Marisa twitter page facebook page linkedin profile

Get your Monthly Newsletter and Food & Wine Pairing Guide, FREE

Italy

image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

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 […]



image

Montecucco: The New Face of Tuscany

Have you imagined taking a fantasy vacation in Tuscany? People around the world fantasize about the “beautiful life” offered … typically a panoramic view of hills (often including a slice of ocean or castle tower) and Old World stone buildings and lots of time to spend with friends and family, Agriturismo is increasingly popular way […]



image

Visiting Amiata Vini in Montecucco, Italy

It was such a pleasure to meet Simone Tonielli the proprietor of Amiata winery located in Montegiovi, an ancient village in the municipality of Castel del Piano (a province of Grosseto) which is an incredible 400 meters above sea level at the foot of Mount Amiata, an ancient extinct volcano. First off, it was so […]



image

Visiting the Pieri family of Poggio Stenti

“My father wanted to be a butcher as a young man,” says Eleonora Pieri, as she drives me to her family’s farm in an area of Montecucco which is just within sight of the Banfi tower in Montalchino. We stop by for a visit – it is quite charming, with well-arranged meats and what can […]



image

Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG: The Other Sangiovese

Since the 2011 Vintage, Sangiovese produced in Montecucco can bear the DOCG label if certain specifications are kept, such as at least 90% of the grapes must be Sangiovese and the wine is aged a minimum of 12 months in wood and six months in bottle. However, many producers go beyond this, aging the wine for […]



image

Visiting Casale Pozzuolo in Montecucco, Italy

Delightful visit to Casale Pozzuolo to kick off my visit to Montecucco, as of 2011 a new DOCG region for Sangievese. First, you have to imagine the landscape – incredible green rolling hills everywhere you look, absolutely stunning countryside with brooks and meadows everywhere. Casale Pozzuolo, a stunning castle that has been lovingly refurbished by […]



image

Tasting with Giacomo Conterno in Barolo

    “My goal is put my signature on my wine,” says Giacomo Conterno, speaking about the importance – or not – of critics in the wine world. This statement follows a discussion of the twenty-year debate between the “traditionalists” and “modernists” in Barolo. A brilliant and charming conversationalist, I found him a fountain of […]



image

Visiting G.D. Vajra Family in Piedmont

Wonderful visit today with the fabulously closely knit G.D. Vajra family, who produces Barolo as well as Barbera, Dolcetto, native grapes … and Riesling! Okay, so here’s the story. This is a family of poets and dreamers, with everything beginning with Aldo Varja, an organic winemaker and traditionalist who adheres to old style winemaking methods […]



image

Visiting Oddero Winery in Piedmont

It’s not often you find a winemaker who looks more like an Milan-based socialite, yet Mariacristina Oddero of Oddero winery in La Morra fits the mold. Beyond Mariacristina’s charm, the first thing one notices is the gorgeous “L-shaped” house/winery at the top of the hill and the tall green trees in the driveway. The winery […]



image

A look at Marchesi di Gresy in Barbaresco

  So the first thing you notice when you step inside the ancient doors of Marchesi di Gresy and see the tall fair-haired man with his welcoming outstanding hand is the New Zealand accent – and upfront friendliness – of cellar master Jeffrey Chilcott. He came to Italy years ago, having bitten the wine but […]



image

Exploring Pio Cesare

Augusto Boffa is a man who likes to drive fast, hugging the vine-filled curves of the tiny hillside road that runs from the winery in downtown Alba to the pretty outdoor La Contea restaurant in Nieve. Maybe he’s just hungry, yet there is a certain determination in the way he drives – the same determination […]



image

Conversation with Pietro Ratti of Renato Ratti

So I still remember the moment I heard Pietro Ratti speak – possibly seven years ago in New York – about his winery and the exciting changes in Piedmont in terms of the historical move toward quality. With that, you can imagine my excitement for Pietro to personally give me a tour and tasting of […]