Day 14: Tuscan Syrah and Cabernet Franc at Due Mani (Plus an introduction to IGP Costa Toscana)

Having studied and worked with Italian wine almost exclusively for two years now, I am excited to finally arrive in Italy and get to taste and write about Italian wine. It is a smidge ironic that this post will feature Tuscan wines, but the legendary Tuscan red varietal, Sangiovese, will not be featured. Instead, we…

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Day 20: Goriska Brda & Edi Simcic

Goriska Brda Location: Primorska, Slovenia Grape(s): White- Ribula (Ribola Gialla), Sivi Pinot (Pinot Grigio), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano, Malvazija (Malvasia Istriana), & Renski Rizling (Riesling) Red- Refosk (Refosco), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,  & Cabernet Franc Soil(s): Marl, Limestone, Clay Climate: Mediterranean, with heavy rainfall and hail in summer As we crossed the border from Italy into…

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Day 19: Colli Orientali del Friuli (Polar Opposites Attract)

Colli Orientali del Friuli Location: Italy, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Grape(s): White- Friulano (Tai, Tocai Friulano), Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia, Picolit, Chardonnay Red: Refosco (Refosco dal Pecundolo), Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pignolo Soil(s): compressed clay, alluvial rocks, marl, limestone Climate: Warm, Very rainy with high humidity. After the wonderful evening at La…

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Day 18 (Part 1): Piave and the Rustic Raboso

Piave Malanotte Location: Italy, Veneto Grape(s): White- Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Glera (Prosecco), Manzoni Bianco Red: Raboso, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere Soil(s): Gravel, limestone, rocky clay Climate: Hot, fairly humid In 2010 a new DOCG popped up in the Veneto. I know, the one everyone is thinking of is Amarone della Valpolicella Superiore, but…

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Day 17: Alto-Adige Part 1(The Big Guys)

Alto Adige (Südtirol) Location: Northern Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige Grape(s): White: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Gewurztraminer, Müller-Thurgau Kerner, Sylvaner, Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner-Veltliner, Chardonnay, Manzoni Bianco, Riesling, Viognier Red: Lagrein, Schiava (Vernatch), Pinot Nero (Blauburgunder), Teroldego, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Moscato Rosa, Petit Verdot Soil(s): Magre- mix of chalk, stone, gravel, (Dolomite soil), Bolzano- granite, schist,…

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Day 12: Pomerol (The Regal Right Bank)

Pomerol Location: France, Bordeaux, Right Bank Grape(s): White-none Red- Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec are allowed, but not planted Climate: Some maritime influence but a more continental climate than its left bank counterparts, ample rainfall Soil(s): Rich clay (crasse de fer), iron, gravel As we entered the left bank of Bordeaux,…

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Day 11: Pessac-Leognan (Holy Pope)

Pessac-Leognan Location: France, Bordeaux, Left Bank- Graves Grape(s): White- Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Gris Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec (allowed but not planted) Soil(s): Mixture of sand, gravel and light clay known as boulbenes Climate: Maritime When in Bordeaux one almost has to realize that one is in a different world….

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Day 9: Irouleguy (Ameztia & Bordatto… Sheep, grapes, and apples, oh my!)

Irouléguy Region: Southwest France Grape(s): White- Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Courbu, Petit Courbu Red- Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon Soil(s): Calcareous clay, clay, schist Climate: Hot, with a very long ripening season and ample rain and humidity Just the mention of Southwest France makes most sommeliers studying for a future exam squirm and wish that…

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Day 8 (Part 2): Arabako Txakolina (Jurrasic Park in the middle of Basque Country)

Arabako Txakolina Region: Northern Spain, Pais Vasco (Basque Country) Grape(s): White- Hondarribi Zuri, Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Petit Courbu, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay Red- Hondarribi Beltza Soil: Sandy gravel Climate: Continental with some maritime influence, ample rain After we left Getariako Txakolina, initially we thought our jaunt over to a neighboring Basque appellation would take…

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Day 8 (Part 1): Getariako Txakolina and Ameztoi (Seaside tranquility)

Getariako Txakolina Location: Northern Spain, Pais Vasco (Basque County) Grape(s): White- Hondarribi Zuri Red- Hondarribi Beltza Soil(s): Sandy clay, sand Climate: Very cool maritime, over 270 days of rainfall per year Just 30 minutes outside of San Sebastian lies the small DO of Getariako Txakolina. Here, the tradition of Basque winemaking is continuing on the…

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