1. Meet the Winemaker: Takuan von Arnim - March 2018

    Meet the Winemaker: Takuan von Arnim - March 2018
    You are invited to join Takuan von Arnim, Cellar Master of Haute Cabriere, for two exclusive evenings hosted by Hard To Find Wines in London and Shropshire in March 2018 Meet the Cellar Master: Thursday, 8 March at High Timber Restaurant in London, EC4V 3PA from 6.30pm. For more information and your FREE ticket, CLICK HERE. An Evening of Food and Wine with Haute Cabriere: Saturday...
  2. GlenWood: Bottling their 2017 Merlot

    GlenWood: Bottling their 2017 Merlot
    We had the privilege of observing the bottling of GlenWood's 2017 Merlot on Friday, 2 February 2018. What an exciting morning! Here are some photos of the process. [caption id="attachment_1183" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of Merlot being pumped from the tank Merlot being pumped from the tank to the bottling plant[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1188" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of the bottling trailer The wine is pumped to the bottling trailer[/caption] Continue reading →
  3. Stony Brook - the history and the wines

    Stony Brook - the history and the wines
    The Stony Brook story starts in the late 1980s when the McNaught family fell in love with Franschhoek and purchased a piece of land with a plan to create premium-quality wines reflecting the area and the styles of wine they most enjoyed. In 1995, the McNaughts sold their first farm and purchased an old fruit farm, now called Stony Brook. The McNaughts replanted the farm to vines and built a small cellar. Their focus was on Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Chardonnay and they began to produce the first wines under the Stony Brook label. By 2011, Craig McNaught joined his parents at Stony Brook and took over as winemaker. The farm is peaceful and quiet, tucked away in the bo-hoek region of Franschhoek. "It's a magic little area," said Craig when we caught up with him recently. Philosophy Stony Brook maintains an old world winemaking philosophy. "I think we're old world at heart, very much old world at heart, taking a lot of inspiration from specifically Spain and Italy in terms of winemaking. Our SA climate is much more like Spain or Southern Italy than France." "While our approach to winemaking is traditional, our outlook on planting and assemblage is an exploratory one, allowing us to find a unique way to express our soils, climate and remarkable site in Franschhoek. We take the best of what we can plant and we plant it. We handle all the grapes with a lot of respect. We're just trying to make age-worthy wines." Stony Brook's latest development has been the introduction of Tempranillo vines. The result is their critically-acclaimed wine, Ovidius, created with Tempranillo alone and a real delight to drink. [caption id="attachment_1173" align="alignleft" width="640"]A photo of the ghost gum tree at Stony Brook from which the Ghost Gum range takes its name The Ghost Gum at Stony Brook from where the Ghost Gum range takes its name[/caption] Wines Stony Brook produces a wide range of low volume wines. Their red wines are not very fruit driven, unlike what you would expect from many SA reds. This is largely due to the maturation process. Craig's winemaking style is more Italian, a little more rustic. All varieties spend at least 28 months in barrel but the oak is not there to add flavour. It purely adds structure. To maintain the character of the wine, sulphur is only added after a year. Continue reading →
  4. New Arrivals from Franschhoek!

    New Arrivals from Franschhoek!
    Our latest shipment of South African wines has arrived! We are excited to announce that, for the first time, outstanding quality wines from Stony Brook, Le Lude and Infinity Wines are available through Hard To Find Wines. We are also delighted to have received some gems from GlenWood including final stock of the Chardonnay Vigneron's Selection 2015. It's the last chance to buy this vintage so don't delay! STONY BROOK VINEYARDS An old world winemaking philosophy paired with an exploratory planting and assemblage strategy have allowed Stony Brook's winemaker, Craig McNaught to beautifully express the true terroir of their unique position in Franschhoek. Here are four of the wide range of small volume wines we have available from Stony Brook. For the full selection, click here. Continue reading →
  5. Iconic South African wines, a Christmas selection

    Iconic South African wines, a Christmas selection
    For lovers of South African wine, here are those iconic South African wines that should be on your Christmas list! Make sure to order by midday on Thursday, 21 December 2017 for delivery before Christmas day (for UK mainland deliveries excluding the north of Scotland). HAUTE CABRIERE Pierre Jourdan Brut NV Franschhoek This 40/60 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blnd shows apple and lime crispness from...
  6. Christmas is Coming

    Christmas is Coming
    Are you wondering which wines you should serve with your Christmas meal? Hard To Find Wines is here to help you with a wide selection of wines perfect for Christmas celebrations.  Mark Davies has specifically picked the wines listed below as the perfect Christmas selection. The list includes sparkling wine, red wines, white wines and fortified wine. Sparkling Wine for Christmas Langlois...
  7. Three must-do Franschhoek wine experiences

    Three must-do Franschhoek wine experiences
    If you are due to visit Cape Town for your holiday, make sure you include a trip to Franschhoek to experience some of the Cape Wineland's best wine estates. Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and is situated 46 miles outside of Cape Town, surrounded by mountains and vineyards. The name Franschhoek means French Corner and...
  8. Thanksgiving Wines

    Thanksgiving Wines
    Harvest celebrations are held the world over, in both religious and secular circles. Probably the most well-known harvest celebrations in Western countries include Thanksgiving Day in Canada and the USA and Harvest Festivals in the UK. Thanksgiving in the USA Thanksgiving takes place in the USA on the fourth Thursday of November. The festivities that led to modern celebrations in the USA can...
  9. Autumn Wines for Autumn Times

    Autumn Wines for Autumn Times
    The weather in the UK is turning chilly, nights are getting longer and with the first light fall of snow hitting Scotland just this past weekend, we are most definitely in the midst of autumn. While the harvest festivals and bonfire night let us know that we are nearly in winter, we are not quite there yet. So sometimes when it comes...
  10. A History of Lebanese Wines

    A History of Lebanese Wines
    Lebanese wines have been produced in the Bekaa Valley for 6,000 years and Lebanon has evolved into a significant wine-making region in modern days! Despite ongoing conflicts in the region, Lebanon produces of about 600,000 cases of wine annually. Wines of ancient and modern times Evidence from Rome shows that 2,000 years before Alexander the Great, the Phoenicians, the ancestors of the Lebanese, cultivated and domesticated the vine and produced wine. Wines from Lebanon were exported to Egypt around 2,500 BC and also introduced to Greece and Italy. From intact cargoes of wine discovered on sunken Phoenician ships, the wines appears to have been protected from oxidation by a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin.Wine played an important part in many of the religions of the day, including the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian religions. The Christian Bible makes mention of wines from the region, and Cana, where Christ attended a wedding and turned water into wine, is near the southern Lebanese port of Tyre. Baalbek was originally devoted to the Phoenician fertility god Baal but is also home to the remains of a temple dedicated to the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. A photo of the Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek in Lebanon Lebanese wine production declined in modern times after Lebanon became part of the Caliphate, however due to community laws it was allowed among Christians for religious reasons. The Christians also developed an aniseed flavoured spirit reminiscent of Ouzo, called Arack. Continue reading →

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