I first met Gareth Powell, the President of the Cambridge University Wine Society, last year at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in London. In fact, almost exactly a year ago as I’ll be attending the next Decanter event this coming weekend. Well, Gareth tasted the Ordoñez wines and invited me to present my wines at Cambridge. You can imagine my answer! In January of this year we confirmed the date and the wines I’d be presenting – these special wine tastings always take place on a Thursday and so I chose November 3rd.
Gareth also told me that I could invite a guest to accompany me and the first person I thought of was Pancho Campo. After all, he is not only a Master of Wine but was the only Spanish one at that time (Pedro Ballesteros Torres has recently become an Master of Wine – in fact he got his MW in London on the exact same day at almost the same time of my presentation in Cambridge). But due to various factors Pancho was unable to commit, so I was very surprised and pleased to hear from him just one week before the Cambridge event saying that he’d be able to come with me.
I was very impressed with Cambridge University. The atmosphere was very special and you could really feel the history and the sense of tradition and ritual. As the guest of honour I was put up at Trinity College, which was just incredible. It was also very flattering to be included in such illustrious company as Chateau Margot, the Council of Bordeaux wines and Chateau Lafite. The interest in wines at this University is really amazing, even among the young students of my children’s age. This is very good news for the future of the wine industry.
The event was held at Peterhouse College in candlelight, hence the difficulty in getting any pictures – pity! I started off the presentation with a history of the winery and an introduction of the wines and the different vintages. Then Pancho explained the more technical side of things. It was actually very entertaining because we bantered back and forth as I told anecdotes about the winery and Pancho clarified some terms so that the audience could contextualise the wines in the Denominación Origin Malaga and Sierras de Malaga, which is always a challenge for anyone. There were 50 people in attendance, all members of the Wine Society, an institution founded in the 18th century. I was told that the event had sold out in just six minutes, which Gareth said was a record.
So I was not only very pleased and honoured to have been invited to this very prestigious event, but it seems that I may go back again next year and I am very much looking forward to it.
Here is a very good write up of tasting notes from the event by Cambridge graduate student Vinoremus.