Italian Indigenous Varieties: Nerello Mascalese

I've been dragging my feet to write about Nerello Mascalese in my Italian Indigenous variety series. I don't know why but I think it's because it's such a "fashionable" grape that I am shying away from it. Of course, that's ridiculous. It's fashionable because it's delicious and therefore deserves attention. Years ago no one had... Continue Reading →

Wine Wednesday: Lis Neris Turns 140!

This is an old photo of Alvaro and his daughter Federica from Lis Neris at Vinitaly in 2008. I met Alvaro in 2007 and consider him a friend. His winery is celebrating their 140th year, 1879-2019. I got to spend some time speaking with Alvaro this week at the various Slow Wine events where I was working for... Continue Reading →

Women In Wine Fridays: Matilde Poggi from Le Fraghe (Veneto)

I was working again at Slow Wine today and had the occasion to taste the Charetto from Le Fraghe. A beautiful wine, I was not disappointed. It had everything I found the first time I tried it – beauty, freshness and balance. I am a devoted Charietto fan after having tried numerous ones today during the tasting. I was serving Lugana all day and sticking with other Lake Garda wines such as Chiaretto from Bardolino.

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This week’s Women in Wine Fridays is about Matilde Poggi from Le Fraghe. I met Matilde at the Slow Wine tasting back in February. I was really impressed with her wines and wanted to find out more about her. These are her answers to some questions that I emailed her about her winery and her winemaking. I found her wines all very clean and intriguing. People, myself included, often don’t take Bardolino seriously enough. Made from Corvina and Rondinella, this wine proved very interesting and food friendly. Meeting Matilde made me want to learn more and I think this Vinitaly I will take advantage of that opportunity.

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1.Tell me about Le Fraghe and your family history?

I began to vinify my father’s grapes in 1984. Till that year the grapes were given to my uncle who has another winery

2. How did you get into the wine business?

It…

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Exploring the Wines of Valtellina

Nebbiolo from the AlpsValtellina seems to be getting more attention than it used to and I for one think that was long overdue. I first discovered the area thanks to a friend who lives there over 20 years ago. They make wonderful wines and the landscape is breathtaking. Now that the  New York Times is giving it a lot more coverage, I am sure many people will be going to the area to visit and to drink the amazing wines from there. I certainly hope so.

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Vigneto Sassella Sommarovina

I first visited Valtellina with someone whose family had a home there in 1998. We went to Sondrio, drove around and visited wineries. The views were incredible and the terracing spectacular.  I wasn’t yet working in the wine business but I was studying wine in Milan at a local wine school. This wasn’t primarily a wine trip but we did visit a number of wineries and it was among the first wine trips I have ever been on. At the time, we didn’t visit Mamete Prevostini’s winery but it was the first I had heard of it. Fast forward 19 years and I decide to do a presentation on wines from Lombardy for the Society of Wine Educators conference. The first winery that came to mind was Mamete Prevostini for a few years. First because the wines are wonderful, second they are available in the US, third he is the…

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Callas From Monte delle Vigne In Emilia

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I wrote this post on Monte delle Vigne some nine years ago. On Friday I tasted Callas again. It had won a Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso and was on display at the event on March 1st.  It’s always fun to try wines at a long interval of years and find that wines you wrote about years ago are still among your favorites.

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Thanks to some Italian contacts in New York, I was directed to the Emilia Romagna building at Vinitaly with a specific goal – to taste the wines of Monte delle Vigne, a winery located in Emilia Romagna near the city of Parma. Emilia has never been considered an optimum location for the production of still wines but has been largely well known for its Lambrusco of different denominations and coming from different indigenous clones.

This Vinitaly I was interested in visiting some of the lesser known regions or at least those that I have less of an occasion to taste in the US. I remember quite well my days in Emilia. I lived in the lovely city of Bologna for a year when I was in graduate school at SAIS.

Monte delle Vigne was started in 1973 by Andrea Ferrari who firmly believed that he had a found an…

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