Kania Lodge Travel Wine

Summer blushes

If you like rosé wine there’s no better place to be than in Provence which produces more than 100-million bottles of it a year – well over half France’s total production of rosé . That’s where I am now, sitting beneath a plane tree that shades the terrace of a restaurant in Aix-en-Provence. Rosé is made for outdoor terraces like this, especially when the weather is warm and sunny as it tends to be in Provence at this time of the year. I have chosen a rose from Bandol to go with a salade niçoise, a perfect match in my opinion.

Summers are much shorter in Poland than here, but a glass of rose on the terrace is just as wonderful when the sun is shining. We have several rosé s on the Wine Express list, including a new one from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. It arrived this week and we’ll be serving it with Lebanese food on the terrace at Kania Lodge this coming weekend. Because of its lusciousness and hints of strawberry and grapefruit, roses like this go well with slightly spicy food. But it’s also a pleasure on its own. All you need to enjoy it to the full is a terrace, some sun and a cooler to keep the rose in.

John Borrell

Kania Lodge Wine

From pallets to containers

Sixteen years ago I imported what was probably the first pallet of New Zealand Sauvignon to be landed in Poland. It came from Soljans, a small family-owned winery from just north of Auckland run by the ever-smiling Tony Soljan whose family had emigrated from Croatia to New Zealand in the early part of the 20th century.
It was an instant success. I had bought the Sauvignon Blanc especially for Kania Lodge so that I could offer guests something a bit more interesting than was generally available in Poland at that time. But guests immediately began taking a case or two with them when they left. Soon I was getting phone calls from Warsaw and other cities from people desperate to get their hands on some of Tony’s Sauvignon Blanc.
That was the genesis of Wine Express, a mail order company I started a year later to cater what was clearly a demand for more exotic wines than currently available. Soon we had an ever-expanding list of wines from family-owned wineries, some of them famous, from most wine producing countries in the world.

Photo courtesy of

But we kept promoting NZ Sauvignon Blanc. While continuing with Soljans, we quickly expanded our range of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs to include wines from Dog Point, Jules Taylor, Rockburn, Te Mata Estate, Kumeu River and, more recently, Woollaston and Supernatural. We’ve for sure the largest range of Sauvignon Blanc available in Poland.
Now we have turned out attention to promoting other wines that New Zealand does so well. Kumeu River, for example produces some of the world’s best Chardonnay. Pinot Noirs are coming along too and there were plenty of them at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise wine tasting in Warsaw last week. The on-line wine magazine Winicjatywa voted Jules Taylor’s Pinot Noir as the best at the show and praised their new Gruner Veltliner. Te Mata’s Gamay Noir was also singled out for high praise.
Of course there were many other top class wineries exhibiting at the show and I hope they find importers for their wines. They’ll join a dozen or two already here. Many of them , like us, are now importing container loads rather than the single pallets I started out with all those years ago.

John Borrell