Wines of Lombardy: Valcalepio – Bergamo

This summer I will be hosting a seminar on the Wines of Lombardy at the Society of Wine Educators conference in Portland, Oregon. I’m very excited to speak about this region that is so close to my heart after having spent 10 years there. I think people will be surprised by many of the varieties that they taste. I certainly hope so.


Baptistery Bergamo Alta

As I mentioned yesterday, I am going to be writing about wines from Lombardy all week. One friend was perplexed that I said I didn’t know the wines of Lombardy that well. What I meant and was perhaps misunderstood is that I don’t know all of the wines of Lombardy as well as I might like to, although some I know quite well and have worked with in the past, visited the regions or am currently working with as we speak.


Today I want to mention an area of Lombardy that I love, Bergamo and its wines from the Valcalepio, still quite unknown in the US but also in many parts of Italy. The Consorzio Tutela Valcalepio was founded in 1977 by 22 members. Today, the consortium has 85 members, or about 98% of the producers of Valcalepio. The area is in the province of Bergamo and has two main…

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Winery of the Week: Cusumano from Sicily

I just saw Diego last week and had the opportunity to try Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2014 that won the Tre Bicchieri Award from Gambero Rosso. Made from Carricante grown at 600 above sea level, it had great acidity and minerality. It was fresh and engaging with great white fruit aromas and flavors and floral hints as well on the attack. It was full bodied and enveloping and to me it sang of Sicily and on the frigid day of the event last week, it really made me long for some Sicilian warmth.



I seem to be fixated on Sicily this summer and with good reason. A beautiful part Italy, I have spent a bit of time there during past summers and look forward to my next viaggio. When I can’t travel physically, I can always travel thanks to the wines I drink and write about. This post is no different. Today’s winery of the week is Sicilian, Cusumano. I met Diego in 2010 during Vinitaly when I was doing some translation work for a wine magazine meeting with numerous producers. I remember his warm and friendly smile and I have seen him at numerous tastings throughout the years.

Thanks to Tony Didio, I finally had the good fortune to sit down with Diego and discuss his family winery a bit more in depth and to sample different wines although the one in the picture above remains a favorite from this winery…

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Remembering a Dear Friend

Today is the anniversary of a dear friend's passing. She died nine years ago of cancer at the age of 37. Every time I hear a certain song, eat a particular food or hear a deeply Tuscan accent, I think of her. She was a wonderful, artistic, creative soul who suffered an awful early death... Continue Reading →

Olympics, Georgia, Leonard Cohen and Valentine’s Day

I thought I would reblog this post today mostly for the information about Georgian wines. They have become so much more popular in the years since I wrote this post. When I was in Portugal this fall, one of the people on my trip was from Poland and he was an expert in Georgian wines of all things. Small wine world at the end of the day.


I love the Olympics. I always have. I think it’s the spirit of community or the idea of the world as a village that appeals to me so much. Of course, the athletic prowess of the competitors is beautiful and exciting to watch but that’s not what made me teary as I watched the opening ceremonies. I also love the medal ceremonies with everyone getting weepy as they sing their national anthem. Of course, I’m a softy but on Valentine’s Day, it’s okay to admit that. KD Lang’s version of Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah was perfect and made me think of someone who is far away today but close to my heart. Mostly though, Friday was sad because of the Georgian Luger Norad Kumaritashvili’s death during a training run.

I thought I’d write about a winery from Georgia today on my blog. I came across this winery at Vinitaly last…

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