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

Friday, 29 June 2018

Freddy Price – death of a wine trade gentleman and Riesling defender

Freddy Price 

I was very sorry and sad to learn that Freddy Price had died on Wednesday 27th June. He had dementia and had been in a home for more than a year. Otherwise he was physically fit, so his death was unexpected.

Freddy played multiple roles in wine – including importing, writing and lecturing. His great passion was German wines in particular Rieslings. His book Riesling Renaissance covered Rieslings around the world and featured photos by his wife, Janet, who is an excellent photographer. Both Freddy and Janet were long time members of the Circle of Wine Writers. 

I remember Freddy with great affection – a gentleman in the true sense of the word, for his kindness, knowledge and enthusiasm. 

Our thoughts are with Janet and family.

Monday, 25 June 2018

People's March Saturday 23rd June – photos

Mrs EU @Parliament Square 

People jam on Pall Mall

Parliament Square

We were proud to have been on the huge People's Vote March on Saturday 23rd June. There was a great friendly, carnival atmosphere. Crowd estimates vary but there were certainly more than 100,000 people marching demanding a vote on the final deal and there may have been up to 500,000 according to some estimates. There were people from all over the UK and of all age groups on the march. 

The march was so big that it took us more than two and half hours to move very slowly from the western end of Pall Mall to Parliament Square.

Here are some photos from the event. The demand is that people get a chance to accept or reject the final deal, whatever it may be with an option to keep the deal we already have with the EU. It is not a second referendum but a chance to look at what is on offer. 

Marchers meeting up outside the Ritz

People making their way down Saint James's 
to the start in Pall Mall


Putin – the real Mr Brexit

West Berks Brexitometer

Passing Downing Street

Reaching Parliament Square

The end of the March heading down 
Whitehall around 3pm 

A PS from B. Johnson, who is apparently our 'Foreign Secretary', setting out Government policy towards business and industry:


Saturday, 23 June 2018

People's March – see you in central London today


I'll be on the People's March today demanding a chance to vote on the Final Deal. Brexit will be catastrophic for the UK – two years on from the referendum there are no tangible examples of why we would be better out than in the EU with the favourable deal that we had. 

Parliament could have stopped this lunacy but jobsworth politicians have failed us, so we need a chance to vote on the Final Deal.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Dates for your diary: Lisbon, Sancerre, Bourgueil

For first the first time Adegga are holding a two-day wine & food festival in Lisbon on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July. The Festival will be held at the recently renovated Terraços do Pavilhão Carlos Lopes in the Parque Eduardo VII. 10 chefs, 60 producers showing 500 wines. 

More event details

Ticket details here (Portuguese) and here (English). Prices start from 15€. 




Bourgueil: Portes Ouvertes – Lamé Delisle Boucard – 23rd and 24th June 


Monday, 18 June 2018

Pancho Campo and Interpol

On the 20th February 2018 I received the following email from Pancho Campo:

'I hope this email finds you well.

I am writing to tell you some great news. As you might know, for more than 15 years I have been fighting to prove my innocence that was besmirched by the Interpol notice filed against me in 2005. Today I am pleased to announce that the Commission for the Control of Interpol Files has issued a report stating that the Red Notice requested by the United Arab Emirates against me was unjustified, reasoning it had been processed irregularly with its accusation against me stemming from a private commercial matter and, therefore, should never have been issued. Additionally this report exonerates me of many accusations while finding the U.A.E. had violated numerous Interpol articles as well as International Law and Human Rights in the pursuance of its case. For this reason, on 5 January 2018 Interpol has expunged my name from its database and has canceled the Red Notice it had issued in 2005.

The effects upon my businesses incurred during this saga, especially those in the wine industry, have been devastating including shutting The Wine Academy, being hampered in expanding events such as Climate Change & Wine and Winefuture, while incurring financial losses and numerous related expenses. However, the damage to my reputation has aggrieved me most, specially because this issue was extrapolated later on regarding the Parker issue.

If you want to know my entire story or particular details of this case we can make the report available to you. In the meantime, you can find details on https://www.panchocampo. com/en/red-notice/

My advisers and I are considering all legal actions to restore my name and reputation, and actions have been requested already from the European Court of Human Rights.

Back in the day you published some very serious and defamatory accusations against me and my family*. Interpol has now demonstrated that I was never accused nor sentenced of embezzlement or absconding, neither of fraud. I want to believe that you were misled by wrong information and sources that could have confused even some of the entities involved in this ordeal. 

I want to clear my name as much as possible and move on in the most amicable and civil way, Jim. You have a reputation of being a just and balanced writer, this is why I am being as candid and transparent as possible. It is never too late to do the right thing.' 
Pancho Campo's claims
I replied that I was prepared to make amendments/edit to the various posts on Jim's Loire where relevant. However, before I did so I needed to see the report from the Commission for the Control of Interpol Files that Campo cited in his message above.

Campo explained that he has been advised by the head of Interpol Spain as well as his lawyers that this report should not be published and that only by meeting with Campo is it possible to read this report, which apparently is in English. No copies can be made.

I have asked Campo what the official publication status of this report is. To date he has not said what the report's official status is rather repeating the advice he has been given that it is secret.

Given the conditions set to view this report, I have decided to publish Pancho Campo's claims without verifying them. 

* My posts related to Campo's businesses and only included his family if they were relevant to his business interests.

Pancho Campo's lawyers DERECHO AL OLVIDO
Recently I received  the following document (see below) from Campo's lawyers. It asks me to remove three posts from Jim's Loire. Although I am certainly prepared to amend/edit any inaccuracies, I am not prepared to delete these posts.

Post 1: Pancho Campo resigns his MW
This is a matter of historical record and a Google search shows that news of Pancho Campo's resignation remains widely available on the internet. I can see no reason to delete this post.

Post 2:
Pancho Campo MW: Spain finds its powerful voice - English translation
This is a translation of an article that was published by El Mundo. The original article can still be found on El Mundo. I have, however, reviewed the comments on this post and deleted nine of them leaving links to Jay Miller's response. I can see no reason to delete this post. 

Post 3: Pancho Campo MW: Wine Business International - 8 page article
This is a link to an article on Wine Business International. As above I have deleted comments. I can see no reason to delete this post. mw.html its_13.html business.html 


D. Iván González Moreno, mayor de edad, con domicilio profesional a efectos de notificaciones en la Calle Jazmines, Edificio Los Arcos, Local 8, Nueva Andalucía, Marbella, Málaga, C.P.29.660, en nombre y representación de Francisco Armando Campo Carrasco, cuyo N.I.F. es 47.867.414-K, y con el mismo domicilio designado con anterioridad a efectos de notificaciones. Acompañamos copia de los documentos identificativos de ambos y de la autorización para la representación. 

Por medio del presente escrito ejerce el derecho de supresión o derecho al olvido, de conformidad con lo previsto en el artículo 17 del Reglamento (UE) 2016/679 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 27 de abril de 2016, relativo a la protección de las personas físicas en lo que respecta al tratamiento de datos personales y a la libre circulación de estos datos.

1. Queseprocedaaacordarlasupresióndelosdatospersonalessobrelos cuales se ejercita el derecho, y que constan en los siguientes enlaces: mw.html its_13.html business.html

Estas informaciones, que se refieren a mi representado por su nombre y apellidos, y que son de fecha 2012, pudieron estar amparadas en la libertad de información en su día, transcurridos los años carecen de total justificación que sigan siendo indexadas por Google y que por parte del periódico se mantengan.

Con el Reglamento General de Protección de Datos, en su artículo 17, viene a regular lo recogido en la primera sentencia del TSJU donde se mencionaba por primera vez al derecho al olvido, TSJU de 13 de mayo de 2014.

El derecho a recibir libremente información veraz por cualquier medio de difusión prevalece frente a los derechos constitucionales, atendiendo a la jurisprudencia del Tribunal Constitucional que reconoce esta posición preferente a la libertad de expresión y cuando los hechos comunicados se consideren de relevancia pública y la información facilitada sea veraz.

Por lo que debería ponderarse escrupulosamente la relevancia pública de la identidad de las personas afectadas por el hecho noticiable para, en el caso de que no aporte información adicional, evitar la identificación mediante la
supresión del nombre e incluso si fuera necesario, de las iniciales a cualquier referencia suplementaria de la que pueda deducirse la identificación, en el caso de que el entorno sea limitado.

Los medios de comunicación, por lo tanto, deberán reflexionar sobre la
trascendencia que tiene mantener de manera permanente una absoluta accesibilidad de los datos contenidos en noticias cuya relevancia informativa, probablemente, es inexistente en la actualidad, COMO EN EL CASO QUE NOS OCUPA, teniendo en cuenta la trascendencia sobre la privacidad de las personas que puede derivar de ello.

En este sentido, los medios de comunicación deberían usar medidas informáticas para que, en el caso de que concurra interés legítimo de un particular y la relevancia del hecho haya dejado de existir, se evite desde su WEBMASTER LA INDEXACIÓN DE LA NOTICIA POR LOS MOTORES DE BÚSQUEDA EN INTERNET. De esta forma, aun manteniéndola inalterable en su soporte ya que no se borraría de sus archivos ni de sus históricos, se evitaría su divulgación indiscriminada, permanente, y en su caso lesiva.

Podemos acreditar, que la información que se facilitan en los enlaces es inexacta y desactualizada:

Como bien saben, en enero de 2018, Interpol ha eliminado a Francisco (Pancho) Campo Carrasco de su base de datos y ha cancelado la notificación Roja emitida en 2005 a solicitud de EAU por una denuncia presentada en Dubái por una ex socia del Sr. Campo en el año 1999.

El origen de la disputa con su ex socia fue un asunto privado de naturaleza comercial, que nunca debería haber sido tratado como un caso criminal ni debería haber provocado la emisión de la Notificación Roja.

La anulación ahora notificada por Interpol es consecuencia de una solicitud presentada por los abogados del Sr. Campo en 2013 para demostrar diversas irregularidades cometidas en el proceso iniciado en su contra, así como el incumplimiento de las regulaciones de Interpol y de las leyes internacionales por parte de Emiratos Árabes Unidos. 

Como ahora se ha demostrado, esta Notificación Roja se emitió para su enjuiciamiento bajo el cargo de "conversión fraudulenta" de manera irregular.
El pasado 5 de enero de 2018 la Oficina de Asuntos Legales de la Secretaría General de Interpol emitió una carta confirmando que el caso de Pancho había sido estudiado por la Comisión para el Control de los Ficheros de Interpol (CCF) en su sesión 102 celebrada del 24 al 27 de octubre. El CCF decidió eliminar el nombre de Francisco Campo Carrasco de su base de datos y cancelar la Notificación Roja. Dicha carta fue acompañada por un informe detallado emitido por la Comisión para el Control de Ficheros de Interpol. 

En este informe se demuestra la total inocencia de Pancho Campo de todos los cargos y acusaciones emitidas contra él, especialmente de la apropiación indebida y la conversión fraudulenta. También confirma la falta de procedimiento por parte de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, la inexactitud de los datos, la falta de naturaleza criminal del caso y que Pancho fue sentenciado "In Absentia".'

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Langeais: the inauguration of Bourgueil's Maison des Vins

The new Maison des Vins, 15 Rue Gambetta, Langeais 

Maison des Vins just a few paces from the Château de Langeais


 The inauguration celebrations 
@Château de Langeais 13.6.2018
(above and below)

Appellation Bourgueil's second Maison des Vins was officially inaugurated last night at a ceremony in the courtyard of the Château de Langeais. Fortunately after a series of late afternoon/early evening downpours recently the weather was well-behaved with the guests regaled with warm sunshine.  (More below)

La Maison des Vins 
The original Maison des Vins de Bourgueil, which opened in 1992, remains in the centre of Bourgueil, while the new Maison des Vins is a stone's throw from the château, which had 110,000 visitors in 2017. The Langeais' Maison, which opened for business on Monday 4th June, carries some 180 different references from Bourgueil. These are mainly red but with some red as well as a few whites – both still and sparkling – made from Chenin Blanc grown within the aire de l'appellation of Bourgueil.

Visitors to the new Maison will be able to buy a glass and taste a range of 12 wines, which will be rotated through the year. These will be served from a modern dispenser that keeps the wines fresh.    

The tasting dispenser 
(above and below)

A rosé being dispensed 

Visitors and staff in the Maison 


Alexis Caraux, the new director of Vins de Bourgueil 

 Philippine Delachaux, the Vice-President of Vins de Bourgueil

Pierre-Alain Roiron, maire de Langeais, in full flow

The inauguration
The proceedings were introduced by Alexis Caraux, the new director of Vins de Bourgueil, and continued with a speech from the Vice-President of the Bourgueil producers. Sadly Philippe Boucard, who has recently resigned as president of Vins de Bourgueil, wasn't present at the inauguration. A pity as he has been a important mover in getting the new Maison des Vins established.  

There had been a previous joint-venture between Bourgueil and Montlouis to set up a Maison des Vins in Tours but this fell through.

I hope the new Maison des Vins will be a success. It has an attractive modern look and is very close to the château, so ought to attract a good number of visitors. We spent between 30 and 40 minutes in the Maison and were impressed by the level of knowledge shown by the staff. I understand that at least some of them are, for the moment, on short-term contracts that takes them to the end of the summer. 

If this new Maison des Vins is a success then InterLoire might be persuaded to venture back into this sector of oenotourism. In June 2015 InterLoire's four Maison des Vins – Tours, Saumur, Angers, Nantes – closed following the need for the organisation to make sharp economies due to a financial crisis.      

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A day of combatting esca

Several infected vines
Vines affected by esca – note the loss of leaves and the shrivelled grapes:
September 2017 (above and immediately below)
Dying vine 

Boris & progress of esca
Boris Desbourdes, Domaine de la Marinière, Chinon  – shows
the progress of esca through a trunk of a vine 

Last Tuesday (5th June 2018) I was invited on a day-long press trip to learn more about the fungal vine disease, esca, and the methods used to combat or alleviate it.

Esca is a major problem causing a significant proportion of vines to die every year. Annual mortality estimates vary from around 2% to 10% or more. This depends upon a number of factors including the year and the stress the vines are under as well as the grape variety. Worryingly for the Loire, especially Touraine and the Central Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc is particularly susceptible to the disease.

There are numerous initiatives now underway to combat and to eventually find a solution. These initiatives put the vignerons at centre of the research. Unfortunately it is currently not known what has triggered esca – what the causes are. There are a number of theories – nurseries supplying below quality plants, excessive use of chemicals weakening/ killing off the micro-organisms around the roots, errors in pruning etc. There may, of course, not be one factor but a whole number of them.

Until 2001 arsénite de sodium was used to control esca. I understand that it wasn't a cure but helped to keep esca under control. In 2001 it was banned because it caused a number of cancers, especially amongst vineyard workers.

Esca is a fungal disease that apparently works it way down the trunk of a vine until it eventually cuts off the supply of sap which is carried up by two 'arteries'. Once this happens the vine dies very quickly – like a human hit by a stroke.

Methods of combatting/alleviating the disease

Curetage – the most dramatic method

Job done – diseased wood cut out and trunk exposed to 
the air

There are a number of methods being used to fight/ alleviate esca. The main methods include taking care when pruning of the flow of a vine's sap, complantation, curetage, regraftinging and replanting.

During visits last Tuesday to two domaines – Domaine de la Marinière (Chinon) and Domaine de Lavigne we were shown three different techniques –recépage, curetage and regrafting.

Curetage is the most dramatic as it involves using a small power saw to cut out the diseased parts of the vine's trunk. See the demonstration by Boris Desbourdes in the photos above. The second photo shows that the diseased wood has been cut away and the fungus exposed to the air, which kills it. Clearly this technique, which was trialled in Sancerre, requires considerable skill and a steady hand.  It would only take a slight slip and your vine would be decapitated...


Recépage – detail

This is a technique that is quite widely used in Champagne. It involves using a branch from the base of the vine just above the graft and training it to replace the existing trunk. This procedure can then be repeated at regular intervals.



Thomas Chassaing with graft and a dead vine trunk

Preparing the graft
Preparing the vine graft

Thomas cutting just above the rootstock graft

Graft base
After cutting the base for the graft

Inserting the graft 

Two grafts
Two grafts – just to make doubly sure

Two grafts - detail
Two grafts – detail

In Saumur we saw an example of regrafting performed by Thomas Chassaing of the Chambre d'agriculture du Maine et Loire. Chassaing showed us several different ages of graft. He was keen to stress the advantages of regrafting in comparison  to grubbing up dead vines and replanting. He argued persuasively that by using regrafting that the vine returned to production much earlier and was much cheaper.

Chassaing and his charts showed that using regrafting would put your vine back in full production after two years compared to seven to nine years if you replanted. At six years for a replanted vine you could expect to harvest 10 bunches of grapes compared to 27 for regrafting – 'seems far too high to me' if you are looking for quality.

Importantly costs ranged from 2.97€ to 4.02€ for regrafting instead of 9.87€ to replant. Chassaing explained that once a producer has a 40% grafting success rate then this is the breakeven point,

Comparison of costs between replanting and regrafting

It will be fascinating to follows the combat against esca. Will there be a cure of will it be a question of choosing one or two strategies seeking to limit the effects of esca.

A suivré......