Sunday, April 23, 2017

Is the World Ready for New Italian Wine?

When Jon Bonné penned his groundbreaking book, The New California Wine, he caused a lot of us to look at wine in a different light. It wasn’t so much that all of a sudden winemakers in California were doing something different than they had done before, for in California, experimentation is always part of the gambit. No, it was that he caused us to perceive from a different perspective how some winemakers in California were going about the art and craft of winemaking in a totally unfettered way. In fact, these revolutionaries, some of them, have also become part of the mainstream for wine in the Golden State.

There will always be a large commercial aspect to wine in California and other places in the world where wine is part of the commerce of the country France, Spain and Italy come to mind. Italy has had, for some time, a robust commercial side of wine. A recent visit to the 51st edition of Vinitaly showed just how vigorous that business still is.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

An introvert’s guide to surviving Vinitaly

Amor litteras ad Vinitaly
My dear mom was an extrovert. Being around people recharged her batteries, not that she needed them to. She was a perpetual motion machine. But as a child of hers, who came into the world as an introvert, the opposite happens when I am around a crowd. Thus, when I visited Vinitaly after a year’s absence, I imagined all the other people who might have to brave the endless pavilions of Veronafiere and are also introverts, and thought to make a plan for all of us.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Perpetuating a Legacy in the Modern Day Business of Wine in Italy

In recent days, in Tuscany, there were some terrific thunderstorms. Along with the rain, hail fell from the heavens. Not exactly an “under the Tuscan Sun” moment. But just as I wrote these words, the sun poked its head out through the steel gray clouds.

Over the period of 30 hours, with full immersion (and submersion, as the case may be), I had the opportunity to sit and talk with three Tuscan families about their wine business. And the overriding (if not overtly intended) dilemma they all expressed to me was that of their family legacy in the business of wine.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Valpolicella at a Crossroads in the New Millennium

Outside a storm is passing over, the sky rumbling in a way that is at once ominous and reassuring. Texas in April is not for the faint of heart. Storms of Biblical proportions, hail, wind and torrential rains often put a damper on what only hours before might have been the most perfect of Spring days. But it is also a blunt reminder that none of us are really “in charge.” As someone much wiser than me once said, “We strut and point, pontificate and strike, but, rest reassured, there are always larger forces of destiny in play.”

As the world of wine turns from Bordeaux to Italy and Verona, there will be plenty of bottles opened in the coming days and weeks. None the less of them will be local bottles, in the various trattoria and bars around the city.

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