Several of you have asked for more details about a public symposium being held on 18 and 19 April in Ronda, southern Spain which has been advertised in the press recently.
WineCreator is the brainchild of Spain's leading wine commentator José Peñín and José Luis Pérez Verdu, the Priorat pioneer (Mas Martinet). They are worried by the fact that wine styles around the world seem to be converging and are convinced that there are many opportunities for broadening the scope of wines produced. Funded by La Melonera, a wine-based development project near Ronda, they have put together a two-day event in the dramatic, historic hill town of Ronda in Andalusia during which a team of well known wine critics around the world get together with some of the world's most creative winemakers, or Winecreators, to discuss various pertinent aspects of wine production today. Fine wine will be tasted.
We wine writers voted for which winemakers we wished to invite to the event and we have just about all of our chosen few except for Jean-Claude Berrouet of J P Moueix who has a tasting in London then and Olivier Humbrecht who is a reluctant traveller (although we plan to look at their wines), and Michel Rolland who will be on his annual tour of duty in South America then. I am thrilled that his wife and alter ego Dany Rolland, herself a highly competent oenologist, is coming instead – a much-needed female injection in the all-male line-up. So the winemaking attendees will be:
Álvaro Palacios, Spain (L'Ermita etc)
Peter Sisseck, Spain (Pingus etc)
Stéphane Derenoncourt, France (oenologist profiled here)
Denis Dubordieu, France (oenologist)
Dany Rolland, France (oenologist)
Dirk van der Niepoort, Portugal
Ricardo Cotarella, Italy (oenologist)
Carlo Ferrini, Italy (oenologist)
Ales Kristancic, Slovenia (Movia)
Paul Draper, US (Ridge Vineyards)
And all of the wine writer voting panel listed below are expected in Ronda, with the exceptions of Bob Campbell MW and Charles Metcalfe who will be busy judging wine in London.
Michel Bettane, Bettane & Desseauve Taste, France
Bernard Burtschy, La Revue du Vin de France, France
Pierre Casamayor, La Revue du Vin de France, Terre des Vins, France
Michael Fridjhon, Business Day, The Weekender, Wine Magazine, South Africa
Ernesto Gentili, L´Espresso, Italy
Rodolfo Gerschman, Catadores, Mexico
Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, US
James Halliday, Wine Pros, Australia
Robert Joseph, Wine Business International, UK
Peter Moser, Falstaff, Austria
Joel Payne, Wine Business International, Germany
José Peñín, Sibaritas, Spain
John Radford, www.johnradford.com, UK
Jancis Robinson, Financial Times/www.jancisrobinson.com, UK
David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, US
Eleonora Scholes, Vinnaya Karta, Gastronom, Russia
Víctor de la Serna, El Mundo, Spain
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, US
You can find out more about the event and how to sign up at www.winecreator.net /www.thewinecreators.com (both of which lead to the same site). Nearest airports are Málaga, Jerez and Seville. Marbella is a short and spectacular drive away.
Some of you may wonder why there are so many Bordeaux-based Winecreators and so few from outside Europe. Perhaps it will help to explain that we needed people who garnered several votes from our panel of wine writers, all of whom tend to have very different tastes. As the person given the job of chairing our selection meeting in November, with such vociferous participants as Bettane, Schildknecht and de la Serna, I can tell you it's a miracle we came to any consensus at all.
When - 18-19 April 2008
Where - Ronda, Spain