It’s about time we had another AMA session, but I thought we’d shake things up and do them a bit differently this time! So rather than chatting with a Society staff member, we’re offering you the chance to send your questions to some very exciting winemakers and representatives from estates at our Rising Stars and Hidden Gems tasting, happening next week.
We’ll be putting your questions to the following producers at Monday’s tasting:
Militza Zikatanova – Bulgaria – Villa Melnik
I was lucky enough to have dinner with Militza when I went to Bulgaria last year and not only is she tons of fun, she’s absolutely fascinating and full of knowledge about the Bulgarian wine industry. She helps run Villa Melnik with her parents - I visited in October and it’s a lovely place with gorgeous wines! You can find out more about Villa Melnik here.
Christina Wess – Austria – Weingut Rainer Wess
Christina is the daughter of Rainer Wess, and a pivotal part of the business and highly respected throughout Austria and beyond, so we’re delighted to be able to talk to her.
She and her father Rainer make incredible examples of the very on-trend grüner veltliner grape, which I know plenty of you love to drink! You can find out more about Rainer Wess and Christina here.
Sabina Salamun – Croatia – Vina Laguna
Vina Laguna, perfectly positioned on the Istrian Peninsula, has established itself as one of Croatia’s best wine growers. Part of a bigger agricultural concern called Agroluna which also makes award-winning olive oils and cheeses, Vina Laguna owns 600 hectares of vines on a variety of soil types, embracing both indigenous and international grape varieties so that malvazija, teran and borgonja vines grow alongside chardonnay, pinots blanc and grigio, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and muscat. Here’s a bit more about Vina Laguna.
Roland Szimeiszter – Roland Wines
Roland is here to represent Maurer from Serbia. Originally from Salzberg, the Maurer family moved to southern Hungary in the 19th century. Four generations of winemakers later, they’re still farming the 16 acres of land alongside a team of dedicated workers. Vines in this region can be around 100 years old and so tradition is taken very seriously. Maurer use spontaneous, natural (i.e. wild) fermentation, use minimal sulphur and do not filter the wines. Because of this, they’re often cloudy but this is not a fault – it’s simply the natural particles of the wine that so many producers choose to remove.
Julian Kirk - Nyetimber
For most English wine drinkers, Nyetimber needs no introduction, and this award-winning West Sussex estate is one of the reasons English wine (and particularly sparkling wine) is sky-rocketing in popularity and finally earning the praise it deserves. Nyetimber will be represented by the lovely Julian on the night - find out more about this excellent English sparkling wine producer here.
How it works
- Submit your questions for these winemakers here by noon on Friday 22nd March.
- I’ll head to the tasting to film interviews with the winemakers at the tasting on Monday.
- I’ll post the answers here on Tuesday.
It’s not like our usual AMAs - we won’t have a live Q&A session - but if you have followup questions we can try to ask them and get some answers to you!
Is anyone here planning on attending the tasting next Monday? If so, let me know - I’ll make sure I find you to say hello on the night! We’re also holding the event on Tuesday in Cardiff and Wednesday in Milton Keynes, and there are still tickets left if you’re interested.
(I don’t think there’ll be as many winemakers/reps at these events but all the wines will be there!)