After making our way through the scenic countryside of Val D’ Orcia in the Tuscany region of Italy, we reached the gates of Montalcino. Nestled on top of a hill, Montalcino offers a superb view of the surrounding region. Instead of entering the gate, however, we veered left and traveled on a dirt road towards the boundary of the Montalcino appellation. A few miles down, we reached our destination: Poggio Salvi di Montalcino, home to the renowned Italian wine producer, Villa Poggio Salvi.
As I journeyed through Italy, visiting one sumptuous winery after another and meeting winemakers and colleagues I have either worked with or befriended through the years, Luca Belingardi of Poggio Salvi told me he had arranged a very special visit for me.
A Visit to Viticoltori De Conciliis in Campania, Italy
As per my Nuschese wine tasting post, Bruno de Conciliis’ invited me to visit his winery the next time I was in his neighborhood. For those of you who don’t know, Bruno’s winery, Viticoltori de Concili is, is in Cilento in the Italian region of Campania.
Just recently, I decided to take Bruno up on his offer. As I was rather unfamiliar with Cilento, I decided to stay a few days so I can acquaint myself with this former Greek “colony.
People often ask me how I can be sure that the aromas I say I smell are what they are and not another. “Is it really strawberry instead of raspberry?” they ask.
I can understand why people feel the need to ask this question. All too often, wine aromas are confused or misinterpreted, making it difficult to identify the wine being described. So, just how does one learn to accurately distinguish and describe wine aromas?
In my professional opinion and based on my personal experience, the simplest way to learn to differentiate the aromas in wine is by using the Wine Aromas’ (Le Nez du Vin) wine education kit developed by Jean Lenoir.
It was a rare treat for Swiss wine lovers. On May 3rd, Swiss Wines in the City was held at the City Winery in New York City.
Leave it to the Swiss to come up with such a fantastic and original idea: a wine bottling party to promote Swiss wines in New York City! Swiss wine journalist Chandra Kurt came up with the idea.
Jean-René Germanier – Switzerland’s Premier Boutique Winery
As I continued my journey into the heart of Switzerland’s only Grand Cru wine making area, I met up with Gilles Besse of Cave Jean-René Germanier. He is, in my humble opinion, one of Switzerland’s top wine makers.
The Jean-René Germanier Winery
La Cave Jean-René Germanier was established in 1886 when Urban Germanier planted his first vineyards and founded a winery in Vétroz, a small village at the very heart of Valais (see the post about Rene-Favre & Fils Winery for more information on this region).
My journey into the Swiss wine country included a stop in St. Pierre-de-Clages, a village in the municipality of Chamoson in the canton (state) of Valais. There, I met up with Mike and John (Jean-Charles) Favre of the Rene Favre et Fils (Rene Favre & Sons) winery.
The Wine Region of St. Pierre-de-Clages, Chamoson
The wine-growing area of St.Pierre-de-Clages and Chamoson is the largest in Valais and home to around 30 different wine grape varieties.
As you know from my post, Swiss Wine Facts, I have been to Switzerland recently. There I met with half a dozen winemakers and visited their wineries. The Adrian and Diego Mathier Estate was one of the wineries in my itinerary.
The Mathier Family and their Estate
The Adrian & Diego Mathier Estate is located in Salquenen, in the Swiss Canton of Valais. The Mathier family has been living in this wine producing village since 1387.
Not much is known about Swiss wine outside of Switzerland. When people think of Switzerland, they usually think of skiing, chocolates, cheeses, watches, and private banking, among other things. Where does wine fit into all this, and why don’t we know much about it?
Vineyards of Lavaux , Vaud, Switzerland
How much wine does Switzerland produce?
To put Switzerland’s wine production into perspective, I will compare it with California.
A great question with a very simple answer. Super Tuscan wines (or Super Tuscans) are wines from Tuscany (Italy), and they have the following characteristics:
At least 85% of Super Tuscan wines consist of grapes produced in Tuscany to receive IGT cassification
The Super Tuscans’ winemaking process does not adhere to the local appellation law
View of Montepulciano, Tuscany
What does that mean exactly? Makers of Super Tuscan wines do not use Sangiovese as the dominant varietal.