Westward Ho! Three Wine Men Manchester
2019 was such a great year and we had been blown away by the support and enthusiasm shown to us locally in Tyneside, but on Saturday 7th December at 8am Nick, Liam and I and a car full of Laneberg bottles were somewhat nervously venturing further afield.
We waved goodbye to the boys (Max 5 and Reuben 2) at 8am, full of smiles and excited to be spending the weekend with Grandma and Granda. They had been planning and plotting what they thought they’d do all week.
Nick and I are extremely lucky that we have family around the corner to call upon at times like that, we never take it for granted and are forever grateful. But, hey, that’s why we moved back here!
Two and half hours and one brief Greggs pitstop later and we arrived at the Manchester Central Convention Complex to join Three Wine Men. Almost immediately my nerves began to set in! We had a couple of hours to get set up and to be honest, my heart didn’t stop thumping until about an hour into the first session.
For those of you who don’t know who/what Three Wine Men is, the men in question are Oz Clarke, Olly Smith (Saturday Kitchen anyone?) and Tim Atkin and they run a roving wine fair. For the Manchester event Tim was substituted for the wonderfully gregarious Tom Surgey (of Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex) and the fabulous Suzy Atkin (also seen on Saturday Kitchen) completed the team, wordplay trumping accuracy in this case!
This was the source of my apprehension – so we’ve got great wine, the people of the North East love it, we’ve won awards (but sent away for tasting) – but these people are legends in wine, what if they don’t like it? What if they think we’re preposterous?
The set-up of the fair is fantastic; popping up around the UK, promoting some of the best wines available in the market. Ticket holders have access to around 30 tables of producers and merchants offering tastings and chat. There were three sessions over two days, and it’s a great chance to show and sell your wares to the wine lovers of that region. As you can imagine, by the end of each session it does become a bit debauched and it’s great for sales!
Once I’d got over my nerves, I was so excited to speak to Oz Clarke first, as a huge advocate for English wine and promoting good wine all over the country, he was 100% behind what we’re doing. He really enjoyed the Bacchus (who doesn’t??) and it turns out he’s a big fan of Tyneside and the rest of the North East. He loves the Mordue beers – so we’ll have to send him some!
We were so grateful to him for sending so many of the English wine doubters over to our stand to have a taste and hopefully change their minds!
The Winery by Laneberg Wine Bacchus 2018
“I am thrilled to discover this Gateshead winery. Gateshead? Yes!!!
Urban wineries which buy grapes where ever they want but make the wine in cities are becoming big in Britain. Scented, lemon-streaked Bacchus from Leicestershire, made in Gateshead? England at its best!”
Oz Clarke, Three Wine Men
Tom Surgey was so enthusiastic about the Pinot G, (and about life in general!) – and he’s written us a great tasting note.
The Winery by Laneberg Wine Pinot G 2018
“Pinot Geordie. That’s it I think... and I just can’t stop drinking this. I love it.
Bright green apple, pear and lemon fruit with a poise and perfume that elevates it to a whole new level.
It has properly dazzling acidity in brilliant full-beam balance. Genuinely fantastic and a lot of fun.”
Tom Surgey, Three Wine Men
I really do love this wine too Tom!
When I met Olly Smith he was just the nicest guy, we had a great chat, he’s as friendly and enthusiastic in real life as he is on TV. He tried This Mortal Angel and loved it, in fact coming back to taste it again with a friend and at which point he told me he loved me for what we were doing and gave me a big smacker on the cheek! Haha!
We also discovered a new wine app called Pingza, it totally goes with our philosophy of taking the pretension out of wine tasting. It classifies wines by how they taste.
You take a palate test and it helps direct you to wines you might like, taking some of the guess work out. The guys from their stand used the Bacchus as an example of fresh and juicy for the tasters. I whole heartedly recommend you download and use it to guide your choices.
All in all it was big highlight of December – a month full of highlights for The Winery!
I arrived there apprehensive and left with new friends.