The Montalcino Commune in Tuscany


In 1831, the Marchese Cosimo Ridolfi, praised the red wines produced in Montalcino, and Brunello records, date back to the 14th century. But it wasn’t until 1865 that Brunello took the spotlight, when it was the “select red wine” and prize winner at the Montalcino’s agricultural fair. Around this time, Clemente Santi isolated certain plantings of Sangiovese with the intent of producing an age worthy wine, and in 1898, his grandson Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, released the first version of Brunello as we know it today, after having aged the wine in large wood barrels for ten years. It was the 1888 vintage, followed by the 1891, 1925 and 1945. By the time we reached the 60’s there were less than a dozen producers of Brunello and in 1968 the DOCG status was awarded to the area.

Continue reading The Montalcino Commune

What is the true color of pinot grigio?


Pinot Grigio is often called a white grape, but that is incorrect, since it is not at all a white grape. The name itself–grigio means grey–indicates that it is a grape that is not that is not perfectly white. This variety is an offshoot of Pinot Noir, and without entering into the minutiae of genetics, a glance at the color of the berry is enough to see that. The coppery hue of the wine is often attributed to a more or less extended maceration of the must on the skins, during which the colorants in the grape-skin pass into the must, as happens on a normal basis with red wines. In fact, however, the presence of color in the must happens even when there is no skin contact during fermentation, since even when the grape is still on the vine, and it achieves ripeness, a certain amount of pigment passes into the juice in the berry.

Continue reading What is the true color of pinot grigio?

Pairing ideas for giving thanks

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving’s dishes are traditionally rich demanding wines that pair/harmonize well with the food you are serving In most instances your favorite wine is the best wine to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner; but if you’re searching, or in the mood to experiment, I’m proposing some wines that you can experiment with, and get to see how they bring out the flavor of the food you will be serving, maybe a little bit before the Holiday hits us. And with all the other holidays ahead of us, you can experiment pairings with with some other favorite dishes you’ll be serving throughout the Holiday season. Hope you have as much fun experimenting as I did by searching for some great matches.

Continue reading Pairing ideas for giving thanks

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development releases the first stamp dedicated to DOCG wines


The Municipality of Montepulciano and the Consorzio del Vino Nobile have set up a number of initiatives to celebrate the release of this stamp that will help promote the territory and the product. Breginning Friday morning, at 12.00, at the Fortezza, the Mayor Andrea Rossi, the President of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile Andrea Natalini and Dr. Tiziana Morandi, Area Manager of the Italian Post Office, will introduce the new stamp.

Continue reading The Italian Ministry of Economic Development releases the first stamp dedicated to DOCG wines

The Queen of black grapes


Nebbiolo is the oldest and the noblest native varietal of Piedmont. It most likely takes its name from the Italian word for fog, “nebbia”, which is very common in the hills of Alba, especially in early to mid-October when this late-ripening variety is harvested. It is often called the “queen of black grapes”as it needs meticulous and laborious care.

Continue reading The Queen of black grapes

Champenoise or Charmat?


The Méthode Champenoise is secondary fermentation that happens in the bottle while the Charmat Method is based on developing the bubbles in pressurized tanks.

Continue reading Champenoise or Charmat?

Arneis the White Barolo


Once blended with Nebbiolo to produce wines with a less aggressive character; hence, it is sometimes called ”White Barolo”. It was also once common practice to plant a few Arneis vines amongst the more valuable Nebbiolo vines to ward off damage caused by birds and bees. Attracted by the sweetness and perfume of the Arneis, they would leave the Nebbiolo grapes alone. In recent years, however, this precious and mysterious grape variety has regained popularity and become highly successful, producing white wines of pleasing and convincing aromas. It was granted DOC status in 1994.

Continue reading Arneis the White Barolo

Amarone Families


Le Famiglie dell’Amarone d’Arte or Amarone Families — an association consisting of 12 of the most historic wine producers in Valpolicella, Italy, including Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Masi, Musella, Nicolis, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Venturini and Zenato — focuses on protecting the legacy and traditions associated with one of Italy’s most noble and robust red wines, Amarone.

Continue reading Amarone Families

Barolo DOCG – The Grand Crus


Produced entirely with Nebbiolo grapes, Barolo wine comes from the province of Cuneo. Eleven communes with 500 plus members, make up the Barolo area: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba and some parts of the communes of Cherasco, Diano d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Novello, Roddi and Verduno. These communes, unlike the five key sub-regions, are only permitted to cultivate Nebbiolo for Barolo on a portion of their territory. Here’s a complete listy of Barolo crus by territory with specific focus on the five key sub-regions.

Continue reading Barolo DOCG – The Grand Crus

Lecinquevigne Barolo DOCG


Lecinquevigne Barolo DOCG is crafted from Nebbiolo cultivated in five distinct townships. All part of the Barolo DOCG zone, the vineyards are located in Castellero, located northeast of the village of Barolo with western exposure; Monvigliero, located in Verduno with southern exposure; Fossati, located in La Morra with east-southeast exposure; Ravera, located in Novello with southwestern exposure; and Cavourrina, located in Grinzane Cavour with west-southwest exposure. The resulting wine is the expression of the Barolo region.

Continue reading Lecinquevigne Barolo DOCG