Episode 18 Simon Robinson
Hattingley Sparkling Wine

British wine use to have a reputation, but not one we wanted. Now it’s taking on the French at their own game with some of the best sparkling in the world. As chair of Wine GB Simon is the perfect guest to chat to to find out why and how.

If you’d said to Simon Robinson in 2008 that his Hattingley Valley vineyards would have the capacity – in a really good year – to produce 580,000 bottles of wine…or that his sparkling rose would be crowned a world champion, he would have said you were crackers.

And yet, in just over a decade, Hattingley  and other GB newcomers have done brilliantly in what is a very old industry…even though in the early days our efforts were written off as being poor copies of German varieties like Riesling and  Muller-Thergau.   

In this conversation you’ll discover why our sparkling wines are now doing so well and why Simon calls his sector ‘agriculture on steroids’:  it will make your eyes water when you do and you’ll wonder why on earth he gave up his partner position at a city law firm to go on such a rollercoaster…

Episode 17 Michael Stoates
Stoate and Sons traditional miller

Michael Stoate is a fifth generation miller in Dorset, whose family have been producing stoneground flour since 1832.  That means he knows a lot about flour.  It was the era when sailing ketches would carry the flour across the Severn to Swansea and return with coal for the mills. As a teenager he thought he’d be an engineer but he had so much fun getting his hands dirty in the holidays he couldn’t help but join the family business.
 

In this conversation you’ll learn about the wonder of wheat germ – the embryo of life, which gives bread its gorgeous flavour – and what really happens to it in modern mechanised milling… That might help you work out how bread now can last for days, but when you were a kid, or in France, it lasted just a few hours.
 
And you’ll see how Michael has adapted to the ever-changing bread scene: from the lows of the late 80s and 90s, when his whole-food shop market disappeared to brighter times, with our growing interest in continental breads, artisanal baking and sourdough.
 
I learnt a lot, and I hope you do too.  Enjoy x
:)