Taste with me and Roberto Stucchi of Badia a Coltibuono this Thursday in Houston.

Images via the Badia a Coltibuono Facebook.

Why is there a photo of a seemingly unkempt and neglected vineyard on my blog today? Just look at those wild grasses growing unchecked! It’s a far cry from the meticulously manicured vines of a prestigious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon grower or a heavy-hitting Bordeaux house!

Joking aside, vineyards like the one above at the Badia a Coltibuono in Chianti Classico) are a great way to illustrate the magic of biodiversity at work. In this case, as for many organic fine wine growers across the world, the vineyard manager wants those native grasses to grow spontaneously They contribute to the site’s biome and foster the wine’s sense of place — another way of saying terroir expression.

The idea is that by allowing nature to perform its magic, the winemaker can better capture — or rather usher in — the wine’s true character and distinctness.

And along the way, she or he makes a more wholesome wine, ideally fresher and more vibrant, while also sustaining the environment at large.

Note also the photo of the estate below, purposely surrounded by woods, another fundamental way that the winemaker bolsters biodiversity through the presence of thriving native flora and fauna.

This Thursday, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be welcoming Badia a Coltibuono winemaker Roberto Stucchi at the weekly virtual wine dinner I host for Roma restaurant here in Houston. Roberto is at once one of Italian wine’s greatest pioneers and the steward of one of its oldest and most historic estates. Tasting and conversing with him is always an extremely compelling and rewarding experience.

Houstonians, please join me for what will definitely be a super fun and delicious evening. If you’ve never attended one of our virtual dinners, I know you’ll enjoy it. It’s a great group of regulars and the pairing menus have been nothing short of spectacular. $119 sends you home with a meal for two and three bottles of wine. Support local businesses, including my own, by eating great Italian food and drinking great Italian wines with the people who make and love them.

Thank you for your support.

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