A Year of Wine Discoveries at the UK’s Wine Hotel
12 Jan 2018
- Award-winning Sommelier Romain Bourger highlights wine regions to watch
- A vintage year of celebrations as The Vineyard celebrates its 20th anniversary
- 30,000 bottles of wine are available with 100 wines served by the glass
- Wine education with WSET courses throughout the year
The Vineyard hotel celebrates wine on a daily basis. Sir Peter Michael, the owner of the hotel, founded The Peter Michael Winery in 1982 on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California. Back in the heart of Berkshire, Sir Peter Michael opened the UK’s first and only wine hotel 20 years ago this year. Home to 30,000 bottles of wine and an award-winning restaurant and Spa, The Vineyard is an oenophile’s dream.
Roman Bourger, the hotel’s head sommelier won ‘UK Young Sommelier of the Year’ for 2016. Here he highlights his wine regions to watch in 2018.
Such an amazing country growing rapidly and focusing more and more on Terroir. Chile offers a huge panel of wines. The fruity and floral Sauvignon Blanc, which are more fruit driven and slightly more vegetal than New Zealand. Amazing Semillon and unoaked Chardonnay are delightful. When it comes to reds, some superb Pinot Noir are found there as well as juicy and fruit driven Syrah or Merlot. And the wine to try, Carmenere with its delicious green pepper notes, ripe dark fruit and soft tannins
Wine to discover: Tabali, Sauvignon Blanc, Talinay Vineyard, Limari, Chile, 2014 £42 per bottle
A beautiful country that produces equally beautiful wines. A vast majority of them made from local varietals. Crisp Assyrtiko from Santorini are a fantastic alternative to Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. On the more aromatic side some delicious Malagousia and Viognier are also made. Different styles of red can be found but as a summer wine, you can enjoy a light style or Xinomavro served slightly chilled.
Wine to discover: Domaine Gerovassiliou, Malagousia, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2016 £42 per bottle
I personally find Piedmont’s wines remarkable. Also, autumn is the season of truffles which are a match made in heaven with aged Nebbiolos. On the white side, they tend to be light and crisp but some delicious Viognier or oaked Chardonnay are also found in the Langhe appelation.
Wine to discover: Barolo, Azienda Agrícola Bricco Rocche, Ceretto, Piedmont, Italy, 2000 £119 per bottle
Australia has a lot to offer and has been producing incredible wines for decades! What I love about this country is that you can find wines for the whole Christmas dinner. Starting with a delicate Tasmanian fizz, moving on to a delicious dry Riesling from Barossa, followed by a lightly oaked Chardonnay from Western Australia. When it comes to reds, Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula do make fantastic, juicy Pinot Noirs. The fuller bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from Conawarra are a delight, powerful and intense but with great minerality. On the more fruity and jammy side, the classic Shiraz do not have anything to prove. Australia also has some great sweet and fortified wines which are worth exploring.
Wine to discover: Lethbridge, Pinot Meunier, Henty, Australia, 2014 £73 per bottle
Robby Jenks, the hotel’s Head Chef oversees the 3 AA Rosette restaurant. The Vineyard hotel’s menus include the Discovery Tasting Menu (5 dishes £79.00), the Judgement of Paris Tasting Menu (7 dishes £89.00), a Vegetarian Tasting Menu, a lunch menu (3 courses £29.00), a dinner menu (3 courses £69.00) and a more relaxed California Bar Menu. Each menu offers the opportunity for a varied wine pairing. Afternoon tea is also available daily and Pastry Chef Anthony Millon works directly with Robby to deliver this simple, light and fresh menu.
Those interested in furthering their knowledge in wine can attend WSET courses at the hotel, both levels 1 and 2 run throughout the year. Level 1 courses are on 21st January with a special Judgement of Paris WSET followed by 18th February, 18th March, 15th April and 10th June. The level 2 course is between 4th and 6th March.
The 49-room Vineyard, with each suite and bedroom named after an iconic international wine is the ideal place to celebrate with wine. Guests can expect a feast for the eyes too with the walls around the hotel full of art by artists including Henry Martin, Ronald Searle, Boris Smirnoff and Doris Zinkeisen. The Vineyard is also home to a spa with an indoor pool for hotel guests only. Whilst staying at the hotel, guests can explore nearby destinations including Highclere Castle, more famously known as Downton Abbey, just a few miles from the hotel.
Eat. Sleep. And drink wine.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589
Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £255 based on two guests.