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Welcome to the 7th Annual

Kirkness & Gorie are pleased to announce the detailed programme for the 2013 Orkney Fine Wine Festival. Now an established highlight for local food and wine lovers, further flung enthusiasts, and even the visiting winemakers, this is still the only wine festival in Scotland – and apparently the only week-long wine festival in all of the UK! We expect demand to be very high, and most venues are small: booking is essential for all evening events. Phone or email to book or for more info: contact details below.

As always, the festival will be fun, informal and informative. And with 10% off all wine bought or ordered during the week, it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up for summer!

SATURDAY 1st JUNE 12 noon – 4.00pm
Shop tasting: The Da Vinci Kid, with Giacomo Alari, Cantine Leonardo
Kirkness & Gorie, Broad Street, Kirkwall. Free.

We’re starting this year’s festival with a Tuscan favourite. Giacomo represents Cantine Leonardo, a co-operative making wine on behalf of a group of farmers around the village of Vinci, near Florence. Leonardo’s wines cover a wide range from the juiciest of unoaked Chiantis to dark and brooding Brunellos. Drop in for five minutes or all afternoon for a chance to sample his wares in an informal setting, and with an Italian cheese selection to match.

SATURDAY 1st JUNE 7.00pm – 10.00pm
West Side Cinema presents: Corked!
Stromness Town Hall, Church Road, Stromness. £5.00 (plus wine.)

We’re excited to be linking up with our friends at West Side Cinema to present the UK premiere of a very funny hockumentary, if you will, about wine and the people who make it, drink it, sell it and buy it. Think Sideways meets Spinal Tap. From 7pm Giacomo Alari will be pouring tasters of his red and white Tuscan wines, which you can then buy by the glass or bottle to enjoy while watching the film (we provide glasses.) So it’s £5 for Corked! plus however much or little you want to spend on wine. Take your own snacks. (The film is PG, by the way, but wine is strictly for over 18s only.) For this event only, tickets are available from Stromness Books & Prints as well as Kirkness & Gorie; they go on sale on 18th May.

SUNDAY 2nd JUNE 7.00pm
Orkney meets Tuscany, with Giacomo Alari, Cantine Leonardo
Judith Glue’s Real Food Cafe, Broad Street, Kirkwall. £42.00.

A chance to enjoy Leonardo’s wines as they should be enjoyed, with simple but delicious food: the best of Orkney produce meets the best of Tuscan wine. After a Prosecco aperitif, we’ll be trying a zesty white Vermentino, followed by two contrasting reds: a fruity Sangiovese di Toscana and a beefy Brunello di Montalcino. To finish, a luscious Vin Santo. All introduced by the charming and witty Signor Alari. We’re delighted to be returning to Real Food for a relaxed evening of high quality local cooking, great wine and good company.

MONDAY 3rd JUNE 7.00 for 7.30pm
Lynnfield Lux: Quarries and Quartz: Glen Carlou, with Joe Roberts
The Lynnfield Hotel, Kirkwall. £55.00.

Hess Family Estates are a Swiss firm founded in 1844, and now owning wineries in four continents! (We await their move into Antarctican winemaking with impatience.) We’re delighted to have Joe Roberts introducing two of their finest ranges to us, starting tonight with a fantastic selection of wines from Paarl, South Africa. Expect two different interpretations each of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, a perfumed Pinot, and a Loire-style sweet Chenin Blanc to finish. All accompanied by the Lynnfield’s highly popular luxury Lux dining experience. A surprising sparkling aperitif in the lounge at 7pm, sitting down to eat at 7.30pm.

TUESDAY 4th JUNE 7.30pm
Across the Andes by Wine: Amalaya and Bodega Colomé, with Joe Roberts
Helgi’s, Kirkwall. £35.00.

Helgi’s superior gastro-pub food was one of the highlights of last year’s festival, and this year we’re matching it with what is literally a wine highlight: Bodega Colomé operates the highest vineyards in the world, over 3000m up the slopes of the Argentinean Andes. Joe Roberts will explain the benefits such altitude brings, and will also introduce the stunning aromatic wines of another Hess Family Estate, Amalaya. Fans of Torrontes and Malbec have a real treat in store. Sorry, Helgi’s is now fully booked: waiting list in operation in case of cancellations.

TUESDAY 4th JUNE 7.30pm
The Best in the West: Cullen Wines, with Emma Cullen
The Creel, St Margaret’s Hope. £65.00

Margaret River, about four hours south of Perth in Western Australia, is home to several of that country’s leading wineries. Cullen is regularly rated one of the best of all, and their Chardonnay in particular has been acclaimed best white wine in the world. Duncan and Alan were lucky enough to visit Cullen’s winery five years ago, so it’s with special pleasure that we welcome Emma Cullen, grand-daughter of the founders of this family firm. Expect three whites, one red, and a sweet interloper, all matched by Alan’s superb food. (An optional minibus service will be laid on from Broad Street to the Creel and back. Contact us for details.) Sorry, The Creel is now fully booked: we have a waiting list in operation in case of cancellations.

WEDNESDAY 5th JUNE 5.00pm - 8.00pm
The Festival Wine Fair: With an All Star Cast!

The Town Hall, Broad Street, Kirkwall £15 at the door, or £10 if booked in advance.

Now in its fourth year, our wine fair is for many the highlight of the festival: an opportunity to mingle informally with wine-makers and wine-merchants, as well as fellow wine-lovers, sampling up to 50 top-notch wines from all corners of the world, at all prices from £6 to £60. But all you pay is £10 (or £15 on the door): that buys you an empty glass with which to sample to your heart’s content. The spectacular Town Hall is the ideal venue: lots of room to lift those elbows, chat with friends, and navigate your way to the next table. Pouring tonight will be Emma Cullen of Cullen Wines, Emily MacDonald and Mike Stewart of Liberty and of course Duncan and Julia. Come early and stay late, or pop in at any time for a few selected highlights. (There will be palate-cleansing nibbles at this event, but no substantial food.)

THURSDAY 6th JUNE 8.00pm
The Foot of the Boot: The Far South of Italy, with Emily Macdonald
Caffe Lucano, Victoria Street, Kirkwall. £45.00

A marriage made in heaven: the food of Francesco’s native Basilicata matched with a range of wine from right across the southern edge of Italy: sparkling rosato, crisp white, and sweet passito from Puglia, a herby white from Basilicata, and an extremely rare red from Calabria (Magliocco, anyone?) Navigating us through these sun-baked, rocky lands will be Emily MacDonald, one of the brains behind Liberty Wines, the UK’s leading importer of quality Italian wines, and a great supporter of the festival.

FRIDAY 7th JUNE 7.30pm
Beyond Sauvignon Blanc: A New Look at New Zealand, with Emily Macdonald
The Commodore, St Mary’s, Holm. £40.00.

You love Marlborough Sauv Blanc, we love Marlborough Sauv Blanc – everyone loves it! But there’s much more to New Zealand that that pungent grassy glassful, so this evening Kiwi Emily is going to talk us through an exciting range of less-frequently encountered wines. Whites will include Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner, and reds will be Merlot and Syrah – and to finish, a delicate sweet Riesling from the man who created Cxxxxx Bxx. To finish the evening, at the festival’s evening events, live music from the Driftwood Cowboys: continue tasting, or drinking, or even dancing. Coaches at midnight. (An optional bus service will be laid on from Kirkwall to the Commodore and back again. Contact us for details: booking essential.)

SATURDAY 8th JUNE 12 noon – 4.00pm
Do They Make Wine in Peru?
Kirkness & Gorie, Broad Street, Kirkwall. Free, but suggested £3 donation.

The answer is yes – about 15 million gallons per year - but unfortunately we haven’t been able to find any in this country! Never mind: Kirkwall school-leaver Alice Fairnie is about to depart for a summer doing voluntary conservation work in Peru, and to help fund her trip we thought we’d have a South American tasting, with wines from Chile, Argentina and Brazil (and Peru if we can find any in time.) £1 for every bottle sold today will go to Alice’s fund, and in addition we suggest a donation of £3 in exchange of the fantastic Peruvian tapas that Alice will be serving all afternoon!

Orkney Fine Wine Festival Archive
Selected highlights from previous wine festivals.

• Jan Petersen, Fernando de Castilla. Fine Sherries, with ‘Orkney tapas’ by The Creel, at St Magnus Centre.
• Tony Cloke, Plantagenet. West Australian wines at The Lynnfield. Advertised as a ‘light multi-course meal.’ Here, it seems, the Lux idea was born!
• Mike Stewart, Liberty Wines. New Zealand reds and white at the Stadium Café Bar.
• Our main in-store tasting featured our whole range ‘from £5 to £50.’ Times have changed, but only a little: our range now runs from £6 to £60.

• Paulo di Marchi, Isole e Olena. World class Italian wine at The Lynnfield – and trout fishing for Paulo on Harray Loch courtesy of the Merkister!
Paulo di Marchi
Paulo di Marchi
• Brett Crittenden, Mitolo. A personal favourite winery of Duncan and Alan Craigie from their trip to Australia: great to take their fine wines home to The Creel.
• Matt Herde, Plantagenet. Introducing West Australian wines to the West Mainland through this fine dinner at The Hamnavoe.
• Otto Visser, Sepp Moser. Also featuring the Lone Star Swing Band in an evening of sipping and swinging at The Commodore. Austrian wine, Texan music: a happy combination!
• We also featured the wines of Lawson’s Dry Hills, and a range of French Biodynamic producers, in our shop tastings.

• Hazel Murphy, Chalker’s Crossing. Our first ever event at Helgi’s, and a memorable one featuring these lovely New South Welsh wines.
• Giacomo Alari, Cantine Leonardo/Cantina di Montalcino. A mouth watering selection of Tuscan wines at The Hamnavoe.
• Anne-Hélène Délage, Paul Jaboulet Aîné. A fantastic range of Rhone wines, right up to their legendary Hermitage.
• Gavin Crisfield, La Sauvageonne. An English winemaker doing well in the Languedoc – and at The Shore.
Photo by Alan Craigie
Photo by Alan Craigie

• Hazel Murphy, Grosset and Mount Horrocks. Amongst the most subtle, sophisticated wines in Australia to accompany a truly outstanding Creel dinner.
• Also featured, in a fascinating in-store tasting, were a range of white, red, sweet and sparkling red wines from several Portuguese wines, with the support of ViniPortugal. This was also the year of our first Wine Fair, at the sunny Stadium Café Bar.

• Our third visit from Plantagenet Wines of Western Australia, and their Riesling and Shiraz were better than ever: as was the superb meal at The Creel.
• The Italian islands came to the northern isles with a selection of Sardinian, Pantellerian and above all Sicilian wines introduced by Victoria Curatolo.  Lovely Marsala!
• Gwenael Laroche charmed all of Kirkwall at the Lynnfield Lux, and her wonderful Chablis wines wowed everyone who tried them: at last, Chablis that lives up to the area’s reputation and exceeds expectations rather than falling short.

• Most popular wine of the festival was Mara Martin's Godello from Galicia. Maria Otero introduced this fascinating region, known as 'Green Spain,' and this obscure but delicious wine, perfect with The Creel's seafood, was a stunner.
• Marco Scarinci from Farnese in the far south of Italy hosted our first ever event at Caffe Lucano. His big bold reds were a revelation - and two of them still feature on the wine list there!
• The Commodore decided to have us dining al fresco, a bold move in Orkney, even in June! Lucky the weather was on our side, and the barbecued scallops and chicken were superb, and a great match to fruity Aussie wines from Willunga 100 and Redfin.

A strong Italian focus this year, with the 1200-year old Capezzana winery from Carmigiano, and Duncan's favourite, Selvapiana from Chianti Rufina.

Bruce Kendrick took us down-under for a superb selection of top-notch wines from one of NZ's best wineries, Ata Rangi, and also for an affordable but high quality selection from the valleys of South Australia.

Our Wine Fair finally found its perfect venue in the stained-glass splendour of Kirkwall Town Hall.
Anne Roque joined us for Domaine Laroche's second visit to the festival.

This year the emphasis wasn't on their famous Chablis, but their other superb vineyards in Chile and SW France.

The Longship

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