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Anna de Codorniu #Cava … on “Sparkling Sunday”

Sundays are always a great time to break out the bubbly and enjoy the day (especially with delicious dessert). This past Sunday, we tried Anna de Codorniu Brut, NV and Brut Rose, NV, cava made in the traditional method in which the fermentation takes place in the bottle – similar to Champagne. First the bottle […]



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Tasting the Wines of Rodney Strong Estate on the 25th Anniversary #RSV25

At the recent wine blogger’s conference in Santa Barbara I was able to hook up with the Rodney Strong Brothers folks, who are celebrating their 25th Anniversary. The story of this world class winery actually begins more than 50 years ago, when a celebrated American dancer named Rod Strong settled in Sonoma County to pursue […]



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Planet Bordeaux Press Seminar with Michael Madrigale

So do you think you know wines from Bordeaux? Many people assume “Bordeaux” means expensive, yet Michael Madrigale made some excellent points on why it really should be considered a wine for everyday dinners. First – and this was an impressive stat – 75% of Bordeaux AOC and Superior is produced in  Entre-deux-Mers. The reds […]



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Canti Prosecco Comes to NYC

So, is Giannienrico Martini the most brilliant wine marketer, or not? Today I was a guest at the launch of the Canti Prosecco brand in the U.S.  The lunch took place at  Locanda Verde in NYC, and even though I had visited the Prosecco region I was extremely impressed by both the quality of this […]



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Visit to Abbazia di Novacella

This winery originated as an abbey dating back to 1142, a period in which the Blessed Artmanno, bishop of Bressanone, decided to erect a monastery in Neustift. Since the founding of the Abbey offered hospitality to the pilgrims going to Rome or the Holy Land. Thanks to the convent school and the deep interest in science […]



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Visit to J. Hofstatter in #AltoAdige

Okay, so the first thing that happens after arriving at the J. Hofstatter winery in #AltoAdige is that we are hustled into the back of a military sort of truck and brought up to a cliff in the Kolbenhof vineyard located above Tramin. It’s a well groomed spot with neatly planted grass and even some art […]



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Visit to St. Michael Eppan Cooperative in #AltoAdige

This sleek, modern looking winery offers a gorgeous, modern tasting room and a wealth of information about the terroir where its 350 members grow grapes on 390 hectares. St. Michael-Eppan Winery has been enthroned in the center of South Tyrol’s most important wine-growing community for over a century. For more than two thousand years, wines […]



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Visit to Cantina Bolzano in #AltoAdige

“Welcome,” says Patrizia Sparer, an intelligent looking young woman who’s father is the managing director of the Cantina Bolzano cooperative, which combines 320 hectares of Bolzano’s best vineyards at between 240 and 800m above sea level. One of South Tyrol’s most traditional wines, the S. Maddalena, thrives on the loose, sandy, well-ventilated soil on the […]



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Visit to Nals Margreid

“Hello,” says  Gottfried Pollinger, managing director for the cooperative Nals Margreid in Alto Adige. He’s a neat, compact man with what appears to be a wry sense of humor and is very precise in manner and speech. Today he wears what looks like some sort of red velvet or soft-textured pants, a checked shirt, and […]



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Visit to Wine Estate Unterortl Castel Juval #altoadige #mastersofwine

Ah, the Sudtyrol! Easy to imagine winemakers yodeling in the Alps … and as you can see from this picture, the region is incredibly scenic. Yet here’s the important question.  How often have you enjoyed the opportunity of sipping a glass of wine in the very vineyard where the grapes grew? We are here in […]



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Visit to Laimburg Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry #AltoAdige

The @MastersofWine trip to the Laimburg Research institute in Alto Adige kicked off the trip in a major way, mostly due to the excellent presentation made by Dr. Heike Platter of the institute, whose father was a pioneer here when it opened doors in 1975. Until the 1970s, Trentino-Alto Adige was one autonomous region, now […]



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Wine Pairing with MWs at Seehofkeller restaurant #Alto Adige

“Wow, dinner in a cave!” I thought, entering the Seehofkeller restaurant in Alto Adige, a very chic, trendy restaurant that is “old world” and “new world” at the same time. Designed to resemble an old world wine cave, this gorgeous space was  originally a farmer’s house. Enter the restaurant and you see groups of friends […]



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Meeting Joan Kautz of Ironstone Vineyards in the Sierra Foothills

“You must be the oldest grape growing family I’ve ever met … in the USA, of course,” I say to Joan Kautz, whose family has been farming in Lodi, California since the early 1900s. Though the name may not be familiar to you, this family – who started out as sweet cherry farmers is now […]



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Wines of California: Book Review

Of course, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen are the coolest guys. In this book the “World Wine Guys” take readers on a fab trip into California winemaking, history, and geography. You will also find some great recipes from local chefs, yet what I liked best of all are Mike’s and Jeff’s fun, easy “voice,” that […]



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Forthcoming visit to Weingut Rudolf Furst

    Also excited to be visiting Weingut Rudolf Furst in Burgstadt, a section of Franconia, in a few week’s time. From what I read on the (German) web site the Furst family has been making wine since 1638. In 1979 Paul and Monika Fürst built the new estate amidst the vineyards and in 2007 they […]



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Soon to visit Stadt Klingenberg in Franconia!

Wow, this hillside vista looks very old world, yes? In a matter of days I will be visiting Franconia (Franken in English) which is a bit off the beaten path. Most people think of vineyards on the steep slopes off the Rhine river, yet the vineyards in Franconia are concentrated on the banks of the meandering Main river, with […]



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Tasting Notes Week of September 8th, 2014

Georges Duboeuf Beajolais Village 2013 This is a great food wine, especially in summer and early fall, with softer tannins and a fruit-led structure. It was fun to try it side by side with a “cru” the … George Duboeuf Julienas Chateau des Capitans 2013 … which had more structure, and more concentrated “types” of […]



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Next Week: Off to Alto Adige!

So I am VERY excited to be visiting Alto Adige next week … I visited nearby Trentino a few years ago, which produces very high quality sparkling wine and am now eager to experience the still wines of Alto Adige. Though the region produces less than one percent of the country’s wine, the quality is […]



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Weekend in St Tropez!

A weekend in St Tropez … well, what can be said? Though St. Tropez is possibly one of the only “non-wine” trips I’ve taken to France, the village is as charming as ever. In the mornings it is fun to wander through the village, have a croissant and coffee, and watch the (mostly French locals) […]



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Wine of Moldova in NYC

Have you ever had wine from Moldova?  The history started in 3000 BC and reached its highest level in the 15th century during the reign of Stefan the Great. Today after a reformed wine law and new investment in modernization, Moldova is ready for prime time. Christy Canterbury MW gave a thorough presentation and tutored […]