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Dear Followers,

Thank you for your continous support over the past months with all of our weekly posts! As part of our rebranding, we are now moving to Tumblr! So anyone who’s been diligently reading our posts can enjoy them on our new site now!

Kindest regards,

The Vineyard


5 Top Chilled Red Wines Selected by Yohann Jousselin MS, Head Sommelier

I believe that chilling some types of red wines can help the wine to perform better in all of its elements. As a result of cooling a light red wine, the fruit’s aromas often rise in intensity and the alcohol feels slightly milder.

Below is a selection of wines from our restaurant wine list that I would definitely suggest to cool down beforehand in order to enjoy them in their full capacity – especially if the weather stays this warm for another few days…

1. Chinon, Desbourdes, L’Arpentry, Loire Valley, France, 2007 (£37)
Made from Cabernet Franc, this wine shows an intense panel of stony fruits as well as a hint of black pepper.

2. Weingut Dr Heger, Q Sonett, Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Baden, Germany, 2008 (£62)
A very light, fresh and delicate wine with lovely notes of red berries.

3. Moric, Blaufrankisch, Burgenland, Austria, 2010 (£44)
Made from a local grape variety, this wine offers some ripe summer fruits aromas.

4. Fleurie, Domaine de la Madone, Beaujolais, France, 2010 (£34)
A very good example of Gamay from the southern part of Burgundy , this wine shows a very juicy palate and some soft tannin.

5. Ma Maison, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand, 2010 (£39)
From a cooler climate area of New Zealand, this Pinot Noir is aromatic and fresh with notes of red fruits.

I hope you get time to enjoy some of these wines, but if you prefer to be served in ‘Taste’, our new informal dining space, come and see us at The Vineyard!

– By Yohann Jousselin MS

Up and Coming Events in September

Saturday 8th September – Ascot Food and Wine Festival
If you’re planning a visit to the Ascot races, this weekend is the ideal one to go. The Ascot Food and Wine Festival offers visitors a day filled with races, food demonstrations, numerous stalls with local products, and of course, wine tastings. Renowned Chef Valentine Warner as seen on BBC2 and ITV, will be at the racecourse throughout the day, doing demonstrations such as ‘Trout with Chanterelles and Artichokes’. Moreover, the Shop ‘n Drop service allows you to buy products at the stands throughout the day, and pick them up at the end of the event so as to avoid carrying around your wares all day. For more information, click here.

Monday 10th September – Ladies Lunch – Life as a Race Horse Trainer
Richard Philips, who was an assistant trainer to Henry Candy, set up in his own right almost twenty years ago and has been extremely successful on the flat and over jumps during this time. He is acquainted with a great many influential characters in the racing world, and will be speaking about the life, encounters and experiences of a trainer. The lunch is £60 per person, and can be booked by calling 01635 528770.


Monday 10th September – Ladies Wine Club: Wine and Fashion, How Does it Work?
Wine, women and Yohann. If that sounds like a good time, then we’d strongly recommend you join our Ladies Wine Club. Ideal for those who enjoy wine and would like to learn more about it in a friendly and informal atmosphere, this is also a great way to meet other like-minded ladies.
3pm-5pm. £30 per person. Please call 01635 528770 to reserve your place.

15th & 16th September – Royal County of Berkshire Show 2012
Undoubtedly one of the largest events in the County of Berkshire, one can see everything from chickens to llamas, horse driving to pig-showings. Some of Britain’s best foods will be available at numerous stands, complete with cookery demonstrations and tastings. Impressive performances in show jumping and the great spectacle of Livestock Grand Parade finally round up the day. Celebrate some of the proudest agriculture the countryside has to offer! For more information or to purchase advance tickets, visit their website.

Saturday 22nd September – Dubai Duty Free International & Party in the Paddock with Lionel Richie
Global superstar Lionel Richie will bring the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend to a close with a live Party in the Paddock concert following the last race. With seven races including three group races this raceday promises to be a cracker! For tickets and more information, click here

Friday 28th September – Piedmont Wine Dinner at The Vineyard
This month at The Vineyard, we celebrate Piedmont, one of the most renowned wine regions of Italy where wine quality hits a unique high. Join us for a fabulous evening of food and wine pairing featuring two of the best local Piedmont winery estates: Poderi Colla with its famous Barolo ‘Dardi le Rose’ and Marchesi di Gresy will present its exquisite Barbaresco called ‘Martinenga’. We will be joined by Master Sommelier, Nigel Wilkinson, will guide us through the wines during this unforgettable evening.
Tickets are at £95 per person and can be booked by calling 01635 528770.
Please click here for a preview of the menu.

Raspberry Clafoutis

Traditionally, a clafoutis is made with cherries, but the summer brings an abundance of fruit – tender apricots, juicy plums, fat cherries and wild blackberries, all warm from the sun begging to be eaten. However my favourite is raspberry! The sweetness of the berries and the zing of the lime zest send your taste buds twirling!

  • Preparation time 35 minutes
  • Cooking time 25 minutes
  • 250 – 280g/9 – 10 oz/2 – 2 ¼  cups firm raspberries
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 125g/4 ½ oz/ ½ cup caster sugar
  • 50g/2oz butter, half softened and half melted
  • 85g/3oz/ 2/3 cup of plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300ml/10 ½ fl oz/ 1 ¼ cups full fat milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put the raspberries, lime zest and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl. Mix gently, then set aside to macerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 24 x 16 x 6cm/9 ½ x 6 1/4 x 2 ½ in a baking dish or clafoutis dish (an oval earthenware dish) with the softened butter and sprinkle with another 3 tablespoons of sugar. Carefully shake the sugar around the dish to make sure it coats the inside.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and remaining sugar, then slowly add the mixture to the flour and mix until incorporated and smooth. Slowly add the milk, stirring until the batter has the consistency of a crêpe batter, then add the melted butter and mix until combined.

Put the raspberries in the clafoutis dish and mix to release the juices. Pour the batter over the raspberries and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and set. A tip of a sharp knife inserted into the centre should come out clean and dry. Remove from the oven and serve.

CHEFS TIP: It is also fun to make this dessert in individual 150l/5fl oz/ 2/3  cup ramekin dishes, just reduce the cooking time to 10-12 minutes.


Daniel Galmiche
Executive Chef at The Vineyard

Up and Coming Events in August

Saturday 11th August – Burgundy Wine Dinner at The Vineyard

Join Yohann Jousselin MS, Head Sommelier at The Vineyard and UK Sommelier of the Year 2011 and Gearoid Devaney MS and UK Sommelier of the Year 2008, who will guide you through Burgundy from North to South with wines from prestigious areas including Meursault and Nuits St Georges.

Gearoid Devaney currently works for Flint Wines, a London based wine company who specialises in fine wines from Burgundy. Please click here to view the menu.
£95 per person. Reserve your place online or call us on 01635 528770 to book.

Sunday 12th August – Classic Vehicle Show at Newbury Racecourse

This is the 20th Annual Classic Vehicle Show in support of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. The show attracts a variety of classic cars, commercial vehicles, motorbikes and other unusual classic vehicles. Refreshments are also available.
Entry forms can be downloaded from

2nd Aug-22nd Sept – Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Watermill Theatre

From Thursday the 2nd of August running through until Saturday the 22nd of September, ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ will be playing at the Watermill Theatre. With high-energy, great music numbers throughout, this romantic comedy took Broadway by storm, winning six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Performances start at 7:30pm. Please click here for further information.

Friday 24th August – The Rainforest show with Martin Rapley at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre
Get close up and hands on with the creatures of the rainforest. Martin Rapley returns with a fantastic selection of creatures from the rainforest. A great opportunity to meet his animals up close. Usually including a rainbow boa, green iguana, chameleon, tree frog, leaf insect, stick insect, praying mantis, tarantula, forest scorpion and cockroaches.

Sessions throughout the day at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
Please click here for further information.

James Hocking – now a Chevalier of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne

Now a Chevalier of a rather special club

On Monday 9th July, I was invited to London to be “inducted” into a rather special “club”. This being the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. Whilst those of you who know me will be wondering why I’m doing something non-Californian (!), our connections with Champagne at The Vineyard are immense, encompassing Champagne Taittinger, Champagne Gremillet, and a raft of others.

The role of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne

The role of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne is to promote the wines of Champagne, their unique features, their ways of consumption and everything which contributes to their reputation and their image as the most prestigious symbol of success and celebration. Its mission is to contribute to the dissemination of essential information concerning the wines of Champagne by creating and motivating a network of staunch supporters (professional restaurateurs, sommeliers, connoisseurs and personalities from the world of politics, media, stage and screen), most notably through Champagne-led events throughout the world.

A bit of background

Around 1650 young aristocrats at the court of Louis the XIVth, amongst whom were Mortemart, Ollonne, Brousse and the satirist Saint-Evremont, founded an elegant academy dedicated to good wines. They were all famous wine connoisseurs and were particularly fond of the champagne wines from the three “coteaux” (hillsides) Ay, Avenay and Hautvillers. Hence the name given to this association “Ordre des Coteaux”. It disappeared shortly before the revolution.

In 1956 a group of “champenois” led by Roger Gaucher and Francois Tatittinger in particular, who did the historical research, decided to revive the original “Ordre des Coteaux”.

The Champagnes flowed at dinner

At the dinner, which followed the intronisation ceremony, jeroboams and magnums of Champagnes Deutz, Drappierand Taittinger were served to accompany the food. I felt proud to have been asked to join the Ordre (in the rank of Chevalier), and am looking forward to assisting further with the promotion of what must be the world’s ultimate celebration wine…

First picture –  James Hocking, Director of Wine at The Vineyard Group and Justin Llewelyn – UK, Ireland & Channel islands Ambassador, Champagne Taittinger and Consul General, Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

Californian sparkling wine offer and free delivery

Enjoy 10% off one of our new arrivals – Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc 08, until 31st August 2012 and take advantage of free delivery when you spend over £150. Please quote ‘blanc08‘ at checkout. Visit The Vineyard Cellars website now.

James Hocking

Director of Wine
The Vineyard Cellars
The Vineyard

Judgement of Paris Story – 1976 Famous Blind Wine Tasting

In 1976, in small room in a Paris hotel, a strange thing happened. Something that changed a centuries-old status quo and rocked the ‘civilised’ world to it’s roots. In a blind tasting with some of the leading French wine aficionados of the day, Californian wines were chosen over France’s very best. Big names were knocked right out of the park in a comprehensive whooping. Visit our website and click on the video below to discover more.

Up and coming events in July

Friday 22nd June to Saturday 28th July – Ben-Hur at the Watermill Theatre
The Watermill is overawed to present an unbelievably spectacular and never-before seen stage version of the novel by General ‘Lew’ Wallace. Almost certainly the greatest book ever penned… Experts say no book has ever been so widely read…  Find out more

Friday 6th to Sunday 15th July – Newbury Comedy Festival at the Corn Exchange
Just three days left to see some fantastic top name comedians and some of the latest talent at Newbury’s Comedy Festival 2012 (6th – 15th July). Find out more

Saturday 14th July – Newbury Summer Festival – Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury Racecourse
The Weatherbys Super Sprint is one of the major races for two year olds of the entire flat racing season. Some of the country’s quickest horses will race at blistering pace over the shortest racing distance of 5 furlongs. The high class supporting races include the Group 3 Shadwell Stakes and the Listed Shadwell Beech House Stud Stakes. Find out more 

Monday 16th July Ladies Lunch – Maurice Blik – The Vineyard 
Join artist Maurice Blik for an interesting and insightful talk on his past experiences, work in sculpture and in particular the commission of the ‘At First Light’ bronze statue by Sir Peter Michael in 1997. This statue proudly stands within the grounds of nearby Donnington Valley Golf Club and was aptly named ‘At First Light’ because it was specifically designed for a site, which catches the first light of dawn. £60 per person. Find out more

Friday 20th July – Cheese, Wine and Spa Evening with Darphin The Vineyard 
6.30pm – Enjoy a selection of artisan cheeses and wines and learn more about food and wine pairing from Yohann Jousselin MS. 7.15pm – Interactive Darphin Skin Secrets talk. 8pm – Taster treatments in the spa including mini hand and head massages. Enjoy your goodie bag filled with Darphin product samples and Vineyard chocolates. Just £15 pp. Please call 01635 589415 to book.

Sunday 22nd July – Newbury Waterways Festival at Kennet and Avon Canal
The Newbury branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust proudly organises the Newbury Waterways Festival which this year will be on Sunday 22nd July. Boats will start gathering from Friday 20th July for the event which takes place in Victoria Park and at The Wharf. Find out more

Monday 23rd July – Foundation Wine School – Blind Wine Tasting – The Vineyard – 6pm-8pm
Discover the art of blind wine tasting with Head Sommelier Yohann Jousselin MS. £25 per personFind out more

Monday 23rd July – Ladies Wine Club, Winemaker event – Domaine Laroche –  The Vineyard – 3pm-5pm
Join Yohann and other like-minded ladies for the second Ladies Wine Club event. Domaine Laroche is one of the best producers of Chablis and has wineries in South Africa, Chile and in the south of France.              £30 per person. 
Call 01635 528770 to book and discover more.

Wednesday 25th July – Advanced Wine School – Blind Wine Tasting – The Vineyard – 6pm-8pm
Have fun tasting wines blind with Head Sommelier, Yohann Jousselin MS. £30 per person. Find out more

Saturday 28th July – Kipling’s Just so stories at The Corn Exchange
Critically acclaimed, award winning Newbury Youth Theatre perform their brand new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just so stories. Adapted and directed by Amy and Tony Trigwell-Jones and devised by the company, this year’s production marks a return to these much-loved fables, having produced their first version of the Just so stories in 2007. Find out more

The Food at The Vineyard

If you haven’t seen already The Vineyard has a new look and feel! The entrance has been totally refurbished and an impressive glass-floored wine vault now takes centre stage! Go through the wine vault to ‘Taste’, an ideal space to enjoy a glass of wine and of course to sample some of my latest dishes. Taste is also home to the magnificent Judgement of Paris painting by artist, Gary Myatt.

I have been working hard to create dishes that are tasty, simple, sustainable and fresh. We have created various menus making the dining experience at The Vineyard a little more flexible, relaxed and enjoyable. This gives diners the opportunity to taste different foods, mix dishes and most importantly taste a variety of wines that The Vineyard offers, which can be matched to your dish by our sommeliers, or wine coaches as we call them.

One of my favourite dishes on the current seasonal menu is line caught pan-roasted turbot, spiced bread, courgette. This would be perfectly paired with a William Selyem, Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard, California 1999.

Discover more about my current dishes by visiting our Menus page or book a table and come a try a plate or two!

Daniel Galmiche
Executive Chef
The Vineyard

A New Age for The Vineyard

The 13th June saw the unveiling of the new-look public spaces at The Vineyard. With over 150 people attending the launch including friends, family and local business people there was definitely a buzz about the place.

Our public space including the reception, bar and casual dining area has been transformed, so now as guests walk through our doors, they will instantly see why we are called The Vineyard.

A dramatic new painting depicting the infamous Judgement of Paris wine tasting in 1976, an impressive glass-floored wine vault containing over 880 bottles giving guests the opportunity to see down to our cellar, and a brand new menu concept are just some of the exciting changes we’ve made.

On the evening of the launch party, Sir Peter gave an informed and entertaining speech about the famous Judgement of Paris wine tasting so guests could understand why Sir Peter commissioned such an impressive painting to depict the event. Read more about how the Californian wine beat the French.

As the doors of the wine vault were opened, guests were met with the stunning piece painting adorning the wall in front of them. Guests admired piece of art work painted by artist, Gary Myatt, and the new Taste room as this too has been refurbished throughout.

Now onto the really fun bit of the evening – the blind wine tasting! Guests were given the opportunity to taste two white wines and two red and vote for their favourites. We couldn’t have asked for a more diplomatic result – the French white and the Californian red won the night!

The white wines tasted were:
Bourgogne, Chardonnay,Vincent Girardin, Burgundy, France, 2010
Waterstone, Chardonnay, Napa, CA, 2010

And the reds:
Waterstone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, 2007
St Émilion, Vieux Château Negrit, Bordeaux, France, 2009

The launch party was a huge success and the team at The Vineyard is looking forward to many more events being held at the hotel in future.

Keep an eye on our new website for news of the exciting wines being lined up for this year’s Vineyard Wine Festival on 26th-27th October. Tickets will be limited.

For more information on The Vineyard, please visit: