Samuel Guibert, Mas de Daumas Gassac, Languedoc

Samuel Guibert, of Mas de Daumas de Gassac, Languedoc, South of France on his first visit to Ballymaloe. Co-hosting for the evening, were well known Munster wine merchants, Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wine, and Mike Kane of Curious Wines. Mike has done a great blog on the evening.
Rachel and the wine bunch

Helping Ballymaloe Sommeliers, Colm amd Samuel, highlight the event, are Darina and Rachel in the wine cellar at Ballymaloe, along with co-hosts for this great event, Gary Gubbins, Red Nose Wine, and Mike Kane, Curious Wines.

Colm, Darina and MikeMike, Rachel and Darina






Mike and Darina

 Samuel Guibert,  Mas de Daumas Gassac, Languedoc, South of France
Friday 21st October 2011

Samuel Guibert  presented the story of this great Estate and a selection of his wines. Described by Gault & Millau as “a Lafite in the Languedoc”, “the only Grand Cru of the Midi” by Hugh Johnson and “Exceptional” by Robert Parker.

Organised in association with, and our thanks to Mike Kane of Curious Wines and Gary Gubbins of Red Nose Wines




Jane Ferrari, Yalumba, The Barossa

Jane Ferrari’s visit to Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School

Guest author of this blog: John Quinlan, Ballymaloe

Yalumba winery
Yalumba winery

On Thursday 29th of September I was delighted to meet with Jane Ferrari, the wine ambassador of Yalumba which is located in The Barossa in South Australia., and have lunch with Jane in the Ballymaloe Cookery School earlier in the afternoon. Over lunch, Jane met with ‘’ Famous Auntie Florence’’ (see Jane’s blog here about Aunty Florence here ) and fellow Ballymaloe Sommelier and wine tutor Colm McCan. We had a really interesting conversation about Yalumba and The Barossa as I heading to The Barossa in 2012 to get work experience in the wine industry.

Jane Ferrari at Ballymaloe Cookery School
Jane and Darina talking to the students

After lunch we went to the Afternoon Demo in which  Darina Allen was teaching, and Darina very kindly took some time out of the busy afternoon cooking schedule, and welcomed and introduced Jane to all the students. Pictured below is Jane and Darina with all the students getting a talk from Jane about the region and history of Yalumba and The Barossa. She spoke about the food, heritage and wines of her region which was really interesting. Our thanks to Kieran Coady and Aonghus Walsh from Cassidy Wine Merchants for arranging the visit of Jane Ferrari to Ballymaloe)

The Grain Store

All set for Jane’s talk in The Grain Store, Ballymaloe

Later that afternoon we attended a wine tasting of a very interesting selection of some of the different wines from Yalumba. (also see Billy Lyons ‘Restaurants and Food in Cork’  great blog and line-up of wines here about this Yalumba event at Ballymaloe with Jane Ferrari).  I picked up some very interesting information on  the wines.

Janes talk in the Grain Store
Jane's talk in The Grain Store

Jane gave a fantastic presentation and tasting – she got a standing ovation at the end (first time ever this has happened at a wine talk in Ballymaloe – well done Jane), and also mentioned her enjoyment and love of all things Sporting, especially Rugby and Horse Racing (two things Ireland excel at – come on Ireland in the Rugby World Cup), and Jane is a fan of local rugby hero, Corkman Ronan O’Gara (Munster and Ireland)

Jane and the Cassidy Team
Jane with Rebecca (The Grain Store), Kieran and Aonghus (Cassidy Wine Merchants)

Jane also spoke about her background – growing up in Alice Springs with her Italian background – she remembers having wine on Sunday as a young person – with a drop or lemonade or water added to it! All part of life in the good old days. She had the room in knots of laughter when she compared Viognier to Paris Hillton – ‘constantly needs lots of attention’ and compared Grenache to George Clooney – ‘turns up well dressed and well mannered all the time!’

John Quinlan

John Quinlan, Ballymaloe

John Quinlan, author of this blog on Jane Ferrari’s visit to Ballymaloe,  pictured here at another recent very interesting event at Ballymaloe Cookery School (in the middle of the glasshouse at the Ballymaloe Cookery School – ‘Outstanding in the Field’ – a concept where 100 people have dinner at one long table ‘outstanding in the field’ – as close as possible to the source of the ingredients for the dinner-  see Ballymaloe’s Colm McCan wine blog on this event here  the blog of The Irish Country Houses and Restaurants Association ‘The Blue Book’.

Colm, JR, Samuel and Jo
Colm, JR, Samuel and Jo

Jane also hosted a great wine dinner that evening in Ballymaloe – pictured are JR Ryall, Pastry Chef, Ballymaloe House, with Jo, Chef, and Colm, Samuel, and John (taking the photo!) at Ballymaloe working (hard at work – someone had to do it!) on matching the Yalumba Botrytis Viognier to a desset by JR – we matched it with Raspberry Almond Tartlet, Creme Brulee and Autumn Raspberry Ice-cream – delicious!

Dave & Diana Palmer, Skillogalee, Clare Valley

Skillogalee is a boutique winery, owned and run by the Palmer Family, set amongst wooded hills in one of the most picturesque parts of the Clare Valley, in South Australia. We welcomed Dave and Diana Palmer, Skillogalee to Ballymaloe for a winemaker dinner on Friday 16th September.

Skillogalee has won great acclaim – “Our favourite South Australian winery” Lonely Planet; ‘Australian Top 100’ – Matthew Jukes; and ‘5 star wines; delicious, complex, and multi-dimensional’ – Decanter, September 2011 (The Skillogalee Clare Valley Riesling 2010 came top in a Decanter tasting of Australian and New Zealand Riesling’s – and also was the highest scored wine in the entire September 2011 issue of Decanter magazine)

Dave Palmer
Dave at Ballymaloe House

Over a matching dinner, we served the following wines, starting with the Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling (also see Billy Lyons ‘Restaurants and Food in Cork’ wonderful blog here on Dave and Di’s visit to Ballymaloe)

Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling

Skillogalee Riesling 2010
Skillogalee Gewürztraminer 2011
Skillogalee Trevarrick Riesling 2008
Skillogalee Cabernet Malbec Rosé 2010
Skillogalee The Cabernets 2006
Skillogalee Shiraz 2007
Skillogalee Liquer Muscat

Dave and Di also finished the evening with a little quiz – with some great bottles of Skillogalee for the winners – rounding off a superb evening. We very much look forward to their return to Cork.

at Skillogalee
Colm with Dave Palmer out in the vineyards at Skillogalee in The Clare Valley, South Australia
Diana and Dave Palmer
Diana & Dave Palmer, with Colm, at Skillogalee

Dave Palmer also co-hosted a Wine Australia Sommelier Masterclass in Dublin before his journey down south to Ballymaloe, with John McDonnell, Wine Australia Ireland (and regular guest wine lecturer at Ballymaloe Cookery School), and John Wilson, well known wine writer, all pictured below during the Riesling Masterclass

Riesling Australia

 Wine Australia Ireland Sommelier Course

Sherry Talk and Tasting with César Saldaña, Consejo Regulador, Sherry at the Grainstore at Ballymaloe House.

Wine Event at Ballymaloe

Sherry Talk and Tasting with César Saldaña, Consejo Regulador, Sherry


For a world class presentation & tasting of different styles of Sherry, on his first ever visit to this part of Ireland, in association with Wines of Spain.


The Grain Store at Ballymaloe,  Wednesday 25th May, 7pm,  €10


César Saldaña is a passionate and expert speaker on Sherry – its wines, food, culture and history. He is the Director of Sherry – the Consejo Regulador, and is without doubt the worlds best speaker on Sherry – a world renowned Sherry ‘Ambassador’, on what is becoming a very fashionable drink once again – Sherry. A great opportunity to learn more about the unique special wine that is Sherry, and taste its many different styles, including Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez.  An evening not to be missed. All welcome.

The Grain Store at Ballymaloe,

Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork,

Mob: 083 3631468.    Tel: 021 4652531






Thursday 26th May, 8.00pm – Sherry Dinner at Ballymaloe House

Sherry Dinner with César Saldaña in association with The Irish Times Readers Evening, and John Wilson, wine writer, The Irish Times, and also in association with Wines of Spain. A specially selected menu will be matched to specially selected Sherry at each course. Please note that booking for this Sherry Dinner, on Thursday 26th May, at Ballymaloe House, will have to be made directly through The Irish Times Readers Evening office.

Penfold’s Winemaker visits Dublin, Cork & Ballymaloe

Wine Dinner  Thursday 24th February

Tom Portet, Winemaker with legendary Australian winery, Penfold’s, will visit Ireland in February to host wine dinners at two of Ireland’s leading food-lovers’ venues.

Tom comes from 10 generations of winemakers and so wine is truly in his blood. Growing up in Victoria, Tom honed his craft alongside his father Dominique, a winemaker from France. His first vintage outside of Australia was spent in Bordeaux. Tom later perfected his winemaking skills in Champagne & California’s Napa Valley. With one foot rooted firmly in tradition and the other trailblazing ahead to the future, Tom embodies the best in New and Old World winemaking philosophies.

Tom travels south down to us in Ballymaloe, Shanagarry, Co. Cork on to host a dinner in Ballymaloe House. The previous day, on Wednesday 23rd February, Tom will be in Dublin, for the first of these dinners takes place in The Restaurant @ Donnybrook Fair Chefs at both venues will create special menus to complement these iconic wines.

Famous for its award-winning wines, Penfolds wines have won numerous national and international awards.  Join with winemaker, Tom Portet, as he leads us through a range of Penfolds wines, in association with Edward Dillon Wine Merchants, with a matching dinner menu to his wines.

Thursday 24th February 2011. 8.00pm reception, followed by dinner with specially chosen Penfolds wines €75

Book directly with Ballymaloe House

Tel: + 353 21 4652531

Upcoming wine events at Ballymaloe House, October/November 2010

Australian Winemaker Dinner at Ballymaloe House, Thursday 28th October 2010.

5.00pm Presentation and wine tasting by David Hohnen, in The Grain Store at Ballymaloe. €15

7.30pm Reception followed by dinner with wines from McHenry Hohnen, which David will talk about during dinner. €70

David Hohnen, one of the best known winemakers in Australia and New Zealand, and the man who founded Cape Mentelle, and also founded one of the wine world’s most iconic names, and arguably responsible for single-handedly introducing the world to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Cloudy Bay, is coming to Ballymaloe, in association with Anthony Tindal, Tindal Wines, to introduce us to his latest wines, McHenry Hohnen, from Margaret River, Western Australia.

His latest venture, along with his daughter, Freya, and David’s brother-in-law, Murray McHenry, is called McHenry Hohnen wines. A not to be missed opportunity to have a wine tasting with one of the iconic figures of the wine world. David Hohnen has been recipient of the inaugural Len Evans Award for leadership in the Australian wine industry, and twice winner of the famed Jimmy Watson Wine Trophy. David Hohnen lives in Margaret River, Western Australia, surrounded by vines, woodland, horses, sheep and pigs!

South African Winemaker Dinner at Ballymaloe House, Tuesday 16th November, 2010,

8.00pm reception, followed by dinner with wines from Durbanville Hills, South Africa, which Martin will talk about during dinner.  €70

Martin Moore, Winemaker, Durbanville Hills Wines, South Africa, in association with Edward Dillon & Co. Wine Merchants. Famous for its award-winning wines and its spectacular views, Durbanville Hills Winery stands proud in the Durbanville wine area a mere 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre.

From its vantage point high up on the vineyard it overlooks Table Bay and Robben Island with Table Mountain providing a majestic backdrop. Situated in one of the Cape’s coolest wine-producing regions, in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyards providing grapes to the cellar all add their own distinctive characteristics, contributing to the complexity of taste, texture and weight of every wine in the Durbanville Hills range. The wines have won numerous national and international awards.

Also some dates regarding upcoming wine courses at Ballymaloe – Gift Vouchers also available.

Wine for the Festive Season with John McDonnell and Colm McCan, Half Day Course, including lunch, Saturday 4th December 2010.

Ballymaloe Wine Weekends ‘Introduction to Wine Appreciation’ Weekend Course with Mary Dowey, 18th – 20th February 2011, and also 1st – 3rd April 2011.

(More information on these wine courses on the website, and also further information will be in the November mailshot.)

Ballymaloe rolls out Electronic Wine List!

Electronic Wine List at Ballymaloe!!

Using an Apple iPAD, Ballymaloe House now has a wine list in electronic format.

Our red and white wines of the month, from bio-dynamic Domaine de l’Hortus, Pic-St-Loup, Languedoc, are featured, alongside a short video of Yves Orliac, in the conservatory at Ballymaloe House talking about the domaine, terroir, winemaking and the wines.

Yves visited Ballymaloe on Wednesday, and we made a short video specially for the iPAD ‘Wine List’.

Yves Orliac was delighted to be the first listing on our interactive video and information page on the electronic wine list. The guests are really enjoying it, and the wine!

Jancis Robinson MW also ‘tweeted’ about it on Twitter, and wrote a subsequent article on her website.