Archive for ‘Bottles & Vines’

November 25, 2013

Wine Maker for a Day in Chianti

A ‘WOW’ experience in the heart of Tuscany! Spend the day with a top notch wine maker in his Chianti cellar tasting and blending your very own personal vintage. The barriques of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, and Syrah that you will use for blending your wine, come from the vines on the 150 acre estate. Your local oenologist will coach and guide you, with his 20 plus years experience, to assure a memorable wine. After a lunch break in this historic castle, you will bottle the wine which will be delivered to your home two months later. Of course, you will have designed your own personal label for your private bottling.

Though I did not have a full day to blend my own vintage, I can assure you that my recent tour of this historic Chianti winery, followed by an intimate wine-paired five course lunch, was one of my most memorable Tuscany experiences.

Aside from having your own personal vintage wine, adorned with your unique label, the opportunity to understand the blending process with an expert is a very special event !

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December 11, 2012

Brunello di Montalcino

case basse brunello brunelloIn a move to increase wine tourism, the Brunello di Monalcino Consortium recently launched a free app for travelling iPhone and iPad users. Called iBrunello HD, the app features a host of information on the area and its wineries, the different types of wines produced in Montalcino, plus news, events, photo galleries, and more. App users can also personalize a travel itinerary in the area. ‘We’ve launched the tool to meet the needs of the new “smart” tourists and wine lovers, who want to visit an area quickly and easily,’ said Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the consortium.

On a sad note, Wine Spectator covered the story about last week’s vandalism at a Montalcino winery  –  Late at night Dec. 2, someone entered the cellar of Gianfranco Soldera’s Montalcino winery, Azienda Agricola Case Basse, and opened all the spigots on his casks of aging wine. Soldera lost more than 16,500 gallons of wine, his entire production of wines aging in botti, spanning six vintages from 2007 to 2012. Italian authorities are investigating. “You can imagine the damage, because six vintages are involved, but it’s not just the economic damage, the present, it’s the future,” Soldera told Wine Spectator.  Il Poggione’s Alessandro Bindocci, son of Consorzio president Fabrizio Bindocci, expressed solidarity for Soldera on his blog Montalcino Report: “The territory of Montalcino is a small and tranquil territory where many people still leave their doors of their homes unlocked. To find out about these sad events is shocking and it brings forth the spirit of solidarity that distinguishes the producers of Montalcino.”

December 27, 2010

A WOW Winery

This is a WOW winery I visited in November and tasting the wines here was a fabulous treat. Not to mention a stunning contemporary structure designed by the famed Swiss architect Mario Botta (who also designed the San Francisco Museum of ModernArt).

– Colleen Lamont, Peak Travel Agent

A little about the Petra Winery

Petra Winery, Maremma, Tuscany It’s the dream of every wine lover who has allowed themselves to be seduced by the rolling vineyards, forests, and olive groves of Tuscany: to find a little corner to call your own and to join in the age-old tradition of coaxing luscious wines out of the soil. For Vittorio Moretti and his daughter, Francesca, who discovered this beautiful seaside estate while on vacation nearby, the dream came true. In 1997 the pair founded this small boutique winery in Maremma Toscana in Suvereto, where the hills of Val di Cornia rise toward the Colline Metallifere.

Three hundred hectares make up the peaceful estate, although only a third is planted with vineyards. Sitting on the edge of the Tirreno Sea, they’re constantly caressed by the breezes blowing in off the Follonica Gulf. The soil of the steep slopes here (which form part of the Colline Metallifere, or “Metal-Yielding Hills”) is particularly mineral-rich and ruddy colored, leading to strong-willed, complex wines. The vineyards’ layout, which is a patchwork of different varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc) seemingly strewn about randomly, is no coincidence. The arrangement is based on long and careful studies of the soil, wind, sun and climate conditions in each area of the estate. Only the vines most suited to a particular area were planted there.

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