Berlin Day Two – Graffiti – Friday October 13th

Steps: 17,511

We had so much fun on our second day. We started with another great breakfast, this time at Bastard. Yumm. Then we rushed to our main event for the day, a street art and graffiti tour with Alternative Berlin!

It was great to learn from an actual graffiti and street art expert what the difference is between the two. It can be subtle. And it’s not as simple as illegal and legal. Here’s Declan giving us some lessons.

Some of this stuff is super dangerous to create.  And not just from a getting-caught perspective. This one below, created by the “cooperative” called The Berlin Kids, was created in less than 7 minutes. They had to break into the building and break onto the roof, then with spotters on the street looking for cops, one person rappelled down the side of this 10 story building spray painting as he went. And this building is practically next to one of the busiest U-Bahn stations in Kreuzberg!

You also start to recognize the same graffiti “artists” all over the city. The Berlin Kids were pretty prolific.

As were the 1UP gang, which stands for One United Power:

There were also places where legal blended with illegal on the same wall. On the wall below, the dead animals was a commissioned piece by ROA, who’s super famous. The 1UP gang did the “LOVE” using a technique called Heaven Spot, named due to the fact that the painting is done while dangling over the side of the building. Hence “heaven” as you’re risking death. This one was made with rollers, with another 1UP member holding onto the belt of the painter. The toilet bowl is another famous street artist, who’s work you can see all over the world.

Oh, and my San Francisco friends, here’s some of the work ROA has done in SF –

Some of the street art is really small and detailed. Here’s one that was hand-drawn on the spot on the street. The artist, a woman, draws images of strong girls. This one is only 12-18 inches high, and the artist drew it in broad daylight. She wore a high-vis vest, and had her 10 year old daughter next to her, so nobody looked askance.

Speaking of gender balance of the artists working the streets of Berlin, our guide said that for street art it was about 50-50, but for graffiti it’s closer to 85% male.

A huge piece that we all really loved is a famous one, called Cosmonaut, by Victor Ash. Erie and haunting.

There was one commissioned huge piece that took up an entire side of a building, by the Brazilian twins OSGEMEOS. Supposedly one started from the top and one from the bottom, and they didn’t tell each other what they were drawing (other than obviously it was a figure of a person).

The thing about street art that struck me was how temporary it is. Look at the Wikipedia link photo for the image above. See how much it’s faded? These artists do all this work and they know that eventually the environment will destroy it.

The tour also taught us that there’s often a backstory you don’t know about unless you really dig deep. Look at the image below. There’s some more rappelling graffiti on the right from The Berlin Kids. Then on the top left there’s some Heaven Spot from the UF Gang. But what’s that “just” in the bottom left. Look at the scale of it. How did the artist paint that? Nope, not spray paint. Nope, not roller and brushes. He used a fire hose! Emptied it, filled it with diluted paint, pumped it full of pressure, fitted a custom nozzle on the end and let rip. Not impressed? Well, here’s some more details on the artist. An incredible activist, and a daring and brave photographer. Once I heard about JUST as a person, I thought about what he stood for each time I saw a piece of his on the street.

Some of the street art is wild looking when seen from afar…

.. but then you look closely and see the detail …

Berlin Observation #4: Berlin really is covered in graffiti. Covered!

After our tour through the Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain neighborhoods we ended up in a street art production warehouse where we got to get our hands on some spray paint cans!

With the help of stenciling technique here’s what Alexis made…

The graffiti and street art tour was one of the absolute highlights of our trip to Berlin. Check it out if you ever go to Berlin!

Oh, just gotta throw this in here cuz it did happen that day. We were racing for the train in the station. I wasn’t getting in anyones way, or shoving people aside, I just saw a gap in between two people and went for it. Well, some German dude, maybe 60 years old, puts up his elbow and throws it at me, connecting solidly. Clearly didn’t want me making the train. Made be lurch over into Melinda, stepping on her feet at full speed.
Same thing happened on the street. We had stopped to check directions, and this older lady with her shopping cart clips me with it clearly on purpose, as if to say, “Stay the fuck out of my way, this is my sidewalk!” Wow, nice.

Berlin Observation #5: Berliners (Germans) have some boundary issues. Meaning they don’t like their boundary being encroached and will enforce it with violence!

{P.S. We had dinner that night at Industry Standard. One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time!}

Berlin Day One – Tourist Time! – Thursday October 12

Steps: 22,764

It’s hard to write about travels and fun in Europe when there is so much pain back home in San Francisco. In the US in general, really. When times back home waver between brink of nuclear war and repeated mass shootings, it’s now got horrible wild fires in wine country. Many of our friends have been evacuated, and at least one has lost their home. What is going on here?!?! If the locusts come then that’s the last step before the apocalypse. So heartbreaking to see from afar. Hang in there, Northern California!

But we had already booked this trip to Berlin so off we went! Almost didn’t make it, as the budget airline we were on, Air Berlin, just declared bankruptcy. Yikes!

We landed late Wednesday night and checked into our AirBnB in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. This was a former West Berlin neighborhood that is super trendy and hip. Melinda and I ran out for a late night shwarma and realized, yup, this is really gritty neighborhood!

Berlin Observation #1: The street lights in this town suck.

But on awakening the next morning, we realized it was also a really pretty neighborhood. We just couldn’t see it the night before. And we went down the “wrong” road to our shwarma place. One block over and its super nice old buildings and little cafes and restaurants.

After a killer breakfast at Spindler, we got going because we had a super full and touristy day planned Thursday – we wanted to fit in as much as we could.

Got to get up to the top of the Reichstag building. (Tip: You need to register before going, or they won’t let you in.)

The view up there was awesome. All those buildings you see here past Brandenburg Gate weren’t there when I was last in Berlin in 1990. They were all part of the Death Strip of Potsdamer Platz. Amazing to see. The first building past Brandenburg Gate is the US Embassy. Primo land right there they got!

Emma had some fun once we got down and through Brandenburg Gate. Amazing to think that no-one (from the public at least) walked through the Brandenburg Gate for 28 years. Crazy. #NoMoreWalls

Just past the US Embassy, they reserved almost 5 acres of Potsdamer Platz for the Holocaust Memorial, or as it’s officially called: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Alexis commented on the official name, “Wow, the Germans are really *owning* it with that name.” Yes, they definitely are.

The memorial is a field of concrete pillars, of various heights, from half a meter high to maybe 3-4 meters. Some are very straight and some are slightly tilted. They’re arranged in rows, on an undulating ground. There are no names anywhere, and nothing to explain what it all is. But walking through you get this sense of disorientation, and of darkness, and a feeling of orderliness combined with chaos. A very powerful memorial, unlike any I have seen. But powerful, very, along the level of the Vietnam War memorial in DC.

It’s hard to put the feeling of the place in pictures, but here’s a couple attempts:


There was also a “Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted by the Nazi’s”, though it would probably be safe to say “murdered” there as well. It was a much much smaller memorial, but a very powerful one. Brought tears to my eyes. It’s a monolithic block in the middle of a beautiful green space, with a small window. Looking in you see black and white newsreel type footage of same sex couples kissing. There’s joy and love in that, but then the footage shows them getting “caught” by disapproving people. They brush off the glares and go back to kissing.

I mentioned to Alexis that the construction of the memorial wasn’t straight. She groaned. Dad jokes.

We hopped on a hop-on-hop-off bus to quickly see some of the other sites in Berlin. As touristy as they are, we are fans of the hop-on-hop-offs everywhere we go. You get to see so much of the city so quickly.

The big East Berlin radio tower:

The Victory thing (Statue? Tower?) in the Tiergarden:

The famous bombed out church in the Ku-Dam area:

Jumped off the bus, got on the U-bahn and headed to lunch at a great place called Brlo. A brewery in a bunch of converted shipping containers. Super great food, super great beer. And schnapps. Had to do it.

Berlin Observation #2: The public transportation here is awesome! We got around Berlin entirely on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn and buses (in the former West) and trams (in the former East).

That night we went out to “Street Food Thursdays” at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg. A huge market converted into street food stalls every Thursday night.

Awesome vibe, great drinks, great food. On the way home we passed by some great graffiti, a foreshadowing of what’s to come on Friday – a Berlin Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour!

Berlin Observation #3: Everything in this town is covered in graffiti!

A trip to the Rhone! Wednesday Oct 4 to Friday Oct 6

Steps: Wednesday 10,103, Thursday 10,825. Friday 11,689.

One of our goals on this adventure was to travel. A lot. I mean, really a lot. We got waylaid a bit at the beginning by our lack of internet, as it’s really hard to book flights, accommodations, really any planning or research at all without the interwebs. We pulled together a long weekend in Lisbon with cafe internet, and that was great. And we’ve got Berlin next weekend with the kids. But as soon as we saw on the school calendar that both the kids were going to be away at some sort of school glamping overnight trip for three days, Melinda and I looked at each other and said lets get out of here!

So where to go, where to go? We only had three days and two nights. And we wanted it to be a non-kid-friendly sort of place, so places like Rome and Paris were out. Let’s do a wine trip, we said! Burgundy was a high possibility, but looking at the map and flights to Burgundy (which is an arrival in Lyon) we thought how about going south through the Rhone Valley, end up in Montpellier and catch a high speed train home. The plusses of this plan were that I’d never been to the Rhone before, and they’re some of my favorite wines, and secondly, if we were taking the train home then I could bring wine home! No airport security to snag my wine!

We left the house before the kids were even away on their trip Wednesday morning, and hopped an easy (and cheap, like 43 euro each, one way, cheap!) flight to Lyon.

From Lyon it was a short 45 minute drive to the first major wine district of the Rhone – Cote Rotie!

I couldn’t believe how steep the slopes were. I knew from books that it was steep and terraced, but I had no idea. What a ludicrous job it is to tend those vines!

Had a beautiful old-school-French lunch right on the Rhone river in our next major wine district, Condrieu…

We continued our drive down the Rhone Valley with our next destination an appointment at M. Chapoutier, one of the bigger, but still excellent, wineries in the region. We had a lovely vineyard tour and a great tasting and then settled into our “Gite”. When we were looking for accommodation in the Rhone, Melinda stumbled upon this set of houses owned by M. Chapoutier. I was skeptical as I’ve heard Gites can be rustic and some even require you to bring your own linens and such. This one was the opposite! Nestled in the middle of the Pavillon part of the Hermitage vineyard, this was our own two-story, one bedroom, top of the line everything, oasis in the Rhone!

Who could ask for a better view from your bedroom window than this!

Had a lovely dinner in Tain Hermitage at a spot called Les Mangevins. Check it out if you’re ever in town. We happened upon a great walking bridge over the Rhone (you know me, always searching for good transportation infrastructure!).

The next morning Melinda and I woke up well before dawn and hiked up Hermitage for some pre-dawn views!

Sorry, don’t know how to properly insert videos into WordPress. Just click this link:


And some views of Tain Hermitage…

After checking out of our Gite, we jumped in the car and headed south to meet up with our friend Laely Heron (of Heron Wines) in the Southern Rhone. But first I had to make a stop at another famous wine district of the Northern Rhone called Cornas. Steep, but not as steep as Cote Rotie or Hermitage, but full of little nooks and crannies in the hill.

We met up with Laely at Clos Bellane, which is in the most northern part of the Southern Rhone. Stunningly beautiful vineyards…

And we had a couple tastings with Close Bellane’s owner and winemaker Stephane Vedeau. He’s very very talented, and, um, quite handsome…

Laely took us on an awesome tour. Here’s the kind of energy she has – this is the itinerary she laid out for us:
1) Tour and taste at Clos Bellane
2) Lunch in Gigondas at Nez!
3) Tasting at Domaine du Gour de Chaule
4) Drive to Chateauneuf du Pape, tour of the old Pope’s summer palace
5) Vineyard tour in Chateauneuf du Pape
6) Back to Gigondas and a visit to the vista-point at the Dentilles
7) Vineyard tour in Gigondas
8) Champagne on the terrace at Hotel Les Florets
9) Race home to change for dinner
10) Dinner at L’Oustalet in Gigondas
11) Home to bed to pass out!

Laely’s incredible! Here’s some shots from our day with her.

The obligatory “entering the town of …” shot.

The famous galettes of Chateauneuf (and Laely’s boot)

Laely in CdP…

Me and Melinda and the “Dentilles”

The next morning Laely had to leave early for a trip to Alsace, so Melinda and I made our own itinerary, which was loosely based on trying to find the best croissant in the Southern Rhone! We tried in Sablet, then in Vacqueras, then in Beaumes-de-Venice. It was a hard challenge but we got it done! (Best one was at Duperon Harry in Beaumes-de-Venice, in case you’re interested!)

Here’s a gratuitous picture postcard shot of the quaint and beautiful Beaumes-de-Venice…

We drove on down and hit Avignon before our train. Did a tour of the grandiose Popes palace…

And had lunch and checked out the view in this beautiful town. It wasn’t summer so it wasn’t crazy crowded. Stunning town, Avignon is!

Then it was a (supposed to be) quick jaunt to Montpellier before our (almost missed) train back to Barcelona. Only 3 hours away.

So a fantastic blitz-fast trip through the Rhone. But just so much fun to take advantage of being so so close to France! Can’t wait for another fast and fun trip with my honey!

Next stop, Berlin!

A Question of Safety – Wednesday October 4th

Steps: 10,302

With all the press that the Catalonia independence movement has gotten internationally (and the Ramblas terrorist attack before that), many people have made comments to me about my safety. Directly on email, and on social media, people have admonished me to “Be safe” or have asked “Is it safe over there?” Let me tell you my thoughts.

Safety in Barcelona in general

Okay, I haven’t felt this safe in a big city in, maybe, ever. Sure there’s crime. Sure there’s pickpockets (and everyone eventually falls prey to those buggers). But I’ve never seen any crime or danger. We’ve been here 6 weeks and I have yet to see any signs of aggression in public. Come on, how many of you in other places see “men” getting all agro outside a bar? All the time! And you rarely see public drunkenness here, and when you do it’s tourists stumbling on Las Ramblas. I was coming home from a bar at 3am and saw a young woman alone on a bench on my street searching for something in her bag. That would never happen in the USA. Never.

Safety with the Independence movement

We went down to both the pro-independence protest and the pro-unity protests. Both had hundreds of thousands of people. Police were hard to find in the crowds or around the fringes. And the people there were absolutely calm and non-violent. Same with Election Day. No violence did we see. Note that the only violence you see in the media is from the police! And the last people they’re coming after is some expats.


The terrorist attack on Las Ramblas a couple months ago was horrible, and shook the city to it’s core. There have been two Mosso armored vehicles parked at the top of Las Ramblas ever since the attack, right where the terrorist started his rampage. Unfortunately terrorist attacks happen everywhere now, and we are on our guard, but I feel we can’t let the terrorists win by restricting what we want to do with our days.

Relative safety compared to the rest of the world

A friend on Facebook told me that she had some American coworkers who were reconsidering a business trip to Barcelona. Are you kidding me?! Americans worried about their safety abroad?! They need to look hard in the mirror. It is waaaaay more dangerous in the USA. Just look at guns. No-one has them here. And the States is filled with homicidal (white male) gun-totting nut-jobs! The frequency of occurrences of me getting scared for my safety in (liberal peaceful) San Francisco is an order of magnitude higher than here in Barcelona.

So don’t worry, friends. I’m safe. Melinda’s safe. The kids are safe (Alexis got home last night at 4:30am from a nightclub – yeah, she felt safe the whole time). It’s all good.


Scenes from the “illegal” vote – Sunday October 1st

Walked around downtown Barcelona today looking for polling stations. We found three, one in the “right” side of Eixample, one in the “central” Eixample, and one in El Raval near the Modern Art museum. Along the way we saw huge police presence and a constant roar from police helicopters overhead. The police presence is way more than normal.

This is a Catalan Government building. To be fair, there’s been Mosso out there ever since we moved to the neighborhood but it’s really ramped up now. Barricades are new, and there’s a huge increase in vehicles.

Last night:

This morning:

The helicopters have been ever present, but now it’s switched from news helicopters to police helicopters. Not sure what was going on at Sagrada this morning, but this police chopper was hovering over Sagrada Familia for about half an hour.

The polling stations had huuuuge lines, but everyone was super calm and seemed content to just wait in line all day.

Interestingly, the ubiquitous capes made of the Catalan flag were nowhere to be seen today. Why’s that? It’s almost as if it would be uncool to wear it as it would expose how you are going to vote.

The images of the police brutality seen online are pretty tough to watch. I’m glad we didn’t run into any of it today. All in all a pretty heartwarming day watching the Catalan people get out to vote in what has been a very difficult process for them. They had to fight hard to get this basic human right and I’m glad for them. Let’s see what the next week brings!

Found it! Saturday September 30th

One of my expectations for Barcelona was that we would be eating at tiny little neighborhood places, totally casual spots run by old dudes, with a very limited menu. But alas after the first month I had yet to find one. Thankfully I got a tip from our friends Sharon and Lesley to check out a place deep down in the gothic quarter called La Plata. What a gem!

I squeezed up to the bar just a big platter of scorchingly hot freshly fried baby fish come out of the kitchen. The barkeep put some on a plate and slides them over to me along with a beer, without even asking! Damn they’re good!

It’s such a cute tiny little place.

Zooming in on that “menu” in the back and you’ll see…

… that La Plata has 6 menu items! Really it’s just 5, as the “ratión de anchoas” is really just a combination of the items before and after it. Love it!

And the beers are served in little mini bottles. Damn, I must have had 4 of them!

Can’t wait to go back!

Almost October 1st – Friday September 29th

It’s almost October 1st, the day of the “illegal” vote in Catalunya!

Background, as far as I can see it

Catalunya has declared October 1st to be the day that the region of Catalunya will vote for independence from Spain. There has always been a push for independence in the region dating back decades even centuries. The catch this time with the vote is that Madrid (i.e. the Spanish federal government) has declared the vote “illegal” and not valid under the constitution. Catalunya is fighting to have the vote even when Madrid is putting up barriers and declaring it “illegal”

What’s happening now

Protests abound in the streets of Barcelona. It’s been great to see that they have been almost overwhelmingly peaceful and non-violent. In response, there has been fairly restrained police presence – I haven’t seen the throngs of riot police that I have seen in other European cities during protests. (To say nothing of the awful way that protests are handled by the police in the USA.)

On National Catalan Day about 3 weeks ago the streets were filled with almost a million people according to the Catalan officials (or 300,000 people according to Madrid). Most were wearing “Si” shirts, indicating their support for independence.

Last week, Madrid ordered the raid of a Catalan Government office, on the grounds that high ranking officials there had started a pro-independence web site. Instantly the streets around Plaça Catalunya (about 5 blocks from our apartment) filled with protesters. We tried to get through but couldn’t!

Every building in Barcelona has at least one apartment draped with the colors of the Catalan flag. That’s the red and yellow stripped ones you see in the pictures below.

Every night at 10pm the streets turn into a cacophony of protest noise, as people lean out their windows banging pots and pans as a protest against the government. This loud banging was copied from old South American protests and the Catalans have taken it on with zeal. Take a listen here:


Helicopters are a constant presence in the skies. For now it’s all news helicopters capturing the omnipresent protests on the streets, and not police or military.

But there’s a huge police (and possibly military) force being mounted. Madrid has filled a cruise ship with police down at the harbor waiting for October 1st. The crazy thing is they have rented a boat that has the entire side of it painted with the RoadRunner, Tweetie Bird, and Donald Duck! Hilarious! What a fail. The news and social media has been raking Madrid over the goals for this gaff! Check out some coverage at

How this affects us

It doesn’t really. We are viewed as total outsiders. We are neither Catalan or Spaniards. We are truly just onlookers. The pitchforks won’t come for us! It’ll be amazing to see what happens on Monday!

My take

We lived in Quebec during the last referendum for separation. It was a super tense time, especially as we had skin in the game. Voter turnout was super high (93% of registered voters) and the final vote was 50.6 for the No side and 49.4 for the Yes side. It was really really close. What happens if there is large turnout on Sunday, with a strong “Si” vote, and Madrid says the vote wasn’t valid?  To me this is grounds for revolution. In my humble opinion, the right to self determination is a basic human right. If the people vote for independence and it’s denied by those they see as “overseers” in Madrid, then we could see some serious action over here.

Madrid has played this totally wrong, in my opinion. Police raids only further to strengthen the independence movement. When we were in Quebec, the federal government worked with the large business to impact the election. The day before the referendum, the president of our company of 600-700 people (mostly young francophones) sent out an all-company email that in effect said “Please vote your conscious and how you feel, I encourage that. But just so you know the consequences, if it’s a “Yes” vote then we will immediately make plans to move the entire company out of Quebec. Your future employment is not guaranteed.”  That’s what Madrid needs to do if they want to affect this election. The economic crisis was very recent here in Spain, and still has a lasting palpable effect on the employment rate here. Telling people there won’t be as many jobs if it’s a “Si” vote is very powerful.

I won’t make a statement on whether or not Catalonia should separate from Spain or not. That’s not my business nor do I know enough about the history and details and consequences. But one thing has literally brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps on my skin on multiple occasions in the past weeks, and that’s the involvement and passion of the Catalan youth. They are loud and vocal and present!

One of the many youth protests, this one directly under our terrace:

Yesterday I was leaving the Metro station at Plaça de Catalunya and walked into a throng of about 50+ students, all around maybe 14-16 years old. They had probably skipped school, and had donned their Catalan flags and were marching on the Plaça singing Catalan songs and chanting their message. Super heartwarming to see youth getting involved in politics and determining the path forward for their people. Well done!

Danger ahead! Thursday September 28th

Steps: 11,281

Stuff: Market shopping, Failed booze shopping, Satan coffee

Uh-oh. This could be trouble. Real trouble.

I went out with Ana last night, the export manager for Gramona. She took me to a place just 3 blocks from our apartment called Monvinic. This could possibly be the best wine spot in Barcelona! And did I mention it’s 3 blocks from our apartment!?

Monvinic is a dream project for some local Catalana guy. Clearly he put some serious money into this. Super luxurious interior, quiet and peaceful, but at the same time trendy feeling. I got a great tour with the GM/head of sommeliers Isabelle.

It’s part wine bar (with some great snack offerings!) with an extensive by the glass list. They go through a lot of wine so they don’t Coravin, they just keep track of what was open when.

There’s a “library”, which was intended as a place of study for what they call Monvinic “insiders”, but now is just a work and planning space for the sommeliers.

And then there is a full restaurant for 50 inside, plus outdoor sheltered terrace seating for about 15 or so. The dining room is set up so that the walls can be moved to adjust the space for the gathering. This allows for standard restaurant service, but also multiple sizes of private dining, and also to open it up for tastings and lectures. Very cool.

The wine list is fantastic, and runs the gamut of the best wines of the world. They’re definitely not on the “natural” kick but do support wines of place made organically and biodynamically.

I can’t wait to go back! Maybe a menu-del-dia for lunch today with my honey!

I’m Broken! Wednesday September 27th

Steps: 2,635 (but not indicative of the pain in my body!)

Stuff:  Homemade granola, Personal trainer, Pain

So we got a gym membership. Yeah, us, a gym. But it’s fancy, so at least we staying somewhat true to our reputation!

We also got personal trainers. Like I said, we’re fancy. 😉  But it’s really so that we don’t injure ourselves and that we maximize our efficiency in terms of achieving our personal fitness goals. I think we’re only going to have once a week sessions with the trainer and then work independently the rest of the week.

I had my first visit with my trainer today. Oh god, oh dear god. I am broken. It was “assessment day” where he checked on overall status of fitness areas: aerobic fitness (“pretty good”), mobility and flexibility (“F”), upper body strength (“needs lots of work”), core strength (“F”), lower body strength (“very good”). Just what I expected!

But after an hour I was wrecked. Shattered. Stumbling.

Then he said “I took it easy on you today. Next time we begin the real work.”  Ahhhh!

Onwards into wine! Tuesday September 26th

Steps: 7,291

Stuff: Shopping, New market, Distraction

Part of the impetus for this adventure in Barcelona was to allow me to launch myself into the wine world, both personally and professionally. Being close to the classic wine regions of the world sheds a different light on the wine business and what is possible in this space.

But I’ve been so caught up with all the day to day minutia, and all the stuff required to settle in that I haven’t been able to do much in wine so far. It’s quite frustrating and today was a tough one for this.

So I looked at the (still large) to-do list for Barcelona and decided to cross a lot of it off my list. Melinda has offered to take on a lot of these logistics (thanks hun!) which will allow me to pursue my dreams in wine.

First thing was reaching out to Ana, the export manager for Gramona, one of the highest end Cava producers here. We’re going to try to grab a glass of wine together before she leaves for the USA next week.

Today, I also registered to judge at Decanter next April.

And I put some time into our trip to the Rhone Valley next week. Got some appointments lined up, and we’re seeing our dear friend Laely Heron there, who recently bought some vineyards in Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape!

Onwards into wine!