Italian Indigenous Varieties: Gaglioppo from Calabria

For this Wine Wednesday, I am posting this article I wrote 6 years ago about Gaglioppo. I am definitely due for a visit after all this time. I just mentioned this grape yesterday on my IGTV in my Morning Grape series so it’s on my mind.


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It’s December, it’s snowing on my blog and it has been three months since I have written a post about an Italian indigenous variety. I have a good excuse, a beautiful three month old baby, but I do miss writing about all of the gems that Italy has to offer so here we go with the first grape that starts with a “G.” This grape which is now associated with Calabria is likely of Greek origin and may be genetically related to the Sicilian variety Frappato. This hearty grape variety produces full bodied wines that are somewhat tannic when young and can be called “rustic” at times. It is used in a variety of denominazione d’origine controllata (D.O.C.) wines from Ciro’, Bivongi, Donnici, Lamezia, Melissa, Savuto, Scaviglia and others. The grape can be made into a mono-varietal wine or blended with red or white varieties, according to the rules of…

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Feb. #WorldWineTravel Goes to Catalonia

This month our newest blogging group, #WorldWineTravel goes to Catalonia. We will all be writing and posting about this varied region between February 26 and February 27th. Join us by reading our posts and chatting with us on Saturday morning, February 27th at 11:00am EST on Twitter. All our posts will include  #worldwinetravel, so it's... Continue Reading →

Mardi Gras, Carnevale

Mardi Gras or Carnevale as they call it in Italy always reminds me of how and when I really fell in love with the country. I went to Florence on the last day of Carnevale, Fat Tuesday, over 25 years ago and fell madly in love with the country. I was studying French in Dijon,... Continue Reading →

Women in Wine in Franciacorta: Azienda Agricola Fratelli Berlucchi

Happy Valentine’s Day. I am excited for an afternoon discussion on Franciacorta to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. I have a gorgeous bottle of Rose to open from this winery but I wanted to repost this article I wrote back in 2009 about them. Such memorable women and wines.


Some years ago I had the occasion to interview Pia Donata Berlucchi, CEO of Fratelli Berlucchi and President of Le Donne del Vino, an Italian association of women in wine started in 1988. She was extremely intelligent, very professional and really impressive with sharp and piercing blue eyes. I remember being a little intimidated by this tall woman from Lombardy in the interview. She was a real donna manager as they say in Italian, tough and practical. We spoke about what qualities women bring to the wine business and the difficulties that they sometimes face. I spoke with Pia Donata Berlucchi as part of a project that I have been working on for a number of years. She has been at the helm of her family company since 1977 and President of Le Donne del Vino since 2003. In 2008 she was given an award for female manager of…

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