Currently Browsing: Eleanor Shannon

May 11-15, 2017: Natural Italian Wine Course at Castello di Potentino

Join a small group (max 12)  for a four-day, full immersion course on Italian wine, food and culture in a Tuscan castle . Eleanor Shannon, certified sommelier and founder of Uncorked In Italy, will lead the course. Read more. Participants will learn how Italian wines are made, how to taste and understand Italian wine and […]

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Vignai Da Duline Morus Nigra 2011: Wine of the Month-March, 2017

I’m kicking off my new Wine of the Month feature with Vignai Da Duline Morus Nigra Venezia Giulia IGT 2011. If you want to learn about Natural Italian Wine, the best way is to begin tasting regularly and keeping notes for yourself. An elegant version of a local classic from a native variety found only […]

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Casa Raia: Natural Brunello With Stories to Tell

Pierre Jean Monnoyer is a winegrower of quiet humility whose adventures in a remote village in China eventually led him to vineyards planted by the legendary Biondi-Santi family in Montalcino. He grew up in Nice, a meeting point between his father, who was from Reims in the north and  where his  mother, who was from the […]

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To My Surprise: Learning to Make Organic Focaccia and Pasta

I never expected Italian wine to lead me into the kitchen, a place I’ve never felt comfortable or adept. But two women chefs and the local, organic flour mill, Mulino di Val D’Orcia, have inspired me. To my surprise, I’m finding out that it’s much easier to make focaccia and pasta than I thought. Having […]

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Healthy Organic Pasta: The Real Story Behind Gluten Intolerance

Amadeo Grappi, a young artisan producer of organic stone ground flour and pasta at the Mulino Di Val D’Orcia in Tuscany, gave me a clear explanation for the rise in gluten intolerance and loss of nutritional value in wheat products. As he says in this video, the problems arise from two things: the use of […]

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Transforming Tuscany: The Origo Family in the Val D’Orcia

Italian-American, Iris Origo and her husband, Antonio Origo, illegitimate son of the Marchese Origo in Florence bought an enormous estate in Valley of the Orcia River in the 1920s and transformed the area. Their daughters, Donata and Benedetta, still live at La Foce and La Chiarentana, making outstanding organic olive oil and offering parts of the […]

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Imagining the Impossible in Wine and Life

Looking out at the Monte Amiata and the Val D’Orcia at dawn in Tuscany, it feels impossible to imagine that in the 1940s this was a scene of bloodshed and war. I was starting to write about the Val D’Orcia for this week’s post, but that will be next week. Right now, it’s hard not […]

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5 Secrets for Buying Italian Wine

I’m often asked how I choose the wines I write about. The short answer is that I look for “identity wines”, the ones that tell a unique story of the place they come from, the vintage year, the grape varieties, the weather, the people, who make them… Italy has the most diversity of ideal grape […]

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Stella di Campalto: Soul, Soil and Biodynamic Brunello

Stella di Campalto is a steel magnolia possessing both charm and grit. Her soft-spoken elegance belies the determination and vision she needed to found an organic winery in 1995 and run it by herself without experience or training. For the first three years, still in her twenties, she lived with her two girls, three and […]

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Natural Wine Magic in Italy: Etruscan Not Roman

In ancient times, spontaneous grape fermentation and the effects of drinking wine were believed to be magic from the gods. Wine is even at the root of the word “divine”. Its Latin precursor, divinius, meaning “of the gods” is the combination of two other Latin words: di (gods) and vini (wines). In modern Italian, divino […]

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