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Italy

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Le Rive: the pure essence of Terroir

Le Rive: the pure essence of Terroir A few months ago I read an interseting article about Le Rive in Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg.  I found it interesting as I had just visited this region a few months earlier. Le Rive an Italian local dialect name which means vineyards planted on steep ground. This word […]



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Exploring Conegliano Valdobbiadene: The Land of Prosecco Superior

“Prosecco?” the gentlemen asks, a bit startled by my question about it’s “image.”  “It’s sexy, cool, a fun sparkler to order in a bar,” he responds. Yes, Prosecco today has a super sexy image, and why not? It has that great Italian name that rolls off the tongue and conjurs up images of romance, an […]



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Vinitalytour 2014

Wow, Vinitaly Tour USA 2014 was such a fab experience. One of the most intensive storms of the season and the city’s best journalists, buyers, and sommeliers turned out to taste new offerings and attend top seminars on Amarone, Franciacorta, and Barolo led by Ian D’Agata, a specialist in these fields. Lucky participants had 7 […]



Vigna I Botri Riserva 2008

Interesting wine from Chambers Street …. organic and blind tasted against a Rosso di Montalcino just being told they were from the same country .. dry, with medium racy acidity, medium smooth tannins, medium body, medium 13.5 alcohol, and a very intense herbal cherry (red) finish … could easily be confused (blind) with a Burgundian […]



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Meeting Giuseppe Santarelli of Avignonesi

  Very interesting evening yesterday at the offices of Colangelo PR in New York City. They invited Giuseppe Santarelli, North American Manager for Avignonesi, to speak about the changes at Avignonesi now that Virginie Saverys has purchased the winery after two years as a silent partner.  One of her goals was to convert all vineyards […]



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Experiencing Bubbly from Ferrari in Trentino DOC (Italy)

“So what does a man do when he has five sons?”  Well, one possibility is to buy a winery and put them all to work. This is exactly what happened at Ferrari, who produces metodo classico spumante in Trentino, Italy. Interestingly, the winery was created by Giulo Ferrari in 1902, who had gone to Champagne […]



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Visit to Emile Pepe Winery, Abruzzo

Extremely exciting visit to this family-run winery, which ‘officially’ had its debut in 1964, when Emile Pepe (son of a longtime winemaking family, who primarily grew grapes) went off on his own and began to bottle wine. Yet bottling wine also implies one has to sell the wine, so very early on Emile made great […]



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Visit to Zaccagnini Winery in Abruzzo

“It is not difficult to produce a premium wine,” says Angelo Ruzzi, export manager for Cantina Zaccagnini, a magnificent wine estate in the Bolognano region of Abruzzo, a very remote area with soaring snow-capped mountains all around.  “It is much more difficult to produce a value wine. “ Though Cantina Zaccagnini is now a very […]



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Visiting Azienda Nicola Di Sipio

“I’m Julia, we are honored to have you visit today,” says Julia Di Sipio, who is in charge of marketing for this Di Sipio family business. The winery is a new purchase for the family, who built a fortune in the automotive industry.  Mr. Di Sipio loved wine, modern architecture, and the opportunity to express […]



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Visiting the Marramiero Winery in Abruzzo

  So imagine reaching a beautiful wine estate in the heart of Abruzzo … driving up the road just at the twilight hour. Though too dark to see the vineyards, the handsome owner Enrico Marramiero, who looks very much like the character Richard Gere played in the popular film Pretty Woman, greets us along with […]



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Visiting Cantina Strapelli in Abruzzo

“Welcome,” says Guido Strapelli, with a friendly smile. Guido is the fifth generation to farm this vineyard, which now has an increasing focus on organic wine production. The family has ten hectares, some planted in front of the winery and the rest in the hillside. The winery took a giant step forward in 1990 with […]



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Wines of Abruzzo: Kickoff at L’Angolino

  “Thought you knew Montepulciano? Think again. While studying for the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) several years ago, I discovered it was the key grape of the Abruzzo region of Italy and that it was said to produce easy drinking, fruit-led wine. Yet things have changed … with producers focusing on a new […]



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Meeting Martin Kronenberg of Brancaia Wines

  “My wife’s parents fell in love with this vineyard nearly thirty years ago,” says Martin Kronenberg, the tall, broad shouldered winemaker at Brancaia wines, a  family owned winery which in the last dozen years have come to adorn shelves with quality wine in more than forty countries. I didn’t ask, yet can imagine the […]



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Meeting Beppe Caviola of Damilano Barolo

Very interesting to meet Beppe Caviola of Damilano Barolo, and taste four of his wines. In 2002 he received the Winemaker of the Year award from Gambero Rosso as well as many others, and the four wines showed his intelligence and insight. The 2008 Lecinquevigne is a blend of five vineyards with vines aged up […]



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Casa Vinicola Zonin Rocks the Astor Center (NYC)

Casa Vinicola Zonin, Italy’s largest privately owned wine producer, rocked the Astor Center Monday night with their version of the “Italian Culinary Experience.” The evening kicked off with Prosecco and continued on for a total of nine wine and food pairing courses from Zonin’s Tenuta Ca’Bolani Estate in Fruili. The delicious dishes were prepared by […]



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Visiting Biancavigna in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene

  “I am so excited to show you our terroir!” exclaims Luca Cuzziol, an owner with his lovely wife of Biancavigna in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Italy. I jump into his car and we are off to explore the three pieces of land he owns in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG region, characterized by spectacular topography with steep hills … […]



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Visiting Bisol in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene

  “Welcome to Bisol,” says Roberto Cremonese, energetic export manager at Bisol, a large quality Prosecco DOCG producer in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Evidence exists of the Bisol family in the historic heart of the production area of Prosecco, the area called “Chartice” in the very prestigious Cartizze hills – can be found as early as the sixteenth […]



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Visiting Giovanni Frozza in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Italy

Wearing a lizard green shirt,  Giovanni Frozza greets me at his family”s winery in Valdobbiadene. Youngish and fit, he explains the details of the winery which has been in this location for 80 years and a few kilometers since 1890. Standing in the distance as we talk and taste at a sunny picnic table is […]



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Alto Adige Wines Master Class

Recently back from a trip to Alto Adige, Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth. lead a tasting and seminar of the wines of Italy’s most northern region. It was an interesting seminar … the focus was on the multitude of varieties grown and unique microclimates within the region. I was in Trentino a few months back … […]



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Consorzio Del Vino Brunello di Montalcino comes to NYC

“Don’t pick it up!” exclaims Kevin Zraly, acclaimed wine educator and best-selling author to the dozens of journalists sitting in the room, as servers poured the first glass of wine – the Podere Brizio 2008.  “Don’t even look at it! Pretend it’s not there. We all taste together, that’s the rule,” he says. Most sophisticated […]