In September 2008 I ran away to Vosne Romanée to work the harvest at Domaine Anne Gros. Before I left, an acquaintance wrote to wish me well and said, do let us know your blog link… Though I have written nearly every day of my life since being given a diary for Christmas as a child, it had never occurred to me to keep a blog – bless her for the suggestion, I followed it up and have enjoyed every minute of it ever since.
What began as a record for friends of my learning experience whilst working the harvest has continued as a record of the ongoing learning experiences which have stemmed from my love of wine – learning more about wine and winemaking, tasting, food pairing, and travels in wine regions, and rather pleasingly it has found a wider audience. After that first harvest I resolved to pursue a career in the wine trade. After completing the WSET Advanced Certificate course, I knew I wanted to work and live in a wine making region. I spent the summer of 2009 wandering and assessing France and Portugal, and that autumn I re-located to Portugal from England to focus on the wines of the Douro – both Port and Douro DOC. Being here and expanding my contacts in the wine trade has also expanded my opportunities to taste and learn about all kinds of wines from all over the world, all of which is, and will continue to be, described here.
Since July 2010 I have been working with Graham’s Port, managing and writing for their blog and Facebook pages. In addition, I was and continue to be responsible for re-inventing and writing much of the content for The Vintage Port Site, which Symington Family Estates re-launched in May 2011.
For a much fuller telling of the story about my career change and how I leveraged social media to land my dream job blogging for the top producer of Port wines, read the article How a Dream Blogging Job Found Me which I guest-authored on One Cool Site Blogging Tips. One Cool Site, by the way, is an amazing resource if you are interested in blogging yourself.
If you are wondering about why I made the leap into this, after (mumble mumble) years in the financial industry, two old blog entries talk about that: one called Why on Earth… and another called Hedonism.
If you are wondering about the beautiful banner photo – no that is not a pre-fab photo from the software provider, that’s one of mine. It was taken from Monte Xisto, Mateus Nicolau de Almeida’s beautiful vinyard in the Douro Superior, from which he makes his Muxagat wines. Read more about him in my blog entries from late March 2010 about Muxagat and Quinta de Ervamoira. And I used a full, uncropped version of the photo at the end of a recent posting Food and Wine Miscellany.