Friday, May 29, 2009

Biodynamic - the future of viticulture?

So, have you heard of "biodynamic" wines before???

You've surely heard of organic, shortly, biodynamic agricultre is sort of a step further from organic - in the direction of being "natural", that is.

In recent years there has been a search for more natural produces including wine, and vineyards are indeed sprayed with many interesting substances that the consumer often is not even aware of.

Basically, biodynamic agriculture follows certain cycles of nature and cosmos such as the moon and position of the planets. Sounds a bit like witch-craft, but actually ancient agriculture always followed the phases of the moon and somehow this knowledge was forgotten about during the industrial revolution in modern agriculture. Today this forgotten knowledge has been rediscovered, tested, and proved to improve farms without having to use any sorts of chemicals, so creating sostainable farms.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Castello dei Rampolla - what a winery!

One of my favourite places in the Chianti region is Castello dei Rampolla. The estate is in the Conca d'Oro valley just South of Panzano. The winery was one of the first in the area to turn organic and biodynamic back in the 90s. Maurizia is a dedicated host and takes time out of her day to wander through the vineyards and answer all the questions of the visitors. The tasting includes some of the best Tuscan wines such as Sammarco and d'Alceo, the latter is a blend of Cabernet and Petit Verdot and quite singular in its class - possibly one of Tuscany's finest wines.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wine is fun!

As you've probably noticed approaching fancy restaurants with extensive, uncomprehendable (to normal people) wine lists, some people take wine very seriously, some even get snobby about it. But in my opinion, wine is just about the funnest thing I know! It's a bit like art in that sense that there are multiple ways of experiencing it, but we all enjoy it. We had this discussion on the wine tour today, and the discussion resulted in a fun little video that you'll find here below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Doing the wine tours

How many of us can go: I love my job and couldn't imagine my life without it?!
So, I've been doing the wine tours for 5 yrs now and I haven't got bored doing it yet - on the contrary; every day is like a new challenge and I just love to have the close contact with the wineries and to watch the progress through the year culminating in the harvest in the fall.
Here's a little clip from a wine tour this past week - thought you might enjoy a taste of the tour. Jackie owns a small organic vineyard in the Chianti Classico region and is here talking about the "green harvest" which is done in July to concentrate the grapes.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cracking the bottle open with a classy touch!

May has come - and it's got to be one of my favourite months, even if it usually passes by in a second because it seems to be one of the busiest months of the year (I'm probably not the only one who's caught on to this beautiful month in Italy!).

This post is dedicated to a little bottle-opening trick that you can soon learn to do (just practise on a couple of bottles before you do it in front of your friends). The important things are 1) that you get a hold of a proper waiter's cork screw (the only proper wine opener if you ask me) and 2) that the wine you are opening has a foil cover (so not plastic).