Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 31 May 2014

#2014Vitiloire – some photos from Saturday 31st May

 The stands of Vitiloire start just in front of Tours station

 Christophe Baudry (Baudry-Dutour and Maire of Cravant) 
with their new sparkling rosé

Pierre Morgeau, Domaine La Tour Beaumont, Haut-Poitou

 Hervé Tijou, Château de Bellevue

Red and white Touraine from Clos de la Divinière, the birthplace of Rabelais

 Lunchtime scenes 

 Gare de Tours in the background

 Representative from the brewery in Cormery

Luc Poulain, Domaine des Echardières, Pouillé – 
AC Touraine and Touraine-Chenonceaux

Laurent Benoist, Domaine de Viel Orme, Saint Julien de Chedon

 Pierre Aguilas: 2011 Coteaux du Layon 1er Cru and 2010 Quarts de Chaume 
Cause for celebration: the first edition of Vitiloire 
where these two new appellations have not been under legal threat

Jean de Saint Venant

Château de Valmer, Vouvray 

 Serge Babary, the new Mayor of Tours
(above and below) 

Jean-Max Manceau, recently retired president 
of the Chinon appellation with Serge Barbary

Friday, 30 May 2014

Jean-Yves Bardin: Vignerons d'Anjou

Arriving in Epeigné-les-Bois early last evening, after an easy drive from London – schools on half-term and almost no lorries on French roads due to the Ascension Day lorry-ban, I had a treat waiting for me – Jean-Yves Bardin's book: Vignerons d'Anjou.  I met Jean-Yves at this year's Salon des Vins in Angers and he promised me a copy. I was hoping it would arrive before I left Touraine in April but unfortunately it didn't.

So far just time to have a quick look – some great photos including the cover one of Jo Pithon. 

Will add to this post.  

Thursday, 29 May 2014

2014: Bourgueillothérapie - 13th and 14th Sept – Jim's shirt in auction

 Crowd@the auction in 2012

Ludo Ragot – the chief organiser@the auction
(above and below)

The 2014 edition of Bourgueillothérapie will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September. Every year vignerons and artists come together to help riase money for charity. The photos in this post are from the 2012 edition. Further details will follow.

 The auctioneer

 Admiring the art produced during the weekend

The winning design

This year one of my shirts will be auctioned for charity
The shirt above has just been bought specially from

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Jim's charity Loire Source to Atlantic bike ride postponed until September.

Esme Morris-Macintyre, who died of a brain tumour 
in July 2013 aged 18

Very reluctantly we decided today to postpone my charity ride down the Loire from the source to the sea from June until September. This is largely due to the catastrophic failure of the bike rack supplied by Volkswagen on our return from France on 8th April. See here.

Ironically no sooner had I announced my intended charity ride than my Scott Scale 35 bike was wrenched by high wind from the bike rack while travelling on the A16 towards Calais breaking the back window of our car at the same time. 

I took to Evans in Clapham, London. They initially thought it could be repaired and ordered in the necessary parts, some taking two to three weeks to arrive. Unfortunately once they started to repair the bike they discovered that the carbon frame was cracked. This meant a new bike – we are still talking to Volkswagen about the warranty...

Due to the uncertainty over whether I would have a bike and various work commitments, we just haven't had time to do the proper planning, although I have done a considerable amount of training... 

Therefore we have decided that I will do the ride in September – still to raise money for teenage cancer charities but to look to combine this with vintage time. I will start from the source of the Loire in the week beginning 15th September after the 2014 edition of Bourgueillothérapie – 13th and 14th September, where this year one of my shirts will be included in the charity auction. 

 The bike rack that failed

The new Scott Hardtail Scale 720 

 Jim starting the cycle track from 
Calvine to Dalwhinnie – Route 7

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Vitiloire: reminder this weekend in Tours

Vitiloire in the centre of Tours this weekend: 31st May and 1st June. Details here. 150 Loire vignerons present.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Portes Ouvertes: chez Christian Venier 7th-9th June

7th, 8th and 9th June: Portes Ouvertes@Christian Venier, Les Hauts de Madon
4 Rue de la Chabotte, 41120 Candé-sur-Beuvron

Other vignerons present: Jef Coutelou (Languedoc), Sébastien Benoit-Poujad (Languedoc), Noëlla Morantin (Touraine), Benoit Courault (Anjou), Laurent Saillard (Touraine).
7th and 8th: am and pm, 9th just am.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

90th celebration meal@Bunrannoch House

Martin Krop

Saturday was the only night we could get everyone together at Bunrannoch House – 16 in all. See photos of the outside od the house and the beautiful surrounding countryside here and here

To avoid us having to cook we hired Martin Krop of Delicate Catering ( in Inverness to prepare and serve a three-course meal. He was most impressed by the facilities at Bunrannoch - professional kitchen, plentilful crockery and glassware and lovely dining room.

We were delighted that the owner of the house, Rita, was able to join us for the celebratory glass of bubbly and the delicious canapés prepared by Martin.

 Kelly – Martin's assistant setting the table

 Martin@work and preparation


 Places for 16 around the large table 

Jacky Blot: Triple Zéro, Montlouis – the celebration sparkler

 Cream of sweet potato and red pimento

Chicken towers filled with ricotta and spinach, accompanied 
by mashed potato, white wine sauce and green vegetables 


Val de Loire 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Villebois 

 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Prestige, Val de Loire, Villebois

 2012 Shiraz, Grenache, Viognier, Zalze, South Africa

 Croissant 'n Butter Pudding with cream

 Another 90th birthday cake 

 Netta – the birthday girl

 Cutting the cake