People Who Need People

Back in the saddle, sipping again! Last Saturday I had the great good fortune to attend Wine Spectator’s pull-out-the-stops event, Opera Wine 2021 live and in person in Verona. This was one of the first live tasting events since the pandemic, and it brought together – as is tradition – producers, buyers, journalists from around…

Red, Red Wine

While the holiday season was quieter this year than in recent memory, it has taken a while to post this Highlights of 2020 Red Wines, a companion piece to the December post that talked about whites. If you read to the end here, you’ll know why. Red, red wine, Stay close to me... The Top…

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright…

And may all your Christmases ... and wines... be white! Italian Grapevine is going to dedicate two posts to a review of the year’s highlights – the best of the reds and the whites we’ve sampled this year. Granted, it was a tough year: practically no wine fairs, no travel, no restaurants. For heaven’s sake,…

Tuscan Quintet Part V: Tenuta Il Corno

Welcome to Tenuta Il Corno Tenuta Il Corno sits on a ridge in the Tuscan countryside just outside San Casciano Val di Pesa. The first time I visited the estate was on a dark and rainy January late afternoon. Struck by its austere and impressive façade, with a medieval bell tower to boot, the place…

Tuscan Quintet Part IV: Az. Agr. Tamburini

Beautiful at any time of year... Let me tell you a modern day fairy tale:Once upon a time, there was a dynamic dark-haired beauty. She made wine in Tuscany (I said this was a fairytale!) in a place called Il Castelluccio (which roughly translated means ‘the cute little castle’.) Emanuela Tamburini The beauty’s name is…

Tuscan Quintet: Part III Conte Guicciardini

Once upon a time... there was Castello di Poppiano Organization and method: that is what I found at Castello Poppiano, headquarters of the Conte Guicciardini winery. And history, vast history. And a touch of romanticism. A perfect blend that seems to have found its way into each carefully crafted bottle that bears the family crest.…

Tuscan Quintet Part II: La Sala

The long and winding road... The hills are alive, and they’re calling my name. The hills of Tuscany that is, and in particular the area around San Casciano Val di Pesa. Tuscany is full of rolling hills, rivers, and thermal baths, which is why it is such a great wine-growing region, in particular for reds…

Tuscan Quintet Part I: Travignoli

Screams Tuscany, doesn't it? My visit to the Travignoli winery took place on a day that was quintessential Tuscany: picture-perfect rolling green hills, white puffy clouds dotting an azure sky, neat rows of vines lending a sense of order to Nature, the occasional bright red geranium a splash of color. Yours truly on location It…

Masterpieces of Taste

'Tis the season... to be running from wine exhibit to anteprima to wine fair. Whether you are a producer or a taster, February kicks off the new vintages and it's hard to keep up! A new addition to the Calendar is Wine and Siena: Masterpieces of Taste (the subtitle is new too!), a 4-year old…

A Wine Adventure

So, have you ever dreamed of leaving the rat race behind, buying a vineyard and creating your own wine surrounded by gorgeous nature? Maybe creating a restaurant that features homegrown vegetables and local cheeses, keeping things rigorously organic? That is just what the Stefano Matturro and Gabriella Grassi did. Careers in Milan and Brescia in…