StarsBox at La Maliosa

The Sorceress of Southern Tuscany

Sometimes you meet a person in life who inspires you to look more closely at yourself and your own dreams. That happened for me while on a recent press tour of Italian wineries, focused on Abruzzo and the Veneto (which was fabulous, read here). I was enticed to tack on a few days at the …

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Cerasuolo glass in vineyard

Cerasuolo: The Beautiful Rosato of Abruzzo

Abruzzo, Italy, is a region that sweeps west of Rome, over the rugged and steep Apennine Mountains that form the country’s backbone, and sloping down to the shores of the Adriatic Sea. It’s debated whether this is a Central or Southern Italian region (see map inset), but that’s beside the point to me. It’s a …

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nine images at Tercero luncheon AOC

Tasting California Anew: Tercero, Notre Vue, Kaena

I’ve been attending a variety of wine events in the last couple of months, which included wines of the Rioja region of Spain, the Union Grands Crus of Bordeaux, wines from two producers in Virginia, and the Chablis wines of Patrick Piuze, to name a few. Not to mention my trip to Italy last fall, …

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three Ca'deiFratti wine bottles

Lugana Winery #3: Cà dei Frati

This is the third and final installment on Lugana wineries that I visited last fall as part of the 2022 Wine Media Conference to this stunningly beautiful land in Lombardy, Italy. The other two wineries already presented are Ca’Lojera, a small family run producer, and Ottella, a larger producer with extensive art-filled facilities. Winery #3 Cà dei …

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Otella Winery crest

Lugana Winery #2, Cantina Ottella: Where Wine & Art Come Together

In the 16th century, all of the area around the current Cantina Otella winery in Northern Italy was called Otella, which is named for four sets of twins born there. These eight, or “octo,” became the namesake for the area. Stepping out of the bus last fall on my visit to Otella, in the town …

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nine images at Ca'Lojera

Lugana Winery #1: Ca’Lojera

As part of the Wine Media Conference 2022, held in Lake Garda, Italy, in early October, I was on a pre-conference excursion that included on-site visits with three outstanding Lugana DOC wine producers.  Two of these wineries were state-of-the art, with such amenities as gravity flow production facilities, an amphora room, deep cellars full of …

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White wine_Lake Garda seashore

Lugana: Land of Sunshine and White Wine

  “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”  — Galileo Several years ago, I attended an Amarone tasting in Los Angeles, where there were just few white wines being poured. What was this grape, I asked, and was told it’s ‘Turbiana.’ I’d never heard of it. It’s not Trebbiano, the ubiquitous white wine grape of Italy, …

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View of Lake Garda

Love Letter to Lake Garda

  “The shores of this lake with its contrasts between beautiful forests and quiet waters maybe create the most beautiful landscape in the world.”   — Marie-Henri Stendahl, 19th century French writer   I recently returned from a three-week tour of Italy with my husband, celebrating our wedding anniversary. When the Wine Media Conference (WMC) announced in …

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Sweet Wines Myths Dispelled

My friend and colleague Melanie Webber says it all in her article about the pure deliciousness of sweet wines. I agree that they are often maligned and misunderstood, and she explains it all for you here, in her article From Nun to Nirvana: Dispelling Sweet Wine Myths and Putting the Sweet Back on Your Wine List! This …

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Ross Halleck_Hallock Vineyards

Halleck Vineyard: Drawing Inspiration From Around the World

Owner Ross Halleck blends old world sensibilities into his California wines. Discovering new (to me), artisan, family-owned wineries is one of the best perks of being in the wine business. But sitting down for a beautifully paired luncheon at a top-notch restaurant with both a well-known sommelier and a winemaker … that’s just spectacular. Some …

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