Video: visiting Masi, masters of appassimento

Masi are one of the leading wine producers in the Veneto region of northern Italy. They are specialists in appassimento, the process of drying freshly harvested grapes on racks for three months after vintage. During the drying process, sugars, flavour compounds and acidity are concentrated, and metabolic changes take place in the grapes that otherwise […]

Three lovely Pinot Noirs from Franz Haas, Alto Adige, Italy

Franziskus Haas is the fifth generation to run his family’s winery, and here I got to try three of his Pinot Noirs, a variety he planted in the 1980s. Haas has some of the highest vineyards in the region, starting at 300 m and going up to about 850 m, and Pinot Noir, known as Pinot […]

In Milan, some pictures

Duomo di Milano

This weekend I am in Milan, on a small press trip with Ramada Hotels. I’ve been doing a bit of work putting together a special wine list for Ramada, showcasing some of the locations that the hotel chain operates in. It’s streamlined ‘say hello to red’ (their brand colour), and it’s a […]

Cape Wine (6) exploring Italian grape varieties in South Africa

What is it with Italy’s grape varieties? They are really interesting in Italy, but seldom travel well. Still, they attract their devotees, and they are planted in a range of different locales globally. This tasting focused on Italian varieties grown in South Africa, and it was hosted by Roberta Bottega who is from the family […]

Tasting 2015 Barbarescos and 2014 Barolos with Gaia Gaja

The articulate Gaia Gaja was in town to showcase her 2015 single vineyard Barbaresco releases, as well as the 2014 Barolos.

Perhaps Gaja’s greatest achievement as a producer has been to raise the status of Barbaresco, which has emerged a little from the shadow of its big brother Barolo. Langhe has two prestigious sub-regions: within the […]

2016 releases from the singular Tenuta di Trinoro, one of Tuscany's leading wine estates

When Andrea Franchetti first planted his Tenuta di Trinoro vineyard in 1992, he achieved something few vignerons get to do: he created something entirely new.

Born in New York, he was raised in Rome, but regularly returned to his birth city. He eventually became a restaurateur in New York, as well as repping Italian wines there […]

New releases from Frank Cornelissen: single-vineyard Etna wines

Frank Cornelissen

Frank Cornelissen was in town showing off his new wines. It’s a series of single-vineyard wines from his 25 hectares and 19 plots on Mount Etna. ‘It’s the focus of my work,’ he says, ‘but less than 10% of my production.’ He’s held off making these wines before, because his winemaking wasn’t good […]

More on Prosecco Wars

More on Prosecco. The debate – outlined yesterday on this blog – about whether the Australians should be allowed to label their wines by grape and place, including use of the word ‘Prosecco’ on the label, has intensified on social media. Facebook and Twitter have been abuzz. If I were legally minded, these are the […]

The wines of Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Italy

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro

As a fan of sparkling wines, I was pleased to get the chance to meet Riccardo Ricci Curbastro and taste through his wines, at a masterclass hosted by Vini Italiani in South Kensington.

The Ricci Curbastro family have been growing grapes in Franciacorta since the 14th century, but sparkling Franciacorta as we now […]

A 50 year old Barbaresco

This was a generous birthday gift. You never quite know what you are going to get with an old wine, and 1967 wasn’t a strong vintage in most European wine regions, but this wine really delivered a lot of pleasure. There’s something special about drinking a wine that transports you back in time.

Produttori del Barbaresco […]