Category Archives: Brunello di Montalcino

Travel to Tuscany’s Vino con Vista Wine Regions in Italy

The gallo nero seal of the Consorzio Chianti C...

Image via Wikipedia

Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in ...

Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chianti sub-zone

Chianti sub-zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Montalcino, Toscana, Italia

Montalcino, Toscana, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A bottle of the Italian wine Chianti Classico ...

A bottle of the Italian wine Chianti Classico made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A close-up view of sangiovese grapes ...

English: A close-up view of sangiovese grapes to be made into Chianti at the Colle Lungo vineyard in Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuscany is Italy’s quintessential wine region and the birthplace of three important red wines: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These wines are made from Sangiovese grapes but have distinctively different flavors in Tuscany’s diverse microclimates.

Vineyard growing in the Italian wine region of...

Vineyard growing in the Italian wine region of Tuscany, home of the Sangiovese-based Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine. The photo also demonstrates the viticultural technique of clear (or bare) cultivation that leaves bare soil between the vines and rows with no cover crops. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chianti is produced in seven subzones in Tuscany. The Chianti Classico zone has DOCG status. The other six Chianti subzones are: Chianti Rufina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Aretini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane and Chianti Montalbano. The “Chiantigiana” is the scenic road that twists and turns through the Chianti zones between Florence and Siena.

Brunello is Tuscany’s rarest and most expensive wine. It is produced in the walled medieval village of Montalcino, south of the Chianti Classico zone. The climate is warmer and the hills are steeper. The wine is aged longer and it must be aged in oak barrels.

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 I...

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Italian wine from Tuscany made from Sangiovese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has been made in the town of Montepulciano since Etruscan times. This wine is made from prugnolo grapes a sangiovese clone and was granted DOCG status in 1980.

Here’s Wine Spectator’s detailed overview map of Tuscany . The map includes: Chianti, Bolgheri, Brunello di Montalcino, Maremma and the Montepulciano appellations.

Click here to view the map: http://assets.winespectator.com/wso/Maps/Tuscanymap.pdf

On February 27th, 2014 there was an annual award ceremony for the Best of Wine Tourism 2014 winners at Palazzo Capponi in Florence.

The winners were:

Castello di Gabbiano, San Felice winery, Enotria, Castello di Poppiano, Castello La Leccia, Tenuta di Poggio Casciano from Ruffino, Panzanello winery and Col d’Orcia.

“The stretch of coastline from Livorno to Piombino is known as the Etruscan Coast, the area chosen by the ancient Etruscan people to exploit the huge mining and agricultural resources.  Medieval jewels like the towns of Casale Marittimo and Bolgheri, famous for its Viale dei Cipressi (Cypresses), which gained everlasting fame thanks to the poem “Davanti a San Guido” by Giosuè Carducci, as well as Castagneto Carducci, dominated by the castle of the Gherardesca counts, and Suvereto, a medieval town with charming architectural harmony.

Visit the Etruscan Coast wine trail where you can meet most local wine producers and visit their cellars and vineyards. Here are some helpful links for this area:

To learn more about Italian food and wine read Vino con Vista Travel guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

iBookstore

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Florence, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Sangiovese, Sienna, Travel and Tourism, Tuscany, UNESCO, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

Have a Feast in Fiesole Italy near Florence

Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in ...

Sangiovese vines of Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florence as seen from Fiesole.

Florence as seen from Fiesole. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

View to Fiesole in Florence, Italy
Image via Wikipedia
Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Thermae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vineyard growing in the Italian wine region of...

Vineyard growing in the Italian wine region of Tuscany, home of the Sangiovese-based Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine. The photo also demonstrates the viticultural technique of clear (or bare) cultivation that leaves bare soil between the vines and rows with no cover crops. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Bistecca alla fiorentina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Theater. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Thermae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Thermae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Temples. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Thermae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. ...

Fiesole archaeological site, Florence, Italy. Temples. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fiesole is in the province of Florence in Tuscany. It was a former Etruscan settlement. It is nestled on a hilly ridge 30 minutes north of Florence. It’s position offers a breath-taking view of Florence.

Head for tranquil Fiesole for lunch or dinner at Trattoria Le Cave de Maiano. Order a veal chop or the famous “Bistecca alla Fiorentina” (Florentine T-Bone) from Tuscany’s famed Chianina beef and a bottle of Bolgheri Rosso, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or Brunello di Montalcino.  Dine at La Reggia degli ‘Etrusci‘s terrace for a fabulous “Vino con Vista”.

Visit the Piazza Mino de Fiesole, the main square, and have an expresso at the Caffe Aurora in the bougainvillea shaded terrace with a fabulous view of Florence.  Take a picture with the bronze statue of Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II.

Roman theater in Fiesole, Italy

Roman theater in Fiesole, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Explore the 14th century Franciscan Friary of San Francesco with a presepi on display all year long. Visit the Archeological area in the first century BC Roman theater,  public baths and a 4th century Etruscan temple.  The temple is dedicated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and healing.

Stay at Villa San Michele in Fiesole and ask for the Michelangelo Suite. This Orient Express property was a former 15th century monastery that was designed by Michelangelo. Fabulous cooking classes are only available to hotel guests with “Guest Chefs” from many other world-class hotels www.villasanmichele.com. Another option is Italy’s Top Spa (19 miles northwest of Florence) www.termemontecatini.it.  After your spa treatment, take the Funicular to Montecatini Alto for a panoramic vista all the way to Florence.

see above

see above (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

see above

see above (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

Filed under Ancient Rome, Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello Wine, Chianti Classico, Christmas in Italy, ebooks, Fiesole, Fiesole Italy, Florence, Franciscans, IPad, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, oenogastronomic, Roman Amphitheater, Roman Architecture, Travel and Tourism, Tuscany, vino con vista

The Ten Most Seductive Vino con Vista Places to Drink Wine in Italy

Almalfi Coast (10/10/2007)

Image via Wikipedia

English: Part of Positano, Italy.

English: Part of Positano, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy Series - Italian Coastal Town

Italy Series – Italian Coastal Town (Photo credit: John O Dyer)

English: Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy.

English: Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy] (LOC)

[Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

English: Map of Italy and its districts.

English: Map of Italy and its districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Positano

Positano (Photo credit: warlikeangel)

Ravello-Villa Cimbrone Pavillon

Ravello-Villa Cimbrone Pavillon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy is one of the world’s most alluring travel destinations. It is brimming with centuries of masterpieces by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio. Verdi and Puccini created indredible operas.  Venice, Florence and Rome are cloaked with amazing architecture.

It is the historic and cultural epicenter of the Etruscans, the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church and the Renaissance.  Captivating panoramic vistas of the peninsula’s majestic mountains, volcanoes and glistening seas enhance Italy’s timeless charm.  The fascinating array of sights and travel experiences includes glorious cityscapes overflowing with art and architectural masterpieces.  Historic cities are surrounded by dreamy landscapes of rolling hills that are carpeted with vineyards, olive and citrus groves.

Positano

Positano (Photo credit: jimmyharris)

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC)

[Forum Boario, Rome, Italy] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

There are many differesnt types of wine produced in the world; about 80% is still wine, but you can also drink fortified wine and sparkling wine in Italy.

Wine

The grapes thrive on terraced vineyards with intense sunshine; pronounced  fluctuations between day and night temperatures are essential for some grapes. Italy’s landscape is covered with vineyards. Some regions of Italy have more limited wine production than other regions. These smaller production areas do not export much wine because all of the output is consumed locally. These regional wines can only be enjoyed in Italy. Wine, bread and olive oil make up the Holy Trinity of the Italian Mediterranean diet. I like to drink wine and gaze at a panoramic vista of something beautiful. I have selected these locations because they provide what I consider a “Vino con Vista”–Wine with a View.

The micro climates of regions from Piedmont to Sicily provide the nation’s wine producers with resources and endless opportunities to produce highly regarded local wines.  Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes become estate wines that ultimately stock wine cellars throughout Italy and the world. There are over 300 varieties of vines that are cultivated in many locations: by the sea, on the foothills and in the southernmost islands. The Italian wine industry provides a wide assortment of wines with various aromas, flavors and textures.  The diversity of these wines tends to harmonize with various types of food because of their overall natural acidity.  The extensive latitudinal range of the terroir allows the grapevines to be caressed by the convergence of many natural forces including: climate, sunshine, soil, humidity, sea breeze and rainfall.  These forces produce a kaleidoscope of wines in many distinctive wine regions throughout the peninsula. Pour, observe, swirl, smell and enjoy.

Ravello

Ravello (Photo credit: Davide78)

Looking back to Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Image via Wikipedia

The Amalfi Coast is dotted with the picturesque hill towns that line the cliffs of the Sorrentine peninsula from Positano to Vietri sul Mare. The area includes the towns of Positano and Ravello with sun kissed vineyards, lemon and olive groves. This is arguably one of the most enchanting coastlines in Italy. Amalfi was the first Maritime Republic before Venice, Genoa and Pisa. The strategic location enabled Amalfi’s military to keep invaders away. As a trading powerhouse, it dominated trade in spices, papermaking and silk.

English: Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy.

Image via Wikipedia

1. Villa Cimbrone in Ravello is perched high upon the mountain overlooking the villages of Atrani and Minori. It was once part of the Republic of Amalfi. Amalfi is the coast’s largest town, but Ravello is the undisputed aristocrat of the Amalfi Coast. Ravello is an enchanting stretch of paradise, perched 1500 feet above the Gulf of Salerno on a high cliff above the town of Amalfi.  It commands awe-inspiring views of the coastline, citrus groves and vineyards. Visit the cathedral, the beautiful gardens of Villa Ruffalo and Villa Cimbrone.

English: Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy.

Image via Wikipedia

The impressive Duomo ( Chiesa de San Giovanni del Toro) was founded in 1086 and has the relics of St. Barbara (www.chiesaravello.com). The 12th century Santa Maria a Gradillo church is also noteworthy.  When you get to Villa Cimbrone, walk out to the belvedere to gaze at the panoramic vista.  Then walk over to the hotel and order a glass of Costa d’Amalfi Ravello Rosso Riserva wine from the pool bar.

Deutsch: Die Terrazza dell'Infinito der Villa ...

Image via Wikipedia

2. Positano was once part of the powerful Republic of Amalfi. It is an exclusive and romantic destination for jet-setters where former palazzi have been converted into luxurious hotel properties. On the Amalfi Coast, Furore and Tramonte grapes grow on terraced cliffs next to lemon and orange trees.  This gives the wine a distinctively delightful flavor. This Moorish hillside village on the southern tip of the Amalfi Drive opens to the Tyrrhenian Sea and provides gorgeous panoramic vistas of the sea and vineyards.

Positano

Positano (Photo credit: bawoodvine)

The town is spread out over the slopes of Mount Commune. Climb the steep, winding “1000 Stairs” pedestrian promenade to the Scalinatella, the highest part of Positano or stay at the beach, rent a chair (stabilimenti) and order your wine from handsome Stefano, as you submerge your feet in the irresistible azure water. Near the beach, dine at La Pergola or Tre Sorelli and order some impepata di cozze (mussels). Navigate the stairs up to the top of the town for more secluded restaurants. Dine at Bruno or El Capitano for panoramic views. After your relaxing day at the gravel beach, visit the lobsters in the tank at LoScoglio on Piazza della Sirene west of Positano.  Request a table overlooking the Bay of Sorrento. Stay at San Pietro on Via Laurito 2 or Le Sirenuse on Via Columbo, 30 for breathtaking views from the 4500 square foot terrace overlooking the Bay. Dine at Al Palazzo in the Hotel Palazzo Murat on Via Dei Mulini and order Paccheri all Napoletana. Most of the hotels cling to the cliffs and have beautiful views of the water. A boat tour will help you truly appreciate the scenery.

Amalfi Coast between Positano and Amalfi

Amalfi Coast between Positano and Amalfi (Photo credit: jimmyharris)

Vesuvius overlooking Sorrento and the Bay of N...

Image via Wikipedia

3Sorrento is situated on a terraced plain above the sea with spectacular views of Vesuvius, Ischia and the Bay of Naples. This enchanting location makes it the perfect destination for exploring this region. The rugged landscape, lush vegetation and mild climate of the Sorrento peninsula are enchanting. Sorrento’s terraced vineyards produce Peninsola Sorrentino DOC wines like Lettere and Gragnano. Sorrento is the ideal satellite location for side trips to Naples, Capri, Positano, Ischia or Amalfi via watercraft from the Marina Grande or the Marina Picolo. Choosing a base for your travels depends on your priorities, timetable and budget.

Reserve a table on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria at sunset; situated on a cliff overlooking the bay and Mount Vesuvius. This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine from the Penisola Sorrentina vineyards made from white Falanghina or red Piedirosso grapes. The local Tiberio winery produces a nice red Antico Convento. Da Gemma on Via Madre Serafina has a lovely panoramic vista. Plan your next day trip as you watch the boats disembark from the marina to Capri, Ischia, and the Amalfi Coast—La Dolce Vita!  Some additional places for sipping some vino with dinner include the famous upscale Don Alphonso next to Santa Maria delle Grazie in Sant’Agata. L’Antica Trattoria on Via Padre R Guiliani  and Il Buco on Il Rampa Marina Piccola, 5 offer pleasant dining. The lush garden setting of O’Parrucchiano on the main street of Corso Italia a few blocks from the Piazza Tasso is interesting. La Tonnarella’s rooftop restaurant on Via del Capo offers a breathtaking view and a fabulous antipasto table. Stay at the Grand Hotel Capodimonte at Via Capo, 14 for another splendid view of the Gulf and Vesuvius. Another interesting hotel option with a sweeping view is the Capri Palace on Via Capidimonte, 2 where you can dine at its L’Olivo restaurant.

Tuscany is Italy’s quintessential wine region and the birthplace of three important red wines: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These wines are made from Sangiovese grapes but have distinctively different flavors in Tuscany’s diverse microclimates. Chianti is produced in seven subzones in Tuscany. The Chianti Classico zone has DOCG status. The other six Chianti subzones are: Chianti Rufina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Aretini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane and Chianti Montalbano. The “Chiantigiana” is the road that twists and turns through the Chianti zones between Florence and Siena.

Montalcino, Toscana, Italia

Image via Wikipedia

4. Montalcino’s Brunello is Tuscany’s rarest and most expensive wine. It is produced in the walled medieval village of Montalcino, south of the Chianti Classico zone. The climate is warmer and the hills are steeper. The wine is aged longer and it must be aged in oak barrels. You may consider staying in Mantalcino at Il Borgo (www.castellobanfi.com).  They offer weekend culinary classes taught by Chef Heinz Beck from Rome’s famous La Pergola Restaurant.  Near the charming wine town of Montalcino, visit the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a beautiful Romanesque church. Enjoy the Brunello di Montalcino made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes. Montepulciano is another charming wine town, home of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This was one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite wines. Visit the tomb and church of St. Agnes, the town’s patron saint.

Sienna Cathedral

Image via Wikipedia

5. Siena’s yellowish-brown buildings are the embodiment of a gothic medieval city.  Her golden age came to a screeching halt with the plague called the Black Death of 1348.  Enlightened travelers will love this charming city in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone about 21 miles south of Florence. Order a bottle of wine at a cafe in the shell-shaped brick Piazza del Campo is one of Italy’s most triumphant piazzas, large enough to feature a medieval semi-annual 350-year-old summer bareback horse race called the “Palio delle Contrade” (www.paliosiena.com).  The victor of the Palio celebrates with a massive town dinner (cena). Sometimes the horse wins without a jockey. The piazza’s surface is divided into nine segments by colored paving stones, symbolizing Siena’a original Council of Nine. Their members governed the city in her medieval heyday.  The council met at the Palazzo Pubblico on the eastern part of the square. In Siena visit Italy’s most famous Enoteca on Piazza Matteotti housed within the Medici fortress, order from among 1000 wines from more than 50 producers.  Then take the Chianti Road (La Chiantigiana) through the magnificent Tuscan countryside revered and replicated in Renaissance paintings.  Sip some Sant’ Antimo Terre du Siena in the Campo with some pappardelle con leper, pappa al pomodoro or Costata alla Fiorentina. The Tuscan hillsides provide the ideal micro-climates for Sangiovese and Trebbiano grapes. Visit the Italian Library of Wine in Siena owned by the Italian government to showcase their finest wines. The outdoor terrace is a great “vino con vista” venue.

English: Towers of San Gimignano

Image via Wikipedia

6. San Gimignano  is 32 miles southwest of Florence. It is considered the Manhattan of Tuscany. The majestic skyline of noble towers was built for defensive purposes and as a symbol of status and wealth. Pass through the Arco dei Becci (the arch) and enter the Piazza della Cisterna.  You will feel like you have returned to the Middle Ages.  This charming town produces a prestigious white wine called Vernaccia di San Gimignano in the beautiful vineyards that surround the old city.  It is an excellent aperitif.  This was Italy’s first white DOCG wine. Harvest time is generally between September and October 15th.

San gimignano

Image via Wikipedia

Visit a café in the Piazza del Duomo or Piazza della Cisterna and order a local specialty made with saffron to accompany your wine.  The saffron is made from crocus flowers and is produced in this area.  Have a gelato at Gelateria di Piazza. Stay or dine at La Collegiata on Localita Strada, 27 (www.relaischateaux.com) for an extensive wine list and great views.

 

Pisa, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

7. Pisa was a former Roman naval base and commercial port, trade with Muslim Spain, North Africa and Lebanon generated tremendous wealth for this maritime power from the 11th to 13th centuries.  Arabic numerals were introduced to Europe through Pisa.  By 1406 the city was conquered by Florence. A defensive wall surrounds the Field of Miracles.  Pisa was historically an important port since the time of the Romans.  It was a great sea Republic throughout the Middle Ages. The Piazza del Duomo houses a group of splendid monuments known throughout the world. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture were influenced by Islamic architecture.  They include the Cathedral (1064), the Baptistry (1154) and the Campanile (1173), which is the famous gravity-defying “Leaning Tower of Pisa” and the cemetery (1277).  The eight-story bell tower (180 feet tall) was begun under the supervision of Bonanno.  The unstable subsoil caused the Tower to tilt and subside. Galileo conducted some of his experiments on gravity from the top of the tower. There are many cafes near the Leaning Tower.  In Marina di Pisa have some lunch and a glass of Bianco Pisano at Miracles Café on Via P. Agostino da Montrefeltro and sit on the seafront terrace.  Visit the Castellina Maritima Winery on Via Bagnoli (www.terriccio.it).  Visit Foresta on Via Litoraneaz for a great view.  There is a newly renovated Bagni Di Pisa Natural Spa Resort (www.bagnipisa.com).  It was the former summer resort of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.  In Pisa make a reservation at the Relais dell’Orologio on Via della Faggiola 12 (www.relaisdellorologio.com) for outstanding accommodations.

 

Français : La coupole de Brunelleschi vue du c...

Image via Wikipedia

8.  Florence is the world’s celebrated jewel of Renaissance art and architecture is famous for voluptuous domes and intimate restaurants. She rose to economic and cultural pre-eminence under the mighty Medici dynasty in the 15th and 16th centuries. The churches, galleries and palaces are brimming with masterpieces. The city was built on the site of an Etruscan settlement and has 600 years of extraordinary artistic activity. It is an incredibly compact city for walking.  Walk to the Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset for a glimmering moonlit cityscape.  Marvel at her panoramic glory as the cloak of darkness descends over her dimly lit splendor. Natural and man-made disasters have threatened the city’s wealth of art history.  In 1966, the Arno River’s devastating flood destroyed or severely damaged Florentine treasures.  In 1993, a mafia bomb exploded near the Uffizi and severely damaged the gallery. The Ponte Vecchio was the only bridge to escape Nazi bombs during World War II. Her glorious past is evident in the monumental grandeur of her structures. The 13th century cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Church of Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Santa Maria Novella, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Bargello and the Pitti Palace are incredible repositories of Renaissance art. Florence has the largest concentration of Renaissance art and sculpture in the world. Landmark cloisters, chapels and refectories are all galleries of Renaissance art.

Reserve a table (“vorrei reservare una tavola”) at a café in the bustling Piazza della Signoria.  Gaze at the fashionable residents wearing Florence’s designer icons like Pucci, Gucci, Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli. As you sip your Chianti Classico, Brunello de Montalcino Riserva or Vino Nobile de Montepulciano and admire 600 years of artistic activity.  This strategic location will give you a magnificent view of the Loggia dei Lanzi by Orcagna. The Loggia dei Lanzi was designed by the architect Orcagna.  It is named after Cosimo I’s bodyguards; the Lancers were German mercenaries that were on his payroll. It was built between 1376 and 1383 by Benci di Cione and Simone Talenti. Three classical arches rest on columns of different styles. Above the arches statues of the Virtues occupy the alcoves. Two lions flank the entrance to the center archway.  A copy of Cellini’s bronze statue of the “Perseus beheading Medusa” in 1554 is prominently displayed in the left arch. Cosimo I wanted to warn his enemies of their probable fate. Giambologna’s “Rape of the Sabine Women” (1583) was carved  from a single block of marble.

Consider an afternoon Enoteca (wine bar) crawl.  The local bars offer “Aperito” (Happy Hour); visit Negroni, Zoe and Il Rifrullo.  Interesting wine bars in Florence include Antico Noe on San Pietro, Cantinetta da Verrazzano on Via dei Tavolini, Fuori Porta on Via dei Monte all Croci and Le Vope e l’Uva on Piazza de Rossi. If you prefer, head over to the Frescobaldi Winebar (www.frescobaldiwinebar.it) and try some Toscana Giorgio Primo or Rosso di Montalcino.

English: Italy Duomo di Orvieto Cathedral

Image via Wikipedia

9.  Orvieto in Umbria is perched halfway between heaven and earth on a plateau over 900 feetabove sea level. Take a funicular to the top of the cliff to visit the medieval historic center of this charming town. The town’s crowning jewel is the splendid Romanesque-Gothic Duomo designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. The Cathedral has famous frescoes by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli. The Cathedral was started in 1290 when Pope Nicholas IV blessed the first stone. The inside and the outside of the Duomo are covered with basalt and travertine stripes. The façade has glistening mosaics including “The Coronation of the Virgin” in the central gable. There are plenty of cafes, wine bars and restaurants. Visit the Enoteca in Piazza del Popolo to sip Orvieto’s famous wine.

English: The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Ven...

Image via Wikipedia

10. Venice  is one of the most magical and romantic destinations in Italy. The majestic “Mistress of the Sea” was founded in the 5th century. This seafaring republic, between the river, lagoon and hypnotic Adriatic Sea is spread over 118 small islands with 150 canals and 400 bridges. Venice embodies the victorious struggle of man against nature. Lavishly adorned palazzi like Ca d’Oro and Ca’ Rezzonicone line the Grand Canal. These palaces are embellished with Baroque magnificence and Rococo elegance. Gondolas and Vaporetti (water buses) transport residents and exuberant tourists through paradise via waterways.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, mainland refugees settled the sparse islands to escape waves of invasions. These residents harvested seafood from the canals of the Adriatic Sea for sustenance. Eventually, they became sailors and then wealthy sea merchants. This gateway to the Asia became a major maritime power in the 10th century. Exotic spices like saffron, cinnamon and curry fueled the Venetian Empire. Salt was a crucially important profit center for the Venetians. The term salary is derived from the Venetian practice of being paid in salt. The extraordinary profits earned through trade, filled the coffers of the patrons of the flourishing artists. Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a prominent Venetian explorer who traveled to Asia. This enchanting city is an architectural masterpiece with domes, spires and campaniles. St. Mark’s basilica and the Doge’s Palace constitute the fulcrum of Venetian religious and civic life. The work of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese adorn her magnificent buildings. Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is the location of some of the major attractions including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Sansovino Library. Saint Mark is represented by the winged lion surmounting one of the tall 12th century granite columns. The gorgeous church of Santa Maria della Salute has a prime location on the mouth of the Grand Canal. Purchase a museum card or Museum Pass to avoid long lines in Venice.

View from the Rialto Bridge in Venice

Image via Wikipedia

Meander through the labyrinthine ancient passages of Venice and delight your palate with a “Chicchetti” bar crawl with Venetian bar snacks. Sit at a charming café in the middle of St. Mark’s Square like the Caffe Florian that was built in 1720. Listen to the tuxedo-clad orchestra as you sip some Pinot Grigio delle Venezie. Café Quadri was built in 1628 is also located in the square. Caffe Chioggia has a view of the lagoon. Venetians love to dine at the Osteria al Bacareto located at 3447 San Marco. Have some risotto di mare or sarde with pine nuts (sardines). Another scenic option is the Gran Caffe Lavena where you can enjoy your glass of Rosso Roggio or Laudato Malbech del Venato in the shadow of the Torre dell’Orologia. Effervescent Prosecco is great with a splash of pomegranate juice and a sugar cube. In September, get tickets for the annual International Film Festival. Enroll in cooking school at the 16th Century Hotel Cipriani with Michelin Chefs www.sheraton.com/villacipriani.

To learn more about interesting and seductive places to drink wine read Vino Con Vista Travel Guides available @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

35 Comments

Filed under amalfi coast, Arno River, Bacchus the Roman God of Wine, Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello Wine, Buon Appetito, Capri, Chianti Classico, Florence, Gelato, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Cheese, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Michelin Restaurants in Italy, Montalcino, Northern Italy, oenogastronomic, Renaissance Art, Renaissance Artists, Restaurants in Italy, San Gimignano, Sangiovese, Santa Croce in Florence, Savonarola, Siena, Sienna, Sorrentine Penninsula, Travel and Tourism, Tuscany, Uffizi, Umbria, Umbrian WInter Jazz Festival in Orvieto, Venice, vino con vista, Wine, Wine Festivals in Italy, World's Best Gelato

48th Annual VinItaly Awards 2014 in Verona Italy

English: Map of Italy and its districts.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Piazza Bra in Verona Polski: Piazza B...

English: Piazza Bra in Verona Polski: Piazza Bra w Weronie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Vittorio Emanuele II king of Italy. V...

English: Vittorio Emanuele II king of Italy. Verona, piazza Bra Italiano: Ambrogio Borghi (1848-1887), Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II re d’Italia (1883). Scultura a Verona, in piazza Bra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Piazza Bra Clock Tower

Piazza Bra Clock Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you follow my posts, you know that I love traveling through Italy’s spectacular  wine regions and sampling interesting local wines on my way to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Verona

Verona (Photo credit: G_Malaussene)

It is always easy for me to find an incredible Vino con Vista spot. There are so many beautiful vistas in Italy and so many interesting wines that pair well with the Italian cuisine.

Arena di Verona

Arena di Verona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s time for VinItaly 2014 in Verona at the
Veronafiere. Vinitaly 2014 is the world’s oldest wine exhibition – founded in 1967.

It will be attended by more than 4,200 companies from over 20 countries. This event “provides the wine & food system with the broadest and best-structured world platform for business, promotion, relations with national and foreign institutions, buyers, opinion leaders and consumers.”

Information

» WHERE : Verona – Veronafiere – V.le del Lavoro, 8
» WHEN : Sunday 6, Monday 7, Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9 April 2014
» TIMETABLE : non-stop 9.30 A.M. – 6.30 P.M.
» TICKETS :
  • Daily tickets: € 50 – Online € 45
  • Repeat Entry ticket – 4 Entries (1 entrance/day): € 90 – Online € 80

<!–span style=”color:#dc0000″>Tickets will be on sale on-line from January

» PHONE : +39 045 8298854 (from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.)
Verona Italy Piazza Bra from arena DSC08039

Verona Italy Piazza Bra from arena DSC08039 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

For more information visit www.vinitaly.com.

 

The Vinitaly International Award 2013 went to the Terredora company and American journalist Alfonso Cevola.

” Terredora has been for more than 30 years a landmark in wine production while Cevola over his long career has always promoted Italian wine world-wide. These are the official motivations. Terredora: “since 1978, the year when it was founded by Walter Mastroberardino, the company has been one of the most solid landmarks in what is considered to be a genuine ‘Renaissance’ in the wine sector of the Irpinia region. An ancient land where the growing vines boasts a deeprooted history that the Montefusco-based company has rediscovered through a wager (at that time anything but obvious) on the millennial vines cultivated since Antiquity in the area – Aglianico, Fiano, Greco and Falanghina – while at the same time as introducing innovation, knowledge and people capable of grasping the challenges of the future. Such people include Lucio Mastroberardino who has worked in the family business since 1994, becoming the protagonist of its definitive revival and even taking the important role of President of the Italian Wine Union. His recent and untimely death is a terribly sad loss for the world of Italian wine. This is also why the Vinitaly International Award 2013 is made to Terredora, in the persons of his brother and sister Paolo and Daniela Mastroberardino who will no doubt continue the path marked out by Lucio with the same passion and the same skill.” Alfonso Cevola: “Known as the Italian Wine Guy and a profound connoisseur of great wineries but also of the less famous vines making up the great Italian wine heritage. A great communicator,” the motivation continues, “who transmits his passion for Italian wine and culture through his blog On the Wine Trail in Italy and his intense professional activity that saw him become Director of Glazer’s Italian Wine over the last 21 years and a Certified Specialist of wine and Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News and The Well Fed Network.” The awards will be delivered during Benvenuto Vinitaly, the gala evening organised on Saturday 6 April in Palazzo Verità Poeta, one of the jewels of the historical centre of Verona. Guests will toast the winners with glasses of Prosecco, currently the sparkling wine most famous in the world, in its two varieties: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg and Prosecco Doc, enjoyed together on this evening of international breadth to highlight the originality of this truly inimitable wine.”

Wine Spectator

Image via Wikipedia

If you want to learn how to properly pronounce the names of Italian wines, you may want to watch this training video before you go to VinItaly: http://dobianchi.com/selected-reading/italian-grape-name-pronunciation-project/

Verona

Verona (Photo credit: IK’s World Trip)

Antinori

Gambero Rosso has published a guide to Italian wine for many years called Vini d’Italia. One of the largest wine events in the world is called VinItaly and is held in Verona, Italy.

City gates, Verona, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

English: verona arena italy 2009

For more information visit: www.vinitaly.com

Partial view of Verona, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

Italian Super Tuscan wine from Tenuta San Guido

Italian Super Tuscan wine from Tenuta San Guido (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some interesting Italian wine statistics from Gambero Rosso’s “Italian Wines” guide:

1. The vinyard surface area in Italy is 700,000 hectares

2. There are 700,000 wine estates

3. There are 30,000 bottlers

4. The average wine production over the last five years has been 47 million hectolitres

5. GDP for the entire wine sector is 13 billion euros; 3.9 billion euros from exports

Italy’s landscape is cloaked with vineyards because winemakers in Italy generally pursue vertically integrated business models that involve growing, harvesting, crushing, aging and bottling their wine. The end product is strongly influenced by the region of origin, the grape that is used in the process and the skill of the winemaker. Piero Antinori’s devotion to winemaking is woven through 26 generations who have collectively spend about 625 years making wine. Marchesi Antinori  is an Italian wine company that can trace its history back to 1385. They are one of the biggest wine companies in Italy, and their innovations played a large part in the “Super-Tuscan” revolution of the 1970s.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

Vineyards in the Italian wine region of Piedmont

Vineyards in the Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italian Antinori's flagship Super Tuscan wine

Image via Wikipedia

Italian Winemaker‘s are very proud of the quality of their wines.

The Italian wine industry provides a wide assortment of wines with various aromas, flavors and textures. The diversity of these wines tends to harmonize with various types of food because of their overall natural acidity.

One of my favorite Italian wines is Amarone della Valpolicella. I find it interesting that Ernest Hemingway also loved wines from Valpolicella. Amarone tends to be pricey. It is made from  partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties. It reminds me of decadent chocolate and has a nice velvet finish.

A bottle of the Italian wine Amarone della Val...

Image via Wikipedia

Amarone

Watch this video about wine in the Venato http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlzWka4w1lY

The extensive latitudinal range of the terroir allows the grapevines to be caressed by the convergence of many natural forces including climate, temperature variation, sunshine, soil, humidity, slope, elevation, sea breeze and rainfall. Terroir is a French word that passionately describes the total impact of a given microclimate’s geography. These forces produce a kaleidoscope of wines in many distinctive wine regions throughout the Italian peninsula.

The Italian winemakers rely on the “appellation” system to control the quality of their wine. This is a French concept known as Appellation d’Origine Controlee. This term is used to describe the region or specific area where wine is produced. Since the amount of good terroir is limited, so is the production of outstanding wines. The Napa area of California and the Bordeaux region of France both provide good examples of the concept of terroir.

Here is a map showing the wine regions of France:

Wine Regions in France

Planeta from Sicily

In northern Italy, wine regions border France, Switzerland and Austria. The grapes that thrive in these regions and the wine that is produced from these grapes are quite different from the wines that are grown in Tuscany or in the volcanic soil of Campania and Sicily. Apulia and Sicily are the largest regional wine producers: they each control about 17% of Italy’s total production. Some regions produce mostly white wines from grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Vermentino. Other regions produce mostly red wines like Barolo from red Nebbiolo grapes or Chianti from red Sangiovese grapes. The tannins of red wine generally overpower the delicate flavor of fish, so fish is often accompanied by white wine.

Italian wine region of Piedmont

Italian wine region of Piedmont (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bolgheri Sassicaia

Beyond terroir and weather conditions, wine making offers many opportunities for winemakers to improve or damage their wine. The diversity of Italian wines can be intimidating to some oenophiles because the names are so confusing. In some regions, wines are named after the grape variety used to make them and in other regions, the wine is named after the village where it is made. Barolo is a village and Barbera is a grape. Sometimes the wine name combines the grape and the village, like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

In addition, government regulations define areas where specific wines can be made using the acronyms DOCG, DOC, and IGT. According to Gambero Rosso, there are 60 DOCG wines, 332 DOC wines and 119 IGT wines.

To complicate issues further, some vintages are much better and some wineries earn coveted awards and high ratings from wine critics. Italy has 2350 producers and 20.000 wines. Gambero Rosso awarded “3 Glasses” to only 375 of those wines.  The top performer is Angelo Gaja, “edging toward a 5th star with 49 awards.” Generally, truly great wines improve with age because they gain complexity and character, just like many people.


The Italian government regulates the wine industry and provides production parameters for winemakers. To understand these parameters, we can construct a pyramid that represents the quality of Italian wine. At the pinnacle, we will place the hypothetical best wine with the most restrictive production guidelines and at the base of the pyramid we can aggregate the table wines that do not have to adhere to stringent quality guidelines.

A front and back wine label of the Italian win...

Image via Wikipedia

These designations formally recognize the areas in Italy that are noted for prestigious wine production. To differentiate these wines the government has created an evolving paradigm with rigid labeling requirements. These rules describe the exact geographic location of the grapes, aging parameters, permissible grape varieties that can be used in blends, alcohol content policies, pruning and trellising systems and winemaking practices.The most restrictive and elite designation is: DOCG, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. This designation implies that:
1. The location is certified and guaranteed
2. It requires longer aging periods and lower yields per vine

Piedmonte produces the highest proportion of DOCG wines including Barolo, “The King of Wine.” Watch this video about wine from Piedmonte http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEIYj7LJea4.

I just read a story on Twitter by Alfonso Cevola who generated a new “Complete Regional List”  of 71 DOCG Italian wines with a great “Interactive Italy Wine Map.” He also referenced Franco Ziliani and Hande Leimer for “alerting him to this development.”


Alfonso’s Complete (Provisional) Listing of Italian DOCG Wines (as of June 29 2011) :

Amorino Italian Wine

Abruzzo (1)
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Colline Teramane”

Basilicata (1)
Aglianico del Vulture

Apulia (4)

Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Riserva (newest)
Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva (newest)
Castel del Monte Bombino Nero (newest)

Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale

Campania (4)
Fiano di Avellino
Greco di Tufo
Taurasi
Aglianico del Taburno

Emilia Romagna (2)
Albana di Romagna
Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto

Friuli-Venezia Giulia (3)
Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit (including Picolit Cialla)
Ramandolo
Rosazzo

Lazio (3)
Cesanese del Piglio
Frascati Superiore
Canellino di Frascati

Lombardia (5)
Franciacorta
Oltrepo Pavese
Sforzato della Valtellina
Valtellina Superiore
Moscato di Scanzo

Marche (5)
Conero
Vernaccia di Serrapetrona
Verdicchio di Matelica
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico
Offida (Rosso & Bianco)

English: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy - the village...

Image via Wikipedia

Piemonte (16)
Asti – Moscato d’Asti
Barbaresco
Barbera d’Asti
Barbera del Monferrato Superiore
Barolo (including Chinato)
Brachetto D’Acqui (or Acqui)
Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore (or Dogliani)
Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore
Gattinara
Gavi (or Cortese di Gavi)
Ghemme
Roero (Rosso & Bianco)
Erbaluce di Caluso
Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato
Alta Langa
Dolcetto Diano d’Alba

Sardegna (1)
Vermentino di Gallura

Sicilia (1)
Cerasuolo di Vittoria

Italian wine from Castello Banfi in Tuscany

Image via Wikipedia

Toscana (9)
Brunello di Montalcino
Carmignano
Chianti
Chianti Classico
Elba Aleatico Passito
Montecucco Sangiovese
Morellino di Scansano
Vernaccia di S.Gimignano
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Umbria (2)
Montefalco Sagrantino
Torgiano Rosso Riserva

English: Grapes growing in the Italian wine re...

Image via Wikipedia

Veneto (14)
Colli di Conegliano
Montello Rosso or Rosso del Montello
Friularo di Bagnoli
Bardolino Superiore
Recioto di Gambellara
Recioto di Soave
Soave Superiore
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore
Asolo Prosecco Superior
Amarone della Valpolicella
Recioto della Valpolicella
Piave Malanotte (or Malanotte del Piave)
Lison
Colli Euganei Fiori d’Arancio

Revised Map

Click here on Alfonso Cevola’s Wine Trail map and hit the magnify button when you get there to enlarge the map; or click on the map and enlarge…Enjoy! Thanks for you great map Alfonso!!!!

Salute from Dr. EveAnn Lovero who writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Giuseppe Garibaldi - Portrait of an Italian Pa...

Enhanced by Zemanta

24 Comments

Filed under Barolo the King of Wine, Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello Wine, Chianti Classico, DOCG Italian WInes, French wine, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, IPad, Italian Cheese, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Rome, Sicily, Travel and Tourism, Venato, Verona Italy, vino con vista, Wine, Wine Festivals in Italy, World Heritage Sites