Press Articles

Richard Esling

02 September 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Experience Life at the Chateau

As you arrive at Bordeaux airport in Merignac, you are greeted by a smartly dressed driver who immediately takes your bags. Stepping outside the terminal building, a gleaming 1969 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow is waiting to whisk you off to your Chateau. Passing row after row of vines responsible for some of the world’s best wines, you then enter through huge wrought iron gates, as the car gently crunches on the long gravel tree-lined avenue. Through the ancient archway, the Rolls Royce gli...
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Richard Esling

02 August 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Fall Back in Love With Sauternes

And if there is one place to do it, this is it. Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey in the tiny village of Bommes south of Bordeaux, not only produces one of the best sweet wines in the world, classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé, but since last year has now become a luxury five-star hotel and restaurant. Owned by another world-class company - Lalique Crystal- the list of attributes goes on. The restaurant, set overlooking the vines, is run by chef Jerome Schilling and has already been awar...
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Richard Esling

22 July 2019

Written by Richard Esling

French Winemakers Have Global Influence

Wines from the so called ‘New World’, are now as popular in the UK as those from the Old World, otherwise known as Europe. Sauvignon from New Zealand, Chardonnay from California or Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, all have established a firm place in the UK wine market. But a bit like with Brexit, it is easy to forget the influence that winemakers from Europe, particularly France, have had in establishing and developing vineyards in other parts of the world. Leaving aside the le...
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Richard Esling

03 June 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Bordeaux - The Wine-Lover's Dream City

Summertime. Time to travel, discover new places and experience more of the world’s wonders. For wine lovers everywhere, there is no better place to visit than Bordeaux. The first thing you notice when visiting the centre of one of France’s major cities, is the quietness. Traffic has been replaced by super-efficient, electric trams. A modern vibrant city, it has undergone a major makeover in the last fifteen years and is now back to its former glory - a stunning and beautiful town,...
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Richard Esling

03 May 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Re-charge the Batteries With a Little Bath-Time!

With our increasingly busy lives - whether working or retired, there always seem to be a million things to do - the need for a short getaway soon works its way to the top of the priority list. European city breaks are all the rage, but why not avoid the hassle of the airports or ferries and visit a city closer to home? The beautiful City of Bath with its wonderful Georgian architecture is surprisingly close to Sussex. My journey time the other week was only 2 hours 35 minutes door to door fro...
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Richard Esling

29 April 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Top Quality Modern Wines Now Coming from Austria

Often forgotten amongst the wide range of wines from around the globe, which are available to us in the UK, the wines of Austria are now highly acclaimed both by wine experts and wine lovers all around the world. Crafted by new generation winemakers, using a combination of traditional artisan techniques and modern technology, the wines consistently demonstrate their quality and future potential in international blind tastings. Gone are the days of low quality, bulk wines made with quantity ...
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Richard Esling

22 April 2019

Written by Richard Esling

The Benchmark for Bordeaux Wines

“Since 1840, we have developed a distinctive culture that can be defined as a special bond with the soil, team spirit, a love for the finer things and a quest for perfection”. Such are the words of Patrick Jestin, President of wine company Dourthe, which express the philosophy of one of the greatest Bordeaux wine companies in my view. I have been travelling to the Bordeaux wine region for over 40 years, visiting the vineyards, tasting the wines and chatting to the producers. In ...
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Richard Esling

18 March 2019

Written by Richard Esling

Slake your Thirst for Knowledge. Visit a Vineyard!

For those that love wine, apart from the liquid nectar itself, there is nothing more pleasurable than learning more about it. What are the grape varieties, how is it made and where exactly does it come from? What is the climate like where the grapes are grown, what is the countryside like and the personality of the producers? To answer all these questions and a whole lot more, there is no better way than travelling to the area where the wines are made and visiting the vineyards and wineries...
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Richard Esling

22 February 2019

Written by Richard Esling

The Warmth of Spain is on Your Doorstep

The Warmth of Spain is on Your Doorstep Signs of Spring at last! March is the time to start seriously planning some holidays in the sun – the Cote d’Azur in France, the Italian lakes or perhaps Andalucía in Spain, with its warmth not only of climate, but of its people, food and wines. For a taste – in more ways than one – of the delights of the Iberian peninsula, hop on a train from Sussex and god and the RMT willing, you will arrive in Victoria. A 500-yard walk...
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Richard Esling

23 November 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Alsace - Land of Kugelhof and Riesling

Head to the far east of France, just before you hit the German border, and you’ll discover a land of pretty towns and villages, with an array of half-timbered houses, each with their window boxes cascading with flowers. This is the Alsace, one of the driest and sunniest regions of France, sheltering in the lee of the wild mountains and forests of the Vosges. Its an area that could be ‘The Shire’, full of hobbits, before our imagination was influenced by the film. The region ...
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Richard Esling

20 November 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Fab wines from Villa Maria

By George! These wines are good!    Recently I had the privilege of having lunch with the owner and founder of Villa Maria - the most awarded Wine company in New Zealand. At the age of only 21, Sir George Fistonich founded the company back in 1961, when the wine industry in New Zealand was in its infancy. Starting his working life as a professional carpenter, his Croatian background soon led him to a passion for wine, and his skills as a tradesman helped him to build his first winer...
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Richard Esling

24 October 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Burgundy - C'est Compliqué!

Burgundy, where some of the best, and most expensive, wines of the world are made, is complicated. In fact, the Burgundy Wine region is one of, if not the, most complicated regions in the World. Even those that have been in the wine trade for decades, are constantly surprised by the information that comes to their attention. There are many different appellations and levels of quality and the mosaic of small parcels of land planted with vines, called ‘climats’, can vary greatly one...
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Richard Esling

28 May 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Wine Tourism Comes to Sussex

Wine Tourism comes to Sussex   For those of us fortunate enough to live in the beautiful, sunny counties of Sussex, it is impossible not to be impressed by the number of vineyards popping-up at what seems to be ever-increasing speed. From the far west of the region around Chichester, right across to the east near Rye, vineyards now form an integral part of the Sussex landscape. Sussex is now widely regarded as producing some of the best quality sparkling wine in the world, with an i...
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Richard Esling

21 May 2018

Written by Richard Esling

The Love-Hate Relationship with Chardonnay

Chardonnay is perhaps one of the most mis-understood of all wines, which is somewhat ironic as it is produced in virtually every wine-making region of the world. Sometimes it is forgotten that it is actually a grape variety as opposed to a wine, although many wines carry the name of the grape variety on the label. Hence part of the confusion. The oft heard expression which I have mentioned in past articles “I hate Chardonnay but I love Chablis”. The latter is, of course, also made...
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Richard Esling

14 May 2018

Written by Richard Esling

The Changing World of Wine

The Wine World Continues to Change There is an old French saying, which goes “Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose”, which roughly means ‘the more it changes, the more it stays the same’. This erudite expression can be applied to many things - such as Governments - and to a certain extent, applies to wine. Over hundreds of years, winemaking has changed significantly, with accelerated change in the last fifty years. Yet it remains an enjoyable (hopef...
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Richard Esling

16 April 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Malbec - an Intriguing Grape Variety

Bordeaux Inhabitant finds new home in South America   This could have been a headline in the mid-nineteenth century, when people from many European countries were flocking to the New World to take advantage of the opportunities there. However, it applies not just to people, but also to other items which these emigrants took with them – such as vines. Many of the French pioneers who settled in Chile and Argentina, were already growing vines and making wine in their home country,...
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Richard Esling

02 April 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Arundel Wine Society Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Arundel Wine Society Celebrates Fifth Birthday As the world of wine seemingly gets more complex and confusing day by day, particularly in this country which imports wine from every conceivable wine producing region of the planet, wine education of one sort or another is becoming ever more popular. Whether it be formal learning, such as the global wine qualification courses of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, or learning in the more social context of a wine club or society, more and more ...
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Richard Esling

26 March 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Take a new Look at Sancerre

Try the Elegant Wines of Sancerre   The Christmas festivities are now but a fading memory, we’ve done battle with the ‘Beast from the East’, the daffodils are well and truly out and the buds are beginning to burst. Spring at last, and with it comes more celebrations in the form of Easter. Apart from the important religious significance, Easter is also a celebration of the new season and the wonderful fertility of nature. Hence the eggs, rabbits, chickens and a host...
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Richard Esling

12 March 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Interesting New Spanish Wine Regions

Look Out for the Delicious New Spanish Wines A couple of weeks back, I wrote about a group of very authentic Spanish restaurants in London called Iberica, well worth a visit when you're up in town. I also mentioned how Spanish wine has re - invented itself in the last 20 years, so last week I went there to see for myself. I could perhaps have chosen a better week to do so, with regards to weather. Being Spain, my vision was of balmy Spring weather with bright sunshine under a blue sky. To...
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Richard Esling

05 March 2018

Written by Richard Esling

Wine, Women and Secateurs

Wine, Women and Secateurs Did it all start with Madame Clicquot? Perhaps, but even she had a tough time and, rather than operating under her own name when her husband died in 1805, she had to carry on as 'The Widow Clicquot'. Nevertheless, she was the first woman to run a major champagne house and set a precedent for women working in wine. For the next two hundred years, it has been a struggle for women in a very macho and male dominated industry. They have had to fight against prejudice,...
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