Good day 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.

This week, we’re taking a special look at some of the more unusual but wonderful grapes in our cellars.

Rather than tell you what we think (although you can still read that on each wine’s tech sheet when you click on the bottle image), we thought we’d ask the producers themselves, what they had to say about their most precious grape varietals.

First up, we have a stunning Gewurtztraminer from Washington State – a really on-trend part of the wine world right now.  This incredible wine is also made with ’skin contact’.

“The Oak Ridge Orange Gewurztraminer, from an older Certified Organic vineyard in the Columbia Gorge region, is definitely one of our most popular wines, especially for restaurants. We sold out of it pretty quickly here and it gets out to a number of other markets both inside and outside the US.

On the grape, Gewurztraminer was one of the first grapes planted in the Columbia Gorge region, dating back to the 1960’s, so there are a lot of fans of the grape here and it grows well in this almost Alsatian, sub-alpine climate.

When I first got offered the Gewurz from Oak Ridge vineyard in 2016, I wanted to approach it differently and go in the full skin-contact direction.

Orange Gewurztraminer is more exotic than white, and pairs very well with charcuterie.”

Skin contact wines are enjoying a huge boom, particularly in restaurants here in the UK too. Whatever your thoughts are on trends, there is no denying their character against food, or as a standalone drink. Combine that with a grape as bold and interesting as Gewurtztraminer, and the increasingly popular Washington State region… and you know you’re on to a winner –don’t sleep on this one.

Second is an amazing natural wine from Štajerska, Slovenia, made from one of the regions proudest native grapes, and the perfect choice for encouraging your customers to try beyond Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

“Šipon combines acidity with full flavours. It has grown in this region for generations but it has not gained much attention outside of this area which i think is a crime! It is a true representation of what Štajerska wines have to offer. Sipon will always be a special wine to me.

Šipon was grandfather’s favourite grape and he truly believed it could be great wine. I make it to honuor him and prove that šipon is a special wine.”

 As far as Naturals go, this wine sits firmly within the more traditional end in terms of flavour profile – but not without it’s quirks either. As well as enjoying it’s own character, Šipon’s similarities with the always popular Sauvignon Blanc give it a nice balance of intrigue and familiarity for your customers.  

Now a VV made entirely from the Loureiro grape.  A clean and zippy style and extremely food friendly.

“More than any other of the classic grapes, Loureiro shows a versatility and ability to adapt to the different sub-regions in the Vinho Verde region. 

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.   

We are increasing sales of Loureiro in the markets where we it has been present for more years. Mainly because our style of Loureiro is a more “serious” Vinho Verde –  with a structure and complexity, that is unusual in a typical Vinho Verde. 

It is best enjoyed with Carpaccio, Seafood and white fish dishes with some flavour intensity (for an example codfish, brill, sea bass)   “

For many commentators, Portuguese wines are among the most underrated food accompaniments. This Vinho Verde is a great example of this. While undoubtedly an easy drinker, the wine demonstrates an unusual amount of salinity that only adds to it’s moreish and refreshing experience.

Lastly, we have a wine made in Greece, again using the native grapes Moscofilero and Roditis.

   ”   Moscofilero has always been one of my favourites. The nose is just so pretty – rose petals and honey suckle, and on the palate, such nice acidity and structure. It is great with Thai food as well at Greek / Mediterranean cuisine.   “

Although its often difficult to pronounce their names, many Greek wines are considered to be some of the best around at the minute, particularly when pairing with food.

So if you want to give any of those a try, as always, you can get in touch here


Or browse our full portfolio here.