Richard W. H. Bray

Salt & Old Vines
  • Salt & Old Vines

  • Grab a bottle of wine, and a glass. Pop it open. Pour. Hold it up to the light and see how the colour dances under it. See how bright it is, how it seems to generate its own light. Swirl it, and don't worry if you spill a bit. Have a sniff; get your nose in. Take a sip. Savour it, let it fill your mouth…

    Wine, claims Richard Bray, is a happy accident. Its journey from vine to bottle is fraught, and involves lots of human, fallible people. Men and women who've been picking grapes since six in the morning, or working the press since six-thirty; people who get hurt, who sweat, who bleed, who don't finish until late and need a beer at the end of the day; winemakers who started off as blues guitarists, and octogenarian Catalan farmers who hand-cut grapes faster than their grandchildren.

    Salt & Old Vines is the story of wine, a portrait of some of its people, and a biography of the place it comes from. Inspired by his own experience making wine at Coume del Mas and Mas Cristine in the Rousillon, Richard Bray gives readers a real taste of the winemaking process.

    Get your nose in there again. Has it changed at all? What’s different? Take a sip, a bigger one. Let it linger. Finish the glass. The last sip is always the best…

Richard Bray has been in the wine trade since 2001, when he got a job with Luvians Bottleshop in Scotland. He was a Head Sommelier for two years, and has provided independent consultancy and tastings for Diageo, Tramontane Wines, LVMH and Bibendum Wines amongst others. He currently works for SWiG, an award-winning wine merchant and importer in London. He lives in Chiswick. Every year, he returns to the Rousillon to make wine.

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