italian wine

Import Selection: Aglianico Del Vulture, 1985. D’Angelo

As the French have their noble grapes of the respective regions, so do the Italians. In Bordeaux France, for instance, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot are the noble grapes. In Italy, the three noble vines are Nebbiolo (respon­sible for Barolo and Barberesco etc.), Sangiovese (responsible for Chianti and Brunello di Montelcino… read more »

Import Selection: Trebbiano D’Abbruzzo, 1991. Citra

The Citra Cellars is an associa­tion of fourteen member wineries and their affiliated vineyards. A large-scale, efficient interpretation of the winemaking co-operative concept, Citra acquires its grapes from a staggering 10,000 wine-grape growers! These farmers cul­tivate the fertile, ideal-for-grapes, limestone and loam coastal hills in the province of Chieti, which lies about two hours east… read more »

Import Selection: Chianti, 1990. Melini Borghi D’Elsa

Founded in 1705, the Melini winery owns 225 acres of vine­yards in Tuscany, home to many of Italy’s finest red wines. Melini stands as one of the top four pro­ducers in the renowned Chianti re­gion there. This wine gets its name for the villages (borghi) along the River Elsa and comes from their modern facility… read more »

Import Selection: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 1989. Zonin

Founded in 1921, Zonin is Ita­ly’s largest privately-owned wine-making concern in operation to­day. Considering how far back many Italian wineries go, this makes the company a relative new­comer. In all fairness, it is impor­tant to state that prior to establish­ing the firm seventy years ago, the family had actually been active in the wine industry… read more »

Member Inquiry: Grape Origins

Paul, Are any of the domestic wines that we are accustomed to made from native grapes, or do they all have their origins else­where?” M.M., Temple City, CA Any grape, really, can be made into wine, but few indigenous grapes have achieved any degree of success as raw wine materials. Native grapes, botanically of the… read more »

Import Selection: Coltibuono Bianco, 1989. La Badia

Revelations never cease, it seems, when I investigate good Italian wines. While researching this article the translation of the name “Badia a Coltibuono” (some­thing I had been in mystery about for nearly ten years) like the an­swer to an ancient riddle, suddenly appeared: the “Abbey of the Good Harvest”. La Badia was built as a… read more »

This Free, 24 Hour Wine Fountain in Italy Is Too Good to Be True

When I heard about this, this morning… I thought I was dreaming or had been transported into an alternate universe. In the Abruzzo region near Rome, a fountain flowing with free red wine has been installed on the Cammino di San Tommaso route where thousands of traveling locals and tourists find their way from Rome to Ortona…. read more »

Import Selection: Chianti, 1988. Castello di Gabbiano

If, from all the pictures, car­toons, TV documentaries and books logged in your memory you were to imagine a medieval castle with jutting towers and classic parapets, you would be seeing Castello di Gabbiano (Castle of Gabbiano). According to archives, this romantic castle dates back to the twelfth century, rich with his­tory and family feuds… read more »

Import Selection: Salice Salentino, 1983, Dr. Taurino

The only good thing about in­flated California wine prices is that importers will search far and wide into territories they normally would not have, to discover good bargains. Salice Salentino lies almost at the very tip of Italy’s “high heel”; in the region of Apuglia (or just Puglia), known mainly for vast quantities of mediocre… read more »

Sparkling Wine

A wine that contains bubbles. This type of wine is carbonated by natural fermentation in a large tank. Sparkling wine is most highly associated with Champagne. Some of the most popular sparkling wines are Spumante (Italy) and Cava (Spain).    

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