Pitigliano in Tuscany

Maremma, Che Vini!

Maremma, Tuscany’s Underestimated Corner Driving south from Siena, I enjoyed experiencing the landscape and climate of Tuscany undergo nuanced changes. The vegetation became more spaced, the fields wider. The hills became more rolling. It was palpably warmer. Below the vines, the grains and the cypress trees the soils, which I obviously was not able to […]

Monte Amiata

Montecucco: Sangiovese’s best-kept secret

What is Montecucco? We are in the warm south of Tuscany. Here, sandwiched between two well-known denominations specialising in Sangiovese, you will discover a third – much newer and very much less well-known – that benefits from similar advantages to its well-heeled neighbours, and which is producing some very characteristic, Sangiovese-based wines of high quality. […]

Six tasting glasses with Amarone 2014 vintage at the Anteprima amarone

Anteprima Amarone 50° – the 2014 Vintage

Anteprima Amarone 50° – Presentation of the 2014 Vintage It was a tough year, 2014, and not only in Valpolicella. Nearly every wine region in Europe had difficulties. Simpler wines requiring no long ageing before release have already long since moved on to succeeding vintages, including the universally-acclaimed 2015, the challenging but interesting 2016 – […]

Eight bottles of vintage Amarone

Can Amarone Age?

Can Amarone della Valpolicella age? It isn’t as strange a question as it might seem. Not all wines age well, and most of the Amarone more than ten years old that I have tried have been more tired than lively. Nevertheless, over the past 70 years Amarone has rightly secured a place as one of […]

All 26 Barolos

Barolo: tasting across seven decades

Barolo at its best: the epic tasting event Nebbiolo is the name of the grape responsible, in the right hands and conditions, for some of Italy’s – and the world’s – greatest red wines. Although planted in many places around the globe, nowhere else – so far – does it reach the heights to which […]

Grandi Marchi – the Seminar

Grandi Marchi – Welcome to the Pantheon No, I’m not talking about the gorgeous temple-turned-church in Rome. But just as the Pantheon of Rome is a church dedicated to “all the Gods”, so is the “Grandi Marchi” a kind of reference to many of the great wines of Italy. Please note: NOT all of them […]

VIA Italian Wine Ambassador … or Expert

So, you would like to become a VIA Italian Wine Ambassador…or, dare I say it, perhaps even Expert? This is an excellent decision, and I’m going to tell you why. But first, a bit of background. VIA stands for Vinitaly International Academy. For successful participants, the course offers certification of expertise in Italian wines. The […]

Valpolicella in Zurich

Tasting Classic Valpolicella Reds in Zurich Driving back home from a Valpolicella wine tasting in Zurich, I had the opportunity to reflect on why it is that I enjoy a well-made Amarone – with their tendency to stratospheric alcohol, high extract, immense concentration and intensity – but that I generally do not enjoy “normal” red […]