of Bodega Contador in Rioja has come up with an innovative use for his old barrels, enlisting the help of artist friends Raul San Cristobal and Enrique Martin to hand-paint the barrels with famous scenes from movie history, including Jack Nicholson’s terrifying turn in The Shining. The barrels are currently selling for over £1,000 each.

Also appearing emblazoned on Benjamin Romeo’s old Rioja barrels are Bruce Lee (pictured), Alfred Hitchcock, Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver, Klint Eastwood in Dirty Harry and Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Our sister title The Spirits Business this week held its Tequila masters at the Mestizo Mexican restaurant in London. Six judges were invited to spend and afternoon tasting 40 varieties of the world’s best Tequila.

The results of the tasting will be published in the February issue of The Spirits Business.

Fiona Woolf, Lord Mayor of London receiving 1944 Sandeman Vintage Port from The Sign of The Don owners Robert and Robyn Wilson.

The Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, paid a visit to Sandeman’s former historic bottling cellars in St Swithin’s Lane, now home to new bar and brasserie The Sign of the Don. The 686th Lord Mayor of London officially opened the premises and its listed Medieval vault on 9 January.

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