Hello again Dear Rascals,

Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a campaign focusing on some of our most loved family producers, spanning their relationship with their grapes, their terroir, their viticultural techniques and much more.

After our Big Champagne Special, a Big Grape Special and a Hot Cakes Special, this week it’s all about terroir; exploring the unique lands from which our favourite producers are able to produce the most marvellous wines.

Without further ado, here are three wines, with a few words from their respective makers about the extraordinary terroirs that birthed them.

First up is a very special red from the Greek Island of Crete. “Of course!” You exclaim. “Mediterranean sea breezes, sure. Tell me something I don’t know!”

Well here is winemaker Nikos Karavitakis with the full scoop.

”    I believe that every person would find a lot of fascinating things to say about North West Crete. If someone were to visit Chania [Cretan city], they would immediately understand the exceptional microclimate; the terroirs one may find will vary from clay to limestone and sand to slate. If you search enough, you will even notice some hidden gems of self rooted Phylloxera resistant vines. Without a doubt the most significant characteristic about this area of Crete is that within an hour, you can find yourself from sea level, up to 840 meters of altitude. I cannot stress enough the difference this makes for our wines.    “

No doubt due to environmental factors such as these, this ‘Klima’ red gives a great amount of savoury notes such as black pepper and cranberry, making it particularly good food wine, alongside meaty and tomato-based dishes.

Next up is a Vinho Verde, which avid Wine Rascal fans will realise has now enjoyed two features in a row! Last week, we went in on the Loureiro grape that makes this fab wine, and today, we asked about the terroir (or terroirs) that grew it. 

”   For the Loureiro grape variety we have mainly two big different terroir characteristics. We have Vineyards of Loureiro planted very near from the Atlantic coast, where we where we normally obtain grapes with an intense freshness, a touch of salinity on the palate and an exuberance of aromatic flavours. From the vineyards more inland and with soils mainly granitic and more poor, we obtain Loureiro that are more complex, structured and more alcoholic. Therefore, in our opinion, we are able to distinguish ourselves from other producers due to the diversity of our terroirs, that allow us to make blends with the Loureiro grape variety,  making our wines more complex and differentiating.   “

Another great food wine here, too. Thanks to that Atlantic coastal breeze, this wine exhibits real preciseness and salinity making it ideal alongside fish in particular – It is Portuguese after all. 

Finally, we have another master of multiple vineyards: Michael Savage of Savage Grace, Washington State. 

”    I have a couple places in the state where the terroir really resonates for me: Red Willow vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills in Yakima and Underwood MountaIn, where our vineyard is in the Columbia Gorge. Red Willow vineyard fruit is intoxicating and like no other and its Syrah is super-distinctive. Rattlesnake Hills is where I’ve made so many Cab Francs and Cots from. Underwood Mountain is where our estate is and its cool-climate and dry-farmed and feels almost limitless in its potential to grow grapes with intense energy.   “

It may not seem likely that a single region could offer so much variety, but the sheer vastness of Washington State, alongside it’s varied landscape allowing for things like wind tunnels, great drainage and so on, make it one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world at the minute –so be sure you’ve got one of theirs in your cellar! Why not this smokey Shiraz?

That’s all folks!

If you would like to give any of those a try, as always, you can get in touch here.

Or browse our full portfolio here.

‘Till next time…