Villa Le Corti and the Tuscan Prince

Stately Villa Le Corti, a Tuscan jewel I had seen the villa with its symmetrical towers for years. Stately, it dominated its crest and serenely looked out over the valleys of San Casciano Val di Pesa. Lucky Yours Truly who gets to visit these beautiful places But when I finally met the owners, spoke with…

We Can Be Heroes

In the northwest corner of Italy, there lies the smallest and highest region of all: Valle d'Aosta. Here the mountains reach the sky, majestic Mont Blanc dominates the valleys, and medieval castles dot the crests. Impossible not to dream of princesses, knights, witches, and mythological creatures. MONTE BIANCO, aka Mont Blanc!Fénis, the most famous castle…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…