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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Slew of Back-Posts (1 of 5): Photography Exhibition

On Thursday 26th April I was at an ‘event’ pouring wine. It was the inauguration of a photography exhibition by Jutta Pfannenschmidt (from Germany) and organized by Hanna Kress (from Finland), held in a municipal cultural centre (in Madrid).

It was a surprise invitation for me. Firstly I’d never been invited to pour wine at that sort of event – in fact I’ve never been invited to pour wines at any sort of event! The only events that I usually go to are our own annual tastings (the last one in December 2011 was held in La Tabacalera – see this post), the odd local wine fair here in Spain, and the occasional informal tasting/get-together here in Madrid. So it was really interesting to be there, at this art gallery, as the people present weren’t wine-geeks! They were there to see the photographs!
But, having said that, they were also interested in my wines, and I was asked a lot of questions.
Photo Exhibition

Mainly questions about organic grape-growing and organic winemaking, which was interesting as I got some good feedback on what ‘normal’ winelovers are interested in. I tend to get immersed in rather archane technical details – both from reading stuff on the internet and also from the geeky wine people I tend to hang out with! So it was good to get away from that sort of detail and to get a view of what real people are concerned about.

3 Wines - Orange, Red and White
I took three wines there: a white (100% Airén 2011, from the Carabaña vineyard), a red (100% Tempranillo Crianza 2010, also from Carabaña), and orange wine (100% Malvar from the Villarejo vineyard). I was a bit worried about taking this orange wine, as it’s a bit unusual and mainly for wine-geeks – or so I thought! But everybody loved it! It was by far the most popular of the three. Interesting!

Orange wine is basically a white wine, made from white grapes, but made as if it were from red grapes, ie, there is a period of skin contact while the wine is fermenting, and perhaps some more extended contact after the fermentation is finished. I’ve been experimenting with this type of wine for a couple of years now, and I really like it – I think there are interesting possibilities and scope for making some really good wines here. But I’ve only just started and I’ve got lots to learn and lots of experimenting to do.

There was good background music provided by Michael (from Poland) throughout the event. 

Me and Michael, the musician
I missed the opportunity to have my photo taken with the Countess Finck von Finckenstein, who is the cultural attaché at the German Embassy in Madrid! (#hobnobbing #namedropping)

I was also chatting to a young man from Georgia who said he’d send me links to Georgian wine and on the use of clay amphorae, or qvevri as they’re called there.

And lastly, I missed a night out on the Gin + Tonics with Jutta and Hanna and company because I was iron-willed and resolute and went home early (-ish) at 1:00 am, because the next day I had to get up early for a visit from my US importer Jose Pastor Selections. That doesn’t happen often (my being iron-willed!) – as I usually give in to temptation and end up getting home really late and suffering for it the next day!

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