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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines
Giesen Wines announces internship winner 23February 2016 – Blenheim born Andrew Jeffries, 21, is nostranger to working in vineyards, and it’s this experiencethat has helped him to win the inaugural graduate internshipat Giesen Wines.

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Andrew, who attended LincolnUniversity, studying for his Bachelor’s degree inViticulture and Oenology, has just begun work with thefamily owned producer, working at Giesen’s premium organichigh-density vineyards in Marlborough.

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He is alreadywell versed at working in vineyards as his parents own asmall 22ha block in Marlborough, and as a teenager Andrewwas busily employed during the holidays. For the past twoyears, he has been in a technical support role for GiesenWines.

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Back in 1981 I got a giggle out of a movie called “Body Heat,” wherein Kathleen Turner and William Hurt steamed up the screen in a sweltering Florida town that didn’t appear to have any air conditioning.

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In fact, if it was hot during the holidays, then and now, I would turn my AC down to frigid, build a tiny fireplace fire, break out a bottle of port, the quintessential cold-weather tipple, and have a pleasurable sip or three.

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When it was too cold for a picnic, I would plop a checkered tablecloth onto my living room floor, photocopy pictures of ants to scatter, make fried chicken and potato salad, pop a chilled bottle of bubbly and have a cozy indoor picnic.

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Avennia Chris Peterson (left) and Marty Taucher are the owners of Avennia, one of Washington’s most acclaimed young wineries. The winery is in Woodinville.

Indian Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)

"> Avennia Chris Peterson (left) and Marty Taucher are the owners of Avennia, one of Washington’s most acclaimed young wineries. The winery is in Woodinville.

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Since 2010, Avennia has gained a reputation as one of Washington's most exciting young wineries, and owners Marty Taucher and Chris Peterson continue to raise Avennia's quality and reputation.

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) At the fag end of winter, voluminous red wines are a reliable source of comfort – the bigger, the deeper and the wilder the better. Few styles meet that description more snugly than the dramatic reds of Madiran, an appellation in Gascon in southwest France. The principal grape here is tannat, named for the fearsome tannic constructions it produces. Even when those tannins are tamed to a degree, as they are at Château d’Aydie, it is wine as a bearhug rather than a silky caress. If, however, you give those tannins something to grip on to – some fatty red meat, or a rich mushroom-based stew – the experience is no less sensual, as the flavours of black fruit, even a whiff of floral perfume, emerge.

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Ministry of Drinks ) Although its name translates as ‘berry’, I’ve always imagined baga as an exclamation, used by winemakers in the Bairrada region of Portugal frustrated by its tendency to yield red wines of tart and unyielding roughness: ‘Oh baga, not again.’ In recent years, the variety has been the subject of a more refined approach from some of Portugal’s most talented winemakers, and the results have been impressive. Two are available from the London-based independent Bottle Apostle. Both Filipa Pato’s Territorio Vivo and Dirk Niepoort’s Quinta de Baixa Lagar de Baixa (£19.80) have a degree of food-friendly chalky astringency, but like Italian nebbiolo, it’s combined with aromatic grace and fruit purity.

Indian Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)

Slurp ) Another red variety with a wild and untamed reputation is Austria’s blaufränkisch. As with baga and tannat, inattention in the winery and the vineyard can mean it runs away with itself, with high alcohol, spools of wiry tannin and piercing acidity. Over the past couple of decades, however, winemakers have learned to master that wildness and create wines that recall the syrah of the Rhône in their spicy succulence. The undoubted highlight among the blaufrankisch I’ve tasted is the hard-to-find Ernst Triebrauner Rust Ried Marienthal. But many more accessibly priced alternatives are finding their way to the UK, with the plump peppery red fruit of Gernot and Heike Heinrich’s among my favourites.

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