Garda Wine Stories: Exploring the Territory and Wines of Lake Garda – Filippo Magnani

From the 8th to 11th of June, the Garda DOC Consortium organized ‘Garda Wine Stories’, an event dedicated to the extraordinary peculiarities of the wine territory of Lake Garda. It was a full-scheduled press tour which included: seminars, masterclasses, in-depth analysis, guided cellar tours, and a stunning sailboat ride with tasting, aboard a cutter (equipped with the ancient trapezoidal sails). It was not only an opportunity for the Italian and international press to discuss in-depth the complex and vast territory, but also for wine lovers. On Friday, June 10th we attended a tasting with 20 producers, representing the best winemaking areas. The impeccable event was organized by the Consortium.

Discovering Garda DOC
The denomination Garda DOC was founded in 1996. It represents a large geographical area that groups in the same macro area other important Italian DOCs for a total of around 31,100 hectares under vine, of which 27,889 hectares are in the province of Verona, the outlying hectares are spread between the towns of Mantua and Brescia. Today, it has around 4,000 associated producers and a production of 21 million bottles, with a good prospect of further growth. The objective of the Consortium is to enhance the value of the varietal wines produced in these historical appellations and to give further opportunities of identification for those who grow in the outlying zones. The Consortium is playing an important role in pursuing a circular strategy that conveys all the resources that Lake Garda has, and the dialogue between the wine system, wine tourism and hospitality, sport activities, and gastronomy.

Garda – A Wine Territory around the Lake
Lake Garda is the largest body of water in Italy, extending for about 370 km2, it is encompassed by 3 Italian regions: Lombardy, Veneto, and Trentino Alto Adige. Its banks extend for 50 km from north to south and for about 17 km from east to west. In the imaginary triangle composed of the provinces of Trento (north), Brescia (south-west) and Verona (south-east), an extraordinary natural and cultural heritage is preserved. The landscape, from any point you look, is a jubilation of biodiversity, corners of extraordinary scenic beauty. Mountains, hills, and beaches are covered by the typical Mediterranean vegetation with olive trees, caper bushes, lemon and citron trees, agave plants and vines; all framed by historical and cultural sites, castles, harbours, charming villages, traces of human activities that have always influenced the appearance of Lake Garda shores.

The climate is mild in all its extension despite the northerly longitude. There are many factors that contribute to the incredible climatic conditions that make Lake Garda one of the most heterogeneous and interesting wine areas. The northern cone-shaped narrow area is surrounded by the Alps providing a shield from the cold currents from the North. The lake also plays an important mitigating action, lifting colder fogs in the mornings allowing the ventilation among the vines, and by absorbing heat and releasing it in relation to the external temperature. Winters are never harsh, and summers are hot. The daily temperature range is quite high due to the presence of a breeze blowing south in the morning and north in the afternoon, thermal excursion is an extremely important factor for the perfect ripening of the grapes.

From the gentle morainic hills of the southern basin to the extreme peaks of the Alps, the soil around Lake Garda is a puzzle of different compositions but perhaps the most distinctive and fascinating element has to do with the light. This place is glowing. The phenomenon of light refraction made possible by the size and depth of the lake is an element of great uniqueness in the territory. Here the vine finds a perfect place to grow, in a bright and lush nature, helped by the meticulous hands of brilliant winemakers. The wide area that covers Garda Doc includes countless grape varieties and many interpretations of them.

Each of the wine districts that stretch around Lake Garda bring traditions in production methods, history and, of course, the most representative vines from the different areas: Garganega, Trebbiano (Trebbiano di Soave and/or Trebbiano di Lugana), Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Corvina, Marzemino, and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Altogether, they constitute the backbone of Garda DOC wine production. Great importance is given to the sparkling wines using the varieties from the different wine areas: Garganega for white wines, Corvina for rosé, crémant method Chardonnay, but also Pinot Grigio, Reno, and Muller Thurgau.

The boundaries of DOC Garda embrace a wide area. Considering the extraordinary attitude of Italian wine territories to change connotations in a few meters, it’s hard to imagine how many environments coexist around the lake. The Consortium has been stimulating scientific research in order to improve the understanding of the pedoclimatic and oenological aspects of the Lake Garda territory, with the ultimate goal of proposing models with a sustainable footprint to enhance wine productions and to defend our extraordinary natural heritage.

Lake Garda: A Paradise for Wine Enthusiasts
Lake Garda is one of the most romantic locations and it represents the charm of the Dolce Vita Italiana. It is a real paradise for those who love wine, food, stunning natural scenery, sports, art and culture… in short, there is everything for everyone!  It is no coincidence, that the territory around the lake is one of the favorite destinations of lovers of our country (Italy). The road network and the water transport that connect the various areas of the lake allow wine enthusiasts and foodies to concentrate their exploration of the wines of the DOC Garda even on a short holiday.  A journey in a journey, a shining example of how wine tourism became the “art of hospitality”.  The Consorizio Garda DOC is proposed as a promoter of the territory of Lake Garda as a wine escape, collecting and communicating the infinite experiences that can be carried out and proposing them through multiple channels. Visit where official site  where you learn about amazing stays on these shores, in the section “experience”.

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Chianti Classico is a land of such versatility and richness that could be confusing, that’s why the Consortium has an important role in spreading awareness and territorial promotion. The Chianti Classico Collection is the yearly flagship event of the “Anteprime Toscana”, long-awaited days dedicated to one of the most fascinating wine areas in the world.  Last March the Collection moved back to its original location, the beautiful Leopolda station in Florence. This was the 29th edition of the flagship Black Rooster celebration and it was a pleasure to see my international colleagues back in the beautiful scenario of Florence, to evaluate the wonderful works of the Chianti Classico DOCG producers after these hard and struggling years. On the stage, the 2020 Annata, 2019 Riserva, and 2018 Gran Selezione, all close to getting access to the world market, and of course many other tasting proposals.

At the 2022 Collection 180 wineries presented 650 wines of which 161 Chianti Classico Riserva, 125 Gran Selezione and also 39-barrel samples from the 2021 vintage.

Chianti Classico Moves Ahead

The Black rooster is an identifying symbol of one of the most interesting wine areas in Italy and it is a wine district that is always evolving. The main topic of the two days of the Collection was the subdivision of Chianti Classico into Geographical Units called with the acronyms UGA. The Additional Geographical Units marked a step towards a deeper knowledge and a greater appreciation of the peculiarities of Chianti Classico. In this way the Consortium has tried to emphasize the specific microclimatic characteristics even more of narrower areas, in order to underline the many differences existing within the areas. The 11 UGA (San Casciano, Greve, Montefioralle, Lamole, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli, Castellina, San Donato in Poggio) are today labelled singularly with the name of the specific village of origin. This was introduced last year and dedicated exclusively, for the moment, to the Gran Selezione category.

The other intervention on the chart of regulations for the DOCG was the 90% minimum percentage of Sangiovese in the blends for the Gran Selezione and the remaining 10% was left to other native varieties of the region such as Canaiolo, Colorino and Black Malvasia. Clear indicators of the path taken by the Gallo Nero producers towards an increasingly and more understandable regional identity. Showing the name of the municipal or village on the label will both spark and satisfy the curiosity of the increasingly high numbers of consumers who would like to improve their understanding of the relationship between the Black Rooster wines and their micro territory of production.

Chianti Classico Passport

Chianti Classico is offered in three different types that represent its qualitative pyramid: Chianti Classico ‘Annata’, Chianti Classico ‘Riserva‘ and Chianti Classico ‘Gran Selezione’.

Chianti Classico the Ultimate Wine Territory 

The Chianti Classico region has for centuries been one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts. A wine paradise held in the arms of its two historical capitals: Florence and Siena. This area is mainly covered with woodlands, principally oak, chestnut and pine as well as cypress, situated on a plateau at altitudes between 200 and 800 meters. The highest altitude for growing grapes for Chianti Classico wine is 700 metres a.s.l. The local climate is continental with significant day-night temperature variation, generally low winter temperatures – below 4-5°C – and hot, dry summers, often reaching temperatures of over 35°. Geologically the land is a shield of clayey schists (marl), with layers of scaly clay, alberese and fine limestone sandstone.

Wine Escape Chianti Classico 

Tuscany is the most popular destination for wine enthusiasts from all over the world, and few other places stimulate a traveler’s thoughts and imagination as much as the Chianti Classico. Along with the other leading wine production areas in Tuscany today, Chianti Classico is an extraordinary gateway to a deep and intimate knowledge of the roots of our culture and lifestyle. A destination that represents an ecosystem of services focused on wine, some tangible, and others less so, but all of them engaging. Today’s “wine tourists” decide to visit this wine territory not only for its great, historic wines, but also to make memories, experience the flavours of a local osteria, the aromas of the cellars and the smiles of grandmothers on their doorsteps. Journeys that are more immersive, making intimate and personal contact with traditions, culture, and people. In this respect, the concept of terroir expands to “winescape” to better express its connection to the region.  Along the beautiful, winding roads of Chianti Classico, the winery doors are always open for visits and tastings. This is an area with a high density of wineries, a true oenological paradise, full of castles, ancient abbeys, where fine wines are matured, world-famous wineries alongside small and no less prestigious family-run estates, traditional cellars, and architectural masterpieces. A setting in which hospitality and associated experiences take on various forms, with all kinds of proposals and wine tourism activities. The producers understand the importance of hospitality: it has great economic value in terms of diversifying income, as well as being an effective means of communicating values and enhancing distribution of their wines. From curious wine enthusiasts to collectors, guests always want to visit the famous winemaking names of Chianti or discover hidden gems of the highest quality. From groups belonging to private wine clubs and sommelier associations to restaurateurs, wine tourism in the Chianti Classico region embraces an increasingly varied public. It is therefore increasingly important for the wineries to work together with the tourism sector, creating targeted and authentic wine and food trips.

My Tasting at the C.C.C 2022

I have reviewed almost 220 wines, from Annata Chianti Classico 2020, well as Riserva 2019 and Gran Selezione 2018. The Chianti Classico 2020 Annata showed beautiful lively coloured, ripe fruit with great aromatic intensity. An appropriate level of natural acidity guarantees good fragrance. Most wines I tasted were graceful with slightly lower alcohol content than average previous vintages. The Chianti Classico 2019 Riserva, in general, turned out to be soft, fruity with good structure and balance. I found a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas in the Gran Selezione 2018.

On My Radar : Chianti Classico Docg Annata 2020

Winery: Montebernardi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Retromarcia 2020
Intense ruby red with paler reflections. Distinctly rose floral nose mixed with hints of cherry. Full-bodied with pleasant red notes developing on the palate. Medium tannic structure. Long and fresh aftertaste. Charming wine.

Winery: Rocca di Montegrossi
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Rocca di Montegrossi 2020
Medium ruby-red. Intense flavour of red plum and notes of violet. Medium acidity with discreet alcohol level. Fruity and spicy. Quite a long finish.  I like it.

Winery: Bibbiano
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Bibbiano 2020
Clean, ruby red with a paler tinge. Lovely aromas of strawberry and cherry with a touch of roses. Full body with round, sweet tannins. Fresh and harmonious finish. Very good wine.

Winery: Cigliano di Sopra
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Cigliano di Sopra 2020
Ruby core with light purple rim. The nose is fruity and dynamic with a hint of spiciness. Well-structured body with medium alcohol and soft tannins.  Dry and fresh, with quite long persistence. I like it very much.

Winery: Poggerino
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Poggerino 2020
Ruby colour with paler hue towards the edge. Intense bouquet of cherry with balsamic notes. Lovely entrance, round with ripe fruit, medium body. Firm, velvety tannins with a long finish. I love it.

Winery: Castello di Querceto
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Castello di Querceto 2020
Ruby core with light purple hue towards the edge. The nose is fruity and dynamic with a hint of pepper. The palate expresses ripe red cherry with a well-structured body, medium alcohol and soft tannin. A bit light at the end. Good wine.

Winery: Brancaia
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Brancaia 2020
Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis with overtones of violet. Full-bodied with quite bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and soft tannins. Harmonious end. Great wine.

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva  2019 

Winery: Castellare di Castellina
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Castellare 2019
Intense and brilliant garnet colour. Its bouquet is intense and ample with notes of blackcurrant and violet. The palate is rich and elegant. Full bodied with impressive freshness and velvety tannins. Long finish. Great wine.

Winery:  Le Miccine
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Le Miccine 2019
Ruby core with narrow rim. Lovely nose with red plum and notes of rhubarb and liquorice. Powerful structure with ripe red fruit, fresh with well integrated soft tannins. Long finish. Great wine.

Winery: Felsina
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Rancia 2019
Clear, deep red garnet colour. Intense flavour of cherry, blueberries and violet. Spicy with notes of liquorice and mint. The mouth is dense with medium soft tannins and toasty hints. Elegant wine with long and pleasant aftertaste Charming, fine wine. This is an excellent wine.

Winery:  Riecine
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Riecine 2019
Deep ruby core with compact rim. Intense flavour of cherry, blueberries and violet. Spicy with notes of liquorice and mint. Full bodied wine with rich dark cherry fruit well-balanced with soft tannins. Elegant and harmonious finish. Charming, fine wine.

Winery:  Castello di Ama
Wine:  Chianti Classico Docg Riserva Montebuoni 2019
Deep ruby colour, lighter on the edge. Pronounced bouquet of cherry with overtones of blackberry and chocolate. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit. Firm, velvety tannins with long length. I like it !

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2018 

Winery: Conti Capponi/Villa Calcinaia
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna La Fornace 2018
Medium ruby core, paler towards the edge. The wine displays intense flavour of wild berry with scents of new leather. Rich and powerful, good balance of body, fruit, acidity, and firm tannins. Lovely wine with great potential.

Winery: I Fabbri
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione I Fabbri 2018
Ruby colour turning slightly garnet on the rim. Beautiful aromas of ripe cherry and prune with balsamic overtones. Blackcherry in the palate with a light smoky scent. Medium body with round, fine tannins. Fresh delicious finish.

Winery: Ricasoli
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Brolio 2018
Bright, intense ruby with garnet hue. Itt displays intense flavour of cherry and blueberry with light earthy overtones. Juicy and vibrant with medium-bodied palate, soft tannins and toasty light notes at the end.  I have really appreciated this wine.

On My Radar: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione  2017

Winery:  Castello di Monsanto
Wine: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna Il Poggio 2017
Deep garnet core with ruby tinge. Complex nose with flavour of black cherry and prune with a note of rhubarb. Fragrant, juicy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level and soft tannins well integrated with the fruit. Long finish. Great, fine wine.

Winery: Querciabella
Wine: Chianti Classico Docg Gran Selezione Querciabella 2017
Brilliant, deep garnet colour with a compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and chocolate. Full bodied wine with rich dark cherry fruit well balanced with soft tannins. Elegant and harmonious finish. Outstanding wine, clear expression of pure Sangiovese with long life.

🍷🍇@chianticlassico #ccc2022 #ChiantiClassico #GalloNero #BlackRooster #redwine #italianwine #Tuscany #TuscanWine #wine #winedrinker #winelover #winetourism #winetravels #winetasting #winenews

Nebbiolo Prima 2022, a great opportunity TO EXPLORE the magnificent wines of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero wine destinations – Filippo Magnani and Claudia Marinelli

Nebbiolo Prima has become an important event and now truly represents the very first opportunity to evaluate the new vintages of Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero the champions of Piedmont. This year, tasters and journalists had the opportunity to REVIEW 311 wines produced by 180 wineries.

The Unione Produttori Vini Albesi is a consortium, founded to promote the wines of the Alba region. The history of this consortium is linked in a twofold way to the same-named and unmistakable Albeisa bottle. For Nebbiolo Prima this year, the consortium has organized a limited tasting. This tasting includes four days of intensive work, all dedicated to one of the protagonists of the Italian wine scene and a milestone to discover Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero territories: Nebbiolo grape, the noble of Italian native grape varieties.

The name Nebbiolo derives from the Italian word “Nebbia” which translated means fog or mist. This is a challenging and sensitive grape that, in the right hillside spot (south-facing), expresses itself in a unique and beautiful complexity. It prefers a rich calcareous tufa-based soil – such as the ones in Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero.

All denominations and sub-zones were presented at the tasting blind: DOCG Barolo 2018 and Riserva 2016, DOCG Barbaresco 2019 and Riserva 2017, and DOCG Roero 2019 and Riserva 2018. THE wines were eloquent witnesses to the myriad facets of its incredible terroir.






Tasting report of Nebbiolo Prima 2022

Roero is located to the north of Alba town, in the province of Cuneo, on the left bank of the river Tanaro, between the plain of Carmagnola and the low hills of Asti.

Below are the tasting notes of Claudia Marinelli, a colleague of mine, who replaced me this year:

Tastings Roero DOCG 2019
Most of the Roero 2019 I tasted were fresh harmonious with good fruit and lively acidity.

Winery: Casetta Carlo – Montà
Wine: Roero Docg 2019 Fil
Pale ruby core with light purple hue towards the edge. The nose is fruity, with balsamic notes and a hint of fresh leather. Well structured body with medium alcohol and soft tannins well integrated with the fruit.

Winery: Ponchione Maurizio – Govone
Wine: Roero Docg 2019 Monfrini
Medium ruby-red. Intense flavour of dark cherry and light notes of china.
Medium acidity with discreet alcohol level and soft tannin. Fruity and spicy. Quite a long aftertaste.

Tastings Roero DOCG 2018 Riserva
Across the tasting of the riservas, I noted some wines with good freshness and preserved ripe tannins and good body.

Winery: Lorenzo Negro – Monteu Roero
Wine: Roero Docg Riserva 2018 S.Francesco
Colour ranging from ruby core to light garnet rim. Intense flavour of ripe plum with balsamic and hint of rose. Amble, with lively red cherry. Good structure with quite delicate tannins. Lovely wine.

Winery: Cascina Chicco – Vezza d’Alba
Wine: Roero Docg Riserva 2018 Valmaggiore
Deep ruby colour. Rich bouquet of blackcherry with hints of rosemary. Round, full body and warm. Pleasant. quite powerful tannins and long length. Lovely nebbiolo.


The area of production includes the entire territory of the villages of Barbaresco, Treiso and Neive, plus part of the territory of the Alba municipality.

Tastings Barbaresco DOCG 2019
In general Barbarescos of this year turned out to be soft, fruity with good structure and balance. This is partly a reflection of the vintage which started cool and finished warm with nice weather during harvest.

Winery: Cascina Luisin – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2019 Asili
Bright with a deep garnet core. Pronounced flavour of blackcherry with scents of roses. Spicy notes of liquorice. . Good balance of body, fruit, acidity and velvety tannins. Long, vibrant, finish. An outstanding wine.

Winery: Pertinace – Treiso
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2019 Marcaini
Bright, deep garnet colour. The nose rich in blueberry and forest floor perfumes. Nice, vibrant entrance in the palate. Medium body and harmonious structure with dried prune and liquorice. Quite a long aftertaste

Winery: Castello di Verduno – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2019
Intense and brilliant garnet colour. Pronounced intensity of dark cherry and plum with spicy notes of liquorice and hint of wisteria. Medium plus acidity, full-body wine with firm tannins and toasty light notes at the end. Excellent wine.

Winery: Musso – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2019 Rio Sordo
Medium garnet core, paler towards the edge. The wine displays intense floreal notes mixed with balsamic scents and overtones of graphite. The palate expresses ripe fruit with a hint of vanilla. Good acidity, firm tannins and long finish. I really like it.

Tastings Barbaresco DOCG 2017 RISERVA
I found a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas. I have tasted well balanced wines with body and rich in fruit.

Winery: Socré – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2017 Riserva Roncaglie
The colour is deep garnet with a compact rim. Intense bouquet of cherry with notes of violet. Scents of spices, tobacco and rhubarb. A dry, full body wine with good sapidity, well balanced structure and medium ripe tannins. Elegant.

Winery: Produttori del Barbaresco – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2017 Riserva Ovello
Deep garnet core with ruby tinge. Intense bouquet of black cherry and leather. Good structure with medium-plus acidity, medium alcohol and leather overtones. Velvety tannins, well integrated with the fruit. Juicy finish.

Barolo is made in eleven ‘communes’ or village territories: Barolo itself, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour, Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco, Roddi.

Tastings Barolo DOCG 2018 (taster Claudia Marinelli)
The 2017s showed ripe fruit and good structure with great aromatic intensity. A sufficient level of acidity guarantees freshness to almost all wines. In general, I tasted good wines that proved the hard work of the producers during an uneasy season.

Winery: Ratti – La Morra
Wine: Barolo Docg 2018 Conca
Medium garnet core with narrow tawny rim. Great nose with ripe plum, balsamic notes with hints of liquorice and rhubarb. Slight notes of leather. Medium body with ripe red fruit and freshness. Moderate coarse tannins. Elegant , long finish. Great potential.

Winery: Fratelli Barale – Barolo
Wine: Barolo Docg 2018 Castellero
Bright with intense garnet core and paler rim. The wine displays red fruit and cytrus notes mixed with hearty overtones. Exuberant and full body in the palate, elegant fruit and exuberant tannins. Long, fresh finish. Very good wine.

Winery: Giacomo Fenocchio – Castiglione Falletto
Wine: Barolo Docg 2018 Villero
Medium garnet red turning slightly twarny. Pronounced bouquet of blackcherry, dried prune and leather. Overtones of coconut and the scent of incense. Lovely palate, deep fruit with firm tannins. Long finish.

Winery: Giuseppe Rinaldi – Barolo
Wine: Barolo Docg 2018 Brunate
Brilliant, deep garnet colour with compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and tobacco. Rich in structure, with persistent ripe fruit well balanced with the firm tannins. Fresh long finish.

Winery: Conterno Fantino – Monforte d’Alba
Wine: Barolo Docg 2018 Castelletto Vigna Pressenda
Clear, deep red garnet colour. Intense flavour of dark cherry and prune. Light notes of eucalyptus and rhubarb. The mouth is dense with medium soft tannins and toasty hints. Elegant wine with long and juicy aftertaste. This is an excellent wine.

Tastings Barolo DOCG 2016 Riserva (taster Claudia Marinelli)
In general, the wines were balanced showing good ripeness and discrete alcohol level. Averagely rich in tannins with long finish. To me these riservas showed great potential.

Winery: Cavallotto – Castiglione Falletto
Wine: Barolo Docg 2016 Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe
Intense garnet red colour with pale tawny reflections. Complex nose with intense flavour of dark cherry, leather and china. Fragrant, with juicy palate with lively acidity. Discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Long finish. Really good wine.

Winery: Brezza Giacomo e Figli – Barolo
Wine: Barolo Docg 2016 Riserva Sarmassa Vigna Bricco
Deep garnet core with paler rims. Pronounced intensity of ripe plum and prune with overtones of cinnamon and nutmeg. Lovely ripe blackcherry in the palate. Well-integrated into a medium body with round, fine tannins. Fresh and sapit finish.

I really wish to thank you to Liz Palmer, who
kindly proposed me to participate and report on the Nebbiolo Prima 2022,
representing her website together with Claudia Marinelli.
See you in Piedmont!

#Alba #Piedmont #nebbioloprima2022 #winetasting #winecompetition #barolo #barolowine #nebbiolo ##piemonte #wine #italy🇮🇹 #madeinitaly #winetasting # #italianwine #itallianwinelovers
#Barbaresco #Roero #winetrade @albeisawines #travelling #winetravels

Collio Wine Region: a small yet rich wine treasure in northeast Italy – Filippo Magnani

Hidden in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Collio is a gentle series of slopes where some of Italy’s best white wines are produced.  It is a small wine region within the province of Gorizia, near the Italian-Slovenia border. It was a great pleasure to be one of the lucky writers to participate in the press tour last November. The tour was organized by the Consorzio Collio DOC.  We had four days of intensive exploration and discovery, all dedicated to a protagonist of the Italian wine scene. I was thrilled and curious to dive into the small but rich world of this wine gem and my expectations were completely fulfilled.

A small wine territory with surprising complexity and richness

Collio is a radiant wine region where prestigious wines have been produced since ancient times. Vineyards and wineries are spread over rolling hills between 80 and 270 metres in height. For over 2000 years winemakers have had a special place for the production of a wide range of great wines in terms of style and grape variety. This ideal microclimate is generated by the presence of the Julian Alps to the north, which protects the valley by ensuring continuous ventilation from the “bora” that blows continuously over the vineyard. To the south, on the clearest days, you can observe the Adriatic Sea. The presence of the sea is fundamental for the health of the plants, the proximity to the Mediterranean Sea (30 km away) gives the area milder seasons, warmer air currents and a dry climate. These factors combined with the many variable soil compositions allow each corner of this DOC to express itself with its own character and charm in the wine. The so-called “Collio Goriziano” wine area is half-moon shaped territory bordered to the west by the river Isonzo and to the East by the river Judrio. It brings together the same DOC wines from 1500 hectares of vineyards positioned in eight different municipalities: Capriva, Cormòns, Dolegna del Collio, Farra d’Isonzo, Gorizia, Mossa, San Floriano del Collio and San Lorenzo Isontino.

The Collio valley is home to about 200 producers who, with vision and great dedication, have succeeded in tracing a well-defined common path which is able to maintain a strong link with traditions, and who are open to developments and innovations. For decades the famous native varieties and pillars of this wine area, such as Fiuliano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit, have been accompanied by international varieties due to the great versatility of the land for the production of elegant white wines. In particular, the Pinot Grigio finds an absolutely suitable place for its maturation here, with its characteristic straw yellow colour, its ash hints, structure and length. To complete the wide range of white international grape varieties cultivated in the DOC we find the Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Muller Thurgau, Traminer Aromatico, Pinot Bianco and Riesling.

Despite the region of Collio being a well-known and renowned DOC for the production of a wide range of white wines, the surprising red wines also deserve to be mentioned. The trend is towards international grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot used predominantly for the most important vintages. The character of these wines very much reflects the territory in which we are: great drinkability, freshness, with an acidity that will allow these wines to express themselves at best in the battle with time.

“Ponca” Collio’s soil signature for the production of elegant wines

Taking a leap back 56 million years ago, the area of Collio was covered by sea, the land emerged after 20 million years. The hills of Collio hide the characteristics of the marine environment in their depths. It is precisely the soil, called Ponca or flynch, that is a protagonist in the great character and complexity of the wines of this territory. This soil is composed of layers of marl and sandstone of Eocene origin. It is the “heart of the hills” that yields the characteristics of salinity and minerality of the wines from the Collio DOC. The composition of “Ponca” also varies drastically in the vineyard’s locations, giving an incredible array of wines, depending on the type of vines planted. It is therefore the hand of man that must understand the land, shape it, and work it, to enhance the potential complexity and aging of the wines.

Four diverse subzones in the pursuit of excellence

The wine region of Collio regroups a mix of grape varieties, soils and types of wine made by growers with strong personalities. During our trip we had the chance to appreciate the peculiarities and the differences between those four main wine areas, spread between the eight different municipalities:

Capriva del Friuli

Capriva is an area totally covered by vineyards that vest the hills around the wine estates. This subzone, in the northern tip of the province of Gorizia, is among the most beautiful views of the Collio.

In the first morning of our trip, the Consorzio had organized the first tasting, covering the productions of different estates between Capriva del Friuli and Farra d’Isonzo. The producers presenting the wines were: Castello di Spessa, Russiz Superiore, Tenuta Villanova, Tenuta Borgo Conventi, Colmello di Grotta. All wines displayed intense and beautiful aromas in the nose. They also all had lively acidity, maintaining great balance and a fresh finish.


In the central area of Collio, stands the town of Cormòns, surrounded by the hills that give life to the wine crus of Pradis, Plessiva, Brazzano and Zegla. There are wonderful wines produced here made from Pinot Grigio, Malvasia Istriana and Sauvignon Blanc, and the well-known Friulano. It is a lower-elevated area characterized by alluvial soils with a major presence of clay. During the afternoon of our first day, I had the pleasure to taste the wines of the following wineries: Tenuta Baroni del Mestri, Zorzon, Kurtin, Bolzicco, Carlo di Pradis, Bracco, Tenuta di Angoris. In general, they all expressed great texture with a good aromatic nose. They were vibrant and structured to the palate with a harmonious end.


The territory of Dolegna is the closest to the mountains. The vineyards are positioned at an elevation ranging between 50 and 90 metres. It’s quite a windy area. The area is also characterized by a cold and humid climate, particularly suitable for certain vines such as Sauvignon Blanc. We attended a wine seminar with a focus on Dolegna, on the second day, was very well organized and led by these estates: Tenuta Stella, Tenuta la Ponca, Fruscalzo, Pascolo, Casa delle Rose, Livon.  I found the wines well made, characterized by Intense flavours and aromaticity; dry, fragrant palate with good acidity; with rich and elegant aftertaste.


Oslavia is considered the homeland of the orange wines. This wine corner is the cradle of visionary winemakers who represent first class pioneers of the production of skin-macerated white wines. Ribolla Gialla is the signature native grape variety of Oslavia’s wine identity. During the afternoon of the second day, I was lucky enough to sit side by side with the great interpreters in the Collio wine scene and all of them were able to reveal their individualism: Dario Princic, Fiegl, Gravner, Il Carpino, La Castellada, Primosic, Radikon. I tasted a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas. I tasted well balanced wines with body and finesse, signs of great potential for aging.

San Floriano

From San Floriano you can see the entire Collio region. It is the highest subzone. The hamlets of San Floriano are the easternmost territories of the DOC and they receive the benefits of dry and milder winds from the Adriatic Sea. The microclimatic conditions allow slow ripening, and the wines gain characteristics that well communicate their aging potential. Here we had the final dinner of the trip with a great tasting of San Floriano’s wine representatives. The wine growers which presented their wines were: Korsic, Marcuzzi, Manià, Humar, Formentini, Gradis’ciutta. The wines in general were vibrant, with good fruit and crispy acidity. They had a common elegance and good persistence, all lovely long-lasting wines.

Collio, a wine destination beyond the wine

Collio is an extraordinary area, tucked away with wine-themed castles and hamlets like Ruttars, Spessa, GradisCiutta, Oslavia and picturesque villages like Dolegna del Collio, Capriva del Friuli, Cormons, Farra d’Isonzo and San Floriano del Collio, all bordering one another. A particular destination for wine connoisseurs and oenophiles who love to discover the secrets behind the scenes of some of northern Italy’s finest micro-wineries. The roads and knowledge of wine tourism seem to end on the imaginary line drawn by Venice, but this land preserves a bountiful cradle of Italian culture and Northern European subcultures due to the proximity with Austria and Slovenia. It’s a fascinating place.

Around the town of Gorizia, a city designated as European Capital of Cosmopolitan Culture for the year 2025 by the European Commission, there are wineries with distinctive souls. It brings together great visionary producers, family and independent productions, modern and traditional wineries, revolutionary winemakers, who have made this territory one of the richest and most precious nests of white wines in Italy. 

Along with the increasing success of the wine production, this strip of land has developed a great attitude towards reception and hospitality. The services related to hospitality are various and the experiences are many, you can choose to stay in a cosy B&B or in one of the charming country farms, or a hotel with luxury facilities. It is a perfect destination both for visitors that want to deep themselves in the authentic local culture, and also for those looking for a wild adventure.

Even the local Mittel European cuisine shows how the territory has been enriched by the different coexisting cultures. It is the meeting place of Hungarian and Austrian dishes with traditional Italian style. It is an extremely refined and elegant cuisine, which combines wild game with wines of incredible character and complexity.

To give a general overview of the territory and to better understand the wine region of Collio, the Consortium in collaboration with the Italian Sommelier Association, created “Enjoy Collio”. It is an event held in the autumn, addressed to international professionals and journalists and it is a unique opportunity to dig deeper into the immense and sometimes dispersive wine landscape of Friuli, tasting wines of exceptional craft but also combining experiences in authentic locations. The event brings together many facets of the territory, starting from the food and wine up to the hospitality, open air and sport activities.

Enjoy Collio aims to show the thriving potential of the Collio region. The road has been traced, and this represents the first great steps of a territory that is and will become more and more a great pride for the Italian wine and tourism scene.

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Chianti Classico, A Wine Tourism Destination Par Excellence – Filippo Magnani

An indissoluble partnership between wine production and tourism.

Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations for wine enthusiasts and a few other places stimulate a traveler’s thoughts and imagination as much as the Chianti Classico region.

This stunning wine region is a succession of gentle hills, dotted with vineyards rolling away into the horizon between Florence and Siena. An unspoiled landscape, where the presence of human activity plays an integral role in the extraordinary harmony of nature and skill. The fruits of this region have made it quite treasured along with the passion of great governors, noble administrators, artists, poets, men of science and agricultural talents. The history of these people can be read in the neat rows of vines and cypresses, the olive groves, the charming villages and in the stones of the castles, enabling us to remember and share the history and beauty of “Chianti Classico”. To really discover this place, you will need a guide – and the wine is undoubtedly an ideal and important witness to the fascinating history of the development of Chianti Classico.

Wine Escape – Chianti Classico

Along with the other leading wine production areas in Tuscany today, Chianti Classico is an extraordinary gateway to a deep and intimate knowledge of the roots of our culture and lifestyle. The area’s history has always been inextricably linked to wine production. Nature and people have grown together in an indissoluble relationship of respect and reward, bringing the Chianti Classico territory to life. If you wish to be immersed in the aromas and flavours of great food and wine tradition you will find Chianti Classico an ideal destination: It is a leading national tourist and wine tourism destination, chosen by visitors from all over the world for the wide variety of experiences linked to fine food and wine, with wine taking the leading role. A destination that represents an ecosystem of services focused on wine, some tangible, and others less so, but all of them engaging. Today’s “wine tourists” decide to visit an area not only for its great, historic wines, but also to make memories, experience the flavours of a local osteria, the aromas of the cellars and the smiles of grandmothers on their doorsteps. Journeys that are more immersive, making intimate and personal contact with traditions, culture, and people. In this respect, the concept of terroir expands to “winescape” in order to better express its connection to the region. This is why it is important to analyze and understand the factors that make Chianti Classico a wine tourism destination.

Chianti Classico – a kaleidoscope of organized and structured wine tourism opportunities.

Along the beautiful, winding roads of Chianti Classico, the winery doors are always open for visits and tastings. This is an area with a high density of wineries, a true oenological paradise, full of castles, ancient abbeys, where fine wines are matured, world-famous wineries alongside small and no less prestigious family-run estates, traditional cellars, and architectural masterpieces. A setting in which hospitality and associated experiences take on various forms, with all kinds of proposals and wine tourism activities. The producers understand the importance of hospitality: it has great economic value in terms of diversifying income, as well as being an effective means of communicating values and enhancing distribution of their wines. From curious wine enthusiasts to collectors, guests want to visit the famous winemaking names of Chianti and discover hidden gems of the highest quality. From groups belonging to private wine clubs and sommelier associations to restaurateurs, wine tourism in the Chianti Classico region embraces an increasingly varied public.

The reputation – wine tourists are extremely interested in visiting the locations of great and famous Chianti Classico wines.

The wine with the Black Rooster emblem is among the most widely marketed and recognized labels in the world. In over 130 countries, there is not a restaurant, wine shop or wine bar that does not offer the wines of this designation. Over the last 20 years, Chianti Classico has become one of the leading socio-economic systems in Tuscany, both in terms of the volume of wine produced, and its quality. Vintage, Riserva and Gran Selezione are the categories in a specific hierarchical scale, in terms of price and value. These wines express an indissoluble link between a par excellence product and the territory of origin. The designation is home to an incredible variety of unique microclimates that are particularly suitable for growing vines. In recent years the consortium and local producers have carried out important research aiming to outline the mosaic of Chianti Classico for consumers in the best possible way. The most recent addition are the UGAs (Additional Geographical Units). Eleven production areas that will be able to show the specific provenance of their wines on the label. It should be emphasized that the global success of wine and its positioning on the markets constantly influences the choice of many tourists traveling to discover the best-known wine-producing areas, who choose the Chianti Classico territory as their preferred destination.

A wine tourism region that goes beyond wine.

Anyone seeking to truly immerse themselves in wine tourism in the Chianti area can choose from a variety of accommodation options and, naturally, from a growing number of complementary tourist services well equipped and organized for such trips. Among various forms and categories, Chianti Classico is the preferred place to ‘sleep between the rows’, in fact, more and more wineries are deciding to open their estates, renovating existing buildings or constructing new ones, to become true wine resorts in various categories, providing every possible comfort and offering visitors an exclusive and unforgettable experience. The growing presence of this new concept of accommodation reflects the tendency of this wine-producing area to adapt in order to accommodate tourists who want to spend more time in the hills and vineyards. Wine resorts are top-quality locations: different types of structures, closely linked to the wineries, which interpret the most typical aspects of the winery in their own way. A place to lose yourself and relax with outdoor activities or in the spas and wellness centres. The roads branching out from the wineries can also be explored by bicycle, offering another opportunity to enter the magic of the vineyards, places to visit in every season, combining wellness and exploration of the area. And for those who love the outdoors, there are trekking routes of varying levels of difficulty. Lastly, all routes lead to the table, since food is the twin brother of wine. For the gourmand traveler, the timeless charm of Chianti Classico can be experienced through the area’s great culinary tradition, with a richly varied constellation of appetizing opportunities. From San Casciano to Greve, from Panzano to Castellina, from Radda and Gaiole to Castelnuovo Berardenga, a succession of family-run hostelries alternates with the great award-winning restaurants: a true food and wine territory, rich in opportunities to learn more about cuisine by participating in cooking courses organized in the area’s most exclusive and hidden locations. It should be stressed that the Chianti Classico wine tourism area is not limited to wine-related activities and the destination is enriched with many complementary experiences: visiting historic buildings and museums or devoting sunny days to excursions through nature and villages, to discover local craft products. In a context of increasing tourism development linked to an excellent territory, open to change, another important aspect is the added value of technology. A global and interconnected world opens up an incredible opportunity to intensify and spread word of the area’s appeal. Communication tools and channels are extremely important for the increasingly varied target visitors. Chianti Classico wineries have grasped the significance of this progress and invested in new ways of promoting and marketing the “wine tourism product”. So, alongside traditional methods, such as working with agencies and tour operators, real wine tourism marketplaces have been created among producers: online platforms that sell, describe, and create attractive winery experiences and wine trips for the consumer. Another good example of how the Consortium has opened-up to digital implementation is the Chianti Classico Card, intended as a user-friendly pass-partout to access hundreds of memorable activities.

The aesthetics of the landscape and layering of traditions – a cultural identity of Chianti Classico.

The appearance of Chianti Classico is the result of centuries of history. The beauty of the area’s vineyards and its considerable natural resources have been known since the dawn of time. This landscape has always coexisted with its people. A place loved by the Etruscans, then by the Romans, and a battlefield of bitter disputes in the Middle Ages, the territory preserves evidence of the passage of many cultures. The earliest documentation of the existence of a wine-producing district and territorial administration dates back to the 13th century with the “Lega del Chianti”, formalized between Radda, Gaiole and Castellina and branded with the famous Black Rooster which, after many glorious years, became the official symbol of Chianti Classico wine in 2005. The notion of the area’s inestimable value has been reinforced in recent years through the proposal of Chianti Classico as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the institutional activity of the Foundation for the Protection of the Territory of Chianti Classico Onlus, of which the Consortium is a founding member. At the same time, the same bodies, along with local administrations, have achieved another goal: the establishment of the “Distretto Rurale del Chianti”, aiming to preserve the cultural and aesthetic component of the landscape, to promote economic, social and tourist integration. These concepts acquired greater value with the onset of the pandemic. Undeniably, already fashionable themes such as environmental sustainability were foregrounded in discussions during the lockdown, so operators are paying close attention also in the sectors of wine production and wine tourism.

Symbols that represent the fine quality products of the area.

Between the Elsa and Pesa rivers, the Chianti Classico area is a destination with a very precise identity, essential but richly significant. It’s impossible to mention Chianti Classico without immediately encountering the famous Black Rooster, which symbolizes the spirit of the territory. Strong and elegant, lively, and proud, its crowing marks a new day. Once the symbol used by the “Antica Lega del Chianti” it was taken up in 1924 by the Consortium, because it clearly represents the very soul of this area: beauty and splendor combined with dedication to hard work. Alongside the Black Rooster are other identifying elements that appeal to the imagination of visitors: long roads flanked by rows of cypress trees, powerful-looking castles crowning hills strewn with vineyards, abbeys hidden among the olive groves and, finally, Medieval villages separated by the exquisite and gentle Chianti hills. The narrative of this land, a paradise of grapes and olive trees, is enriched by numerous citations in film, publishing, and painting. When desire and imagination are translated into a journey, visitors are catapulted into a riot of taste and beauty – the beauty found in the quality of excellent products and the charm of the landscape, thanks to the constant presence and influence of people in this area.

Traditions, locations, and events to promote wine tourism.
Wine tours in Chianti Classico are not limited to visits and tastings but consist of a fully rounded experience open to everyone. Every year, in autumn, the famous “Eroica” race takes place: a cycling competition with vintage bikes that brings professionals and enthusiasts together from all over the world. This is a unique opportunity for participants to get to know and admire the many locations along the route. The sport has authentic, popular roots which also echo the values of agriculture, such as the appeal of hard work and the great flavour of enterprise. The competition crosses a number of meeting points within the Chianti Classico territory. Vineyards and wine thus opening a window onto the local culture in general.

Other activities in Chianti Classico include art and music, learning about local traditions, environmental sustainability and above all food culture. There is a place that encompasses all of these – the “Casa del Chianti Classico” inside the convent of Santa Maria al Prato in Radda in Chianti. This true cultural and educational centre is another splendid example of promotion of the geographical area. The “house” offers visitors an informative and in-depth tour of wine and oil production in Chianti Classico, and much more. The space is used for training meetings and events. If booked in advance, it can also offer cooking classes with leading figures from the Tuscan culinary scene.

In the towns of the Black Rooster area, numerous local festivals take place throughout the year. One of these is Expo Chianti Classico, which has been uniting producers and wine lovers in Greve in Chianti since the 1970s: an unmissable opportunity to explore all aspects of wine and get up close and personal with the winegrowers and their wines.

This is also the case for the Chianti Classico Collection, the cornerstone of wine and oil promotion. The event takes place in Florence, usually in February, and is the flagship event of the area. The so-called Chianti Classico Previews organized by the Consortium give journalists, trade operators and even wine-lovers the opportunity to try the new vintages being launched on the market, directly from the hands of the producers.

Locals – everyone who meets you before, during and after your trip to Chianti Classico.
In a memorable journey the people we meet play a fundamental role. People are the key element of a travel experience in wine tourism destinations such as Chianti Classico. The unfolding of an itinerary, a path towards a better awareness of the place being explored, inevitably passes through the eyes, words, and testimonies of those who welcome or simply spend time with the tourist. Tourists demand has become increasingly variable today. This means the proposals must also be increasingly varied in to order to satisfy the visitors’ every desire and expectation. A great natural and productive heritage is no longer enough: the territory must be described and above all experienced in a real and professional way. We must seek contact with the community, through visits to small towns (villages above all) and the chance to experience a direct, unmediated relationship with the inhabitants and their lifestyle. All those playing a part in the tourism and hospitality sector must, in a subjective and personal way, respect and assimilate the vision of a growing and developing a territory, united in its values and objectives, and pass it on to others. With fierce international competitors there is no longer any room for mediocrity and improvisation, and the same applies to the production and promotion of wine. From this perspective, it is essential to offer quality training and, above all, work as a “system” to be able to grow more organically (including at an international level) and adopt an all-around approach to defining and implementing rules for the entire sector. In this regard, the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium is working hard, playing a leading role in raising awareness of the great interest being shown in this area. The objective is to always provide excellent quality offers and focus on hospitality services that can communicate the experience of the Black Rooster area to visitors.

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