Southern Hospitality: Women Winemakers in South Africa

Italian Grapevine likes to head to warmer climes when the frost falls in Italy... So here we are to report on two fabulous encounters with South African women winemakers whom we were lucky enough to visit. Don't you love how women and wine and travel all go together? I met Marinda Kruger-Claasen (left) of Elgin…

On the Road Again…

Italian Grapevine has been on the road, as far away as South Africa, and the good news is: Italian wine is alive and well and living in Johannesburg! During the recent festivities for the week of Italian Cuisine in the World, held worldwide November 18 -24, 2019, I happened to be in the bustling South…

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…

A Brunello For All Seasons

One of Italy’s big B wines (Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco, maybe even Bolgheri) that command universal respect, Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps the most exquisite expression of that versatile grape Sangiovese. Of course in this area of Tuscany, the grape itself is called Brunello, whereas in nearby Montepulciano, it goes by the name of Prugnolo Gentile!…

Wine, Women and Summer

Over the past few weeks, I've been sipping and tasting with the lovely Italian Women of Wine in Liguria. Le Donne del Vino in Italy numbers over 800 members, with winemakers, restaurateurs, sommeliers, journalists, wine shop owners, etc. Two restaurants hosted special events to feature the wines of Emilia-Romagna paired with Ligurian cuisine. Get out…

Much Ado About Something

Nestled into the hills of Chianti is a magical place called Vignamaggio. The name has nothing to do with the month of May (Maggio in Italian), but is rather a direct reference to its prominence as a vineyard (vigna) that is the best (maggiore). Lucky me that I got to visit it on a balmy…

Three Cheers for Cirò!

Calabria is off the beaten path, which may be why I don’t know it as well as I should. But the wines have long intrigued me… so that and the sirens’ call of the Ionian Sea made me venture there late this spring. Is it any wonder that Ulysses was lured here? After all, Scylla…