June 2023 Newsletter
I recently returned from a short yet very dense family holiday to Iceland. It's a truly spectacular place, ideal for those who like the outdoors and undoubtedly highly inspirational for photographers. You'll find some of my shots on my Insta account, all under the hashtag #jmp_iceland.
Before my trip to Iceland, I was lucky enough to be in the Seychelles, guest of Takamaka rum distillery – which I'll be writing about for Rum Magazine. I also spent a few days in Istria, Croatia, to judge the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Next year, judging will be in Mexico: I'm sooooo looking forward to it.
Despite the many travels, I've been rather prolific with my writing. My collaboration with the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) yielded several blog posts: a report on the effects of rising temperatures inside Sherry bodegas; Q&A interviews with Pascaline Lepeltier and Ferran Centelles; a profile of Sauternes' Chateau La Tour Blanche, with a focus on their sustainability programme; and a piece on ungrafted vines.
With the WSG, we also launched the inugural episode of our monthly Grapevine Podcast, focusesing on the latest news in the world of wine. It's co-presented by me and the WSG's Mary Kirk, and is available to all WSG members.
Elsewhere, I really enjoyed doing some proper reporting on the uncertain future of island wines (SevenFifty Daily), with a focus on Santorini, Madeira, and Pantelleria. I also explored the vite maritata (Wine Enthusiast), a fascinating millenia-old vine training system that involves training the plant along trees.
I've been very excited to see lots of my photography being published alongside my stories. Particularly my profile of Bristol's Circumstance Whisky Distillery (Whisky Magazine), which I visited earlier this year; a photo essay on the spiritual meaning of the Georgian kvevri (Topia); and a couple of stories in CAMRA's Beer Magazine. One, a focus on Southampton's cask beer scene; the other, a profile of White Dog Brewery (Emilia-Romagna, Italy). This brewery was founded by a Briton, Steve Dawson, back in the early days of Italy's craft beer revolution. I've known the brewery since then, as it's just a short 30 min drive from where I grew up.