New Covid-19 measures in Italy | life in Montepulciano

New Covid-19 measures in Italy | life in Montepulciano

New Phase 2 measures in Italy

The Covid-19 measures in Italy are somewhat eased since early May. Restrictions on travel within the same region will be dropped on May 18.

Shops, restaurants, hairdressers and bars are being allowed to reopen. Two weeks earlier than planned.

Movement in your own region is permitted. Without any “autocertificazione”. Finally we will be able to visit friends as long as they live in the same region.

Fiat 500 in Montepulciano

Both regional and international borders will open from June 3. The Italian government wants to allow travel between the regions and the Schengen countries. People will be permitted to enter Italy without any restrictions. Tourists can travel to Italy again. Awesome!

I am excited that things are getting back to normal. That gives me hope. As in the lockdown period it seemed impossible. But just the idea of having a fresh pizza with a huge beer in a trattoria makes me feel very happy.

Bars have already reopened for take-away service. I love an Italian coffee after lunch. Recently I got a take-away coffee at the Piazza Grande. The coffee was good and it was nice talking to the locals again. Nonetheless… nothing beats an Italian coffee ” al banco”.

Gatherings of large groups are still banned. Unfortunately some important summer events have been cancelled. For example Umbria Jazz in Perugia. The festival will return in 2021.

Wine business

Over de last few weeks I have been busy with setting up my wine business. I am working on a new online wine webshop. It is something that I have created together with a little help of my friends.

It will be a project with my own “Italian” identity. It is a personal investment in local wine. I find it a bit scary to invest in this period. We live in a difficult economic situation. But I must do something. And this is what I like too! I don’t know if I’ll have success but I keep up the good spirit.

Vineyards in Montepulciano

Besides this new project I have published a new virtual wine tasting experience page on my website. I organize from mid June free online wine tastings in Montepulciano.

I will use the Zoom application for the virtual wine tastings. More information about this will be followed.

Running

I had a long period of knee problems. My right knee is doing much better. I go often by bike and I do my exercises to strengthen the muscles that support my knee. I am ready for a new running schedule.

My trainer has sent me a new program for the upcoming two months. The priority is to restart. The runs are short and I have no idea how the results will be. But I am happy to start running again.

You can fallow my running activities on Garmin Connect.

Running in Montepulciano

Virtual wine tasting

Last Saturday I had my first online Zoom wine tasting experience with a group of American people. I have a friend in NYC who organizes online meetings with friends. This time I was invited as a guest speaker.

Through the virtual wine tasting experience I showed two video’s of Montepulciano. I told the story of the winery Gattavecchi and the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. I enjoyed!

The meeting took about 1 hour. Talking to people on the other side of the world was great. A feeling of not being alone for a moment. I did this online wine tasting from my home in Montepulciano. Next time I do the virtual tour in the wine cellar.

Will I see you then?

Virtual wine tasting

 

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At home in Montepulciano

Snowfall in Montepulciano

Exercising outside in Montepulciano

Wine and Spirit Education Trust

Wine and Spirit Education Trust

WSET

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust provides education and qualifications in wines for professionals and enthusiasts. Level 2 Award in Wines is an intermediate level qualification.

During the course we studied about wines, grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown and the styles of wine they produce.

Through a combination of (a lot) wine tasting and theory we explored the quality, the style and how to describe the wines.

Emily O’ Hare

Our teacher for WSET level 2 is Emily O’Hare. Emily is wine writer, sommelier and she teaches WSET courses in Tuscany. Originally she’s from London but is now based in Siena.

Review

I personally enjoyed the wine study and the courses with Emily. We had a lovely group. Some participants were from my FISAR Sommelier course and some people were new. It was a nice experience and definitely a do thing.

I look forward to start soon with WSET level 3.

Diploma

I got my classification! I passed my exam. Result 94% and Grade Pass with distinction. Now I have two wonderful certificates, FISAR Sommelier and WSET level 2 Award in Wines.

I still need to learn a lot more about wines. But I have a lot of interest and I am passionate about wine. I live in a wine growing area and I work in the tourism and wine business.

The best is yet to come!

WSET diploma level 2

 

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Official certified FISAR sommelier

Wine tasting at Cantina Mori colli Zugna in Trentino

Wine tasting at Cantina Mori colli Zugna in Trentino

Wine cooperative in Trentino

A wine cooperative is where wineries buy in grapes from a network of grape owners and make their own labelled wine. Most of the co-ops are after volume sales. Often it seems that co-op wineries produce a lot of boring wines and that they are more after volumes than quality.

In Trentino Alto Adige cooperatives create extremely high value wines. Some wines are even nationally and internationally awarded. The wines are worth seeking out!

Cantina Mori colli Zugna

Cantina Mori colli Zugna is a wine cooperative in Mori Trentino. They are part of Cavit (Cantina Viticoltori del Trentino). Cavit incorporates 10 cooperative wineries in Trentino. They are the largest wine cooperative in the region Trentino Alto Adige.

Cantina Mori colli Zugna

In the mid fifties Cantina Mori colli Zugna was founded. It counts now 700 partners who cultivate about 650 hectares. They converts over 90% of the area’s production.

Cantina Mori colli Zugna

The vineyards of Cantina Mori colli Zugna in Trentino are between the valley of River Adige and Lake Garda, on the slopes of the Monte Baldo (Malcesine) and the Gresta Valley.

Riva del Garda Trentino

Wine tasting

Today Cantina Mori Colli Zugna organizes food and wine tours. The special wines and the Spumante under the appellation Trento DOC amused me.

Cantina Mori colli Zugna

My tasting notes

Morus Brut Millesimato TrentoDOC – this is a classic method only produced in the best years. Millesimato means that the grapes are harvested in the same year.

The Morus Brut sparkling wine is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. The grape growing are on the hills of Monte Baldo. This elegant wine undergoes a long period of aging on lees, therefor the wine has an intense, persistent perlage, buttery and creamy texture. The second fermentation in the bottle has a period of aging at least 36 months.

The colour of the spumante is yellow-greenish with aromas of crusty bread and green apples. This wine is excellent as an aperitif and good pairing with national and international cuisine or delicate fish dishes.

Vicarius – Rosso Trentino DOP – this is a blended wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. The grapes are selected to guarantee a high quality production of the wine.

The wine making process of this wine involves a long maceration on the skins in steel. This is to increase color, flavor and aromas to the wine. Following the maceration the aging proces takes place 6 months in wooden barrique and later 6-10 months refinement in bottle.

The color is ruby red. On the nose a delicate and elegant bouquet. On the palate dry, structured with spicy notes. This wine is good pairing certainly with meat dishes and game.

Cantina Mori colli Zugna

Conclusion

As a result the wine cooperatives in Trentino Alto Adige are worth finding out.

During the wine tour I’ve had been able to taste other local wines like Pinot Grigio, Müller Thurgau, Pinot Nero and Marzemino. This wine tour and tasting is a superb experience. For that reason I recommend a visit to this winery to everyone who loves wine!

Sylvia Italy

Torbole Trentino 

 

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Wine tasting in the Orcia DOC territory

Wine tasting and tour at Dievole in the Chianti area

Official certified FISAR sommelier

Official certified FISAR sommelier

FISAR sommelier

In 2017 I started with the FISAR sommelier study with the aim of becoming a professional sommelier. My dream came true…

I have successfully passed all exams. I am an official certified sommelier now! FISAR is an official recognized diploma. They organise wine courses, tastings and exams throughout Italy.

Over the past three years Emiliano was our teacher. Every week we had guest speakers in our class to teach us about wine, and everything in between.

It was hard work because there’s a lot of information to know about wine.

Written and oral examination

The written exam contained multiple choice questions and open questions. FISAR (Federazione Italiana Sommelier Albergatori e Ristoratori) focuses on the understanding of wine and food pairing. A sommelier must know how to pair food with wine.

In the tasting and practical examination we tasted and evaluated the wine I choose: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2015 from the winery Fattoria del Cerro.

There were three examiners asking me questions on different topics. Emiliano and two colleagues assisted us before and after the exam. 

Fattoria del Cerro

Celebration dinner 

By the end of our oral exam we planned a nice dinner with lots of wine in restaurant La Solita Zuppa. We all were very happy and excited. 

La Solita Zuppa

La Solita Zuppa

FISAR Diploma

It wasn’t easy to get here. Being a Dutch native speaker and doing speaking and writing tests in an other language isn’t the easiest way to get your Italian sommelier degree.

FISAR sommelier

FISAR sommelier

FISAR sommelier together with Luca and Emiliano

Now that I am having my FISAR diploma I hunger for more. I want to keep on studying, tasting, working and keep on organizing more wine tastings.

I live my dream and nothing is impossible. I have so many future wine projects to realize.

The best is yet to come. Cheers!

FISAR sommelier

 

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Pasta i pici at restaurant La Solita Zuppa | visit Chiusi Tuscany

Wine and Spirit Education Trust

Wine and food experience in Montepulciano

Wine and food experience in Montepulciano

Wine and Food experience

The nicest part I love of the Wine and Food Experience is meeting people and sharing my passion for wine. I love tasting wines in good company.

Wine tasting at Cantina Gattavecchi

All my guests come from everywhere: America, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Italy… The Wine and Food Experience always starts by telling the history of Montepulciano and the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Montepulciano

Montepulciano is situated in the center of an area rich in history, art and wine. The village is only at a stone’s throw away from Pienza and 40 minutes drive from Siena.

San Biagio church Montepulciano

Did you know that the locals call themselves “Poliziani”? Which was the former Roman name of the town? And that Poliziano also the name was of a local humanist and famous writer (Angelo Ambrogini) living in Florence and born in Montepulciano?

Some identification detail of the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a precious product and was the first classified wine as DOCG. It is the “King of all Wines” by Francesco Redi 1685.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

The local economy in Montepulciano is mainly agriculture and tourism. The wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a symbol of the village Montepulciano.

Sangiovese –Prugnolo Gentile- is the grape that gives the wine an identity. A wine that achieves an unmistakable taste, after 2 years of aging in wood.

Sangiovese grapes

Food is also an important item while drinking tannin wines. Tannins provide texture and structure in a wine. The flavors that appear in the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are mostly plums and cherries.

A pairing principle of the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with food is that it interacts with rich, fatty and salty dishes, like wild boar, meat, pasta with ragù and old cheeses. They diminish the perception of tannins, making a wine like Vino Nobile more smoother.

Local pasta “i pici”

In Montepulciano, Montichiello, Pienza and Montalcino is the most renown dish “i pici”. A thick handmade pasta of local flour water and few salt.

Pasta i pici

In the Cantina of Gattavecchi the restaurant offers a wide choice of Tuscan specialties. I love the local pici, especially the Pici all’aglione. The “aglione” is a spicy garlic tomato sauce… yummy!

Aglione

Yesterday I had a lovely group of American guests who had the chance to do an amazing experience with chef Lilian. She showed us how to make home made pasta.

 

Chef Lilian Gattavecchi in Montepulciano

Allerheiligen in Rome Italië

Op 1 november is het feestdag in Italië, oftewel “Ognissanti”. De kantoren, fabrieken en banken zijn gesloten. In de meeste grote steden zijn de winkels wél open. Italianen gaan er dan vaak op uit.

Elk jaar op 1 november is in Rome “La Corsa dei Santi“. Een hardloopwedstrijd van 10 km. Dit jaar, het jubeljaar 2016, was de 9e editie.

De stad wordt gedurende de wedstrijd afgesloten voor het altijd drukke verkeer. De start is op het Sint Pietersplein. Vanaf het plein loop je richting Piazza Venezia langs het Colosseum naar Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo, Castel Sant’Angelo en weer terug naar het Sint Pietersplein. Een prachtige route waar veel mensen langs de kant staan aan te moedigen.

Parcours: Garmin Connect – Citta’ Del Vaticano race

Van mijn marathon in Amsterdam ben ik goed hersteld. In Rome heb ik daarom geprobeerd een PR te lopen op de 10 km. Het parcours in Rome is niet vlak, en je loopt bijna altijd over de “kinderhoofdjes”. Wat niet bevordelijk is voor je snelheid.

Mijn tijd was 42:47 met een gemiddelde van 4:16/km. Een nieuw persoonlijk record. Ik ben 2e van mijn categorie (40+) geëindigd, 19e van de vrouwen en 413e van de totale kwalificatie. Er waren ruim 4000 deelnemers.

De prijs die ik had gewonnen waren twee flessen Biologische wijn, pasta “penne” en een treetje Melinda appels.

2e prijs categorie 40+

Nu staat Firenze marathon op het programma op 27 november a.s. Ik heb in de tussentijd weer een paar keer getraind. Lichamelijk en geestelijk voel ik me fit. Ik heb weer zin om een marathon te lopen. Florence zal mijn 10e marathon zijn in 10 jaar. Mijn eerste marathon was in NY 2006.