Taste under the Tuscan Sun

Everyone got different ideas about different things.

Ideas, images mapped in our heads by time and tells us, “hey, this is so New York”; “he is so french” or “wow, what a nice toilet”. All in all make life funny in some ways. If I turn around and ask,”What is the first thing you think of when one say “Italy”? “

Penne Arrabiata, Dolci & Gabanna, Velextra, Calzone, Lake Como, Tiramisu, Prada,Giorgio Armani, Kartell, Roberto Cavalli, Limoncello, Monica Bellucci, Amalfi Coast, Al Pacino the Mafia, Bulgari Hotel, Leonardo De Vinci, and ..too long of a list to mention them all.  However, they all seem yum and stylish.

For me, Italy today is: “Wine in Tuscany”

I am now by the window in a 747, putting away my passport (it’s wearing my most favorite white Velextra passport holder) into my prada handbag, opening my air book and start writing while am heading towards Pisa direction on British Airway from rainy London.

It’s not just a typical Italian trip this time but will be a soon very fruitful Italian wine road trip am sure.   I remember when I was in Pisa 10 years ago with my parents. Posing with La Torre di Pisa(Pisa leaning tower) thinking it was such a grand idea. Back then, I’d never imagined I’d be visiting here again just for it’s wine today.

French wine, beauty! Italian wine, a mystery!

Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MIRAF), has documented over 350 grapes and granted them “authorized” status. There are more than 500 other documented varietals in circulation as well.

Italy wine is almost a question mark to me and to many.   And honestly, it has been overshadowed by the french most of the time.

Italy’s 20 wine regions correspond to the 20 political regions. Understanding of Italian wine becomes clearer with an understanding of the differences between each region; their cuisines reflect their indigenous wines as well.

The 36 DOCG wines are located in 13 different regions but most of them are concentrated in Piedmont and Tuscany. Among these are appellations appreciated and sought after by wine lovers around the world: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello di Montalcino (colloquially known as the “Killer B’s”).

Italy’s classification system has four classes of wine,

DOC and DOCG Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region (QWPSR)
IGT and VDT – Table Wine Catogories

Some would have you believe that understanding Italian wine is a technical undertaking. To me, it is impossible to understand Italian wine without knowing the culture, people and place that created it. Only after we have a sense of these does the technical stuff add value.

And so, I’ll be visiting Chateau that I feel deeply interested in with two of my good friends joining. I’d definitely like to share more when I pay the visit this week but here, a quick gentle peek into my itinerary:

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Caiarossa (Pisa)
Fattoria Le Pupille (Grosseto)
Tenuta dell’Ornellaia / Masseto (Castagnato Carducci, Bolgheri)

San Felice (Siena)
Badia a Coltibuono (Gaiole in Chianti)
Tolaini winery
Tenuta degli Dei, the Cavalli estate (Panzano in Chianti)

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and now, let the road trip begins.

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