Currently Browsing: organic

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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When Italian Wine Is Like Trying On A New Pair Of Jeans

Any wine has structure (some combination of acidity, tannins and minerality) balanced out by softness (alcohol, glycerol and in sweet wines, sugar). Since Italian wine is made to go with food and often also made to age, it typically has more structure than softness. It’s like jeans that you have trouble zipping yourself into in […]

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San Fereolo: Greatness with Humility in Wine and Life

Often the best and most beautiful things in life are not immediately obvious or understood. This is certainly true of Nicoletta Bocca and her extraordinary San Fereolo wines. They open slowly, gradually revealing their greatness. The biggest surprise of San Fereolo is Nicoletta’s Dolcetto, an elegantly robust wine with firm tannins for aging, nothing like […]

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Cavallotto: Tradition of Barolo Wines Made Naturally

On their historic estate in the heart of the Barolo zone, Giuseppe, Alfio and Laura Cavallotto use organic/natural viticulture and natural cellar practices. They are fourth generation in their family to make wine here, following their father, Olivio, and uncle, Gildo, who were outliers in the 1960s when they began researching and experimenting with these […]

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Ferdinando Principiano: A Natural Bond with the Land and the Past

“If you don’t know where you’ve been,” Ferdinando Principiano asks rhetorically, “how can you possibly know where you’re going?” His philosophy of life and of making wine is deeply rooted in his respect for the Langhe, its history and the community here. Ferdinando’s intense curiosity has led him to research nineteenth century letters written by […]

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Bera: Natural Vitality on a Historic Estate in Piemonte

Alessandra Bera has the same natural energy and vitality that characterize her family’s vineyards in Canelli, near Asti. She, and her brother, Gian Luigi, with help from their father, Vittorio, make wine from vineyards purchased by their ancestors from the Knights Templar of the Order of Malta in 1758. They are in the limited area […]

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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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5 Common Misconceptions about "Natural" Wine in Italy

Let’s start with 1. “Natural” wine in Italy is a new idea. It’s not. Wine has been made in Italy for about 3,000 years and until about fifty years ago, it was all “natural”. Vineyards were free of industrial chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc.), fermentation occurred because of indigenous yeasts on the grapes and in […]

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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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Pacina: Stewards of a Generous Gift from Nature in Tuscany

Giovanna Tiezzi’s land south of Siena in Tuscany, looks much like it did a thousand years ago with woods, vineyards, olive trees, legumes and grains in a patchwork that spreads across gently rolling hills. “You can do down to the Municipal Palace in Siena and see it in Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s fresco “The Allegory of Good […]

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