Being locked down because of the national virus crisis would never hold back the Paviors’ Wine Circle from getting together to enjoy the merits of good wine. This resulted in the Wine Circle’s first virtual wine tasting by 23 members and partners, getting together via Zoom to sample three different wines delivered in advance to their homes by Justin Warples of Saffron Walden, who describes himself as a wine merchant with a difference. Justin regularly hosts wine tasting events, but on-line virtual tastings was a new experience. Pavior Gordon Morrison hosted the Zoom event and admirably managed our input with his control of the ‘mute’ button.

Justin introduced us to Belle Emilie, a French Rosé from Chartreux; Albariño, a white wine from the Stanley Estates in Marlborough, New Zealand; and a red Malbec from Kaiken, Argentina. By virtue of the internet, Justin invited Steve Pellett one of the owners of the Stanley Estate to join our Zoom event from an early morning in New Zealand. Steve spoke about how he and his partner Bridget Ennals had set off from the UK in a Land Rover to drive to South Africa and then, in 2003, made their way to the South Island of New Zealand to set up their vineyard.

From small beginnings, they have grown to export across the world and, in the process, won several international awards. Steve runs the vineyards and gave us an insight into how changes in climate from year to year can impact on the grape, and how meticulous attention is required in tending the vines in order to achieve a wine of outstanding character and taste.

Christopher Laing, Chairman of the Paviors’ Wine Circle, thanked Justin for supporting this new event for the Wine Circle which was considered by everyone to have been a great success.