Hannibal’s Newsletter May 2022


We are slam bang in the midst of our busy festival season – and we’re loving it!

Fresh back from Badminton Horse Trials (the first event for them and us) for three years, we are delighted to report that the public proved to be a thirsty bunch after such a long wait.  Attracting visitors from all over the world, the thirst was finally quenchd by this great outdoor event.  Indeed we were blessed with perfect sunshine to boot.

Next stop:  the International Hay Book Festival.  Situated in rolling hills on the Welsh border, Hay on Wye is a stunning little village at the foot of the Black Mountains.  Twinned with Timbuktu (yup, you read that right), it is the centre of world book culture and a delight to visit.  Like Badminton, this is their first festival since 2019 and we urge you to give it a whirl.  Do join us if you can – we’ll have plenty of wines to taste.


 Last week, we presented an array of South African wines to a very welcoming wine society situated down in the heart of the Hampshire countryside.  Of course, all talks always need fine-tuning and I found myself with my head in the books, genning up on the latest news from the Cape.  What caught my eye was the latest in farming technology and I thought I’d share it with you – something called :


Ever heard of this?  Me neither.  But that’s because it’s hot off the press.  In a nutshell, it is the simultaneous use of land for growing crops and generating electricity with solar panels.

Solar panels are mounted high enough for crops to be grown underneath, sheltering them from over-powerful sun rays and allowing rainwater harvesting.  The tilt of the solar panels is adjusted robotically to optimize sun vs rainwater capture, as well as to protect crops from potential frost, wind and other adverse weather.

So far, there have been successful trials in Kenya and it would appear that vineyards are looking to getting involved with further trials.   In France, a trial is being conducted in the Vaucluse and already they are seeing incredible results, not least the reduction of water use by up to 13% (less evaporation).

This kind of technology may be costly.  But if it works, let’s hope the world can find the necessary funding.


The first of two new wines this month – Puglia Bianco – a 50/50 blend of Fiano and Falanghina.  We are describing it as a ‘chameleon’ wine because it has such a diversity of flavour.  Organic and bio-dynamically grown.  Price £11.99.


A 100% Cabernet Franc and known as ‘Sombrero’, this is a really grippy red, almost black in colour.  Definitely a wine to decant – and once you have, the deep fruit sings on the palate and the structured tannins integrate beautifully.  Price £14.50.



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