Sunday, July 31, 2016

Threshing celebrations at Renzo Marinai

Renzo Marinai is a fantastic little winery in the heart of Chianti Classico – in the renowned Conca d’Oro (Golden Valley) on the South side of Panzano village. The valley got its name in the olden days from the golden color it took in midsummer when the wheat was ready to be harvested. Today agriculture has turned to mainly grapes, dotted with olive groves - though in one particular farm the wheat is still grown in between the old olive trees.

When Renzo Marinai succeeded his father's farm, he turned it into one of the area’s best organic wineries, producing concentrated Chianti Classicos (available of course on
True to tradition Renzo decided to keep growing a local variety of wheat called Senatore Cappelli. 
In order to keep its integrity, the wheat which is harvested manually is subsequently stacked in the fields to dry for a couple of weeks after harvest, and then threshed in late July and sent off to a local pasta maker where it's turned into delicious pasta.

La festa della Battitura was a festive event in the Tuscan countryside of the past where the threshing culminated with a good party with lots of great local food & music. This is mainly a remnant of the past, but at Renzo Marinai the tradition is kept very much alive and is a renowned event for its uniqueness. This year we were lucky to participate and enjoyed some great wine, food & people. Here's a few photos of the day - hope you enjoy.

And remember, that we often visit the Renzo Marinai winery during our wine tours :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Hi guys.

This time it's a with rather a heavy heart reflecting on a rough time for our World.

Lately I, along with many others I'm sure, have started to feel that we are living in a particularly tough time. We wake up to check where the latest attack has been. It's not the first time that World events have started to turn ugly, but surely the atrocities get out to us faster than ever before, reporting way too many tragic & meaningless's discerning, and most of us feel the same void and insecurity within us.

All I want, and I'm sure, you want too, is peace. But separation of countries, terrorism, civil wars will inevitably result in a regression that dooms us to be ripped apart. The eventual effects are unknown even to the experts.

All I know that every time a new attack happens, we receive cancellations from people who are afraid to travel and cancel their trips and wine tours. What a pity! Traveling in general and particularly to the wine makers in any country is one of the best ways of getting into contact with foreign cultures adding more understanding and comprehension of our common World.

And then there's the effects that will concern the wine market which by now had become quite global - just think that since the end of Apartheid we all can get South African wines! Now, Brexit was a real punch in the face - at least for us over on mainland Europe. I've never really considered drinking British wine, probably because it's hard to get ahold of anything non Italian in Italy - so no real boycotting happening here. The curious Italian wine consumer will perhaps not find a great difference in market mechanisms - but of course should other countries like France leave the EU, it would start to be more evident.

And I'm assuming the Algerian, Moroccan wines aren't very popular at the moment...

And who's drinking Syrian wine out there?!

Not even thinking of the Turkish wine industry's future...

All in all, it seems to me that we have developed our wine industry to a great level of global trade. Individually we have developed our palates to appreciate different wines of the World just as we enjoy eating foreign sad life would be if we could only have access to our own area's wines (assuming we all live in a wine region). symbolises unity, respect and love. Lets pour our next glass with a greater consciousness than ever. Keep traveling to gain understanding and keep an open palate!
 #wineforpeace - use this hashtag on your social media to spread positive wine vibes!