An interview with William Long  

US importers and customers Artisan & Vines recently published an interview with our MD William Long in their newsletter. We’ve published his answers to their questions:

What inspired you to create your collection of Spanish wines?
I love to compete and like the challenge of making the best product possible in every category we enter. Being restless by nature, I am NEVER satisfied, which is frustrating for those around me, but this is also a source of energy which is a growing need as each year passes by!

Are there other winemakers you look up to and why?
I completely identify with what both Ricard Rofes and Fernando Mora are doing: “simple winemaking” that enhances fruit picked at the optimum moment and a quest for balance, freshness and harmony rather than power. Actually what they do is extremely complicated but the techniques and methods aren’t new (except perhaps for the fermentation “eggs”).

What’s your favorite recipe and do you have a favorite wine to pair it with?
One of my favourite dishes is an Indian yoghurt soup, which is rich with mainly lentils, Greek yoghurt, cardamom, cumin, ginger and garlic. I’d usually have a glass of DE PRO rosé on hand and left over from the aperitivo and then move on to Altos de Aranda Tempranillo. The cava has the structure to stand up to the spice.

Favorite moment from your career?
Many people have suggested I write a memoir of things that have happened, most of which would not be publishable, but I have extremely warm memories of spending time – usually over a dinner table and a cork pulled- with people I have got to know through business and have the pleasure to still work with ten years or more later. This applies very much to Artisans & Vines.

What is your favorite part of the creative process of creating wine?
Blending with winemakers is always fun and creative. Scheming up new brands and then writing about them is also enjoyable and then perpetually looking for new ways to enhance them. That’s usually done by those around me, but I like that very much.

What’s your favorite place you’ve travelled to?
Crikey, I just can’t come up with just one, sorry! Despite a strong attraction to Japan, I will stay faithful to my adopted homeland and mention: The wild open landscapes of Extremadura with the holm oak trees, pigs and streams to bathe in. Asturias, generally speaking, whether in remote mountain locations or near the sea. The area beyond Falset towards Terra Alta is very special to me. I used to be mesmerised by the stars at night there when staying in the rented room of a hazelnut growing family there.

When you’re not drinking wine what’s your drink of choice?
I have quite a weakness for German wheat beers amongst others.

Any holiday traditions you love?
We return to Asturias year after year.  Being English, (originally at least!) I guess the lush green grass appeals and the mountains always lift my soul while my wife, Barbara, is similarly moved by the sea. The quality of food-especially fresh seafood- provides the icing on the cake (as it were.)

Favorite music?
I tend to like music linked to Blues. Going back in time, I adore especially the Greg Allman band, Clapton, of course, and the Doors. At the moment I am listening to a Valencia-based band called the Prussians and I also like an album by a Belgium band called Balthazar.

Any fun hobbies?
Tennis. I’m obsessed and usually play at least five times a week.