My Prowein 2022

My Prowein 2022

Prowein in Düsseldorf is a hot spot full of “wine” inspiration. It is one of the most important wine and spirits fair in Central Europe. Prowein always takes place on 3 days from Sunday till Tuesday.

After two years of cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, ProWein returned to Düsseldorf on 15-17 May, 2022.

This year I have decided to visit the international wine fair again. I only had one day of the fair to spend. It was an intense day and perhaps not enough to do everything, but I enjoyed it very much.

Personally, Prowein gives me the opportunity to discover different wines and wineries of the world. For me, tasting as much as possible is fun and it the best way to learn about wines.

I started tasting wines from Trentino and I ended up with Tempranillo and Verdejo wines from Casilla y Léon. I cannot remember exactly how much different wines I have tasted but the ones I remember were wines from the New World, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

Powerful dry wines with high tannin levels, high alcohol and fruit concentration such as Barolo and Médoc were one of my favorites!

And here are some of my favorite images I took while visiting ProWein:

Outstanding wines from Chilean Cabernet Sauvignons.

Interesting to try different California Chardonnay’s aged with oak chips in stainless steel. One Chardonnay tasted different from the next. From apples, lemons to something sweeter.

Having the opportunity to taste many Champagnes is amazing. Vintage Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006. A Champagne only made from Chardonnay grapes. Cheers!

Sicilian wines! Grillo is a widely planted Sicilian white grape. The grape is well suited to hot and dry climates. Grillo is used commonly in a variety of still white wines.

The Nero d’Avola instead is a renowned indigenous red grape variety in Sicily. The grape is also known as “Calabrese”. This grape loves heat as well, just like the Grillo. The wine has character. It is a strong and medium to full bodied red wine.

Wines from the PIWI grape varieties. Ever heard of it? I didn’t, until I met Enrico from Cantina Terre di Ger in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. PIWI grapes are fungal resistant. The wines taste good or even excellent.

The Verdejo wines from Rueda in the Castilla Y León region (Spain) are popular white wines around the world. I explored some nice wines from an organic and unique bodega.

The atmosphere at ProWein is welcoming, personable and educative. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and to talk about wine and business.

See you next year!

 

Glera | prosecco grape harvest

Glera | prosecco grape harvest

The heroic grape harvest season of the Glera falls between the end of September and early October in Refrontolo. Refrontolo is a small town in the heart of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene and the Colli di Conegliano region.

Glera is the principal white grape variety of the prosecco sparkling wine. It is a late ripening grape variety. They are green and have a thin skin. The grape is classified as semi-aromatic with a high acidity, making it perfect for prosecco wine production.

The “vendemmia” in the province of Treviso is one of the most fascinating time of the year. It is a busy period when it comes to local harvest festivals and feasts.

Many tourists visit Italy especially in the fall season to discover the best (new) wines and food the region has to offer.

Vintage 2021

Summer 2021 in Italy was a warm growing season for the grapes. Warmer than average summer. The grapes didn’t suffer from water stress and sunburn, fortunately.

The quality of the grapes is superior this year. Due to the warm weather conditions the berries have accumulated more sugar than usual. The grapes are in good health and excellent in balance of sugar-acidity.

They say vintage 2021 is an outstanding wine year for prosecco. Good news for fans of this wine. Cheers!

Production process Prosecco Superiore

The area Conegliano Valdobbiadene is situated between Venice and the Dolomites. 

All the grapes have to be hand picked. The vines are planted on hills with narrow ridges and steep slopes. This makes mechanized harvest impossible.

After picking, the tractor driver brings the next load to the winery for fermentation. But before they are unloaded, they are weighed by the winemaker in order to check that they do not exceed the production limits fixed for each vineyard every year.

The grapes are pressed gently in absence of oxygen and any skin contact. 

The freshly pressed fruit juice is the must. The sugar concentration and the acid content will be measured before fermentation starts. Corrections/additions of yeast or acids can be needed and sulfites (SO2), are always be added during the wine making process.

Metodo Charmat / Martinotti

Prosecco is an Italian DOC and DOCG white sparkling wine.

The tank method “Metodo Charmat or Martinotti” is a very common method to make prosecco. The first fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to keep the fruity flavors in the wine.

While the second fermentation takes place, the large tank is sealed to prevent CO2 from escaping. This is a slow process.

The longer and slower the winemaking process, the more delicate the prosecco wine will be.

There are different qualities in prosecco. Production and quality of the grapes are definitely Superiore at Toffoli. Therefor their DOCG Superiore prosecco is often more expensive over the standard DOC.

Mind that prosecco is a wine to drink young, ideally within one year of its production. It is not a wine for storing.

Strada del Prosecco / Prosecco road

The Strada del Prosecco is Italy’s oldest wine route. At first it linked the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene but now it winds its way through more communities between the towns Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.

The area has a number of biking,- hiking trails and good restaurants to eat. It is a unique and magnificent place where past and present come together.

Since 2019 the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene hills are UNESCO World Heritage site.

Wine tasting

Visitors are welcome at winery Toffoli to taste their wines. It is recommended to call or e-mail in advance to book a date and time.

The prosecco wine tasting takes place at the winery. Before you taste the wines the wine maker will guide you through his vineyards and the wine cellar.

Family Toffoli is happy to welcome you in Refrontolo!

Online wine tasting

A Taste of Veneto! is a unique wine experience with the winemaker himself Sante Toffoli and an Italian sommelier.

This online tour and tasting is the perfect way to get to know the winery and the wines from Veneto.

The tasting can be organized at any date and time of your choice. All wines from Toffoli will be sent from our distribution centre in Holland.

Getting excited? For more information about this online wine experience visit my website “A Taste of Veneto!

 

Easter holidays in Tuscany

Easter holidays in Tuscany

Easter 2021

During the Easter holidays the whole of Italy was classified “red” from 3 – 5 April. In a red zone it is prohibited to leave your hometown except for work and health reasons.

Over the Easter period we were allowed to visit friends and families in their homes with a maximum of two visitors at a time.

Tuscany will remain under the heaviest restrictions until April 20, as I read in a newspaper. The infections are not declining.

Pizza

Last Saturday I went for a bike ride and pizza dinner with my friends. It’s been weeks since we met. We’re not seeing each other often these days because we do not live in the same municipality. I live in Montepulciano. My friends have a house in Montallese and in Chiusi. Two towns in Tuscany.

Pizza is a social food. A food for family and friends. I never make a frozen pizza at home. For me a pizza is to be eaten at a pizzeria. It must be eaten immediately after it comes out of pizza oven and must be made by an expert!

Our friend in Montallese has recently installed a wood fired pizza oven in his garage. He prepared for us a variety of pizzas. Gianfranco is an Italian pizza chef!

I had a great dinner and I really enjoyed the pizzas. It has been a long time since I have had a so good pizza. Too long…

The nationwide curfew from 10 PM till 5 AM is still active. In Italy we usually eat late, around 8 – 9 PM. With the current rules we eat a little earlier.

Pizza dinner

Online wine tasting

I have celebrated Easter at my home in Montepulciano.

I’ve had a fabulous evening with American people. Together we’ve tasted -virtually- some nice Tuscan wines from the winery Gattavecchi.

For more information visit the page A Taste of Tuscany!

Online wine tasting

Piazza Grande

Pasquetta

Pasquetta was spent on running, foods and friends. We were allowed to travel.

I went to Chiusi for a 12 km run and a lunch.

Friends from Chiusi – Tuscany

A typical Tuscan Easter food is “ciaccia di Pasqua”. In Umbria they call it “torta di Pasqua”. It’s a pizza filled with cheese. La ciaccia di Pasqua is perfect for your Easter picnic.

la ciaccia di Pasqua and capocollo

Normally we eat the ciaccia with capocollo. Super delicious!

ciaccia di Pasqua

Last but not least there was a tiramisù to conclude our Pasquetta lunch.

Tiramisù

Buon appetito!

 

Wine tasting and tour at Dievole in the Chianti area

Wine tasting and tour at Dievole in the Chianti area

Wine estate Dievole in the Chianti Classico area

The wine estate Dievole is located in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most popular wine region of Tuscany between Siena and Florence.

Dievole overlooks the wonderful vineyards and olive groves. It covers an area of 400 hectares within the Chianti Classico territory in Vagliagli.

Dievole is an old winery founded in the 11th century. This Italian winery has a thousand year history.

Today Dievole is owned by an oil tycoon from Argentina “Alejandro Bulgheroni” and is part of a network of wineries in Tuscany: Chianti Classico, Bolgheri and Montalcino.

Dievole Tuscan wines

The winery Dievole produces elegant wines such as Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Vin Santo and IGT white wine. But they make also other Italian great wines: Bolgheri DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.

Dievole Tuscan wines

Wine tour and tasting

During the wine tour we discovered the history and the taste of Dievole wines. We were with a small group of 9 persons (it is necessary to pre-arrange this wine experience).

Tasting room

Our guide waited for us at the wine shop. She started with a brief introduction to the wines and the history of Dievole. After a small talk we walked through the vineyards, the historic wine cellars and tasting rooms.

After the tour we started with individual tastings of the quality wines including good cheeses and local meats.

 

Wine and food pairing

Wine and food pairing

 

Wine tasting in the Orcia DOC territory

Wine tasting in the Orcia DOC territory

Poggio Grande winery

If you are a wine lover be sure not to miss out the beautiful Val d’Orcia wine region in Tuscany. The land of Sangiovese.

Winery Poggio Grande lies in Castiglione d’Orcia. Castiglione d’Orcia is a small town immersed in the nature of Val d’Orcia. The property is located nearby the ancient medieval “Castello di Ripa d’Orcia” and the village of Bagno Vignoni.

Poggio Grande is a family-run farm that produces wine and olive oil in Castiglione d’Orcia. A visit to their vineyards, tasting room and wine cellar is a unique experience!

The winery is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The total surface of their vineyard is about 6 hectares. The care and cultivation work is done manually. The grapes are also harvested by hand each year.

The Zamperini family is the owner of Azienda Poggio Grande. They have been living in this idyllic Tuscan countryside since 1907. Farming is their way of life for generations.

Through years of experience, passion and knowledge, the Zamperini family produces wines with great body and high quality. In addition to wines based on the Sangiovese grape other international varieties are used in the production of fine wines.

Quality olive oil is also made (D.O.P. Terre di Siena certificate).

Wine and olive oil tasting

The wine experience takes place in a tasting room, set in the middle of vineyards and rolling hills. The unique panoramic views of the Tuscan landscape will amaze you!

Poggio Grande is the best place to enjoy local wines. A wine tasting at Poggio Grande consists of one white wine, three (or more) red wines and two different types of olive oils. The wines are served with a selection of local meats and pecorino cheeses.

wine tasting

wine cellar

The wine production has increased over the last years. Winemaker Luca Zamperini and his daughter Giulitta Zamperini produce seven different types of wine.

All their labels on the wine bottles tell a story. One red wine is named after a horse of the famous Palio di Siena: “Scorbutico”. This wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. A wonderful, elegant red wine. Good to pair with local pasta and meat dishes.

meat dish

A visit to Poggio Grande in the Orcia territory is highly recommended. You’ll find friendly owners, good wines and lovely views.

Contact details of winery Poggio Grande: info@aziendapoggiogrande.it

Orcia DOC

The Orcia DOC denomination is young, born on February 14, 2000. The grapes used for the Orcia wines are cultivated in the Val d’Orcia area.

The Val d’Orcia has a long history of producing wine. The wine production area is nestled between Montepulciano and Montalcino.

The main production areas are within the communes of Castiglione d’Orcia, Pienza, Radicofani, San Giovanni d’Asso, San Quirico d’Orcia, Buonconvento, Trequanda as well as parts of the municipalities of Abbadia San Salvatore, Chianciano Terme, Montalcino, San Casciano dei Bagni, Sarteano and Torrita di Siena in the province of Siena.

Pienza is my favorite place and I am spoiled for the choice with delicious food and wine…

Orcia wines come in different key styles:

  1. Orcia DOC (Sangiovese based wine)
  2. Orcia Sangiovese DOC Riserva (Sangiovese based wine)
  3. Orcia DOC white (Trebbiano – Malvasia)
  4. Vin santo DOC (sweet wine).

Each year the Novello wine is available in the Val d’Orcia territory. Novello is a wine made from the first grape harvest.

The Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes are the most important white grape varieties in the Orcia region. The white vin santo is blended from Trebbiano Toscano (50%) and other white authorized grape varieties.

Wines labelled “Orcia” must have 60% Sangiovese with at least a year of bottle aging, while wines labeled “Orcia Sangiovese” (Riserva) must consist of 90% Sangiovese with at least two years of barrel aging.

The Orcia Sangiovese wine is not a wine to drink when young. This wine will improve with age.

The blending grapes in the Orcia territory can be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or native varieties like Foglia Tonda, Canaiolo Nero, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, and more.

Val d’Orcia

Val d’Orcia is a Unesco World Heritage Site. With its curvy roads and rolling hills and cypress trees Val d’Orcia has become the iconic image of Tuscany.

Val d’Orcia

The Val d’Orcia landscape is covered with vineyards, olive groves and the zigzagging cypresses. Alternated with wonderful country houses, abbeys and villas.

Abbey of Sant’Antimo

Val d’Orcia

The region is also popular among hikers. The historical trail “Via Francigena” crosses the villages San Quirico d’Orcia, Radicofani and Bagno Vignoni. All small charming towns worth a visit.

Bagno Vignoni

Bagno Vignoni is a unique town with thermal water in the centre. It is a tiny village with typical stone houses.

Bagni di San Filippo

Bagni di San Filippo is one of the most beautiful free SPA resorts in Tuscany, immersed in the hills of Val d’Orcia.

Nowadays this region is famous for its enogastronomic production such as pasta i pici (wheat pasta), honey, pecorino cheese, olive oil, wild boar and wine. It is home to some of Italy’s best wines and food!

Pecorino cheese

Val d’Orcia is also very much appreciated by artists, writers, poets, photographers and cinematographers. Famous movies such as The Gladiator and The English Patient have been shot here.

Capella della Madonna di Vitaleta

Val d’Orcia is one of the magic places to explore whilst on vacation in Tuscany. This is one of the most beautiful scenic landscapes. Val d’Orcia is a region you absolutely have to see!