Sunday, October 15, 2017

America Under Fire: An Open Letter to the Italian Wine Community

Click here NOW to donate and have your donation matched - SGWS CA Wildfire Relief Fund

Caro amici e colleghi,

It seems every Sunday terrible news comes from America. And lately yes, it has been one disruption after another. From floods in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico, to fires in California, the country of my birth has been travailed upon in the most severe terms. And that is just the acts of God, not to mention the hand of man, which has challenged our notion of democracy, liberty, equality and justice. Suffice it to say, on the social and political end of things here in America, we are in a virtual civil war. From the carnage in Las Vegas of concert goers to the massacres of little children in their schools, our civility and our moral core is faltering. And through this, families and friends who no longer talk to one another, for we are a nation of passion and opinion. We are also a young nation, showing our folly for all the world to see.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"I have no words..." - Calling on our global wine community to support Tony and Lisa McClung's Napa Fire Rebuild fund

Click here NOW to support Tony and Lisa McClung's Napa Fire Rebuild fund (organized by Claire Casey Brandani)

video

The world is filled with sorrow. But when it hits home, it hits home. One of our Italian trail-mates lost his home this week in the Napa fires, which are still raging. Tony McClung and his wife Lisa and their two young daughters lost most of their worldly material belongings, car and home.

Tony wrote this on his face book page along with the video above:

I managed to make it into our neighborhood yesterday, it was heartbreaking. Our house was completely destroyed along with 10 of our neighbor’s homes. A firefighter still on the scene said the fire came in very fast and very hot. Ash is all that is left. We were only in this house for 2 1/2 years but they will remain great memories in my mind.

Thank you to the many friends that have called and text during the fires, I wish it were better news. Thank you to the local friends for the physical and mental support. My community far and wide fills my heart.

It was a house... my home will always be wherever my family is together... we are together and safe.

Tony hails from Houston. And he is a dear friend of many of us in the wine trade. Natalie Vaclavik said it best:

When Houston was hit by Harvey, the first person to call to support was Tony McClung, his generosity & acts of kindness have been so instrumental in helping our city rebuild.

Today he lost everything. His house is gone and all his family's belongings were destroyed in the Napa Fire. Let's band together to help his family rebuild as he has helped us as fellow Houstonians.

People always ask "what can I do to help," directly making change is the way to impact. You probably don't know Tony but just giving the smallest donation can help build a new future for his family.

Please – here is something you can do directly to help someone with a face, a family and an urgent need.

Click here NOW to support Tony and Lisa McClung's Napa Fire Rebuild fund (organized by Claire Casey Brandani)



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Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Navelgazer’s Last Tour of Italy

Swept away by an apoplectic American destiny in a red plane in October

Nothing above me, nothing below me - So I jump off
One more time, I’m on a plane going from Rome, Italy to America, and the young Gen-Z narcissist sitting next to me is being a dick. The latest generation of Ugly American to emerge from this isolated piece of land, which for the last 100 or so years has dominated the world’s attention. He and his family just spent a vacation in Italy. They bought the posters, bought the t-shirts (probably also bought the coffee mugs) and now he couldn’t wait to get home and see if his Buffalo Bills won or lost. This is going to be one helluva long flight…

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The 2017 Harvest in Umbria and Tuscany - Fear and "Global Weirding" - Pt.II

Chianti Classico - O Brother, Where Art Thou?

We’re all struggling to seek, explain and unfold Chianti Classico in today’s world. Not a “cool” wine in the wine world, though a wine that millions of people know and love – hence the Catch-22 moment we find ourselves in.

And as well, our crew found ourselves within the Chianti Classico zone on a recent pass through Umbria and Tuscany. Here’s what we found at a few “classic” estates.

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