May is the perfect time for a vineyard visit, whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere! South of the equator, in Australia, South Africa and Argentina, harvest time is over and the fermentation process is just beginning with this year’s grapes. You might be lucky enough to sample some wine straight from the barrel! In the Northern hemisphere, in France, USA and Italy, as temperatures rise to between 15-20°C, flowering begins. Buds start to flourish and as pollination of the grapevine occurs, the berries of the grapes begin to grow. The warmer weather and public holidays in May make it the ideal time to book a short break.
Check out our guide to the food and wine events happening throughout the world this month.
Taking place throughout May is the Foodies Festival, a national event that tours various cities across the country. This massive event attracts over 300,000 foodies; hitting Brighton 2nd – 4th May, Birmingham 15th – 17th May and Syon Park in Richmond 23rd – 25th May. The festival brings together the very best culinary talents of the British foodie scene. Check out recipes from Michelin star chefs and GBBO contestants or visit the children’scookery theatre with the kids. From cookery demonstrations to tea tents and pop up restaurants, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
23rd May – 31st May
Did you know that there are over 400 wineries in the UK? This is a nationwide event dedicated to spreading the word about English wines. There are activities taking place at wineries up and down the country, from the London Wine Fair to special tours, guided tastings with Masters of Wine and art and cultural exhibitions. Some restaurants are even offering a free glass of English wine with your meal.
Napa Valley, California
29th – 31st May
Summer is festival season, so why not kick-start it with this truly unique event set within the heart of the Napa Valley wine region. Across the three days, there will be a host of culinary and wine-related events to entertain you, as well as a killer line up music-wise that includes the likes of Snoop Dogg, Imagine Dragons and No Doubt. Some of the top Napa wineries will also be showcasing their wines for tasting.
25th – 31st May
Istria has been voted one of the top wine destinations for 2015 for good reason. The home of Croatian wine-making is steeped in history and offers dramatic scenery. The last week of May is a celebration of wine in the region, with winemakers opening the doors of their cellars for you to taste and explore. There is also an exhibition in the area from the 8th – 10th May called Vinistra, where you can taste 100s of Croatian wines and foods under one roof.
This year, Bodega Monteviejo is hosting the 5th Wine Rock Tour at their winery in Mendoza. It will feature performances all afternoon from the likes of Catupecu Machu, Los Pericos and Jaime Torres. There will also be an exhibit at the winery throughout May celebrating art and culture. Of course the day would not be complete without also tasting some fabulous wines and local Mendocinian cuisine!
Taste of Perth
Langley Park, Perth
Taste Perth partners with top chefs and local restaurants to bring you the ultimate foodie experience. Try your hand at cookery classes, sample top quality wines and even take a tequila masterclass! There is also live music which gives the event a festival atmosphere and over 100 artisan producers showcasing the best of local produce.
Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend
Clare Valley, Australia
The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend is a celebration of the end of the harvest and a chance to try some top quality wines from the region. There are 22 wineries participating in the event and you can meet the winemakers in person. There are cookery demonstrations and food and wine pairings, as well as vertical tastings and wine masterclasses.
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival
Okanagan Valley, Canada
1st – 2nd May
The hotly-tipped region of Okanagan Valley produces all styles of wine, but its speciality is ice wine. Grapes are left to freeze on the vine and as the water freezes, the grape juice becomes more concentrated. The resulting wine is deliciously sweet. The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival celebrates the best wines the region has to offer, along with a live band and culinary treats from local restaurants.
Open Cellar Day in St. Emilion
1st – 3rd May
The first weekend in May, the winemakers of St. Emilion in Bordeaux throw open the doors to their chateaux to the world. Across 3 days, you can taste, discover and learn everything you need to know about the famous region. With competitions, local food and wine tastings and a winemakers’ dinner, you may never want to leave!
Weekend des Grands Crus
30th – 31st May
This is the 10th year of the Grand Crus Weekend in Bordeaux. It’s an opportunity to try over a hundred spectacular wines, such as Château Figeac and Domaine de Chevalier, all in one place. It’s one of the only events of its kind that is open to the general public, so get in there quick! Enjoy en primeur barrel tastings from unreleased vintages and meet the chateau owners who can demystify the winemaking process.
If you would like to book a tour in one of these regions or have any questions, get in touch with us.
title photo: www.flickr.com/sanfranannie