You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

The second grueling day of Wine&Siena found yours truly participating in a tasting - here called Wine Master Classes - of 8 Chianti Classicos, starting bright and early at 11 a.m. in the stunning Palazzo Sansedoni located right on Piazza del Campo. Is every room in Tuscany A Room With a View? (Is it time…

Wine&Siena: Small is Beautiful

This weekend in Tuscany, the 2nd annual Wine&Siena was held in this charming medieval jewel of a hilltop city that is still contained by its ancient walls. Organized by the same people who put together Merano Wine Festival, it was an opportunity to taste the bounty of the land that is Italy, both wine and…

This First Lady is No Prima Donna!

No, I am not talking politics! I am talking about Donatella Cinelli Colombini, one of Italy's premier Brunello di Montalcino winemakers. This week we visited Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne, Donatella's two estates that have been in the family since the 1500s. This is big red country, but Donatella does it…

When you Wear a Coat in Summer… The Palio of Siena and the Double Victory of the Lupa!

Something rare and wonderful happened in Siena the other day: the Contrada della Lupa (the neighborhood of the she-wolf) won the Palio. Only, what's better than winning the Palio? Winning the Palio twice in one summer! That is called cappotto, or winter coat. And it is highly unusual. But bring together a fabulous horse called…

Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a Wine of Great History

It's a year of anniversaries and celebrations: Vernaccia di San Gimignano was declared the first Italian DOC wine (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) in 1966, and thus turns 50 years 'young' this year. And here in Tuscany, the famed Chianti Classico of the Gallo Nero logo, is turning 300 (but that is the subject of another…

To Life, To Life, L’Chaim!

Today I participated in the Young to Young tasting for up-and-coming winemakers. It was a morning filled with emotions. Three heavy hitters: a Brunello di Montalcino, a Barolo and an Amarone. All this before noon! At this 50th annual Vinitaly, we've been talking about traditions and family and the land (more than the 'terroir'). This…

La Famiglia, and the ABC’s of Winemaking

Here at this 50th annual Vinitaly, I am reflecting on family, traditions, values, and the land that is Italy. Let's face it, this country is one of the world's most industrial, and it has a unique model to propose: the small- and medium-sized business. There are 4.4 million companies in Italy with less than 250…

Now That’s a Vintage!

When they say it's wonderful to age like a good wine, do they really contemplate a wine that is 50 years old? Today, the Donne del Vino - the Women of Wine - held a unique tasting: 10 women producers presented their wines. First, a recent vintage, something we all might buy at the wine…

Under the Siena Sun

Meandering through Tuscany in the almost-springtime is something I suggest everyone do at some point in their lives. I was in Siena the other day, exploring a place called the Enoteca Italiana. While I've been to Siena more times than I can count, I'd never found my way into this shrine to wine. Founded in…

Super Tuscan Superstar

Stars are born, and stars are made. Lucky us, to have lived to see the meteoric passing of winemaker Giacomo Tachis who died last week at the age of 82 in San Casciano Val di Pesa outside Florence. Crazy thing is, I'd passed through San Casciano myself, just two days earlier. I never had the pleasure of…