Currently Browsing: Books, Films and Apps

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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Natural Wine: In Defense of Culture, Agriculture + Freedom

In his provocative and fascinating book, Cultural Insurrection, Jonathon Nossiter explains how in the last ten years independent winegrowers making natural wine have “succeeded in staging a small, calm revolution”* As individuals without an institutionalized organization, they have spontaneously created a model for protecting culture, diversity and freedom. It works because a tiny alternative market […]

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Monty Waldin's Biodynamic Wine

Monty Waldin‘s new book begins with a strong thesis in the Introduction that: “…biodynamics remains the best tool with which to make terroir-driven wine of the highest quality while enhancing rather than depleting the vineyard it same from.” Whether or not you fully buy into that conclusion, the book is an outstanding primer on biodynamic […]

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Barolo Boys: The Power & Effects of International Wine Marketing

“Barolo Boys” (2014) is a documentary about the Barolo “boom” in the nineties. The strength of the film is its success in chronicling how a group of family owned wineries (7 men + 1 woman)* changed the historical character of their wines for marketing purposes and what happened as a result. The story is important […]

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Passion On The Vine: a memoir by Sergio Esposito

When I first read Sergio Esposito’s book seven years ago, it changed my understanding of Italian wine. Esposito explains so clearly how the best and most interesting wines of Italy are deeply connected to family, culture, tradition and most of all, place. He begins the book by describing his early life in Naples, then, the […]

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RAW Fair: Empowering Artisan Winegrowers + Wine Drinkers

While in London last week, I met with Isabelle Legeron MW, who founded the RAW (The Artisan Wine Fair), in London in 2012. (May 15-16, 2016) Her goals: bring transparency to wine and showcase true terroir wine made naturally. Sitting outside in the brisk London chill for a cappuccino, she was as authentic and down […]

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Living Legends from The Leopard

I never dreamed of having lunch with the adopted son of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the famous Italian novel, The Leopard, and his wife, Duchess Nicoletta Polo Lanza. But there I was staying in an apartment in their historic seventeenth century palazzo. Prince Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, a professor of Music and author of […]

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Four Seasons in Rome, a memoir by Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr, best selling author of All the Light We Cannot See, penned this memoir of a year in Rome while on a fellowship at the American Academy. With a style reminiscent of A Moveable Feast, Doerr brings the reader along into experiences that are cultural, romantic, sensual, but most of all, authentic. The book […]

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Isabelle Legeron: Natural Wine

Isabelle Legeron, who was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, is a serious wine person with a serious palate. She now calls herself “That Crazy French Woman” and has written this excellent book on Natural Wine. After tasting hundreds of wines, she came to the realization that a lot of what […]

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Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures

Paul Lukacs’s fascinating book takes readers on voyage through the history of wine, giving perspective on current trends. His major theme turns out to be that even though a lot has changed over the centuries, many aspects of wine and the market for wine remain the same. Trends in wine are the result of a […]

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