Foot Trodden - Portugal and the wines that time forgot

Simon Woolf author of “Amber wine” along with Ryan Opaz are half way to completing this book, due hopefully for release at the end of the year.
You can find out more HERE . If kickstarter funds allow, they will also add an additional chapter on Madeira which I really hope they do.
Sounds like a great book in the making.


Thanks Leah, great share, looks fascinating. Definitely going to back that.

They’ve already hit the Madeira stretch goal, just the podcast to go.


Oh great! I’ve backed it too. I’m really looking forward to this book. Sounds like it’s right up @strawpig street aswell .


As predicted, I’ve backed it. Thanks for the heads up!


excellent find @Leah!! :slight_smile:

Simon and Ryan are friends of mine (Ryan was actually my business partner before I started on the TWS community adventure), and has always been a massive fan of Portuguese culture and a great photographer. I backed it too (I think I managed to be in the first 10 but failed to be first as I prevaricated between a bonus t-shirt or poster).

As I know them well, I wonder whether there is some way to get them to share more news about the book, the country, or the wines here? They both really love Portugal and it is a TWS strength after all.

@laura - have you ever run events or Q&A with authors or producers here yet? Any interest in setting something like this up?

In any case, if anyone has any questions about the book, let me know and I can be the go-between. They’ve been overwhelmed by the success of the crowdfunding so I’m sure they’d be excited to chat here.


(143) Eminem Song Guess Who’s Back. - YouTube

You’ve been missed. I knew you had history with Simon as you spoke about him previously but hadn’t realised you also worked with Ryan. Can you put in a good word for a signed copy for me then??
I would absolutely love to have Ryan and Simon on either a Q&A or an insta live. I’m a big fan of Simon’s Amber revolution. Hopefully that could be something TWS would get behind especially like you say given the popularity of Portuguese wine here.
I’m very excited to read the book when it comes out, it is right up my "strét " and wish them the best of luck from all of us on the community.


Thank you :blush:

I do lurk occasionally, but … boy! … I was first away for a few months (busy on my other project :wink: ) and each time I came back I was overwhelmed by the amazing content and activity here; it was always so hard to catch up.

I’ve resisted posting as I’ve not been either reading, tasting or buying anything special for months. Thank goodness for Wine without Fuss or I would have died of thirst!

However, when I heard this book was coming out, I felt it was time to dive in again a bit and read it … knowing full well it is going to make me spend time (and money) to start buying and tasting wine again properly :slight_smile:


This community has cost me a small mortgage… :joy:.
Stick around, would love to hear what you’re drinking too. Looks like you have lots of catching up to do. :grinning:


Hi Leah,

Thanks so much for for the support here! It’s great to see the interest in Portuguese wines and our forthcoming book from TWS members.

Ryan and I would be delighted if we can do a Q&A or live or whatever else you can dream up. We’d love the opportunity to engage more with people here, and to explain why we’re both so passionate about Portugal and its wines.

Feel free to drop us an email and we can discuss.

Meanwhile, we hope we can tempt more people to pitch into the campaign. We’re announcing some new stretch goals this weekend, and we are keen to try to make this campaign a record breaking one - in terms of crowdfunded wine books.

Best wishes,
Simon (& Ryan)


Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad it’s doing so well so far and am extra excited that the Madeira chapter has been funded as I’m a huge fan (although baring a few not great examples while visiting, I’ve not had much non-Madeira Madeiran wine, which I’d love to explore).

Azores stretch chapter, or is that a flight too far for the wine quality? (which has some of the worse QPR of “regular” wine I’ve ever had, but can be pretty interesting - I like wine from Volcanic Islands).


A few people have mentioned the Azores! Personally I love the wines, and was very excited to discover a new producer last year (Adega do Vulcao)

However the book’s concept is that it’s very much story driven. For the regions that we are covering, we have what we think are compelling personal narratives that help to illustrate something about the region.

We don’t have such a story for Azores yet - although we have visited and know a few of the producers.

So, never say never, but given our very tight timeframe I doubt that Azores will make the cut this time round.


Entirely fair, and thanks for the producer tip.

I am very much looking forward to the book, so tight timeframes work for me!


Thanks for “popping” in Simon and welcome to the community.
Like I said, I am a fan of your Amber revolution particularly as I drank mostly Georgian wine when I lived in Baku, Azerbaijan so it was nice to see a chapter dedicated to those producers and wines.
Hopefully @laura who is the community manager will be able to let us know if something can be organised with regards to a Q&A, I’m fairly sure the interest would be there.
Like @strawpig, I’m particularly interested in your Madeira chapter and the ethos of story driven tales as it brings so much more to the reality and struggles of small producers.
I’m also partial to “volcanic” wines so thanks for the producer heads up, I’ll look them up .
Great to have you onboard as such.


Wonderful! Hello old stranger @robert_mcintosh, and welcome @simonjwoolf! :smiley:

Yes, let’s set up a Q&A here, I think that would be great!! I’ll pass this to the brilliant Kelly to set up and we’ll get a date in the diary in the next few weeks. :smiley:


Wonderful, looking forward to it!


Congratulations on the successful funding of your book (and being the most backed wine publication ever on Kickstarter).

Can’t wait to start reading it (and pawing over the map).


Hi Simon, I too enjoyed your Amber Revolution which I finished earlier this year; I was inspired to get it after my eye-opening fortnight in Georgia in 2019 which kindled an appreciation of skin contact amber wines.

But you’ve got a lot to answer for; thanks to your chapter on the Collio Goriziano I now have a, hitherto innocently latent, enthusiasm for Radikon’s Jakot Ribolla Gialla, (thanks to messers Tannico), which unfortunately don’t come cheap !!

Still, you only live once.


I’ve just seen that @simonjwoolf has posted in the Natural Wine Forum over on FB.
He says that despite his best efforts he could not find anything close to what he would call a natural wine, except for maybe the farmers who make something called Vinho Seco, which is not bottled or commercialised in anyway on his research trip to Madeira,
He says he visited all 8 producers on the Island too and Barbeito was probably the closest to a minimal intervention winemaker.
I thought this may be something @Brocklehurstj and @strawpig would be interested in hearing.


Thanks. I’ve only tried a couple of wines from Barbeito - the Rainwater reserve from TWS and a Malvasia from my local over Christmas - they were both excellent, if a little atypical for Madeira.


Ah, Barbeito, happy memories from a trip to Madeira in 2014, Barbeito was by far the best visit / tasting

Plus, if my memory serves me right, Barbeito’s “vintage” Madeiras are labelled with the year of the youngest, rather than the average, of the wines in their final blends. Yes all of those on the table were part of the tasting line-up. Afterwards repair to a local hostelry within line of sight, (Barbeito up there on the hill) to recover