Sunday, August 18, 2019

Knowing Your Place

from the archives...The social hierarchy of vines

Among the many hundreds of Italian vines there is a pecking order. Some are more important than others. Often, the ones in power don’t shy away from letting the subjacent ones know who is on top.

In Italy, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese are the Chairman and the CEO. But not just any Nebbiolo or Sangiovese. The Nebbiolo must come from the Langhe, preferably Barolo or Barbaresco. And Sangiovese, while prolific, must be from the right neighborhood, Montalcino. Everywhere else is the other side of the tracks.

If you are Montepulciano or Nero d’Avola, what are the chances you’ll make it to the ruling class? You might have breeding and pedigree, but location is paramount. You have to come from the right place. And knowing one’s place in Italy’s viticultural society is vital to one’s status.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Emotional Roller-Coaster Life of a Wine

...from the archives

I’ve been sitting in his wine closet for close to 20 years now. In the dark. Freezing. Once in a while he comes in, turns the light on and picks another one. The other, always the other. What must I do to get out of here?

I have spent the best years of my life in this small, dark room, with the others. Sometimes for weeks, he doesn’t come in; we don’t know if he has abandoned us totally. And then all of a sudden, he opens the door, turns on the light and squeezes in a few more of the others. This is sheer torment. When will I get out of here?

Sunday, August 04, 2019

The top 10 destinations for Italian wine exports? China isn't on the list


From the looks of young Italian wine professionals Instagram and Facebook feeds, one would think China is their top market. Add to that the obligatory posts from Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Bangkok and Phnom Penh, one would think there’s a lot of business for Italian wine in Asia. Let’s look at the numbers.

According to Istat data, 2019 (From Italian Wine Central) of the 20 top destinations for Italian wine exports, 2018, China isn’t even in the top 10. Yes, it’s a country with good growth potential and 1.2 billion inhabitants. But is the investment in time and travel worth it?

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