The Orkney Wine Festival 2018


We’re delighted to announce the detailed programme for the 2018 Orkney Wine Festival.  This year’s festival focuses on two countries – Italy and Chile – and on two themes – Sauvignon Blanc and Organic Production.  We have a few innovations for you to enjoy: not least, we’re focusing our activities over two three-day weekends; we’re making our festival debut at the Old Library; and we’re featuring live tango music for the first time!  We expect demand to be very high for all events and booking is essential.  Phone or email to book, or for more info: contact details below. 

Information updated as of 7pm, 6th May, to include sold out events.

The festival will be fun, informal and informative.  And with 10% off all wine bought or ordered during the ten days of the festival, it’s the perfect opportunity to stock up for summer!

Emiliana's organic vineyards

Emiliana's organic vineyards

FRIDAY 11th May   7.30pm

1.  Organic Origins: Emiliana, with José Tirado  

The Commodore, Holm.  £43.00.  

Since last summer The Commodore has been under new management in the shape of imaginative chef Gayle Sutherland and ace scallop diver Emlyn Grieve.  It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to eat in Orkney, as we’ll be experiencing tonight with a special four-course menu.  And to drink, six top wines from Emiliana – a sparkler, two whites, two reds, and a sweet Sauvignon Blanc – all organic and bursting with fruit, introduced by our charming Chilean guest José Tirado.  We’re running a bus to and from Kirkwall for this event: see below for details.  



SATURDAY 12th May   12.00pm – 3.00pm

2.  Shop tasting: Sauvignon Blanc with José Tirado and Duncan McLean

Kirkness & Gorie, Broad Street, Kirkwall.  Free.

Sauvignon Blanc is by far our most popular white wine, and New Zealand’s Marlborough is the current ‘go to’ source.  But Chile makes superb Sauv Blanc too, so José is going to pour four different Emiliana wines in a range of styles, and Duncan will be pouring three Marlborough classics.  Let’s see how these two New World giants compare!  There’s sure to be some cheese and nibbles on the go too.  Drop in for five minutes or stay an hour, come alone or bring a crowd…


SATURDAY 12th May   6.00pm – 8.30pm

3. The Festival Wine Fair

The Town Hall, Church Road, Stromness.  £8 if booked in advance, or £10 on the door.

Our wine fair is the highlight of the festival for many: an opportunity to mingle informally with wine-makers and wine-merchants, as well as fellow wine-lovers, sampling up to 50 top-notch wines from all corners of the world, at all prices from budget to birthday-treat.  But all you pay is £8 (or £10 on the door – to encourage you to book early.) That buys you an empty glass with which to sample to your heart’s content.  Stromness Town Hall is the ideal venue: lots of room to lift those elbows, chat with friends, and navigate your way to the next table. Pouring tonight will be José Tirado from Emiliana, Sarah Mauritzen from leading importer Boutinot and of course Duncan, Julia and the K&G team.  Come early and stay late, or pop in at any time for a few selected highlights. Buy a bottle to take home on the night, or order at festival prices. (We’ll have a deli table too, so you can sample some of our cheese, chorizo and other goodies between glasses.)

 (We are NOT organising a bus from Kirkwall to this event, but the X1 service fits in perfectly for the start, and will require only a short wait at the pierhead at the end.)



SUNDAY 13th May   6.30pm

4.  The Thrill of the Grill: Adobe with José Tirado

The Old Library, Kirkwall.  £38.00.  (Approx. ten tickets left as of 10am, 1st May.)

Since the Old Library burst onto the scene last summer it’s become a must-visit Kirkwall eatery: casual but classy.  So we thought we’d ask José to present Adobe’s fantastic range of bistro wines: great quality but also great value for money.  Some of them may already be familiar to you, but tonight we’re presenting the whole range – ten wines, white, rosé and red – for you to choose from.  Your ticket gets you four 125ml glasses of your choice, as well as a thrilling four-course menu cooked on the grill in the Old Library’s beer garden!  Mingle in the sun (we hope) till the food is ready, then sit down and feast. 

 (If you want to sample more than four wines, or fancy a bottle to share at your table, you can buy during the meal at less-than-standard restaurant prices.)



MONDAY 14th – THURSDAY 17th May

Home sweet home!

This year we’ve decided to have most of our events over two weekends, leaving the days inbetween to recover and – let’s face it – get up for work in the morning.   There’s still 10% off any wine bought or ordered in the shop, and we will be opening interesting bottles every day for anyone who wants to try.  So drop in and see us any time during the week.  For once we will have time to chat during the festival, rather than rushing from one event to the next all week long!

Patrizia Baldini, LIberty Wines at the Italian Chapel in 2016

Patrizia Baldini, LIberty Wines at the Italian Chapel in 2016

FRIDAY 18th May   7.00pm

5.  Organic Tuscany: with Patrizia Baldini

Helgi’s, Harbour Street, Kirkwall.  £49

We’re delighted to welcome back Patrizia Baldini of Liberty, the UK’s leading importer of Italian wine.  She first joined us in 2016, and her knowledge and enthusiasm linger in the memory.   Tonight she presents a selection of favourite wines from Tuscany – and they’re all organic.  Expect a young, fruity red to start, two rare whites with your first course, two stunning Chiantis with your main, and a heavenly Vin Santo to finish.  All accompanied by a special menu from the Helgi’s team, featuring bold flavours and a strong Italian accent.   Sorry, fully booked: waiting list operating in case of cancellations.  SORRY, FULLY BOOKED: WAITING LIST IN OPERATION IN CASE OF CANCELLATIONS.


SATURDAY 19th May   12.00pm – 3.00pm

6.  Shop tasting: Sauvignon Blanc, Italy v. NZ, with Patrizia Baldini and Duncan McLean

Kirkness & Gorie, Broad Street, Kirkwall.  Free.

We thought we’d extend our Sauvignon Blanc explorations into Italy, by finding a few fine and varied examples imported by Patrizia, and comparing them to three bottles from different parts of New Zealand.  So it’s Veneto v. Marlborough, Friuli v. Hawkes Bay, and Tuscany v. Martinborough.  We’re not really looking for ‘winners,’ just for similarities and differences between six interpretations of our most popular white grape.  Will there be cheese to match?  There’s always cheese to match!  Grab a quick glass or try the lot…come alone or bring all your Sauv-Blanc-loving friends.


SATURDAY 19th May   Wine and cheese from 7.00pm, film 7.45pm.

7.  West Side Cinema presents: Human Capital 

Stromness Town Hall, Church Road, Stromness.  £8.00 (includes film and nibbles, but not wine.) 

We’re linking up once more with our friends at West Side Cinema to provide a unique film and deli experience, including the return of our popular pop-up, The Strangely Delicious Wine Bar.   Your ticket gets you a generous helping of cheese, crackers, salame and suchlike.  Meanwhile, special guest Patrizia will be assisting behind the Strangely Delicious bar, selling glasses and bottles of excellent Italian and Argentinean wine.  The deli treats are covered by your cinema ticket, and wine will cost between £2 and £5 per 125ml glass, or between £8 and £20 per bottle to share or take away.   Human Capital was released in 2015 and won a raft of awards.  It’s a polished, suspense-filled, multi-narrative dissection of modern society, set in northern Italy.  It’s a 15 certificate.  For this event only, tickets are available from Stromness Books & Prints as well as Kirkness & Gorie.  What’s that you say?  ‘Italian and Argentinean wine?’  Yes!  Because we have an extra attraction tonight, with Orkney Camerata playing LIVE music by Astor Piazzolla, the son of Italian parents who became Argentina’s ‘King of Tango.’


Hman Capital.jpg

SUNDAY 20th May   12.30pm

8.  Piemonte, Familiar and Surprising: Lux Lunch with Patrizia Baldini

The Lynnfield Hotel, Kirkwall.  £45.00.

Our first ever Wine Festival lunch was such a pleasure last year that we thought we’d do it again!  Meet in the lounge at 12.30 for a glass of rosato, then enjoy a leisurely three-course, Italian-style lunch.  Patrizia, a native of Piemonte, will be introducing us to fine examples of some of its familiar names (Gavi di Gavi, Nebbiolo – the grape behind Barolo) but also some more obscure wines (Favorita, Barbera d’Alba.)  And a sparkling sweet to finish.  The Lynnfield’s food needs no higher recommendation than to say we are already looking forward to our 12 Lux dinners there next winter! SORRY, FULLY BOOKED: WAITING LIST IN OPERATION IN CASE OF CANCELLATIONS.

moscato_contero (Stelvin) FS.jpg


  • For more information, or to book for any event, phone Duncan or Julia on 01856 888792 or email  Places are limited at all events, so booking is essential.
  • We are encouraging everyone to book in advance for the Wine Fair on Saturday 12th by charging only £8 in advance, and £10 on the door.  This is a casual event, and you can just buy a ticket on the night, but it helps us enormously if we know how many people are coming so we can plan wine quantities. 
  • Please inform us before booking of any special dietary or wine requirements and we will liaise with the restaurant concerned to try and meet your needs.  Usually it is easy to arrange vegetarian options, or to avoid certain allergens – as long as we know in advance.  If we only hear about it on the night it can be tricky, as everyone is doing special menus specifically for us, and won’t necessarily have their usual full choice of dishes as alternatives. Even if you have told us previously what your preferences are, please remind us again, in case we have forgotten what you said last year!
  • Kirkness & Gorie is normally open 10am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, so drop in any time during the week for a chat and a browse.
  • Orders placed during the festival attract 10% discount.  We have a certain quantity of all festival wines in stock, but if demand is high and we have to bring more home it should only take a couple of weeks. 



·       Booking is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL on the bus as places are limited.

·       The bus leaves Broad Street, outside The Longship, at 7.10pm sharp to arrive at The Commodore for a 7.30pm start. 

·       The return journey will leave The Commodore at 10.30pm, to be back in Broad Street about 10.50pm.

·       The fee for the journey is £10.00 per person for a return ticket, payable in advance please. 

·       As we’ll be using Mayne’s coaches rather than self-drive, it won’t be possible to pick up or drop off people off at their houses: Broad Street is the start and finish point.



  • We will update this website as soon as we can when events get booked up.  Phone for the very latest info!
  • We are very active on Facebook, and we’ll be posting updates and photos there too: please like us and have a look as the week goes on. 
  • We’re also now on Instagram, thanks to Lauren: follow us at kirkness_and_gorie.


If you have any questions beyond what is available online, do phone us on 01856 888792. 

But above all, BOOK SOON, as numbers are strictly limited at all events.


Past highlights

There have been so many great moments over the years, that it’s impossible to pick out favourite events.  However, to give a flavour of what goes on, we will choose one particularly memorable event from each of the 11 festivals so far.

2007       This is where it all started!  28th May saw Jan Pettersen of Fernando de Castilla introducing us to his superb range of sherries, with Orkney tapas by The Creel.

2008       Paulo De Marchi of legendary Chianti producer Isole e Olena thrilled us at The Lynnfield, and was thrilled himself by a trout-fishing afternoon on Harray Loch, courtesy of the Merkister.

2009       This was the year we introduced our Wine Fair, where you pay a token fee, grab a glass, then circulate around a suitably spacious venue, trying up to 50 wines, and chatting with our winemaker guests.  An amazing opportunity to try things you’d never normally choose – or splash out on.

2010       Our third visit from Plantagenet of Western Australia, making them (so far) our most frequent guest.  Their superb wines are still on our shelves eight years on.

2011       A perfect match of food at wine at Lucano, as Francesco cooked a special menu of dishes from his native Basilicata, and Marco Scarinci introduced a stunning selection of wines from the area.

2012       With cheese playing a bigger than ever part in Kirkness & Gorie, this was the year of our first all-day cheese and wine tasting in the shop.  Special artisan and farmhouse cheese from across Europe, and a lot of fun finding wines to match them.

2013       Our first ever film night in Stromness Town Hall.  The film wasn’t very good (we’ll be polite and not mention its name) but the Tuscan wine that Giacomo Alari poured was superb.

2014       A seafood spectacular at the Skerries Bistro was a real highlight this year, complemented by German white wines, as was a much better film in Stromness: Cinema Paradiso, with Sicilian wines from Donnafugata to match.

2015       Our first (and so far, only) 100% sparkling wine dinner, featuring Devaux Champagne and another seafood feast at the Skerries.

2016       We’ve had quite a few celebrated wine people with us over the years, but none more influential than Kevin Judd, founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, who, after 25 vintages, upped the stakes with his own label, Greywacke.  Great wines, and great insights from Kevin.

2017       A strong New Zealand theme to this festival following Duncan’s trip there in the spring.  But also superb events highlighting Rioja and Argentinean wine.  By general consensus, our best festival so far!  And you know, I think 2018 will be even better…