Happy New Year! Buon Inizio!

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The last couple of weeks have been filled with family and friends, lots of food and various wines. Unlike most bloggers/writers, I didn’t do my sparklers for the New Year blog post. I did partake though in some lovely wines that people brought me over the course of the last two weeks and others that  I have shared at the various holiday meals. This year, unlike many others, I have stayed local. It has been relaxing although some of those amazing photos of the mountains and skiing did whet my palate for that. Perhaps later this year or next. I have always celebrated Christmas and this year was no different. This Christmas we started with a lovely bottle of Prosecco Denominazione Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) from Le Manzane.

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The winery is located in the province of  Treviso, the vineyards lie between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the area where Prosecco D.O.C.G. wines are made.

The vineyards are located on soils that are the remains of glacial soils, fertile red earth often called “ferretto.”  We then had two wonderful wines with a beautiful roast beef: Amarone della Valpolicella 2010 from Antonio Fattori and Il Sigillo 2008, an Aglianico del Vulture from the Cantine del Notaio. Antonio Fattori is a fabulous producer from the Veneto who is well known for his white wines and who bought vineyards in the Valpolicella/Amarone area a few years ago.  I worked with Fattori for a few years so I know his wines and his philosophy very well. Here is a great article on him from Vino al VIno and one that was published in Terroirist.com last year. Amarone is made from a blend of three grapes: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Here is a great graphic from the fabulous site Wine Folly about the Valpolicella, Amarone, Recioto wine pyramid. 

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The second wine, Il Sigillo was made from 100% Aglianico grapes. The grapes in this wine are also “appassiti” or left to raisin on the vine. The website in fact calls this wine Amarone made with Aglianico grapes oddly enough. I find this wine to be spicier than Amarone however, thanks to the characteristics of the Aglianico grape. Cantina del Notaio is follows biodynamic agricultural practices and is certified by Demeter since 2008.   The winery has 26 hectares of vines throughout the Aglianico del Vulture area: Rionero, Barile, Ripacandida, Maschito and Ginestra. Some of the vines are over 100 years old. While there are different top soils, they all share a layer of soil of  vulcanic of origin which is fertile and rich with minerals.

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It was a great way to celebrate Christmas and the last week of the year. More posts to come on other wines that were shared this past week but for the moment, just a hearty happy New Year to all. I hope 2014 is a great one for all with lots of new and interesting wines, great experiences and travel and many discoveries.

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