Airbnb Adds a ‘Vineyards’ Category [ with 100,000+ Winery Vacation Experiences]

Last month Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky announced, at a media event in New York, the vacation rental platform’s new features, including a website redesign that now focuses on “Categories”.

The 56 Categories were created through machine learning, Airbnb’s curation team and reflect industry trends. According to the company, nights booked in the first quarter of 2022 for summer travel to unique homes have grown 80 % over 2019.

“Vineyards” was one of the listed categories. Visiting a vineyard is one of the best ways to better appreciate and learn about wine.  For wine lovers, one of the best experiences is to wake up to vineyard views, eat local delicacies and to taste the terroir of the wines!

#airbnb #wine #instatravel #travelgram #winetourism #vineyards #vines#travel #traveldiaries #wheretonext #airbnbvineyards #wineestates #winelovers #winelover #wine #vin #vino #winewednesday #ww #winenews #tourismnews

Scala dei Turchi, Sicily

Today I traveled to see one of the most stunning natural sights in Sicily “Scala dei Turchi” and it was definitely worth the visit!

The Name
The Turkish Steps, or sometimes called the “Stair of the Turks” is translated from the Italian name la Scala dei Turchi and is one of the most stunning natural sights in Sicily and apparently one of the most photographed.

The Origin or Legend
The Turkish Steps are located along the eastern coastline of Sicily in the Agrigento province. These cliffs were named in the 1500s when pirate raids were common along the coastline, and according to legend, it was once a shelter for Turkish ships plundering along the Sicilian coastline.

How Did These Cliffs Form?
This unique sedimentary rock or marl consisting of clay and lime gives the formation it’s amazing dazzling white color and features. Over millions of years, the waves and wind have eroded the cliffs giving them the distinctive soft, sloping curves, which are among the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

Scala dei Turchi officially became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

#travelsicily #siciliaenprimeur2022 #siciliaenprimeur #sicily #Sicilia #travelling #instadaily #traveler #travelgram #traveling #AssoviniSicilia #sicilytourism #UNESCO #ScaladeiTurchi

New Sweetness Scale for Alsace wine labels

A standardized sweetness guide will be required on all Alsace wine labels starting with wines produced from the 2021 harvest.

While most French wines are labeled by origin, wines from Alsace are indicated by grape variety and location information, including if the wine is from one of the 51 grand crus. Now wine buyers and trade can also consult the bottle for a visual sweetness scale or one of the following appropriate terms.

The New Alsace Wine Sweetness Scale

The new sweetness scale is straightforward.  The scale is in both English and French. Dry (sec) sugar content of the wine does not exceed 4 g/l

  1. Medium-Dry/demi-sec: sugar content of the wine is between 4 g/l and 12 g/l
  2. Mellow/moelleux: sugar content of the wine is between 12 g/l and 45 g/l
  3. Sweet/doux: sugar content of the wine exceeds 45 g/l

This change was prompted by the Alsace wine industry and centers on sweetness guidelines already in place in the European Union.

“In Alsace, we produce many different styles of wine, from dry wines to sweet wines to sparkling wines,” says Foulques Aulagnon, export marketing manager, for CIVA (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace) which is also known as the Alsace Wine Board. “This new standardized sweetness guide doesn’t affect how we produce our wines, but gives greater clarity on the style of what’s in the bottle.” Crémant d’Alsace, traditional method sparkling wine from the appellation, already has sweetness guide regulations and isn’t impacted by this new round of rules.

In addition to labels, the new system applies to advertising, marketing materials, invoices, and other containers. This is designed to be helpful to trade partners such as educators, retailers, and sommeliers.

According to CIVA data, export sales of Alsace wines grew by 22.4% in 2021. With more buyers outside of France, this move provides further understanding to new customers that may not be as familiar with what Alsace has to offer.

* According to EU regulations, “Dry” represents sugar content does not exceed 4 g/l (or 9 g/l if the total acidity in grams of tartaric acid per liter is not more than 2 g/l lower than the residual sugar content). “Medium-Dry” represents sugar content of the wine is above 4 g/l but does not exceed 12 g/l (or 18 g/l if the total acidity in grams of tartaric acid per liter is not more than 10 g/l lower than the residual sugar content).

#alsacegrandcru #alsace #riesling #whitewine #wine #wineharvest #winelover #alsacewine #grandcru #vinalsace #alsacegram #pinotgris #gewurztraminer #vin #vinblanc #wein #winenews

Bolgheri, a wine territory in the pursuit of excellence – Filippo Magnani

The first edition of “Bolgheri Divino” celebrates a unique and cohesive vision of the producers…

On September 4th, 2021, the Consortium of Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC gathered 65 vintners of the DOC to tell their story of the land and its winemaking excellence, through personalities and productions. The event was named “Bolgheri DiVino.” It was a magical day to celebrate an extraordinary and cohesive wine territory in the pursuit of excellence. The first edition aims to become a must-attend occasion for dedicated oenophiles from all over the world who love this wine pearl on the Tuscan coast: Bolgheri.

The day began with an exclusive tasting held at Castello Della Gherardesca, in the morning, in Castagneto Carducci where I took part with other selected Italian and international journalists of the wine sector. The morning was dedicated to the preview of Bolgheri Superiore DOC 2019 vintage. A unique occasion since the tasting anticipates nearly 4 months to its release on the market.

The wines of 2019 generally showed deep colour, ripe fruit, with good aromatic intensity. An appropriate level of natural acidity guaranteed freshness and good fragrance. Apart from certain cases, where I perceived generous, firm tannins also due to the young fullness, the majority of wines I tasted were graceful, well-made with harmony from start to finish.

In the afternoon, we participated in a further tasting at 7 selected wineries where we had the chance to taste the promising 2020 vintage of Bolgheri Rosso. As I tasted the wines, I noticed they were fruity with a good structure and with lively acidity, while showing great potential for aging.

Like those overwhelming love stories, Bolgheri is the result of the harmonious relationship between an extraordinary land and the genius of man. A “little Italian miracle”, said the President of the Consortium Albiera Antinori in the closing evening of Bolgheri DiVino, in front of nearly 1,000 international guests seated for a beautiful dinner at a 1 km-long table on the iconic “Viale dei Cipressi”, a landmark of the Bolgheri landscape.

The event has shown the world that Bolgheri has climbed the “Olympus of Italian wines” in just a few decades. Its land has always been a sitting gold mine for the potential of the agricultural district. This territory, in its fairy tale appearance, is a wonderful symbol of the “Italian Bel Paese”. 

A small pearl embraced by the “Macchia Mediterranea”

The area of the DOC Bolgheri is delimited by the municipality boundaries of Castagneto Carducci village. It is a small wine area that measures 13km from the southernmost point to the northernmost one, while the west-east extension is about 7km. The total vineyards are of DOC are 1359 hectares, positioned at an altitude ranging from 10 metres to 380 above sea level. The so-called “Macchia Mediterranea” stretches all along the coast, Bolgheri is literally embraced by this thick dark green forest.

The amphitheatre of Bolgheri is exposed to perpetual light and aerated by continuous sea winds from the Tuscan archipelago. Exposure and natural aeration, in addition to preventing many plant diseases, gives the wine an exuberant freshness and incredible elegance. However, most fascinating is the extraordinary and varied type of soils. A miscellaneous of soils composition; mainly sandy towards the sea, more clay-sandy alluvial, clay-silty in the vineyards located on the foothills, and gravellier in the hills belonging to Colline Metallifere (metallic hills). To better understand the richness of the soils for wine production, the Consorzio has conducted an accurate zonation research, a ten-year study on the potential of this territory. Up to now 27 units have been identified, not grouped into macro areas though because in a few metres the composition of the soil can change incredibly

A “chair at the table of the prime Italian wines”
earned in just a few decades

 

Between the hundred-year-old stories of the famous Tuscan wine areas, well known and affirmed in the wine world scene, a place is reserved for the “young” Bolgheri district. The first red was produced around the 1940s, by the brilliant intuition of Marquis Mario Incisa of Rocchetta, founder of the estate Tenuta San Guido to plant red French varieties in the hills. Particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. The first real success production comes indeed from a blend of these two varieties, and first labelled as Sassicaia in 1968, and lately proclaimed as one the best wines of the world with the 1985 vintage.

After an initial period of white and rosè wine production for local consumption (regulation of 1983), the path tracked by Tenuta San Guido and its Sassicaia was followed by a small group of pioneer producers that invested and interpreted the possibility of producing fine red wines in this area.

From the second half of 1980’s Bolgheri became an area extremely vocated to the production of red wines. Rapidly those wines were recognized worldwide as so, called “Super Tuscan” by famous wine writers, showing off not only the outstanding potential of the land but also the commitment of the estates in pursuing the brilliant intuition of this group of winemaker pioneers.

The cohesive effort of the producers led in 1994 to the first DOC Bolgheri red wines regulation, together with the creation of Sassicaia subzone delimited by the proprieties of the Tenuta San Guido. In the last 25 years the endeavours to look for quality with no compromise has made Bolgheri a symbol of Tuscan wine excellence.

Another significant moment in the strengthening of Bolgheri wines among the world of premium wines was the recognition of the Doc Bolgheri Sassicaia in 2013, conferring its own appellation. A remarkable occurrence since Bolgheri Sassicaia is the first and only Italian denomination dedicated solely to an estate and its cult wine.

Land of Innovation.

In Bolgheri, wine production has always innovated and is still continually developing with a common vision of the pioneer producers. Following this trend, an update of the wine regulation has been approved by the Consorzio Doc Bolgheri and will be effective soon. The first modification is related to the base ampelographic of Bolgheri DOC white:

The first modification is related to the base ampelographic of Bolgheri DOC white, which will give more space to the productions of Viogner, Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino (already widespread).

The second intervention on the specification concerns the labelling. In particular for all DOC Bolgheri wines, it is mandatory to have the word “TOSCANA” on the back of the label. It will then be up to the producers to include the word “TOSCANA” on the front-label as well. Today in Bolgheri there are three types of DOC red wines: DOC Bolgheri Rosso, DOC Bolgheri Rosso Superione, DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia and three additional Doc, one for Doc Rosato (rosè) and two Doc Bianco (white)

DOC Bolgheri red wines are a blend or monovarietal produced with Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc and Merlot. Often the blends include Syrah, a small percentage of Petit Verdot and in certain occasions Sangiovese.

An iconic wine destination with unique charm

In the last 20 years, in this area of the shore that I proudly call home, I personally witnessed the incredible evolution of high-end wine tourism. International wine travellers, thrilled for Tuscany and its beauty, are nowadays considering it a “MUST” to visit the cellars of Bolgheri, and to taste the fine wines of those producers. The wind of sudden success of Bolgheri wines has also marked a significant development and attitude to the organized hospitality at the estates. When I began my activity in the early ‘90s in Bolgheri just a few estates were open and ready to welcome visitors. Today, almost all the cellars have opened their doors to wine enthusiasts and wine professionals. A unique range of hospitality proposals at the estates, offered by small familiar properties and legendary wineries.

The diversification of the wineries, both in their own stories and their production, under the libertarian philosophy of the DOC cited above, permit the interpreters to tell their very personal interaction with the environment.

The word “diversity” is important, starting from the natural factor. Bolgheri is a territory that knows how to touch all the sensory spheres, perfumes, flavours, charming hamlets in perfect harmony with the landscape and, most certainly, land of great wines. From the gentle hills, in a matter of a few kilometres the land gets lost in a beautiful natural sea reserve.

“Diversity” in the cuisine; it is ideal to enjoy different styles, from family and traditional cookery to gourmet, from dishes based on meat and vegetables in the countryside, to other locations to enjoy a fresh fish menu by the sea. The countryside around Bolgheri’s town walls is overwatched by other ancient, hilltop villages. Where Village life is livened up by artisan boutiques, open-air markets, taverns, and cosy accommodation where travellers can still closely appreciate the authentic tranquil Tuscan lifestyle.

We’ve been talking a lot about Bolgheri and its extraordinary terroir, but I find the human factor is of extreme importance If Bolgheri has been included today among the hall of fame of the Italian wine destination it is thanks to the outstanding production of each producer, but also by the new strategic vision of the Consorzio Doc and its Presidency who always considered quality wine tourism as a fundamental aspect in social and territorial development.

That’s Bolgheri and its wine!

 

 

WSET, a valuable partner for Bolgheri 

I’d like to proudly underline that the Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini DOC Bolgheri e DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia has recently become the first-ever Italian appellation WSET Corporate Patron. I am sure this collaboration will bring a great value in terms of education and qualifications to inspire and empower all the actors of the Bolgheri wine territory.

 

#WSET #BolgheriSassicaia #Bolgheri #Sassicaia #winetourism #italy #italianwinelovers #BolgheriDivino #bolgheriwine #bolgheridoc #bolgherisassicaiadoc #Sassicaia #consorziovinibolgheri #Toscana #vino #wine #sommelier #winelovers #instawine #redwine #wineeven

@CBolgheri

 

 

 

 

 


 

“Anteprima 2021”- Wine Preview of Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Filippo Magnini 

“The ancient crowned hill through the eyes of the queen grape”

When you are in the direction of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, you cannot help but be enveloped by the magical atmosphere, you get catapulted into a fairy-tale. The hills of “Queen Vernaccia” crown the city of San Gimignano; at its foot lies the most fascinating and characteristic landscape of the Val d’Elsa. Impressive from a distance are the tips of the “crown”, a little Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The city of San Gimignano in the first centuries after 1000 AD was embellished with seventy towers and numerous palaces, built by the many wealthy families to display their wealth and power. Still today, the fourteen beautiful towers remain to characterize the city center and to make the unique and recognizable silhouette of the crowned hill. It is right inside the walls of the beautiful San Gimignano that every year we have the pleasure to taste the new vintages of wines made in this fascinating territory.

The event this year was different from the usual February schedule. The Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2021, in fact, was a month-long event that started on Wednesday the 19th of May and closed on Monday the 14th of June. The first day was dedicated exclusively to the Italian and international press. For the occasion, the consortium chose two principal venues: the De Grada Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where all the journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the latest vintages of the sixty-nine wines produced by thirty-four wineries (Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2018); and the Dante’s Chamber in the Town Hall for the 16th edition of the ‘White Wine and Its Territories’ series: “Vernaccia in Comedy”.  A choice linked to the tradition and history of Italy. In fact, this year is the 700th anniversary of the death of the poet Dante. The consortium has intertwined the main six female protagonists of Dante’s work and 6 characteristic white wines of the territory of San Gimignano. These six samples were chosen to be compared with as many wines from those that are among the major denominations for white wines: Alto Adige Valle Isarco Veltliner, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Orvieto Classico Superiore, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc and Palette Blanc. A so-called ‘battle’ between elegant queens, in a magnificent hall that narrates through its frescoes the path of our life.

TASTING REPORT 

During my stay at San Gimignano, I blind-tasted all the wines, which were majestically presented by the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 (34 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Fattoria di Fugnano
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Da Fugnano 

Brillant with pale straw core and watery rim. Pronounced flavour of pineapple with peachy overtones. Dry and sapid with bright acidity. Well balanced with good fruit and harmonious finish.  I like this wine.

Winery:  Fattoria San Donato
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 

Pale yellow core with greenish hues. The nose is fresh and fruity with scents of lemon and apricot. Vibrant entrance with medium alcohol. Dry with good acidity and a fruity finish. Lovely wine.

Winery:  Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Pale yellow core, lighter on the edge. Intense flavour of citrus fruit and green apple with light floral notes. Dry with lovely acidity which matches a good alcohol level. The aftertaste is persistent with pleasant notes of almond at the end. Very good wine !

Winery:  Il Palagione
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Hydra 

Straw coloured with paler rim. The bouquet is intense and ample with notes of grapefruit and apricot with scents of ginger. The mouth is intense and fresh with racy acidity. Quite a long finish. Fine, charming wine !

Winery: San Benedetto
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim. It expresses nice aromas of lemon and peach mixed with light notes of acacia. The acidity matches well with the rich fruit. Balanced palate with quite a long persistence.  I really appreciate it.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 (18 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Montenidoli
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Fiore 

Deep yellow core, lighter on the edge. The wine expresses a beautiful bouquet of lime and orange peel with overtones of thyme and mint. It is vibrant and structured to the palate with harmonious and fresh finish. Great potential for the ageing.

Winery:  Mormoraia
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Ostrea

Intense straw core with paler reflections. Intriguing nose with flavour of pear and maruted fruit with a hint of almond.  Lovely, creamy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level with fresh finish. Delicious wine !

Winery:  Panizzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Vigna Santa Margherita 

Colour ranging from medium yellow core to lighter rim. Intense flavour of lemon with scent of candied apricot. Slight notes of vanilla. Dry, lively palate with good acidity. Rich and elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva (10 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva  – Prima Luce 

Brilliant, deep yellow colour. Intense bouquet of lemon and jasmine flowers with a hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit and good acidity.  Well structured, mineral and complex.  I really like it !

Winery:  Cesani
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva – Sanice 

Medium yellow core with lighter hues. The wine displays an intense perfume white peach, grapefruit, and lemon with a light buttery note. Dry, sapid and intense with good acidity and freshness. Well balanced and harmonious. Excellent wine.

Winery:  Guicciardini Strozzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva

Medium yellow core with paler rims. Clean with beautiful nose of ripe apricot and mango with flowery overtones and a hint of almond. Medium body with lively acidity and freshness. The alcohol is well balanced with the fruit.  Elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE 2020 VINTAGE  

2020 was characterised by an excellent seasonal trend. The onset of the vegetative stages was a little early but still normal for the long term. The harvest also started a week earlier than in 2019. The health of the grapes was excellent and their quality was good, albeit slightly lower than the previous year. The wines of this vintage are smooth and round, have good aromas and their acidity is not excessive.

SAN GIMIGNANO AND ITS QUEEN GRAPE VERNACCIA 

San Gimignano is a small town of Siena, rich in charm and history. The village of San Gimignano is located almost halfway between Florence and Siena (about 60 and 45 km), and is easily reachable by car or a bus. It is a territory situated completely on hills at altitudes between 200 and 400 m above sea level. The soils are of the Pliocene era, dating back between 6.8 and 1.8 million years. And it is certainly the composition of the ancient soil that makes the wines produced in this denomination extremely fascinating and complex. The terroir of this area is characterized by the presence of fossils and shells, it is composed of pliocene soil and clay. These extremely calcareous sediments make the soil ideal to create vigorous and mineral white wines.The surface area of the Municipality of San Gimignano is of about 12,500 hectares, 5,600 of which are destined to farm productions (vineyards, olive groves, cereal crops). The San Gimignano hills present variable exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and availability of water. The multiple and sometimes unique combinations of these single factors have, even in such a small area, a significant effect on the characteristics of the wines made there.  The combination of the unique variables for wine growing in San gimignano: different exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and water…, determine, even in such a restricted area, a significant impact on the characters of the wines produced there.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white grape variety present in Tuscan since ancient times. Its bunches are large, long and pyramidal in shape, with an average density of compact and medium berries, round, very pruinose with thick peels. It has an unmistakable amber color when it is shone by the sun. A vine that finds its perfect condition in growing in calcareous-clay or tuffaceous soils

Always a big thanks to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer !