Harvest has begun in Tuscany and I’m heading to Montalcino

Catching up today in the wake of the holiday weekend, I read that harvest has begun in Montalcino.

I’ll be heading to Montalcino later this week: I’ll be visting and tasting with winemakers in Montalcino and Bolgheri starting this weekend and then, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be heading north for some interesting visits… but more on that later…

While in Montalcino, I’ll put my ear to the ground and try to find out what’s in store for Brunello. I’ll also be talking to winemaker Fabrizio Bindocci of Il Poggione about his role as the technical adviser to the Brunello producers association and his hopes for preserving traditional winemaking there.

And hopefully I’ll get an invite to dinner in the Bindocci’s home: remember the meal of pork glands and chestnut-flour polenta that signora Bindocci made for me and Tracie P in February?

Stay tuned…

The bloggers are coming to Barbera (history in the making?)

Above: The Torino local edition of La Stampa published this article today on Barbera Meeting 2010 and the novelty of having a group of American bloggers present. Click image for a PDF of the article or become a fan of Barbera Meeting on Facebook for the whole text.

There was an inherent dichotomy drawn in the opening line of an article published today in the Turin edition of the Italian national daily La Stampa. “The blogger-tasters have landed,” read the title, “and live wine scoring has arrived.”

Gone are the “excellent palates” and their insiders-only tastings, wrote journalist Fiammetta Mussio in the opening line: “Goodbye to tastings attended by excellent palates and ‘trials’ behind closed-doors. The bloggers have arrived in the Barbera vineyards.” It would seem that the latter, according to Ms. Mussio, precludes the former.

The department of shameless self-promotion informs me that I should be thrilled to hear myself called “una delle ‘penne’ vinicole più pungenti d’America” (“one of the most pungent wine ‘plumes’ in America”). I wonder if that means I stink. Or perhaps it means that my writing stings its subject matter. Either way I’m flattered.

As hard as it was to say goodbye to Tracie P (not a month since our return from our honeymoon and just a few weeks after our move into our new home together), I am truly excited to think that the trip and adventure that lie ahead of our group of American wine bloggers are being treated a something of a novelty in Italy. The organizers of the event and our sponsors have told me that this is the first time American wine bloggers have been invited to an event of this size and importance in this capacity: we’ll be blogging the tasting is quasi-real-time.

That’s all I have time to write for now… It’s time to get on that big ol’ jet liner.

I miss you already Tracie P!