Bringing The Wine Geese Home – Official Take-Off!

Thursday January 31st saw the campaign to “Bring the Wine Geese Home” officially take off to enthusiastic acclaim with a launch party held in L’Atitude 51 attended by members of the local food and wine community, many of whom will be organizing tie-in events as part of the overall initiative.

Representing the Wine Geese Community was Tom Lynch of El Comandante Wines, Mendoza, Argentina who, as our guest winemaker, helped launch the programme. Tom recounted how his career path as an EU policy analyst took a dramatic change in direction after the sudden death of his father in 2008, when it fell upon Tom to take up the mantle of running the fledgling vineyard that his father had set up only 2 years before. Since then, the El Comandante brand (Tom’s Father was a Commandant in the Irish Army) has been going from strength to strength with the winery’s 2 wines winning bronze awards at the London Wine Fair in 2011. Tom guided us through a tasting of his wines: a crisp, fruit-driven Chardonnay and a ripe Malbec with supple tannins – both drinking extremely well!

Tom’s tasting paved the way very nicely for the much-awaited programme to be unveiled by Maurice O’Mahony – a programme that is full of exciting events planned for the city and county and is all-inclusive, not only incorporating some of the better-known Wine Geese in the form of Jean Charles Cazes of Chateau Lynch-Bages or Marc Boissonnet of Hennessey Cognac, but also some of the lesser-known, but equally important, Wine Geese too, as well as some of Ireland’s leading wine experts. East, West & North Cork are all amply represented, as well as a number of really interesting city centre locations, highlighting the fact that this is a community-focused initiative. Our ultimate goal is to create a strong network of like-minded individuals working together for the benefit of the food and wine community in Cork. It is hoped that the efforts made now as part of The Gathering Ireland will go beyond 2013 and we will see more and more winemakers, critics, experts, writers, etc… coming to Cork as a result.

In keeping with the theme of the evening, some fantastic “Irish” Wines (wines with an Irish connection) were poured, which were kindly sponsored by local wine suppliers:

  • Sparkling Wine on arrival:  “Rives Blanques” – Blanquette de Limoux – Limoux – France  (sponsored by James Nicholson)
  • El Comandante Chardonnay (sponsored by Tom Lynch of El Comandante)
  • El Comandante Malbec (sponsored by Tom Lynch of El Comandante)
  • Chateau MacCarthy (sponsored by Febvre & Co.)
  • Seifried Ice Wine (sponsored by Classic Drinks)

And as a tribute to the incredible work that local wine historian Ted Murphy has carried out on the Wine Geese, it was only fitting that Colm McCan read a passage from Ted’s award-winning book, “A Kingdom of Wine” which just happened to be the perfect introduction to Chateau MacCarthy – one of the wines poured on the evening. Most of you will have heard of the Wine Museum in Desmond Castle in Kinsale – this historic building details the history of the Wine Geese and is a result of Ted Murphy’s dedicated work on the subject. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, it is definitely worth a trip!

The evening ended in style with an impromptu, yet thrilling rendition of “O Sole Mio” delivered beautifully by Ireland’s leading mezzo-contralto, Amanda Neri, who just happened to be one of the guests.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and all those who have offered to get involved – we have been overwhelmed by the level of support! To this aim, we have left the programme open so that more people can get involved and we can turn this into a fantastic vintage for wine in Cork City and County!

The first event is happening on February 12th in L’Atitude 51 @ 7pm when Master of Wine Jane Boyce will present a tasting of Wine Geese wines, including a vertical tasting of sorts of 2 great Bordeaux wines: Chateau Phelan-Segur 2005 and Chateau Langoa-Barton 2008. This event is being organized in association with James Nicholson Wines.  Tickets Call 021 2390219 if you’d like to reserve a spot.


Emmanuelle Legrand (L’Atitude 51), Maurice O’Mahony (Wine Alliance), Colm McCan (Ballymaloe), Beverley Mathews (L’Atitude 51)


Colm McCan reads from Dr. Ted Murphy’s Book on the Wine Geese “A Kingdom of Wine”


Tom Lynch (El Comandante Wines) presents his wines


Amanda Neri (Mezzo Contralto) performs and inpromptu rendition of “O Sole Mio”


Siobhan and Gavin Ryan (The Black Pig Wine Bar, Kinsale), Paul Kiernan (Grapes of Sloth)

This is a great opportunity to meet wine experts and winemakers in relaxed surroundings, tasting wonderful wines made by Irish winemakers and learn more about the trade.


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