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The week in pictures

The winners of The Drinks Business Green Awards 2015 were announced on Tuesday at The Club at The Ivy in London. Notable among the winners were the UK’s Vintage Roots, which picked up an award for Organic Initiative of the Year and Retailer of the Year, while South Africa’s Backsberg Estate Cellars won the Amorim Sustainability Award, while its pioneering owner, Michael Back, was also given a Green Lifetime Achievement Award.

For all of this year’s winners, click here. 

Left to right: Jo Wehring (Wines of South Africa), Anita Jackson (Wines of Chile), Venla Freeman (California Wine Institute) and Anne Burchett (Sopexa UK) enjoy a glass of the Torres “Habitat” organic white at The Ivy after the Green Awards ceremony was over.

Actress Amanda Redman let her hair down with a glass of Villa Maria at the BAFTA TV & Craft Nominees Party on Wednesday at the Corinthia Hotel in London. Champagne Taittinger is the official Champagne partner to the awards while New Zealand’s Villa Maria is the official wine partner.

    db’s Gabriel Stone enjoyed a jaunt to the Douro this week. The wild flowers at Quinta do Crasto added an extra layer of beauty to one of the most attractive wine regions in the world.


    For those unable to make a trip up the Douro, Taylor’s has recreated a small slice of the valley’s famous terraced vineyards at its lodge and visitor centre in Vila Nova de Gaia.
    db enjoyed a sneak preview of Dow’s almost-complete new visitor centre at Quinta do Bomfim, conveniently located just a few minutes walk from “downtown” Pinhao.
        Portuguese airline TAP spreads the word about the country’s wine with a clear message on passengers’ boarding passes.

A group of UK journalists got a taste of an authentic txoko while on a recent press trip to San Sebastian in Spain. Organised by Gonzalez Byas to promote its Beronia Rioja, the group cooked up a Spanish feast in the txoko tradition – gastronomic societies where usually men used to gather to cook, indulge in great wine and occasionally burst into song. San Sebastian is said to be the home of the txoko.

Beronia’s head winemaker, Matias Calleja, hosts a tasting at the Beronia winery.

Louis-Michel Liger-Belair from Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair presents his property’s “slightly decadent” 2006 Echezeaux Grand Cru at a dinner in London on Monday this week, which was hosted by the Grands Crus de Bourgogne, while also proving himself a worthy candidate for our Top Ten Red Trousers in the Wine Trade.

The charming Jean Claude Mas of Domaine Paul Mas popped into db towers this week to tell us about his new baby, a sparkling wine from the Languedoc from his new estate Astelia, named after his three daughters: Astrid, Elisa and Appoline, which will soon go on sale in the UK. The Cremant de Limoux fizz is a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac.

Before jetting off to Nice this week, we thought it would be rude not to make a pitstop at the new Fortnum & Mason Champagne bar at Heathrow Terminal 5.

We were staying at the five star spa hotel La Réserve Ramatuelle near St Tropez, owned by hotelier Michel Reybier, who counts Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux among the jewels in his well endowed crown. During our stay, we were lucky enough to wake up to this jaw-droppingly beautiful view.

Reybier has recently moved into Champagne production and serves his brut non-vintage at all of his hotels, bottles of which feature his signature elephant emblem, which you’ll find frequently at Cos.







During our stay we enjoyed a colourful five-course tasting menu at the hotel’s La Voile restaurant, which was recently awarded a Michelin star. Head chef Eric Canino is mad about growing his own herbs and veg, which are used to great effect in his dishes, including his signature bluefin spicy tuna (right).





We were also spoilt on the wine front, and were treated to a bottle of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s lesser known white wine from Château Miraval in Provence – a refreshing, mineral-laced blend of Grenache Blanc and Rolle made in collaboration with the Perrin family. The dinner ended on a high with a bottle of Cos’ second wine, Les Pagodes de Cos 2009, which drank like a dream.

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