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 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…

Girl, Interrupted

She's back!!!! Did you miss me as much as I've missed you? And as much as I've missed gallivanting about through the vineyards? Or tasting in the company of friends, fellow wine-lovers, producers, and not in front of a computer screen, peering into that black mirror trying to grasp some sense of soul? It's been…

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…