Chris Gifford is one of the true gentlemen of the Irish retail wine trade, and has had an illustrious career in the wine trade so far. Though he doesn’t like to be reminded of it, Chris is well into his third decade of working in the wine trade, having worked across retail, wholesale, importing, hospitality, wine education and even helping out at harvest time.
After working in The Corkscrew, and then as Wine Director at Donnybrook Fair, he has stepped out on his own. His new venture is The Allotment Wine Company is online-only, for now, at www.theallotment.ie.
Launching in April, Chris has already built up a cult following for some of the wines he has selected. Two, in particular, are from producer Alberto Longo in Puglia, thewines being made by Graziana Grassini, of “Supertuscan” icons, Sassicia and Ornellaia. They are amazingly fresh, which is quite unusual, for Puglia in the “heel of Italy”.
Another one is the Bodegas Garmon ‘Prima’ from Toro. Toro is, relatively speaking, a lesser known Spanish wine region, and hence delivers amazing value and quality for the money. The Prima is a bit special, the winemakers having previously made Vega Sicilia, a Spanish icon.