In Italy, debate over copper fungicide grows increasingly ugly

As European Union organic grape growers anxiously await a Brussels decision on new and more stringent restrictions on copper fungicide use, the highly controversial issue continues to be a focus of media, industry observers, and winemakers in Italy. In many instances, organic and conventional producers — together with their supporters and detractors — are pitted against […]

Organic and biodynamic wine growers anxiously await EU decision on copper limits

Above: “Bordeaux Mixture” — copper sulfate and lime — has been used to prevent downy mildew in vineyards for generations. Europe’s organic and biodynamic grape growers are anxiously waiting to hear whether or not the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will further limit the use of copper fungicide. Last week, the European Union’s Plants, Animals, […]

“Weather and Wine,” last night’s show by 60 Minutes, raises awareness of wine’s (often whispered but rarely spoken) existential threat.

It was impressive to watch last night as 60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl dived into one of wine’s thorniest issues: the impact of climate change on grape growing. Doubly impressive when you consider that the overwhelming majority of commercial winemakers are deeply reluctant to raise awareness of the climatic issues they face now with every […]

“Organic farming is under attack in Europe, especially in Italy.” Interview with Matilde Poggi, president of the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers

Happy International Workers’ Day, everyone! At Vinitaly this year, I had the opportunity to sit down with Matilde Poggi (above), president of the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers (FIVI as it is known in Italy). I was eager to ask her about the EU’s newly implemented limits on the use of copper to combat […]

5 trends to watch in Italian wine in 2019

Happy new year, everyone! Here are some of the trends in Italian wine that I’ll be following in 2019. It’s incredible to think that more than 20 years have passed since the first major all-Italian wine lists were launched in New York in the late 1990s. Two decades after the advent of the Italian wine […]

Sparkling in the north, whites in the south: Italy’s 2018 harvest has begun (photos and notes)

Dispatches from Italy’s 2018 harvest are just beginning to come in. That’s a shot from Oltrepò Pavese, snapped earlier this week. They’ve started picking their Chardonnay (below) and Pinot Noir for their classic method wines. From what I’ve been told, Oltrepò Pavese was spared a lot of the late spring and early summer rain that […]