The Resurgence of Sherry

Our Restaurant and Wine Director, Alan Holmes, was lucky enough to take a trip to Jerez de la Frontera for an opportunity to see Sherry production first hand. He tells us all about the revitalised industry, the infamous cellars, what makes ‘En Rama’ is so special and finally Sherry that tastes like Christmas pudding!

When I was first invited to Jerez de la Frontera for an opportunity to see Sherry production firsthand, I thought it would be interesting from an educational point of view, after all a sip of sherry at Christmas was my first opportunity to taste wines at a young age!

 The Resurgence of SherryNow a modern thinking industry
However, what I didn’t realise was the shock and enlightenment of a revitalised, energised and very modern thinking industry the Sherry industry has become. We were hosted by Gonzalez Byass, famed for their dry Fino sherry, Tio Pepe, which in itself is a legend in this area, a reportedly 700,000 bottles are drunk in the Feria (festival week) in Jerez alone and 1.5 million in Sevilles Feria week (This accounts for 36% of the total Spanish annual sales!)

A welcome dinner and the spectacular Feria
Our first evening dinner started with an ice cold glass of Tio Pepe and a selection of charcuterie and seafood, which was a welcome refresher after our flight. The first thing that struck our group was how cleansing, refreshing and a perfect match with the array of salted and savoury dishes the wine was. Our expert host Jeremy, stated that unfortunately we often keep Fino sherry too long and serve it too warm; the best way to drink it is young and well chilled, that way it slips down a treat! Dish after dish followed, each one matching beautifully with the cold, fresh Fino sherry.

After dinner, we were taken to the main park in Jerez where the festival of the horses is staged for the week long Feria. An amazing onslaught of the senses ensued with lights, colourful costumes, sights, sounds and aromas from all sides, the Spanish certainly know how to throw a party! We were taken to the central stage, a private entertaining area for the International guests of Gonzalez Byass who come from all corners of the globe for this particular week. Here, we met representatives from China, USA and South America, all big markets for Sherry.

 The Resurgence of SherryA tour of the infamous cellars
The following morning, feeling surprisingly fresh… we departed for the cellars, however Gonzalez Byass is more like a village within a city. It has its own streets, its own train service, its own ageing cellar built by a certain Monsieur Eiffel and its own cathedral (all be it a massive wine ageing cathedral). It was here that we were introduced to Antonio Flores, a man with Sherry for blood who was not only born in the cellar, but reportedly conceived there too!

The secrets behind the Palomino grape
He is Mr Gonzalez Byass, with an inside knowledge and experience above most. He explained the special relationship between the Palomino grape, the highly absorbent chalky Albariza soil of Jerez and the cooling, moist Atlantic breeze that makes quality grape growing possible. Cool damp winds blow in off the Atlantic depositing heavy rains in a short period of time in the winter, more so than London in some years. This is soaked up by the porous chalky white soils known as Albariza.

The Palomino grape variety grows well on these soils and is able to get to this moisture  The Resurgence of Sherrythroughout even the hottest summers, giving fresh, high acid fruit perfect for dry sherry production. This is then pressed and fermented, before being fortified to 15.5% and placed into barrels (but only to 4/5 full) to age in what is known as a solera system. It is while in these barrels a yeast, known as flor, grows on top of the wine gradually eating up any remaining sugar and preventing oxidation of the wine, making it completely bone dry.

Blending for the final product occurs by the removal of 1/3 from the lower level, which is refilled from 1/3 younger wine/ which is refilled from 1/3 even younger wine until over time you end up with a consistent high quality wine. This is clarified and filtered to remove any sediment before bottling.

En Rama is taking Sherry drinkers by storm
Occasionally certain barrels will produce an exceptional expression of high quality wine, these barrels are then separated and used for a very recent and innovative style of Fino sherry that is taking sherry drinkers by storm. Known as En Rama or in its raw state, it is bottled unfiltered and unrefined, and best drunk within months of release, showing all the delicacy, intensity and varying nuances that come with tasting the wine straight from the barrel! To prove his point he poured us some wine straight from one of the barrels using a traditional Venenciador, the wine was delicious with a fresh baked bready aroma and zingy fresh palate. Next on our tour were the cellars. Cool and humid areas that are important to allow the flor to grow well while the sherry ages.

 The Resurgence of SherryFor a company like Gonzalez Byass that has been at the heart of sherry production for so many years there is a wealth of history from the Royal cellars where each King or Queen of Spain is dedicated a barrel of sherry, to the many famous people who have visited and signed a barrel. Other famous dignitaries like Sir Winston Churchill and every recent Pope have also been presented with their own barrel.

 The Resurgence of SherryChristmas pudding Sherry…yum
At the end of the tour we were given a complete masterclass on the production, styles and variety of different aged sherries available. Fino being the driest, Oloroso being a dry sherry that has not been allowed to grow any flor, Palo Cortado which is a longer aged Fino or Oloroso with wonderful nutty aromas, and then a selection of 30 year old sherries that used some Pedro Ximenez grapes and tasted like liquid Christmas pudding! This visit and masterclass certainly opened up my eyes to the variety of Sherry and versatility as a food and wine match for many difficult dishes, so look out for some appearing by the glass at The Vineyard soon, then you too can be a part of the Sherry revival.

 Cheers!

Alan Holmes
Restaurant and Wine Director

 

Daniel’s Deconstructed Poached Rhubarb and Pistachio Crumble

s new book Daniels Deconstructed Poached Rhubarb and Pistachio Crumble

I’m very excited to tell you that my new book, Revolutionary French Cooking, launched on Thursday 1st May. This is just one of my recipes that’s great to try now. I hope you enjoy!

This is a very different type of crumble from the one your grandmother used to make, as the rhubarb is gently poached in a lemon-grass-infused syrup and then elegantly layered in a glass with a lemon and lime cream and topped with a crispy pistachio crumble. It makes a deliciously elegant and modern twist on an old favourite.

Serves 4

Preparation time – 20 minutes, plus at least 3 hours chilling

Cooking time – 50 minutes

400g/140z rhubarb, peeled, peelings reserved, cut in 2.5cm/1 in long pieces
100g/3 ½ /scant ½ cup caster sugar
1 lemongrass stalk, split and bruised

For the lemon and lime cream
185ml/6floz/¾ cup double cream
2 tbsp. caster sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
Finely grated zest of ½ lime

For the pistachio crumble
100g/ 3 ½ oz/heaped ¾ cup icing sugar
100g/ 3 ½ oz/heaped ¾ cup plain flour
A pinch of salt
75g/ 2 ½oz /¾cup ground almonds
40g/1 ½ oz/scant ⅓ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
100g/3 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened

 1 To make the lemon and lime cream, put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Put the lemon juice and both zests in a small jug and as soon as the cream comes to the boil, pour it into the jug and mix quickly to combine. Pour the hot cream mixture into four sundae glasses, leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least three hours.

 2 Put the rhubarb, rhubarb peelings, sugar and lemongrass in a sauté pan and just cover with water. Heat over a low heat until simmering, then cook for 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb is just tender but keeps its shape. Strain through a fine sieve into the cleaned pan, then return the syrup to the heat and cook until it has reduced by half and is thick and syrupy. Meanwhile, discard the rhubarb peelings and the lemongrass and put the rhubarb in a shallow non-metallic dish. Pour the reduced syrup over the top of the rhubarb and leave to cool while you make the crumble.

3 Preheat the oven to 160 °C/315 °F/gas 2 ½. Put all the crumble ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub gently with your fingertips to make a coarse crumb mixture. Tip into a baking tray in an even layer and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Turn the crumble mixture, bringing the edges into the centre and spreading it out into an even layer again every 6-8 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely until crunchy.

4 Take the cream-filled glasses out of the fridge and top with the rhubarb. Drizzle with the syrup and finish with the crumble, gently sprinkling it over the top. Serve immediately while the crumble is still crunchy.

 Happy Cooking!

To view this recipe and other from my new book, Revolutionary French Cooking, buy your own copy from Amazon

Daniel Galmiche

 

May Events in Berkshire

Highclere Castle by day May Events in Berkshire

Thursday 1st May – Mark Thomas: 100 acts of Minor Dissent at The Corn Exchange

The performance starts at 7.45pm
Mark Thomas, comedy’s trouble-maker-in-chief, returns to what he does best: joyously bad behaviour with a purpose. Mark Thomas is well versed in the art of creative mayhem and over the years his troublemaking has changed laws, cost companies millions and annoyed those who most deserved to be.

Now with the task of committing 100 Acts of Minor Dissent in the space of a year, Mark catalogues everything from the smallest and silliest gesture to the grandest confrontations and the results are hilarious, mainly legal and occasionally inspiring.

Tickets £15, £13 concessions

For further details see www.cornexchangenew.com


Monday 5th May – Crafty Craft Race at Kennet and Avon Canal

8:30am to 4:30pm
Crafty Craft has been running since 1974 and is a fantastic fun event on the first May Bank Holiday. It is a boat race from Kintbury to Newbury in home-made boats. As well as building and rowing the boats, the teams must lift the boats out of the water and carry them around each lock. The race takes place along a 5 mile stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal from Kintbury to Newbury starting from Kintbury Lock. The finishing line is in Newbury alongside Victoria Park.

Throughout the day Victoria Park is the focal point for the fun, with amusements, rides, food outlets and a wide range of attractions to suit all ages.

For further details see www.craftycraft.com


Wednesday 7th May – Wine School at The Vineyard – Can California Stay on Top?

6.30pm to 8pm

1976 saw the Judgement of Paris blind tasting stun the world by showing just how Californian wines could compare and beat the French. Join us as we compare great examples of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from around the globe in an attempt to see who will come out on top!

£30 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Saturday 10th May – Newbury Spring Festival

A fortnight of excellent music in Newbury and the surrounding villages. Where International Symphony Orchestras, and jazz legends and world music artists rub shoulders with the stars of tomorrow.

Discover more – www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk


Monday 12th  May – Ladies’ Lunch at The Vineyard – The Judgement of Paris

12pm – 3pm
Re-inact the Judgement of Paris blind tasting in 1976 where Californian wines beat the French hands down. Enjoy a three course lunch with matching blind wines; one Californian and one French, and decide which country gets your vote.
£60 per person
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Wednesday 14th – Saturday 17th May – Box theatre – The Canterbury Tales at Watermill Theatre

Wednesday to Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 6.30pm
Bawdy, anarchic and lots of fun, this modern version of Chaucer’s medieval classic takes the form of a storytelling competition. Set in the present, with each tale as a stand-alone piece, linked by a Master of Ceremonies, the approach is deliberately un-academic and the aim, to entertain, with all the spirit of the original’s sense of chivalry and satire.

There are nine of Chaucer’s favourite tales told here, including those of The Knight, The Wife of Bath and The Miller. And, as a finale, the audience is invited to vote on whose tale wins the competition.

So, The Box ask you to join them for an evening of high (and low) drama and help decide the winner.

Tickets £10 and £7
For further details seewww.watermill.org.uk


17th May – JLT Lockinge Stakes Day and Newbury Racecourse

11am to 5pm
The highlight of the Flat season features the Group 1 JLT Lockinge Stakes and the London Gold Cup. Expect the very best Flat racing and some wonderful live entertainment and attractions off-the-track.

Tickets: £20 to £30 for enclosure tickets
For more information or to book tickets please click here or call on 01635 40015


Sunday 18th May – Butterfly and bug walk at Greenham and Crookham common

2pm to 4pm
A wander around Bowdown Woods looking at the spring butterflies and hoverflies. Get to know some of the other insects that abound here at this time of year. Booking is essential.’ A Guide to Finding Butterflies & Day-flying Moths in Berks, Bucks and Oxon’ by Peter Creed and Rachel Hudson will be on sale.

Meet at: Bowdown Woods ‘Bomb Site’ car park, off Bury’s Bank Road, Newbury, Berks.
Tickets – £6
For further details see www.bbowt.org.uk


Secrets beneath the Grass at Shaw House

Open weekends until Sunday November 2014
This exhibition marks an exciting point in the history of the garden at Shaw House.  Areas of the garden are being reunited after many years as part of school grounds and can now be explored by us all for the first time. With 433 years of history there are tales aplenty of glamour, beauty, innovation, ingenuity, hard work, daring and bravery.
Open every weekend until 28th September and then school half terms and Summer holidays.
For further details see www.shawhouse.org.uk


Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th May – New World vs Old World Dinner at The Vineyard

To celebrate the Judgement of Paris blind tasting in 1976 where Californian wines beat French wines, join us for a five course dinner in our restaurant with two blind matched wines per course; one French, one Californian and decide which country gets your vote. We’ve chosen some fantastic wines from each country for your enjoyment so no doubt it’s going to be a tough decision!

£120 per person

Please call us on 01635 589407 to book and discover more online


Sunday 25th May – Bayer 10K Run

Entries are now open here for the 2014 Bayer Newbury 10k race. This will be the 7th year of this chip-timed race and will include two pre-event runs for under 16’s through the town centre. The adults 10k course starts and finishes in the historic Newbury market place, a gentle climb for the first 3km is followed by a short descent and the rest of the course is flat. Approx 7km is on the road and the remainder on footpaths and the tow path.
Fees for the Bayer Newbury 10K race are £12 for members of affiliated athletic/running clubs and £14 for non-members.

For further details see www.bayer.co.uk


Sunday 25th to Monday 26th May – Game and Country Fair at Highclere Castle

8am to 6pm
Set in the glorious grounds of Highclere Castle, the fair draws visitors from across the southern counties and much further afield. The Highclere Game and Country Fair is home to some of the world’s most prestigious field sports competitions and attracts competitors from across the globe. If you’re new to country sports, you will find expert tuition and advice on how to get involved in some of the most enjoyable and rewarding pastimes. With over 200 retailers to choose from, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

Tickets – adults – £13 and children under 15 go free
For further details, please visit - www.countrymanfairs.co.uk

Mid Week Spa Treat

Hot stone massage 1000 x 667 Mid Week Spa Treat
How was the first quarter of 2014 for you? Stressful? After a hectic start to the year, it’s only as spring begins to bloom that you may begin to notice your own batteries going a little flat. Why not reinvigorate your mind and soul with a mid week spa day or break at The Vineyard?

Ideal for a mid-week treat with your loved one, The Vineyard Spa provides a space to escape the stresses of everyday life, refresh your body and find time to relax. It has also been highly regarded by reviewers, receiving ‘5 Bubbles’ from the Good Spa Guide. Spend the day swimming in The Vineyard’s circular pool, relaxing in the Jacuzzi, or let your pores breathe easy in the sauna. There’s also a fully-equipped gym for those looking for a full cardiovascular workout.

There is a variety of relaxation and beauty treatments on offer, several of which are unique to The Vineyard Spa. The team of highly trained therapists will ensure your spa experience is soothing and satisfying throughout.

Why not treat yourself to a Hot Stone Ritual? A massage, which employs essential oils and hot stones to relieve your aching muscles and joints, and restore a sense of harmony to your body. There’s also the Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap, which combines a body exfoliation, red grape body mask and gentle head massage to relieve tension and leave your skin beautifully soft and smooth to the touch.

Discover more about mid week spa breaks online or call us on 01635 528770.

Roast Lamb with Mediterranean Vegetables & Sauce Vierge

meat lamb FrenchBrasserie DuncanBaird YukiSugiura Roast Lamb with Mediterranean Vegetables & Sauce Vierge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dish from my cookbook, French Brasserie Cookbook:

It’s funny the things that get us excited. For me it is the seasons – not just the colours and the smellsm but knowing the soon certain produce is going to be available that hasn’t been around for a while. When spring arrives, it is wold garlic first, then peas and, at last, the new season’s spring lamb; milk-fed and unbelievably tender. Simply pan-roasted and served with courgettes, tomatoes and sauce vierge, this dish brings out all the freshness and colour of the Mediterranean. Enjoy it with a light rosé wine, close your eyes and there you are – in Provence.

Ingredients:

2 lamb tenderloins, fully trimmed
4 rosemary sprigs
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe quantity Sauce Vierge (see below)

Mediterranean Vegetables
4-6 tbsp olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1 eggplant, cut into 1/4″ thick slices

Sauce Vierge
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and diced
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat the oven to 425°F.

Step 2: Season the lamb with salt and pepper, pierce each tenderloin on both sides with a sharp knife and insert a rosemary sprig into each opening.

Step 3: Heat a skillet with an ovenproof handle over medium heat and add the oil and garlic. Add the lamb and cook about 5 minutes, turning continuously, until sealed and golden brown all over. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, set aside and keep the lamb warm.

Step 4: Meanwhile, cook the vegetables. Heat another skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the vegetables in batches so they are in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and fry 3-4 minutes on each side until just tender and golden.

Step 5: Starting with the tomatoes, arrange 3 slices of tomato and 2 slices of zucchini and eggplant, alternately and just overlapping, in the middle of each of four plates.

Step 6: Carve the lamb into thick slices on the diagonal and arrange on top of the vegetables. Spoon the Sauce Vierge (see below) over the lamb and around the plates and serve.

Sauce Vierge

Step 1: Put the oil in a small saucepan and briefly warm it over low heat about 30 seconds. Add the shallot and cook 2 minutes.

Step 2: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato, lime juice and balsamic vinegar. Just before serving, add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy warm drizzled over roast lamb.

Happy Cooking!

Daniel Galmiche

 

Chocolate and Wine – A Delicate Pairing

WineChoc email Chocolate and Wine   A Delicate PairingWe thought you might like to discover more about some of the wines that were tasted at our wine and chocolate hedonism masterclass on Wednesday evening. Wine and chocolate can be a tricky pairing so it’s worth remembering to avoid Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and other high acid or drying whites. And for red wines, again avoid acidic grapes or cooler regions like Pinot Noir and Gamay or drying reds with bitter or dry tannins, like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

Why not join our Chocolate and Wine Matching Dinner on Friday 25th April and discover even more about this delicate pairing?

Schramsberg Blanc de Noir, Calistoga, California 2008

Schramsberg’s best selling wine is almost 100% Pinot Noir and consistently out classes Champagne in blind tastings around the world. Full bodied with rich toasty brioche notes and firm acidity. Our favourite fizz at the moment who’s quality has been consistent since its first vintage in 1965. It has lively aromas of apricot and persimmon, which gracefully lead to nuances of honey and lemon. The fruitful nose is complemented by vanilla spice and candied almond. The palate offers crisp and tart flavors of orange and lime rind, supported by a touch of roasted coffee. The finish is long and lingering

£25.26 per bottle – buy online


Juan Gil Monastrell 4, Jumilla, Spain 2012

A hugely intense nose with fresh juicy blackberry and plum fruit, delicate vanilla spice and cedar. The palate mirrors the nose with layers of lush spicy plum and cherry fruit, more sweet spice, minerality and gentle tannins to the finish.

£8.05 per bottle – buy online


Ferrari-Carano Black Muscat Eldorado Noir, Sonoma, California 2010

Luscious, mouth watering black Muscat with just enough acidity to keep each mouthful crisp and refreshing. Black Muscat is a very popular style in California and we are delighted to represent this one.

£22 per half bottle  – buy online


Holden Manz Good sPort, Franschoek, South Africa 2009

Smooth, soft entry with rich vanilla, coconut and raisin fruit exudes on the palate. This wine is rich and warm and has a long finish. With time, the balance between spirit and wine will harmonise creating a wonderfully complex offering.

£27.50 per bottle – buy online

 

What’s on in April in Berkshire

Chocolate 580 x 288 Whats on in April in Berkshire

Wednesday 2nd April – Wine School at The Vineyard – Chocolate and Wine Hedonism – 6.30pm to 8pm
With chocolate being one of the hardest foods to match with wine, we’ll be looking and tasting a range of wines that pair up exceedingly well, including Port, fortified dessert wines and rich red wines. Chocolate and wine will never be a difficult pairing again! £30 per person
Discover more about our wine schools
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


Friday 4th to Monday 21st April – Easter on the farm at Bucklebury Park Farm
Come and feed the lambs and go on an Easter egg hunt! Enjoy a delicious meal from Woody’s the new cafe and tea rooms. Set in a stunning 74-acre site they have a host of attractions including: deer park, farm animals, indoor play, pedal go-cart track, tractor rides (included in your admission price), refreshments, adventure playground, a wild walk, Be a farmer club and den building.

Bucklebury Farm Park offers a magical experience and a great value day out whatever the weather, that will appeal to the whole family, school groups, senior citizens’ clubs, or just a couple of friends. Opening times 10am to 6pm (last admission 5:00pm)

A family ticket is priced at £30, adults – £8.95 and children – £7.95.
For further details see www.buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk


Friday 4th April Southern Sinfonia Café concert at The Corn Exchange
1pm onwards
A hot new quartet, The Consone Quartet, winners of the coveted Century Fund Prize, bring the classical sound world through period instruments. Programme to include Purcell, Haydn and Schubert. Tickets from £7.

Discover more at www.southernsinfonia.co.uk


Monday 7th April – Ladies’ Lunch – The Healthier Way to Enjoy Chocolate
12pm – 3pm
Join Anneliese Setchell, nutritionist and owner of www.tonichealthboutique.com, who will give you a fascinating insight into the many health benefits of chocolate as well as delicious examples of how to incorporate it into your diet. Did you know that chocolate has more antioxidants than most other plant foods? It can help with weight management and anti-ageing as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

Three course lunch with matching wines – £60 per person
Discover more about our ladies’ lunches
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book


Saturday 5th to Tuesday 22nd April – Easter Trail at Beale Park
10am to 4pm
Take part in an Easter Trail & Dig for an Eggstra Special Chocolate Treat! There will be an eggstra special Easter trail at the Park in the Easter half term. All you have to do it complete the trail, hand it into the Park’s restaurant and you will get the chance to dig for a chocolate egg! 50p admission
Discover more at www.bealepark.co.uk


Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April – Dubai Duty Free Weekend – The Racecourse Newbury 
The Flat season gets into full swing with a weekend of quality racing starting on 11th April. Be here to welcome its return in style with a table in The Hennessy restaurant and toast the start of a fantastic summer of racing ahead. The 12th April racing day is crowned by the Group 3 Aon Greenham Stakes, as well as a host of entertainment for all the family. The day is also devoted to new racegoers through ‘Inside Track’, an array of features and demonstrations aiming to introduce racing to curious, inexperienced racegoers.
Tickets from £14.40 per day – buy online


Friday 11th to 13th April – All about Gardening Show at Newbury Showground
9.30am to 5pm
The All about Gardening show, organised by Aztec Events will also be treating visitors to its pawsitively spectacular All About Dogs Show. So whether you’re a serious green-fingered enthusiast or just looking for a ‘grrrreat’ way to entertain the entire family, the Newbury showground will have it all.

Popular TV presenter and prolific author Pippa Greenwood will be giving grow-your-own advice on Saturday April 12th and on Sunday April 13th. Celebrity Ground Force gardener Charlie Dimmock will be offering a huge crop of advice on choosing and installing water features.

Aztec events have a 2 for 1 offer on at the moment until 8th April 2014. Simply visit www.aztecevents.co.uk tickets and quote the promotional code NEW14, which will gain you entry to both shows. But don’t delay! Availability is limited. Parking is free and dogs are allowed on leads.
Discover more –  www.visitnewbury.org.uk


Saturday 12th April – History Walk at Greenham and Crookham common
10am to 12.30pm
A gentle walk led by local enthusiast Lloyd Garvey. Walk through time as you discover the vast history of Greenham Common and the surrounding area. Discover how our history has shaped the landscape; from Roman remains and Civil War battles, all the way to World War 2 and the Cold War. Finally, learn about the restoration of the common and why it looks the way it does today.

Dogs on leads welcome. Meet at Greenham Common Control Tower car park, off Bury’s Bank Road, Greenham Common, nr Newbury, Berks. Free entry.
Discover more – www.bbowt.org.uk


Friday 25th April – A Delicate Pairing – Chocolate and Wine Matching Dinner
7pm arrival for 7.30pm
For many years now, chocolate and wine have been enjoyed together, but it can be tricky to get the pairing just right. Join us for this truly indulgent dinner and discover more about the wines that can be matched with both sweet and savoury dishes, and why they go together so well.
Four courses with matching wines and chocktail aperitif – £95 per person
Please call us on 01635 589407 to book
Discover more about our wine dinners


Tuesday 29th April – Tutti Day at Hungerford Town Hall
8am to 10am
Hungerford residents are the only people in Britain still to don their costumes as part of the Hocktide celebrations. Tutti-Day (the second Tuesday after Easter), marks the end of the financial and administrative year.

The Bellman (who is also Town Crier) summons the Commoners to the Court, while the two Tutti-men work their way around the town, visiting every house with common rights, numbering nearly 100 in total. In the past they would have collected the ‘head penny’ from each householder, but nowadays the most they collect is a kiss from the ladies of the house, and a little hospitality to help them on their way.
Discover more – www.hungerford.uk.net

New Mavalia make-up range at The Vineyard Spa

mavala style collection New Mavalia make up range at The Vineyard Spa

Throughout the world, the name Mavala is synonymous with quality, thanks to the high end performing products. They have just launched a new makeup and beauty range: Mavalia, with many different shades and products to suit everyone. Because of its smoothing, emollient, astringent and refreshing properties, Mavalia uses extracts of the Mallow plant, found in the Swiss Alps, in many of its products.

Make-up prices start from £5.95, and in March with every purchase of Mavalia make up, we’ll treat you to a complimentary khol eyeliner of your choice.

Why not pop into The Vineyard and try out the new Mavalia make-up range, or book in for a make-up lesson, with one of our experienced therapists?
Discover more

To book a lesson, contact us on 01635 589415 or email us:
spa@the-vineyard.co.uk

Helpful make-up tips

If you’re looking to update your make up look, here are two easy ways:

Crayon Khol Pencil 1 150x150 New Mavalia make up range at The Vineyard SpaApply make up shades and tones that you are comfortable using then add a little ‘oomph’ to your eyes with a new shade of eyeliner, such as blue or green, close to the lower lash line for an updated look.

If the idea of bright lipsticks scares you, (even though you think they will look great), try   applying your everyday choice of colour then layer a red or hot pink on top. You’ll love the result it gives you, and it’s very easy to do at home on yourself.

Nikki Thompson
Assistant Spa Manager

Discover more about Californian Wineries

tumblr mwbblh9Y6z1rveocqo1 1280 Discover more about Californian Wineries

Vin-de-Cal is the international sales representative for select small family-owned wineries in California; Schramsberg, Ferrari-Carano, Benovia and Talley. Taste wines from all these wineries on Saturday 15th March at The Vineyard from 11am to 5pm and attend masterclasses throughout the day for just £40 for two tickets. Discover more

Schram old image1 150x150 Discover more about Californian WineriesSchramsberg was originally founded in 1862 by Joseph Schram, who made still wine. When he died the winery lay dormant until Jack and Jamie Davies bought it in 1965. The Davies’ plan was to make sparkling wine the same way that Champagne is made as no one in the U.S. was doing this. In 1972 President Nixon chose their Blanc de Blancs to toast Premier Zhou Enlai when the U.S. re-opened relations with China.

Schram bottle display1 150x150 Discover more about Californian WineriesSince that day Schramsberg has been poured by every President at the White House. The wines are frequently mistaken for Champagne in blind tastings. The wines are all vintage dated. The J Schram is Schramsberg’s signature wine and is the perfect balance of acidity and richness. The Blanc de Blancs is the most popular wine and works well as an aperitif and as an accompaniment to food. The winery is now in the hands of the Davies’ youngest son, Hugh.

bottle display FC 150x150 Discover more about Californian WineriesFerrari-Carano was founded by Don and Rhonda Carano in 1981. Both Caranos are of Italian descent and the rolling hills of Alexander Valley reminded them of Italy. They chose to add Don’s grandmother’s name, Ferrari, to the name of their winery as a tribute to her. Ferrari-Carano began by making Chardonnay and Fume Blanc. They established a highly acclaimed reputation for these wines. They added their red wines a few years later and are now known for both red and white wines.

FC couple 135x150 Discover more about Californian WineriesThe Fume Blanc continues to be one of their best loved wines. A well rounded, flavourful wine that is highly regarded by consumers and restaurants, and often served as a wine-by-the glass. On the red side, the Merlot is a favorite having rich berry fruit with firm structure, able to have as a glass,but perfect with duck or beef.

Benovia owners hi res 150x150 Discover more about Californian WineriesBenovia is a small winery owned by the couple, Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, and the winemaker, Mike Sullivan. They founded the winery in 2007 when they bought the land in Russian River. They now also own a vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. Mike Sullivan built a reputation for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay before joining Jo and Mary in this venture.

Benovia offers Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as several vineyard select Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The wines are consistently regarded highly by well-respected critics year after year Although the winery is small its reputation is growing for the balance of fruit and texture the wines provide. The Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are bright, full-flavoured wines on their own, but a great accompaniment to meals. The individual vineyard select wines are distinct in each case, reflecting the terroir where they are grown. Enjoy a vineyard designated Pinot Noir with fowl or heartier fish and the combination proves that the marriage of wine and food makes both better.

Talley couple 150x131 Discover more about Californian WineriesTalley began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of wine grapes began in the neighbouring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas. After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver’s son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. Don planted a small test plot in 1982. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 165 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.

Talley Vineyards produced its first wine in 1986 with the production of 450 cases. Today the third generation, Brian and Johnine Talley, own and operate Talley Vineyards. Producing only Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays fromtheir vineyards, the Talleys have put Arroyo Grande on the wine map. Their goal is to produce distinctive wines of consistently high quality that best express the unique character of each of the Talley family’s six vineyard sites in the two valleys.

Talley’s wines are highly regarded for their character and balance. The vineyard specific Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are frequently singled out by wine writers for their reflection of the vineyard where they were grown. The wines are full-bodied, rich in fruit and exceptional in their pairing with food.

March Events in Berkshire

tumblr mv8b936eut1rveocqo5 1280 March Events in BerkshireFriday 14th March 2014 – An Audience with Nicholas Parsons at Watermill Theatre – 2pm

Join the famous Radio 4 presenter for an afternoon of entertainment. Funny, enjoyable and a real treat, this is not to be missed. Nicholas Parsons takes his audience on a humorous and nostalgic journey through the memorabilia of his long and eventful life. Seeing the funny side of every situation, he highlights with superb and often hilarious observation those events that have shaped his career. His comic timing and accurate observation creates a cast of characters that make this a wonderful afternoon of comedy, which has his audience entertained and laughing throughout. Join Nicholas afterwards in the bar for tea and cake.

Ticket prices £30 per person

For further details please visit www.watermill.org.uk

Friday 14th March – Peter Michael Winery Dinner at The Vineyard– 7pm

Join The Vineyard, the Michael family and Hugh Johnson, wine writer and expert, for the Peter Michael Winery Dinner where you will have the rare opportunity to try the latest and back vintages of Peter Michael wines perfectly matched with a five course dinner. View menu and discover more

Wine dinner – £120 per person or a table of 10 is £960
Saturday tasting ticket – £30 per person

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Saturday 15th March – Californian Wine Tasting at The Vineyard – 11am to 5pm

On Saturday 15th March, we are hosting a wine tasting of over 50 Californian wines. Come and meet the winemakers, join us for wine masterclasses throughout the day and discover more about Californian wine.

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Saturday 15th March – Meet the Wineries Dinner at The Vineyard – 7pm

Enjoy a five course discovery dinner where five of California’s well known wineries will host the evening along with James Hocking, Vineyard Cellars’ Director of Wine, showcase their favourite wines and give you an insight into why their wineries keep ahead of the vinous world. View menu and discover more
£95 per person

Please call us on 01635 589453 to book

Wednesday 19th March – HG2 Homegrown at The Corn Exchange – 7.45pm

Children, young people and professional dancers come together in an evening of dance that spans the breadth of talent in Newbury and surrounding areas. It has been three years since the first production of HOMEGROWN in 2011 celebrating the wealth of dance talent from here in West Berkshire. Since then we have continued to have a thriving community for dance and more young dancers have trained, graduated and are now professional dancers in their own right and so it is time for HG2 to celebrate these achievements and see the dancers of today, tomorrow and the years to come.

Tickets £10 (concessions £7)

For more information please visit www.cornexchangenew.com

Saturday 29th March – Elke Brooks at The Corn Exchange, Newbury – 7.45pm

Performing some of her classic hits, blues and jazz, an electric evening with Elkie Brooks is guaranteed to leave you begging for more. Quite simply one of the most successful and popular singers the UK has ever produced and still proving to be one of the most powerful and versatile vocal talents of our generation. With numerous hit singles, million selling albums and awards, her annual tours are a treat for fans old and new.
Tickets prices £25 per person

For more information please visit www.cornexchangenew.com

Sunday 30th March – Mother’s Day at The Vineyard

Sunday Lunch – 12pm to 2pm
Treat your Mum on her special day and enjoy a three course lunch with a glass of Champagne. All Mums will receive an exclusive Red Grape spa gift to enjoy at home.
£50 per person

Afternoon Tea – 3pm to 5.30pm
Enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea with carefully created cakes, warm scones and finger sandwiches with your choice of tea or coffee. View sample menu
£22.50 per person

Please call us on 01635 528770 to book