Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Valdobbiadene: The Spirit Center of Italy’s Wine World

A million years ago, KPFK in Los Angeles aired a story about the Rolling Stone performer, Brian Jones, who found a tribe of master musicians in Morocco, that he became very close to. Jones was searching for the beginnings of music on earth, and it was his realization that the musicians of Joujouka were a large part of that story, embodying a tradition of music that went back hundreds of generations. It was a tale I never forgot, so much that I longed to go to hear the music myself. But life, la vita, found another way to divert me in my search for something rare and ancient, towards my own tribe of the vine.

I arrived into Valdobbiadene this past Monday for a week of wine, starting off in my new role as Ambassador of Prosecco for the Ruggeri winery. This is a new role that found me, post-retirement. It is not a full-time thing, but it sounded like a great challenge and a lot of fun. I accepted the challenge and came to Italy. I was to spend some time with Paolo Bisol, who has a passion for Valdobbiadene and whose family is one of the reasons Prosecco is so sought after today. But this post isn’t about popularity. It is about what makes this place tick.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

From the Archives: Pivot or Persevere

(Traveling now and am thinking about this subject, first posted in 2011 and which will have a follow up post.)

Pan di sudore, miglior sapore

The messages emanating from the Italian peninsula in recent days have been ones of concern for their future and whether or not the average Italian will be able to live a life as their father and grandfather have. The reality is that the life their father and especially their grandfather lived wasn’t a bed of roses. Funny how the human mind forgets history so fast. Thankfully the human heart is there to redirect the course of one’s life. And in the average Italian’s life here is what I see.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Starting Your New (Dream) Life in Italian Wine

Dateline: Barolo, Italy and Ian D'Agata's 1st Indigena Symposium

Let’s say you’re 25, finished with formal schooling, looking for a path in life to follow. Let’s say you are in a developed (or developing) country, where the economy is growing, and people are beginning to have time for things beyond the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing. And let’s say you live in a town or a city where the population is growing, even burgeoning. And you want to stand out in a crowd and carve out a life of meaning. How in the world does Italian wine fit into this scenario, you say?

For people who think they might like to find their future path on the wine trail in Italy, and speaking from a lifetime of experience in this matter, I’m going to share with you, not so much my singular experience, but a pathway that was not unique to a young man in America in the 1970’s. it could equally apply to a young woman in Shanghai or middle-aged man, starting all over in Copenhagen.

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