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The week in pictures: 10-16 June

This week saw the drinks business saw the team take in the early evening sun at our summer 21st anniversary party, Douglas Blyde head to the cool, secluded La Goccia, Spier Wine Farm and an art exhibition at Christie’s.

The db summer 21st anniversary party 

The great and good of the drinks industry descended on The Orangery in Holland Park on Wednesday evening to enjoy a celebration of our 21st anniversary as a publication. Editor-in-chief Patrick Schmitt MW pleased the crowds with his potted history of the brand, including one or two anecdotes about team members past and present.

Guests enjoyed a selection of excellent wines from Yalumba and Alliance, as well as a Zonin Lemon Spritz, Ty Nant water and Champagne Palmer. Music and magic occurred late into the evening as the sun set on a beautiful event.




La Goccia

Douglas Blyde headed to the cool La Goccia restaurant off a sunny, secluded Covent Garden courtyard, for a family-style lunch of whipped aubergine and beef tagliata. There, he tasted the ageworthy, Verdicchio-led wines of Marche producer, Tenuta di Tavignano in the company of wine producer and architectural designer of homes, offices and exhibitions, Ondine De La Feld who told of her location, home to 19 hectares of Verdicchio planted from 1973 in the face of the rise of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and encapsulated, originally, in amphora-like bottles.

Here, framed by the Apennine Mountains to the west and Adriatic Sea to the east, delving clay and limestone-rich soils, and buffeted by a bold Balkan wind, the yellow-skinned Verdicchio gains a sense of salinity from the former seabed site. Wines, including flagship Misco Riserva, gain richness and length over time in the bottle – often magnum – akin to having been raised in oak, though oak is not part of the recipe. These are, said De La Feld, best treated as red wines, savoured between 13 to 18 degrees Celsius, having been given air a day in advance.

Expressions, including magnificent, salty, heatwave survivor, Misco Riserva 2017 and its Vin Jaune like predecessor from 2016, as well as the marzipan scented quaffer, Villa Torre 2022 are available exclusively from David Green of Petersham Cellars, being under the same ownership as La Goccia and Petersham Nurseries, which represents some 28 wineries including its own enviable stable.

Noma Bar

Banfi’s adventure in the design world continues with an non-Italian artist: Noma Bar, an Israeli artist based in London, who designed the the bottle of Banfi’s Vermentino wine: La Pettegola 2023 Limited Edition.

With Banfi’s La Pettegola Limited Edition, Noma Bar was working in the wine industry for the first time. He said: “I had never worked on a label or with augmented reality before.

“But challenges like the ones offered by Banfi are the ones that I find most exciting. I wanted to combine my style with the world of La Pettegola, imagining a world where women gathered together to talk about their dreams, passions, and secrets in front of a glass of wine. Just like La Pettegola’s details, their emotions are hidden in plain sight: the surprise created by looking closer makes design and life so special, after all.”

Noma Bar’s artwork depicts five female silhouettes who, at first glance, may appear to be an enigma, but at a closer look, show the most authentic details leading to the discovery that there is a bit of La Pettegola in each of them. A golden goblet, a tapered bottle, and a bird with outstretched wings. The artist turns the symbols of La Pettegola into distinctive signs for a label full of many different facets, all waiting to be discovered.

Spier Wine Farm

week, Spier Wine Farm was the wine sponsor at Afroprophetic, the African art exhibition curated by the Arete Arts Foundation at Christie’s.

Afroprophetic: Art transforming minds and nature, showcased a selection of works that explore the impact of climate change on Africa’s natural resources and biodiversity, as well as humanity’s relationship with nature. The exhibition celebrated the recent launch of the Arete Arts Foundation’s book, which is the namesake and basis of the exhibition.

Spier has a long-term commitment to supporting African art and the art community as well as its sustainable ‘Growing for Good’ initiatives. Guests at the exhibition were able to enjoy the Creative Block wines as they browsed the exhibition.

Arete Arts Foundation provides platforms to amplify the voices and messages of contemporary African artists through exhibitions and small private events. Through its foundation, they provide small grant support for creative initiatives across the African continent that use art to connect and engage people and advance their social and environmental impact. Arete selects art projects which deepen their relationships and which create more inclusive and sustainable communities.

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