Virtual Brunello wine tasting

Virtual Brunello wine tasting

For those who cannot travel to Tuscany I have decided to organize a new perfect stay-at-home activity: a virtual Brunello di Montalcino wine tasting!

The focus of this online tasting is on learning and having fun. I have hosted several virtual wine tastings but I can say that tasting Montalcino wines -virtually- with other tasters was a different and unforgettable experience.

“What a great experience! After receiving bottles of Pian delle Ginestre Brunello di Montalcino to cold Oslo, nine people were able to sit around a table and receive a virtual visit from Sylvia via the TV screen and Zoom. The visit included a live stream tour through beautiful Montepulciano commented by Sylvia on the go, followed by a joint wine tasting 2600 kilometers apart.

The Brunello wines are a relatively recent acquaintance to us, but we have observed that our state-owned Norwegian Vinmonopol (in Norway all trades of vines go through one state-owned company) has gradually got a good selection of Brunello wines in their temperated treasure rooms. We now understand why, but to taste a wine from such a small and dedicated winery like Tenuta Pian delle Ginestre made the experience very special.

It tasted as beautiful at it looks, forest fruits, leather and tobacco but not as intense as it blocks out a good meal, it is more like a very faithful companion. A revisit to Tuscany and a first visit in real life to Montepulciano is high on the Bucket list now” ~ Ove Sveen (Norway) 23 March, 2022

Virtual wine tasting Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

You do not need to be an expert to enjoy the wine Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Just trust your taste and senses … and relax!

During the online tasting I will provide a presentation, show a video and introduce you to the winemaker.

Vasco Rosso Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

Pian delle Ginestre is a small winery run by the Natalini family. They love their land and their wines. The wines are special. They tell you the story of its territory.

In addition to the Brunello, the winemaker produces other wines like Toscano IGT and Rosso di Montalcino.

To join the tasting you need two bottles of wine: Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG from the line of wines Vascorosso named after the famous Italian singer Vasco Rossi.

Vasco Rosso Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

After the wine tasting you’ll have wine leftovers. This is brilliant! Because following the virtual event, you can continue to practice tasting the wines for a few days.

Interested? I’d love to hear from you!

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

Today Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most known and expensive wines. Brunello is not just a drink. It is an elegant and prestigious Tuscan wine with the ability to age well for years. It is one of those wines you should have tried at least once in your life!

Consortium Brunello di Montalcino

The wine is made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso. No other grapes are allowed in a Brunello wine. Brunello di Montalcino is a high tannin wine. This is one of the unique characteristics of this important wine. This wine gets better with age.

Before drinking the wine needs aeration, let it “breathe” at least 2 hours. A perfect match with this wine is steak (protein), seasoned cheeses and cured meats.

I always enjoy drinking a glass of Brunello, especially when I can share my love and passion for this wine with friends.

Montalcino

At present there are 250 wine producers in Montalcino. The total area is 24,000 ha of which 4,600 ha are used for viticulture. Each year around 11 million bottles of wine are produced.

Montalcino is a hilltop village surrounded by Crete Senesi and Val d’Orcia area. It is a town worth visiting. Not only for the wine but also for its unique beauty!

Montalcino Tuscany

 

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!

 

Wine tasting in Campania

Wine tasting in Campania

Wine region Campania

Campania is a wonderful wine region in southern Italy. It has an old wine tradition. It was one of the most famous wine regions of the Romans.

The vineyards in Campania are mostly inland, not directly along the coast. The soils are influenced by volcanism.

It were the Greeks who introduced Vitis Vinifera in Campania. Grapes such as Greco di Tufo, Aglianico and Falanghina have all Greek origins. But, it were the Romans who introduced the wines from Campania everywhere in the world.

Napels

Naples is the capital city of the Campania region. It is Italy’s third largest city. I know “Napule” quite well. I have wonderful memories of Naples. In 2003 I’ve stayed a month in this unique city to learn the Italian language. It was great fun spending the Summer there!

Piazza del Pebliscito

Galleria Umberto I

Castello Nuovo

Winery Villa Matilde

The wine tasting in Campania was in the winery Villa Matilde in Cellole in the province Caserta close to Benevento. 80 km drive from Naples. 

The family Avellone is the owner of Villa Matilde. It is a three generation family wine business. In the sixties Francesco Paolo Avellone started with re-planting of old vines. He had a passion for ancient historical wines. With his new wine projects he gained support from local farmers and friends. 

The vineyards of Villa Matilde are in the limestone massif Mount Massico, the Roccamonfina volcano. Today daughter Maria Ida and son Salvatore are responsible for the production of their wines.

In the wine shop we had a lovely wine tasting. We didn’t visit the vineyards. But it was a nice experience. Maria is really a wonderful host!

Villa Matilde winery

Villa Matilde winery

Villa Matilde winery

Grape varieties

The wines in Campania are produced by Italian autochtone – unique grape varieties, such as Falanghina, Aglianico, Piedirosso, Fiano and Greco. The Agliano grape is cultivated everywhere in Campania. Aglianico is one of the great grapes of Italy. The wines made from Agliano are full bodied. It is worth a try!

The grape variety Falanghina is an important white grape in Falerna del Massico. It is born from ancient vines by the Greeks about 3000 years ago. Falerno del Massico DOC is the modern Falernum with whites from Falanghina.

The extinct Roccamonfina volcano contributes volcanic soils to Villa Matilde and the other Falerno del Massico regions vineyards. The taste of the wine is fresh and mineral. Very pleasant to drink. It is one of my favorite white wines!

They also produce a wonderful rosato wine made from 100% Aglianico grapes.

Friends

Amy and David are friends of mine from the US. They live in an apartment in Vomero. A chic neighborhood just outside the city centre of Naples. It is a wonderful location. The views over the Gulf of Naples and the Vesuvius are amazing!

Vesuvio

I met Amy and David at the Wine and Food Experience in Montepulciano last year. They work at the United States Navy base. Tuscany wines are their favorites. As soon as they can they come to Montepulciano to get some Vino Nobile and Brunello bottles to bring home!

Friends

Cooking class

Together with people from the United Stated Navy base we did a cooking class. Two ladies from Naples prepared delicious local dishes for us. We were allowed to watch or even to help them!

Cooking class

The menu:

  • Antipasto: mignon mozzarella di bufala, bruschette with cherry-tomatoes and basilicum, local cheeses and cold cuts
  • Primo piatto: pasta with pumpkin, pancetta and ricotta salata
  • Secondo piatto: stuffed involtini with white wine sauce
  • Contorno: garden peppers with black olives
  • Dessert: almond cake

Super yummy!

Wine: “Falerno del Massico DOC” from Villa Matilde; Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2017 from Gattavecchi.

Buon appetito!

Cooking in Naples

Cooking in Naples

Virtual wine tasting

The best way to discover the Italian culture obviously is through the wine! Sign up for the Sylvia Italy’s virtual wine tasting.

 

A FAT e-bike tour in Umbria with Instabike Italia

A FAT e-bike tour in Umbria with Instabike Italia

Instabike Italia

Instabike Italia offer FAT e-bike rental and guided tours. The best way to explore Umbria and Tuscany is by riding a FAT e-bike! It is great fun for everyone.

With this e-bike you can ride along vineyards, amazing landscapes, trails, off road adventures or anything you wish.

Lago Trasimeno

Marco Angeletti is one of the owners of Instabike Italia. He is an official guide and he can show you by bike wonderful places, landscapes and lakes.

With Marco Angeletti

A guided tour with a FAT e-bike through the Umbrian and Tuscany landscape you can enjoy a nice wine tasting as well.

Tour guide Marco Angeletti

Tuscany landscape

Instabike Italia is situated in Terni, Umbria, but they organize e-bike tours around Umbria and in a small part of Tuscany. The FAT e-bikes are new and well maintained. You really should try one of their FAT e-bikes!

Sangiovese vineyards

FAT E-bike

FAT e-bikes are more than mountain bikes. They have oversized tires, the bikes allow you to ride everywhere. Obstacles are not a problem, the FAT e-bikes give you a feeling of stability and control.

It is easy to ride a FAT e-bike. In addition to your pedaling the motor powers the rear wheel. With this bike you can visit a lot of wonderful breathtaking places, whether it is an off road adventure or a city ride.

Sangiovese vineyards

Bike Tour

Last week I’ve tried one of the new tours Instabike Italia wants offer. Unfortunately the winery we wanted to visit for a wine tasting was closed. Due to he current Covid-19 measures and restrictions. Avignonesi is a wonderful winery in Montepulciano.

Sangiovese vineyards

As we were at the Tuscany – Umbria border we entered the Umbrian landscape. With views over Cortona we went by bike uphill towards the castle of Tuoro sul Trasimeno.

FAT e-bikes can allow you to ride anywhere but the bike trail uphill from Cortona to the castle is not accessible and only for experienced bikers. We were forced to walk.

From the castle of Tuoro sul Trasimeno we enjoyed an amazing view over the Umbrian landscape and the Trasimeno Lake. I could even see Castiglione del Lago. The village I moved out two years ago.

Lago Trasimeno

For a short pit-stop we passed by a local bar for a coffee and a gelato in Tuoro sul Trasimeno. After our break we continued biking along the Trasimeno Lake to the place where we had parked our cars.

A real new bike experience with a FAT e-bike. You will explore new places with amazing trails Umbria has to offer. The tour we did is excellent for everybody. Also for kids! Besides the trail uphill to the castle of course. That part will be modified.

The website of Instabike Italia is under construction. But they have an Instagram account for more information. Enjoy!