Wine Weekends at Ballymaloe next Spring

 

Wine Weekends at Ballymaloe next Spring  

* unbeatable new prices 

* delightful new venue

* still a great Christmas or birthday present 

Mary Dowey’s Weekend Wine Courses have become a firm fixture on the spring calendar at Ballymaloe House, Co Cork. Guests come from far and wide to learn the essentials of wine appreciation while enjoying superb food, great wines and good company in one of Ireland’s loveliest country houses. Now, to celebrate ten years of wine weekend success, prices for 2010 are better than ever.

Mary’s Introduction to Wine Appreciation course will run for two weekends  
19th–21st February 2010 and 16th–18th April 2010 – with the handsomely restored Grain Store at Ballymaloe as the main venue. Suitable for anybody who enjoys wine and would like to know more about it, the course focuses on key grape varieties. Besides quickly mastering the characteristics of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, guests will learn how to recognise quality, buy wisely, serve and store wines correctly and match them with the most suitable foods.  

‘The wine-tasting weekend was fantastic and we will highly recommend it to our friends.’  Emma-Jane Dockery, Dublin 

Listed among the Top 10 Wine Courses in the UK & Ireland by the Daily Telegraph 

Mary Dowey (www.marydowey.com) has built up a large following through her enthusiastic and refreshingly unstuffy approach. She is wine editor of The Gloss magazine and a contributor to the internationally acclaimed wine magazine Decanter, having been wine correspondent of The Irish Times 1995-2005. She has visited most of the world’s major wine-producing regions and is the author of several books including Food and Wine – Matching Made Simple and 101 Great Wines Under €12.

Wine Weekend Format

Friday evening:  welcome aperitif, dinner with specially chosen wines and brief talk

Saturday: wine course all day (9.30am – 4.30pm) with lunch, afternoon tea and a  
six-course wine-tasting dinner in the evening

Sunday morning: champagne and sparkling wine workshop (10am -12.30pm) 

Wine Weekend Packages

2 nights bed & breakfast with Friday dinner and wine talk; Saturday all-day wine course with lunch, afternoon tea and gala dinner; Sunday morning champagne workshop

€495 per person sharing standard room   €595 per person sharing superior room

Gift vouchers available: the ideal Christmas, birthday or Valentine’s gift for a wine-lover.  

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork. Tel: 00 353 (0)21 4652531

E-mail: res@ballymaloe.ie 

Website and online booking: www.ballymaloe.ie

 

 

 

German winemaker Carl Erhard

We welcomed back to the cookery school renowned German winemaker, Carl Ehrhard, on 25th September 2009, where he presented a range of his wines to the students. Carl was our very last guest winemaker at the end of the last 12-week course, and we were delighted that he was able to join us again, and this time as the very first guest winemaker of this course.

 There is a Riesling renaissance taking place and a renewed interest in wines from Germany, not only their Riesling’s, but also their Pinot Noir’s, so it was great that the students were able to learn first hand all about these fantastic wines.

 image002

Carl Ehrhard pictured with Joe Karwig, Karwig Wines, Carrigaline, Cork, who very kindly arranged this visit www.karwigwines.ie

 . Our thanks to Carl and  Joe for a fantastic wine evening presentation at the school.

 

A rich 150-old tradition of producing high-quality Riesling and Spätburgunder wines. Cultivated across 10 hectares of the best vineyard sites in Rüdesheim, our wines boast the typically delicate playfulness, so characteristic of the Rheingau region. Quality optimisation both in the vineyards and in the winery is the fundamental principle of the Carl and Petra Ehrhard family.  

“Striking a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation”– is the aspiration defining the wines from the Carl Ehrhard winery

Carl Ehrhard, Geisenheimer Strasse 3, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Telephone: +49 (0) 67 22 / 4 73 96Telefax: +49 (0) 67 22 / 40 66 90

E-Mail:info@carl-ehrhard.comInternet:www.carl-ehrhard.de

image004

Have wine, will travel.

This week we have a special item written by a student on our last 12 week certificate course.

Judy O’Kane is an Irish lawyer on sabbatical.  She recently graduated from Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork after three months travelling around New Zealand vineyards.

Have wine, will travel.

“Welcome back” Immigration greets me in Auckland on Christmas Eve. With Michael Cooper’s Wine Atlas under my arm, I wend my way through both islands, from Waiheke to Central Otago, filling my backpack along the way with pinot, aromatic whites and some great chardonnay.

I am lucky enough to hear of Himmelsfeld, a boutique vineyard in Moutere, with Romney sheep lazing in the shade along the tree lined drive, each allocating themselves a tree.  Beth Eggers, the owner, welcomes us in the beautifully crafted tasting room, the Wine Loft, and her intelligent eyes dance without any sales pitch or clichéd wine patter. Like a good wine, her face opens out with the chat, full of character and passion. Her family arrived in Moutere 150 years ago and her German heritage tells in her hardworking sincerity. 

Himmesfeld means “heaven’s field” in German. It boasts the country’s smallest chapel and several pretty sculptures. While we are seduced by the romance of the vineyard, she talks about the realities of living from the earth.   Her heart wrenching decision to rip out the orchard some years ago was like losing a limb. She was devastated as each tree collapsed, left on the land to haunt her as regulations prevented the burning of timber over the summer months.

The sheep provide entertainment by scratching themselves against the picnic tables, lifting the slate tops. Tom, our designated driver, taken unawares behind the camera lens, narrowly avoids a close encounter with an enthusiastic ram while capturing some great shots – one gorgeous macro of bees’ wings in motion over the lavender.

Tasting measures are generous, and the chat is good. While the Wine Loft is unpretentious, several framed accolades tell us that these wines have made their mark since the vineyard’s beginnings in 1991. We are impressed by the Sauvignon Blancs, which are well recommended by Bob Campbell, MV.  The 2007 has pineapple and passion fruit on the nose, fresh and yet quite ripe and full bodied on the palate. The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon has hints of eucalyptus, cedar wood, and is fairly restrained. Michael Cooper described the 2001 as “perhaps the best Cabernet Sauvignon ever to have come from this region.”  We keep returning to the Chardonnays of 2002 and 2004.  The rich, golden 2004 is the favourite with its rich, creamy, caramel flavour, the oak not overpowering the wine but giving a lovely lightly nutty flavour. Like a good white Burgundy it is smooth and silky in texture.

This is a wine for food. One taster suggests berries, someone dreams of smoked fish, followed by barbequed banana split with chocolate. I take a few bottles for the backpack and an email confirms that a case has been consigned to the high seas.  A few months later the wine arrives in Ireland where I am taking a 12 week gastronomic “boot camp” course at Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork. I open a bottle of Beth’s 2004 Chardonnay with Colm McCan, sommelier at Ballymaloe House, who lectures us at the School introducing winemakers from all over the new world and old. We pour a glass for the House’s head chef, Jason Fahey. The robust flavours need a meaty fish, perhaps lobster, turbot or scallops. Jason offers wild salmon pan fried and slightly caramelised, a perfect match for the slight buttery caramel of the wine.  The natural richness and oiliness of the salmon perfectly complement the wine’s rich, creamy flavour. A magical night in Ballymaloe House kitchen observing the chefs at work is a fitting way to enjoy the last of the Himmesfeld.

This wine is not the mass produced bottle that will appear on supermarket shelves across the world. It is grown on Beth’s boutique vineyard with care and is a labour of love. The Viognier planted in 2006 will be worth seeking out. For those of you who can visit without the need for a round the world ticket, I envy you. Anyone who has not had the pleasure of tasting the wines, visiting the vineyard and meeting Beth in person, what are you waiting for?

German winemaker, Carl Ehrhard

Wine Students

We were delighted to have welcomed renowned German winemaker, Carl Ehrhard, to the school recently, where he presented a range of his wines to the students. There is a Riesling renaissance taking place and a renewed interest in wines from Germany, not only their Riesling’s, but also their Pinot Noir’s, so it was great that the students were able to learn first hand all about these fantastic wines.

 

Carl Ehrhard pictured with Joe Karwig, Karwig Wines, Carrigaline, Cork, who very kindly arranged this visit www.karwigwines.ie . Our thanks also to Marcus, from Karwig Wines, and of course to Joe, for a fantastic wine evening presentation at the school.

 

A rich 150-old tradition of producing high-quality Riesling and Spätburgunder wines. Cultivated across 10 hectares of the best vineyard sites in Rüdesheim, our wines boast the typically delicate playfulness, so characteristic of the Rheingau region. Quality optimisation both in the vineyards and in the winery is the fundamental principle of the Carl and Petra Ehrhard family.

 

“Striking a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation”– is the aspiration defining the wines from the Carl Ehrhard winery

 

www.carl-ehrhard.de 

Alberto Antonini, Poggiotondo Estate, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

Alberto Antonini

Tuesday 2nd June 2009.
 
Alberto Antonini, owner/winemaker, Poggiotondo Estate, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. See www.poggiotondowines.com
Alberto is also a wine consultant to other wine estates in Italy (in fact Jamie Olivier’s ‘Fifteen’ restaurant team go to Alberto’s family wine estate to learn about wine. Alberto also makes his own Olive Oil).Before Alberto set up his own wine consultancy, he was winemaker at some of Italy’s most famous winemaking estates, including Frescobaldi and Antorini. He is now also a renowned wine consultant of international standing, involved with winemaking and wine projects throughout the wine world, including Languedoc in the South of France, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, California and Australia. He gave a tutored wine presentation with a tasting of two wines he makes – a Toscana Bianco and a Chianti Superiore.
 
We would like to thank Gerry Gunnigan, Liberty Wines for arranging this visit. www.libertywines.ie

Alberto Antonini

John McDonnell, Wine Australia

We were to delighted to welcome John McDonnell, Wine Australia, back to Ballymaloe Cookery School. John’s great wine presentation every 12-week cookery course is always very much enjoyed and appreciated by the students, as well as the interactive power-point tasting presentation, which was a huge hit. John very kindly presented each of the students with one for themselves. A tutored tasting by John led us through the various styles and regions of Australia, from sparkling rose, the latest white wine trends, comparative shiraz tasting and finishing with a sweet wine. A brilliant morning and our thanks to John.

John McDonnell, Wine Australia
John McDonnell, Wine Australia

The Five Winemakers Weekend at Ballymaloe.

Five Winemakers Food and Wine Workshops and Gala Dinner, 9th and 10th May 2009
The Five Winemakers Weekend at Ballymaloe. Siobhan Harnett, Cloudy Bay, Marlborough; Matt Steel, Domaine Chandon, Yarra Valley; Robert Mann, Cape Mentelle, Margaret River; Gustavo Sanchez, Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza and Nicholas Audebert, Cheval des Andes, Mendoza (a joint venture between Chateau Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux and Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza).

Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School in association with Moet Hennessy Estates and Wines were delighted recently to host the sole Irish stop of the Five Winemakers European Tour 2009.  Over the weekend, the winemakers had wine workshops at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in association with Rory O’Connell (see www.rgoconnell.com), where a particular dish was created by Rory in the cookery demonstration at the school and a wine was matched with the dish, with the winemaker doing a tutored tasting of the wine.

On Saturday evening at Ballymaloe House, the Five Winemakers Gala Dinner was held, again with another of the winemakers wines matched up with a special food and wine matching menu. At each course, the winemakers in turn spoke about their wines as they were served with each course.

The winemakers themselves enjoyed the weekend and hopefully we will have the opportunity to welcome them back in the future. If you would like to add your e-mail to the mailing list for future wine events at Ballymaloe, please e-mail your contact details to colm@ballymaloe.ie
att540f7
Rory O’Connell with Nicholas Audebert, Cheval des Andes, Mendoza; Matt Steel, Domaine Chandon, Yarra Valley;Siobhan Harnett, Cloudy Bay, Marlborough; Gustavo Sanchez, Terrazas de los Andes, Mendoza and Robert Mann, Cape Mentelle, Margaret River.

Lanson Champagne

Lisa Bennett from Lanson Champagne gave a comparative tasting to the
students of a Non-Vintage Champagne and a Vintage 1998 Champagne. The Wine
Report 2009, edited by champagne expert, Tom Stevenson, lists Lanson
Champagne at No. 1 in his Top 10 list of fastest improving champagne houses,
and he also rates the Lanson N.V. as the most consistent in style and
quality of the champagne marques for the past two years. So the students had
a real treat and needless to say the comparative tasting was both
informative and enjoyable! Our thanks to Lisa and also to Michael Henchy, of
Tindal Wine Merchants for arranging this visit and tasting.

mick_henchy_lisa_bennett_may_09

Attached photograph shows Lisa Bennett, Lanson Champagne; Michael Henchy,
Tindal Wines, and Colm.

Meet the winemakers from these Iconic New World wines in person

Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School in association with Moët Hennessy Wines are running a unique wine event  over the weekend of  9th/10th May 2009

Meet the winemakers from these Iconic New World wines in person:

  • Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand  Sioban Harnett
  • Domaine Chandon/Green Point, Yarra Valley, South Australia  Matt Steele
  • Cape Mentelle, Margaret River, Western Australia   Robert Mann
  • Terrazas, Mendoza, Argentina  Gustavo Sanchez
  • Cheval des Andes, Mendoza, Argentina  Nicolas Audebert

(Cheval des Andes is a joint venture with Chateau Cheval Blanc, Bordeaux)

Moët Hennessy 5 Winemakers Gala Dinner – WAITLISTED

The Long Room, Ballymaloe House, Saturday evening, May 9th 8.30pm

Attend this fabulous 6 course Food and Wine dinner hosted by the winemakers from these 5 Iconic New world wineries. Each course will be partnered with a wine that will be presented by one of the winemakers. Each wine and food pairing will be a prefect combination of flavours.

As places are limited for this unique dinner, booking ahead is strongly advised

Food and Wine workshops at the Ballymaloe Cookery School – PLACES STILL AVAILABLE

Saturday afternoon, May 9th, and Sunday morning, May 10th

Attend a series of  seminars covering iconic wine and food pairings.Each session will be presented by Rory O’Connell (see www.rgoconnell.com ) in partnership with the winemaker. Taste the perfect combination of freshly prepared food with these wines. Learn how to prepare these perfect food pairings for yourself. Learn about these modern day Iconic wines, how they were made, followed by tutored tasting by the wine winemaker.

    Saturday May 9th
    2-3 pm    Domaine Chandon/Green Point, Yarra Valley with Matt Steele
    3.15 – 4.15pm  Cape Mentelle, Margaret River with Robert Mann
    4.30 – 5.30 pm   Terrazas, Mendoza with Gustavo Sanchez
    Sunday -May 10th
    11 – 12pm  Cloudy Bay, Marlborough with Sioban Harnett
    12.15 – 1.30 pm  Cheval des Andes, Mendoza with Nicolas Audebert

Booking

Open to all, we look forward to welcoming you at some or all of these unique and once-off food and wine events over the weekend. Dinner, including wines €85. Workshops €25.

For further information and bookings for dinner, workshops or accommodation, please contact:

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork. Tel:  021 4652531 res@ballymaloe.ie