Wine. Stories about love


Author: Oleksandra Hryhorieva

One falls in love with wine passionately and irrevocably. And what if wine seduces a couple at the same time? February 14 – it’s time to remember such ideal cases.

What could be better than when your life partner shares your passion for work? We know many successful family businesses in the world of wine. And even the new international Wine Travel Awards community already has such examples. The famous chateau, the wine blog, the wine tourism agency, the sommelier school – projects that are lovingly created by couples that we want to talk about now. Our journey will begin logically from France, a country where wine and love are perhaps the most important drivers of life.

Daniel and Florence Cathiard and their Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is the authentic place with 6 centuries and a half of history. The current owners of the Château, Daniel and Florence Cathiard, has devoted over 30 years to their passion – making wine in this marvellous estate located south of the city of Bordeaux.

The production of the estate compiles around 120,000 bottles of red (67 ha) and 30,000 bottles of white wines (11 ha). Château Smith Haut Lafitte owes its reputation as “le plus Graves des Graves” (the Crus Classés) to its characteristic smoky notes and its gravelly rises (la fitte and la fite mean “hill” or “rise”) of river stones and semi-precious stones deposited by the Garonne millions of years ago.

At Château Smith Haut Lafitte, traditional viticulture techniques are implemented, such as earthing-up the vines or horse-ploughing the fragile white wine plots. There are already 8 horses for the vineyard in the Château’s stable. The use of chemical products is totally prohibited, and organic methods are favoured to fight the various dangers that threaten the vine.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte is currently nominated for the Wine Travel Awards in the following categories:

We remind you that from March 1, all those who keep finger on the pulse of the wine world are invited to vote for members of the wonderful community Wine Travel Awards.

BKWine by Britt and Per Karlsson

The next couple in love with wine also settled in France, Paris, although Britt and Per Karlsson come from Sweden. In 2004, they founded their own magazine, BKWine, which features articles on enogastronomy. In addition to the art of the word, Per is fond of photography, so their materials are accompanied by quality photos and videos of wine trips. All lovers of wine tourism are invited to vote for Per Karlsson (№110)

Britt and Per are both internationally respected wine journalists, writing for example for BKWine Magazine and for Forbes, and wine book authors with several internationally award-winning wine books behind them, and wine competition judges.

Their love for their own profession has grown into a real brand: wine tourism goes hand in hand with pen and word. BKWine Wine Tours organises – in a normal year – around 30 wine tours to destinations all over the world. France and Italy are the two main destination countries, with most of the countries’ wine regions on the list of travel destinations.

For Britt, a successful wine tour is not about visiting famous-name vineyards, completing a wine celebrity “bucket list” designed for name-dropping back home. Instead, she strives to give the wine travellers (and wine lovers) truly unique experiences of a kind that is often impossible to do independently. Everyone who likes the activities BKWine Wine Tours does is invited to vote for Britt (№111) from March 1.

The first in Ukraine Sommelier School “Master Class”

Since we are already in Europe, in just 3 hours and 10 minutes our plane arrives in the capital of the country, where there is no shortage of avid winemakers and wine lovers – Ukraine.

In the 2000s, the founders of the Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, Natalia and Mykola Blahopoluchni, opened the First Sommelier School “Master Class” in Kyiv. Experts in the hotel and restaurant business Natalia and Mykola made their wish a reality and achieved great success. The school already has more than 1,500 graduates who are now successful sommelier, cavists, managers of wine companies and boutiques, some of whom even have their own wine business.

Natalia and Nikolay have been teaching for more than 20 years and, at the same time, have been studying the endless world of wine. They permanently visit numerous wine regions, collect soil, unique terroirs, as well as replenish the enoteca with rare wines and the extensive library with multiple specialized books, and, of course, accumulate knowledge. During the educational process at the “Master-class” school, Natalia and Nikolay accompany their students along the wine roads of the world – not only in theory, but also in practice.  It is logical that in order to participate in the award, they chose the category “Unique Program”. For those who will vote for the “Master Class” from March 1, you can find the nominee under the number 15.

Honey Badger by Yulia Kalenskaya and Artem Skubenko (Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country, №9)

The owners of the Honey Badger brand, Yulia Kalenskaya and Artem Skubenko, are the representatives of the millennial’s generation, who, as we know, thus choosing the best. In a rather uncommon manner, couple of young, energetic Ukrainians, who lived and worked most of their lives abroad, returned back home and founded their own enterprise with a quest to produce and promote traditional local drinks and drinking culture according to the revived recipes, hence the credo of their company: «To collect and preserve the best from the heritage of Ukrainian cities and villages».

Honey Badger, a young company, has no location of its own for enogastronomic tourists yet, but the concept and philosophy of the brand results in each of the brand’s bottle of nastoyanka and nalyvka having the Ukrainian flavor. Based on locations of their partners’ yards and gardens, supplying the high-quality raw materials, the trademark owners have developed their own map of the country. So, today, Honey Badgers product range, including COSSACK`S OAK and BEE IN FUSED NASTOYANKA, BLACK CURRANT or CHERRY INFUSED NALYVKA, U.Gin (Ukrainian Gin) are the best souvenirs that one may bring from Ukraine.

This is what Yulia and Artem are saying about themselves: “We strive to revive the culture of traditional Ukrainian drinks, to preserve the legacy of Ukrainian cities and towns. After all, Ukrainians have something to be proud of!”

46 Parallel Wine Group – Anna and Taras Gorkun (Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country, №28).

If we talk about the pride of Ukrainians, now let’s remember Anna and Taras Gorkun – the founders of a young wine brand from Ukraine, whose slogan is – Proudly Ukrainian! In just two years since the brand birth, the wines of the couple have won more than 73 highest international awards. 46 Parallel Wine Group decently represents Ukrainian wines on the international arena. They received a positive rating and fairly high scores from Jancis Robinson. And today sommeliers of at least four continents are surprised to discover them. The wines of Anna and Taras Gorkun are periodically presented at exhibitions in London and Paris, the USA and Japan. Wines under the 46 Parallel brand are the best souvenirs from Ukraine, which can be purchased in the duty-free network at the airports of Kyiv, Lviv, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Odessa.

AdVINEtures by Chris & Allison Wallace (The Brightest Journey, №83)

And our globe is spinning again and the final station for today is Canada.

Chris & Allison Wallace are avid lovers of both travel and wine having visited more than 85 countries and tasted wines from across the globe. Their blog, AdVINEtures, shares the stories of their travels and the wines tasted along the way. In this blog, they hope to bring alive the excitement felt when visiting fascinating places through telling winemaker and winery stories accompanied by high quality photos and videos. They focus on a background about the region, the grapes, tasting notes, and the people behind the wine.

Chris and Allison were motivated to further their education in wine. Both have attained WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 2 certificates, along with Canadian Wine Scholar designations (CWS). In 2018, AdVINEtures was named a finalist for the Millesima Blog Awards and was shortlisted for a Born Digital Wine Award in 2019.

And the Wine Travel Awards are another effective tool to attract support and promote their business, which this couple has succeeded in.

Join the Wine Travel Awards professional community – registration continues!