Fourteen members of the Chichester Society enjoyed a tasting tour of the West Dean Fruit garden on 21 September, led by David Wilson who works there as a volunteer with the apples.
David also added the history of some of the varieties; Granny Smith, who was a Sussex woman from Rye, though she raised her apple in Australia after emigrating; the oldest recorded Sussex variety, Golden Pippin from Parham Park, dating from 1629; Red Devil, so sensitive to sunlight that you can stencil your initials on it; Margil, originally grown at the Palace of Versailles; and Howgate Wonder from the Isle of Wight which for many years held the recordof the world’s heaviest apple, over 4lb!
At the end of the tour, the party confessed to being ‘appled out’!
Society member Caroline Hutchings reports on an enjoyable evening.
Some of the best regional wines from Northern Italy, were savoured by members of the Chichester Society at Hennings Wine Tasting in North street on Thursday 28th July.
The evening commenced with Hennings team member Hannah giving an introduction before going on to describe our 9 wine tastings, accompanied by bread, olives/oil, cheese and Parma ham.
First on the list was Nani Rizzi Valdobbiadene Millesimato DOCG 2014, a sparkling wine with fine bubbles from Veneto. The Glera (prosecco) grape has been grown for hundreds of years.
Girlan Aime Gewurztraminer 2015 is a new wine from Alto Adige – a boundary between Austria and Italy and grown high up in the mountains. The grapes are protected from the cold wind by the Alps to the north and benefits from the Mediterranean climate to the south. The dry, sandy, mineral rich soil combines with the high temperature fluctuation between night and day, creating a fantastic aromatic Gewürz with a subtle spice.
Soave Pieropan La Rocca 2014 from Veneto – a rich wine grown just below Verona
The Pieropan family have produced wines in Soave since the 1860’s. 2014 was one of the trickiest vintages seen since 1984 with its mild, wet winter when pests and pathogens flourished.
Torricella Chardonnay 2013 – a pale, straw colour wine from Tuscany. The nose has a concentration of white fruit scents, citrus notes and aromatic herbs. It has a good balance between freshness and minerality. 80% Chardonnay and 20% Sauvignon Blanc.
Mystery Wine – this turned out to be a juicy, sparkling red Lambrusco grape. Most unusual, but personally, not to my taste (or others)!
Dolcetto D’Alba Cascina Morassino 2014 – a Dolcetto grape from Piedmont. ( lovely Dolcetto – translated as ‘little sweet one’). A delicious, full juicy red with a lovely redcurrant flavour.
Fletcher X 13 – another Piedmont wine of power and elegance. Good, unfiltered wine, also suitable for vegans.
Barolo Essenze Terre Da Vino 2011 – grown in the south facing hills of Piedmont and keeps for 10 -15 years. Aroma of rose, berry spice and tilled earth.
Araldica Moscato Passito Palazzina 2013 37.5cl – our last wine of the evening from Piedmont. The grapes are dried for 45 days before fermentation losing 40% of weight during the dehydration. Rich and intense with a honey flavour but balanced with a crisp, fresh acidity. A wonderful dessert wine and a great one to end on!
All the wines were able to be purchased or ordered, with a discount applied on the evening.
In all, a great, informative evening, enjoying fascinating wines and socialising with other group members. Would love to try other regions – perhaps it could be an annual event?
(Photos courtesy of Caroline Hutchings and Bob Wiggins)