Podere Marcampo

Podere Marcampo, Volterra

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
Paulo Coelho

Podere Marcampo, Volterra, Tuscany

Six years ago two things happened to change my life. First of all I fell in love with Tuscany and then I became a sommelier. These were the starting points allowing me to discover the hidden delights of the Pisa wine country, a charming sun kissed land, stretching from the hills to the sea, blessed by God, as beautiful as unexpected!

Wine runs deep in the veins of Tuscany, being woven into the cultural identity of this central Italian paradise. Pisa wines are synonymous with excellence thanks to the efforts of many skilled professionals.‘Podere Marcampo’ is one of the most important wineries in the area being representative of Pisa and its province.  ‘Pisa Hills is not only a ‘DOC label’ but also a ‘wine road’ playing an increasingly important role in wine production in Tuscany and it is a wine area that is on the rise only recently starting to get the recognition that is deserves. ‘Pisa Hills meanders through the hills of the valley of the Era River and the lower part of the Arno Valley crossing a territory with traditions dating back to the time of the Etruscans. If you head towards this entrancing place you will be greeted by an environment almost untouched by modernity ranging from picturesque scenery of mesmerising color set amongst the trees to places where wine and oil are still cultivated and produced in the traditional way. ‘Podere Marcampo’ is an organic biodynamic wine estate which reflects all the beauty and wine production potential of the ‘Pisa Hills’ area.

Claudia del Duca

I sipped the elegant ‘Podere Marcampo’ wines for the first time at ‘Terre di Toscana’, a wine exhibition which took place at the ‘Luna Hotel’ in Viarreggio. I really liked these wines and Claudia Del Duca, the owner of ‘Podere Marcampo’, described them with reverence.

Claudia was very friendly, professional and kind, though what impressed me the most about her was her dedication to her work and her love for wine which was shared with her parents Genuino and Ivana. I promised myself to return again to her winery for another memorable experience! I arrived at ‘Podere Marcampo’ on a rainy day in late November in Volterra. ‘Podere Marcampo’ is a family farm business which produces both excellent and also rare red and white wines, extra virgin olive oil and grappa. At the front of her estate surrounded by lush and verdant countryside, Claudia welcomed me with a big smile. Looking at this scene where sky and sea converge at the Tuscan horizon in an endless embrace I felt overcome with emotion as we sat down in a small patio near the front of her private residence, where we talked about the history of her family . 

Genuino del Duca

Claudia explained that ‘Podere Marcampo’ was born in 1971 when her father Genuino , having been promoted at work as a policeman, had moved from Abruzzo to Volterra and came up with the idea of transforming his passion for food and wine into a full time job. He wanted to create a new career in food and wine, so that he could resign from his day to day work as a policeman, and worked hard to make this dream come true! In the beginning it was not easy, though having climbed through the ranks at work in 2001 he was able to open a small inn in Saline, a small town near Volterra. By 2003 he had earned enough money to be able to open an exclusive restaurant in the center of Volterra, ‘Enoteca del Duca’ which is still running today! In 2005 he managed to buy ‘Marcampo’ a historic homestead, which had been abandoned though captured his heart as well as sparking his imagination. Genuino restored ‘Marcampo’ shortly afterwards transforming it into what ‘Podere Marcampo’ is today, an extraordinary holiday home as well as a farm and winery surrounded by four hectares of countryside, where to produce his wine he takes care of the best local grapes (Vermentino, Merlot, Sangiovese, Pugnitello and Ciliegiolo). Genuino  had to work hard to make his land suitable for wine growing because of the original salt and clay content of the soil. He had to plant the best rootstocks with roots to a maximum depth of 1 meter and having made sure that his preparation has been the best winemaking is now not so much of a challenge as more of an opportunity. Today, ‘Podere Marcampo’ is a real gem situated within the National Park known as ‘Le Balze’, a magical place where visitors can slow down and unwind. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a sunlit terrace, vineyards, gardens and imposing vistas of the Tuscan countryside encouraging guests to explore this modern wine country retreat, a corner of the world created for relaxation of body and soul with manicured cypress trees, sunflowers, olive groves and vineyards.

 

Podere Marcampo Tour

After a short walk through the vineyards Claudia explained the winemaking process starting with the working of the land to the bottling in the wine cellar and this for me was the best part of the tour.

In the tasting room I sampled high quality wines paired with homemade cured meats and local cheeses. ‘Podere Marcampo’ is completely handworked by Genuino and Claudia and is organic, completely free of any pesticides. A couple of million years ago this area lay at the bottom of the sea so the soil is rich in fossil shells and is characterised by a particular geology of sand, silt, clay and limestone which has been stable for centuries giving a complexity, structure and minerality to these well balanced wines. These are the best award winning labels I tasted:

‘Terrablu’: made from Vermentino and Malvasia the grapes are first processed by the modern technique of maceration in order to preserve all the aromas of the variety followed by four months of fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. On the palate there are notes of lime, almond, green apple and white florals with a unique sense of refreshing acidity, its charm being in its delicate, briny nose and long, fresh palate;

‘Giusto alle Balze’: made from a careful and limited selection of 100% Merlot, vinified in stainless steel vats, then aged in oak barrels for 12 months the wine is then left to settle for another 6 months before bottling. It is my favourite wine because of its soft and sensual texture and approachable style being a velvety red wine that pairs well with the best Tuscan foods. This wine has won the Silver Medal at ‘Mondial du Merlot’ in Lugano and the ‘Concours Mondial Merlot’ in Brussels;

‘Severus’: made from a selection of 100% Sangiovese, vinified in stainless steel vats then aged in oak barrels for 12 months, this wine is then left to settle for another 12 months before bottling. Tasting of clove spice and cherries this wine is like drinking Christmas. It is also savoury providing a wide range of tastes from the very earthy and rustic to the rounded and red fruit;

‘Marcampo’: made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot, these two varieties are vinified separately in stainless steel vats and blended after 12 months in oak barrels. The wine is left to settle for another 6 months before being bottled. It is a powerful combination of the sweet, juicy, fruit flavors of Merlot and the rustic, sour-cherry tang of Sangiovese. It reminds me of a duet between a soprano and a bass as you can hear each one distinctly since they sing at different frequencies and the feeling is one of absolute pleasure;

‘Genuino’: made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, these two varieties are vinified separately in stainless steel vats and then blended and bottled after 10 months. ‘Genuino’ is a medium bodied moderately tannic wine with a lovely cherry flavor which impresses with its ruby red, vinous though also fruity and floral, dry and firm taste.

From the start Genuino and Claudia make wines just as they envisage them. Their winemaking takes its course, the grapes being gently guided through a gentle process until they arrive at carefully selected barrels for resting, maturing and evolving. The more I meet the winemakers of Italy, the more I gain an appreciation for what is in my glass. Years of hard work, research and experimentation have gone into tending the vines to create a product that brings so much pleasure and joy to the palate.

Enoteca del Duca restaurant Volterra
Enoteca del Duca restaurant Volterra

L’Enoteca del Duca. Volterra

After our fantastic wine tasting, Genuino , Claudia and myself made our way down to ‘Enoteca del Duca’ their restaurant in the centre of Volterra. Genuino’s wife, Ivana runs this fine and intimate restaurant which is equipped with a terrific outdoor garden and excellent wine cellar housed in a historic building situated between the ‘acropolis’ and ‘Priori Square’

L ‘Enoteca del Duca’ offers gourmet cuisine and the menu changes according to the season and the availability of ingredients. My lunch there was really wonderful and the service impeccable. I tried their best wines along with the ‘burrata’ and vegetable soufflé as well as their home-made pasta in beef broth and their boar stew. The quality of food was outstanding, the ambience wonderfully inviting and the exquisite wine list to die for. When you go, ask to see their beautiful wine cellar which is packed with many unknown treasures! Genuino’s family form a perfect team when it comes to satisfying food and wine lovers. Claudia also organizes cooking classes at their farm demonstrating how to make fresh pasta or ‘focaccia’ whilst also allowing you to discover the secrets of homemade cake making all under the guidance of a professional Italian chef.

Volterra

It was time to go and I thanked Genuino and Claudia warmly for the wonderful memories they had provided me. They had made me feel at home and now I have yet another good reason to return to Volterra to be able to admire its considerable treasures.

Actually I am familiar with Volterra as three years ago I started working there as an English teacher. At the time it was really challenging having to go to Volterra every day from Pisa, considering that I was also attending a sommelier course in Lucca at the time though everything worked out well in the end and now I am really happy.I had enough time during this period to explore Volterra, a delightful, old hamlet full of history dating back to before 7BC with Etruscan, Roman and Medieval art and culture. The narrow streets are full of old are full of old churches, palaces, secret chapels, intimate restaurants and alabaster shops where you can watch artisans at work. Alabaster has long been a big industry in Volterra. Softer and easier to work than marble, this translucent material was traditionally thinly sliced to provide windows for Italy’s medieval churches. The best way to appreciate Volterra is to walk through its cobbled lanes, enjoying the beautiful ‘Palazzo dei Priori’, the Cathedral, the evocative ruins of the ‘Roman Amphitheater’ and the beautiful park dominated by the ‘Medicean Fortress’ with its ‘Rocca del Mastio’.

Other things to see in Volterra include:

The Alabaster Eco Museum’: Volterra has an ancient alabaster tradition. Art fans can watch sculptors at work and can purchase locally made alabaster in the studio shop;

The Etruscan Museum’: The museum is full of rare artefacts from centuries before Christ. There are decorated pot handles and crafted jewellery, the museum’s extensive collection of urns being a reminder that the Etruscans believed that the afterlife could be fun;

The Volterra City Museum and Art Gallery’: Housed in the ‘Minucci-Solaini Palace’, it contains the famous painting ‘The Deposition’ by Rosso Fiorentino;

• ‘Roman Cistern’: Located at the top of the hill by the ‘Medicean Fortress’, the it can be accessed by a winding iron staircase.

In recent years Volterra has attracted international recognition for its connection with the ‘Twilight’ series of books and movies, part of the second movie ‘New Moon’ being set in Volterra though most of the movie was actually filmed in another Tuscan town. More than 2000 years ago Volterra was a key trading center and one of the most important Etruscan cities and was protected by a wall four miles long, twice the length of the wall that encircles Volterra today. You can still see the mighty Etruscan gate, built from volcanic stone.

Tuscany is a pretty large region, and all of it is stunning. There is so much to see and do that I can’t suggest any particula good guide or website! But even in the short time I spent here, there’s so much to recommend to you I don’t even know where to start! It would be a good idea to enjoy any good wines here,  not just to drink them, but to experience the people, places, and cultures  . Even Bacchus, the god of wine, would envy a road trip through Tuscany’s wine heartlands, marveling at the most spectacular scenery on earth. To taste, drink and dine exceedingly well, this magical land has no peers. For who could resist the sumptuous, extravagantly green, the undulating farm fields that look like a painting, the twisty rural roads, the dreamy sunsets, and the circles of trees perched just so in resplendent tableaus? But it’s not just the culture, the art, the food, the wine, and the landscape. Beauty is in the DNA of Tuscans. The  Tuscans consider themselves the inheritors and stewards of a centuries-long legacy of beauty. Every tree that’s planted, every farmhouse that’s restored, every road that’s re-routed — it’s all carefully considered not only on practical or economic merits, but also on aesthetics. Get lost among  this huge amount of artistic wonders! 

ITB Berlin 2019

ITB  Berlin 2019

Are you attending the ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) , or considering it next year? Here are a few good reasons why you should do it , as well as some insights on How to Get the Most Out  of it.

ITB Berlin is the The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. On March 6-10 2019  Travel Professionals dealt with  Industry Experts and had the opportunity to meet over 10,000 exhibitors represented in 26 halls ,  1,000 Qualified Top Buyers, and attendees from 187 Countries.  It simply cannot be missed! The ITB Berlin is the World’s Largest Tourism Trade Fair. The companies represented at the fair include Hotels, Tourist Boards, Tour Operators, System Providers, Airlines and Car Rental Companies. ITB began in 1966 as a small event in the framework of an overseas import trade show that developed into a true global success. The original five participating countries and regions grew to over 180, the first 250 trade visitors increased to over 114,000 and the exhibition space expanded from 580 m² to today’s 160,000 m². Lot of time passed since it all began , and in the meanwhile  the Tourism Industry developed into one of the World’s Most Important Economic factors.

My ITB Berlin 2019

For European Enterprises, Travel Experts/Lovers and Bloggers it is a must to be at ITB Berlin 2019 , because It is very important to learn more about competitors and to be updated about Tourism Industry Developments. ITB Berlin 2019 mirrors the Current Trends of the Global Travel Industry, and reminds those working in the sector of great challenges around the world in this field, such as the Digital Transformation.

I was really honoured to partner with ITB Berlin 2019 as an accreditated Networker. It was my very first time , and also an exceptional showcase for my activity as owner of WeLoveItaly.eu (Travel/ Wine Blogging and Italian Courses and Custom Tours in Pisa, Tuscany). I took the advantage to advertise my Travel and Wine Blog and to sell  WeLoveItaly.eu to a Tourism Board too.  ITB Berlin 2019 was more than what I could ever have imagined! ITB  2019 was held at the Messe Berlin, an enormous  building at Messedamm 22, near Charlottenburg and Savigny Platz in Berlin, where I booked a nice hotel for my stay .

As I arrived at the ITB  2019 I got scared , because It was so big. I thought I wasn’t able  to walk all around for so many hours! I was also concerned about maximizing the time available for that colossal event. 

I wanted to see everything, talk to everyone and to experience everything else. Actually, I didn’t get lost , because thanks to  Victoria Ade-Genschow and her  blog The British Berliner with helpful tips for the ITB  , I knew what to expect and what to do before . I had the joy of meeting  Victoria personally at ITB  2019 ,  my Good Angel found time for me. She spoke about her job as a talented and Famous International Lifestyle & Travel blogger , and shared some secrets for good blogging with me. All that was a strong emotion for me sipping White Brasilian Wine  together with other nice people! I was enchanted by Victoria , we made friendship and she was my reference point for anything concerning Travelling, Tourism and Blogging, and she  is still! Victoria was the best part of that incredible adventure.  During the ITB  2019 I build New Relationships with other Professional Travel /Wine Bloggers and Experts in the industry of Cultural and Educational Tourism ,  which was essential to bring in new customers and grow my business. ITB  2019 was also a chance for me  to:Travel and Wine Blog and to sell   to 

  • Exchange Experiences with other Tourism Players;
  • Extend my  Network for my WeLoveItaly.eu;
  • Find cooperation / business partners for my WeLoveItaly.eu
  • Create New, Innovative Business Models.

What made me excited about ITB  2019 was my  Virtual Journey Around the World! In an instant I visited Europe, Asia, Arabia,  America, Australia simply going from one stand to another one,  and suddenly I got the desire to leave for an exotic destination and to never come back ! 

Why not discovering Malaysia, and then Abu Dabi, Mexico, or Paris ? Hanging on at ITB  2019 I organized my “World Trip” geographically and  thematically according to my interests  ! In several exhibition halls, the latest Travel Trends were also presented across Countries and Regions. These include, for example, Medical  or Responsible Tourism, Youth & Adventure or Wellness Travel. At Pavillon 1.2. National Tourism Board Enit launched Italy promoting  Its Food & Wine Heritage being inseparable from the Identity and Culture of our country, but also at the same time making clear that Italy was more than pizza and pasta!  I liked the ITB Berlin space reserved to Travel Technology a lot, because established companies and ambitious startups boosted  their latest innovations, while several forums highlighted important developments from the World of Apps, Mobile Websites, Social Networks and Blogs. I realized how most Travel Businesses were moving rapidly to adapt, integrate or evolve Digital System that controlled nearly aspects of their business operations, from marketing to customer service to distribution. Last but not least, ITB  2019 confirmed, once again, that any form of Real Business could not work properly without the Virtual one, and vice versa. Even in a Digitalised World, It was not possible at  ITB  2019 to replace the confidence-building measure that Face-to-Face Meetings and a Direct Exchange between Business Partners on issues concerning the Travel Global Industry represented.  I enjoyed all the  trade show’s broad range of products and services. Moreover, attending such a big event is like being aware that despite a slowdown in the world economy, Demand within the Travel Industry remains stable, that is people remain eager to travel and the industry is well-equipped to meet the demand.

 

 

Tips for the ITB Berlin 

I Set Clear Goals for my ITB 2019! I Planned my Time and Schedule  in advance , because ITB 2019  was a massive event.

If you want to make your Experience at the ITB Berlin next year a success, then you need to be organized! Here my Tips: 

  • Visit the ITB Berlin  2019 Website and Its App to have and download all the useful info to get around the venue; 
  • Print your  badge before to avoid boring queues; 
  • Register/Complete your ITB Profile
  • Sign up and confirm all your  appointments at ITB Berlin  2019, and  send a reminder email to people about your  meetings;
  • Check out how to get at the ITB Berlin  2019 and the map of the Messe Berlin to move around easily; 
  • Plan your visit but be flexible; ITB Berlin is broken up into sections such as Europe, Asia, America, Arabia, Australia, and you can change your schedule , as you may find that the exhibitor is a little busy at the time you want to go; 
  • Make sure you plan for some rest during the day, because you can get caught up in visiting every exhibitor;  
  • Dress Smart! The official attire is Business Wear, being slightly formal and wearing a suit or at least smart-casual will be the best choice! 
  • Wear comfortable shoes for  working extended hours on your  feet; 
  • Take with you Packed Lunch and  Water in your  bag ; walking and talking is exhausting and you need to keep your energy levels up; 
  • Have  enough Business Card Media Kit to hand , there are so many opportunities to network with agents, tour operators, tourist boards, hotels, airlines, and other influencers just to name a few; aim to have more than you need! 
  • Don’t forget to bring your Phone , a Portable Charger,  a Note Pad or a Small Agenda to write down all the ideas, names, brands and whatever else came to your  mind during  ITB Berlin 2019.

All this was really important to maximize my productivity  as I attended many Halss, Presentations, and Networking Events run  by Experts and Bloggers. At the ITB Berlin 2019 there were also areas where the focus was Industry Job Opportunities,  as well as Shows, Parties,  Concerts and Culinary treats rounds. ITB Berlin 2019 was not  only for me  an exclusive business event where to be, but It also  provided an energetic and entertaining atmosphere each day, and for  sure I  had lots of fun along the way and met amazing people. 

At the end of this incredible Life Experience I went out with some friends at my favorite restaurant  Schwarzes Café in Savigny Platz to remember my “Berliner Zeit” and how Berlin added value to my life! 

“Mir kann keiner” ! 

Bis Bald Schönes Berlin ! 

Enjoy it ! 

Stefania

Food & Progress 2018, Florence, Tuscany

Tuscan Food

Tuscan food is  a kind of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts.

Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each dish, simple or not. When you arrive in Tuscany you will be faced with one doubt . What are the foods I can’t miss, what will I regret not having eaten? If you came and visit   “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” , you will have an idea! “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” is about Culinary Specialities in Florence and  showcases Tuscan Excellence.  The program begins with Conferences, Master Classes, each focusing on a specific thematic about Wine & Food. Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ”  has a lot to offer to the guests, from locally sourced products to Wine Tastings with AIS (Italian  Sommelier  Association)

Riesling Master Class

My favourite Master Class is the one about Riesling . I’m learning a lot about Germany Wine  Production  in  Pfalz thanks to a special Wine Tasting organized by the “ Bassermann-Jordan Winery “.

“ Bassermann-JordanWinery “ is  an established leader and an example of the efficiency of Riesling Production in GermanyThe history of the “ Bassermann-JordanWinery “ is the history of a family dynasty that has helped to establish quality viticulture for almost 300 years. Generation after generation, important personalities emerge from it who know how to preserve and develop the importance of the estate and top Palatinate Wines with intelligence, expertise and intuition as well as economic and political influence – up to the top rank of the world. Their wine labels are landmarks and stand for Wines from the best locations and pioneering work in cultivation and vinification with a passion for quality. These Wines are fruity ,  elegant and fit any specific need. These are Characteristic Wines of Origin which are cultivated and matured ecologically according to anthroposophical teachings. For most of their  Wines Art Nouveau label is used. There are also  interesting Cooking Shows (including fresh pasta and vegan recipes)  at “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” and  hundreds of fans who come to join this magic Wine & Food Exibition.

Enjoy it !

Stefania

Roberto Cipresso: a DiVine Novel

… perché se vuoi emozionare, devi provare per primo le emozioni che desideri suscitare…/…if you want to thrill someone,  try first to feel  the same emotions you desire to awake…” . 
R. Cipresso.

Wine Tasting at “Nautilus” Restaurant, Tirrenia, Pisa. 

Scanning across the bookshelves in my flat, it dawns on me that my collection falls into three categories: Wine, Food & Travel! Three passions that blend in perfect harmony to a special book, that is “Wine, the secret Novel” written by Roberto Cipresso.

This Outstanding Work is available for purchase in occasion of its presentation prepared by the same author Roberto Cipresso. It takes place at “Nautilius”, an elegant restaurant in Tirrenia, Pisa. On 28th November 2018  Andrea Baldeschi, an experienced Sommelier and the owner of the fascinating place by the seaside, invites me for this memorable event. It is especially a Guided Tasting of Wines from Roberto Cipresso’s most significant Labels , paired with delicious  dishes:

Guests  enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and the refined cooking, and they are under lovely Roberto‘s spell. Before I sit down together with the other people to taste the lavish food, “Nautilius” ‘s  Wine Cellar grabs my attention. After a while , Andrea leads me in a journey through his best Wines, such as “Masseto”, “Le Difese”, “Sassicaia”, “Keber”, “Dom Perignon 2009”, and more over. Andrea is very proud of his fine Wines Collection. He talks with me about his jewellery, his restaurant “Nautilius”. Andrea manages it with great enthusiasm and success since last April, after his former experience in the catering service. Our conversation about his great Wine Cellar goes on , and at a certain point, he tells me about an incredible story about his precious treasure: the White Wine “Chateau Montelena”-he owns the Top “Chateau Montelena” vintages! Let’s go to France! 

 

Chateau Montelena and the Judgment of Paris

“Chateau Montelena”’s history is unbelievable. It is in the Napa Valley and California.

Founded just North of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to “Montelena”’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property. He had a dream of  winemaking at the highest quality level. In 1976 “Chateau Montelena” put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year there was an exclusive tasting at the “Inter-Continental” Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California  Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was “Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay”, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book ”The Judgment of Paris,”” by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film “Bottle Shock”. Today “Chateau Montelena”’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley , consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton .

Wine, the Secret Novel  by Roberto Cipresso

At the end of the “Chateau Montelena” ’s tale, Andrea brings me in the main lounge of his ”Nautilius”  to start the gala dinner in honour of  his friend Roberto CipressoI really enjoy Roberto ‘s  sentimental speech about his book “Wine, the secret Novel” . We  all Wine Lovers and Experts are delight to listen to Roberto, while speaking about his passion, Wine ! 

Roberto Cipresso is an Oenologist, a Winemaker, a Writer, but above all he is a Visionary Leader . His way of  life makes him stand out from the rest of the crowd in the Wine Field. I can feel Roberto‘s personality power, while presenting his book.  He can imagine things that others cannot imagine. He sees the whole process of a big picture, and not a single step. He is present and focused, you can connect with him when you  talk about what he has  in mind, when he  teaches you something about Wine, his Travels, his previous job experiences, his Life!  Roberto Cipresso, a native  of  Bassano del Grappa (Veneto), completes his agricultural studies and starts his  Winemaking career  at the outstanding estate of “Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona” in 1987 .  Some years later he and two partners founds “Fattoria La Fiorita”, located in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, near Montalcino. He collaborates with well-known  Wine Producers in Italy (“Case Basse”, “Poggio Antico”and abroad (Achaval-Ferrer Winery, Argentina). Roberto ‘s chances to put his professional skills and  ideas about Wine into action are three of his major projects:

    • “Wine Relais Poggio al Sole”: a secret lair for his visitors and his relax in  Montalcino, where Roberto  tries to give birth to his unique “Brunello di Montalcino”, that grows only in this  magical territory with just 5000 inhabitants ; it is on a hilltop at 567 meters above sea level, between Siena and Florence; 
    • “Winemaking”: a Wine Consultancy for  wine-industry professionals ( in collaboration with his brother Gianfranco, his friend Santiago Achaval , and the Universities of Padova, Venezia, Palermo,Torino, Pisa and Udine);
    • “Wine Circus”: a laboratory aimed at ones who don’t inherit a winery and want to manage a wine label! 

Roberto Cipresso Wine Awards

Recalling the most important Roberto‘s enterprising ventures and lifetime achievements awards in terms of Wine & Food  culture, means understanding his complex and sensitive soul: 

The list would already be too long! Roberto is a creative and multitalented man. Along with the benefits of his many abilities and passions, there is his love for writing, occuring in his books about Wine and its Mystery published between  2006 and 2009:

Roberto is also a frequent speaker at different national and international conferences on technical-scientific nature  at Wine Schools and important Universities world-wide.

The 43th Parallel

Roberto still continues his  incredbile adventure  in his challanging Wine Experiment  entitled “Cipresso 43th”, moving ahead with his ambitious and global vision of the concept of Terroir

“Cipresso 43th” is an attempt to create an Oenological Itinerary using only grapes grown at 43th degrees North Latitude.  According to Roberto’s recent researchesthe 43th Parallel is a magical line with  singular physical/spiritual features for Wine Production. It is  situated halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, running through central and florid places that have shaped the main phases in the evolution of Vine Culture from Mesopotamia  to the USA. A circular line that engulf the Earth among important autochthonous vines:

Roberto demonstrates his  theory about the inimitable  Terroir of Wines produced along the 43th Parallel in his three red Wines  I’m  sipping this evening: 

In collaboration with the University of Florence, Roberto Cipresso is studying what makes the 43th Parallel so special for Wine Production together with its general aspects (geography, geology, orography, climates, soils, altitudes,etc). Moreover, Roberto remarks that there is Something Magic and Mystical  behind the 43th Parallel, because it is the same axis where holy places are also  located, from Medjugorje, Assisi, Santiago De Compostela to Lourdes . And, of course, that is something very special for Roberto, who think of   himself as an atheist! 

Roberto‘s life is a strivinfor Exellence and Harmony  not only  for Wine, but above all for  Life.  

He is open minded . He doesn’t  limit himself to his own thoughts and ideas. When you talk to him, he listens to what you talk about attentively. He  encourages you to be as creative as possible and never afraid of presenting your point of view! Roberto  gives me a big picture of  his vision about Wine and living in this world. His job  is  an essential part of his existence. It’s not only about running a laboratory or doing analysis, it’s  mainly to be part of making Something Amazing. It’s to combine Science, Creativity and Love, that keeps things interesting, and a  great industry to be in as well. You are surrounded by great Food, Wine, and awesome People. It’s hard work, but very rewarding, like this unforgettable Tasting Dinner skillfully prepared  by Andrea Baldeschi at “Nautilius” restaurant Tirrenia, Pisa. .

Roberto experiments with unconventional colors to find inspiration for his Next Masterpiece, that is still to come! I’m looking forward to it!

Enjoy it! 

Stefania 

 

 

 

AIS of Lucca: “Italian Sommelier Association”

AIS of Lucca

If you love Wine, a  Sommelier Experience with the AIS of Lucca, Tuscany,  is a chance of a lifetime:

  • to  explore the world’s wine regions; 
  • to learn how to build your own cellar:
  • to study Food &  Wine pairings and take part in  tasting analysis so you can identify any Wine simply by smell and by sip; 
  • to share your passion and enjoy life with friends! 

AIS of Lucca is one of the several “Italian Sommelier Association” branches  in each region of Italy. The “AIS” or “Italian Sommelier Association” is  an Italian non-profit organization founded in Milan on July 7, 1965, officially recognised and legally acknowledged by the Italian government on April 6, 1973. Its founding members were : Gianfranco Botti, Jean Valenti, Leonardo Guerra  and Italian Sommelier Ernesto Rossi. The “Italian Sommelier Association” is part and founding member of the “Worldwide Sommelier Association” (WSA) which is officially recognized across the world. The AIS is one of the oldest and actually the largest Sommelier Association in the world, featuring more than 30.000 members only in Italy! The aim of “Italian Sommelier Association” , as stated in the third article of its charter, is to qualify Sommelier’s role and profession, therefore adding value to Wine, Traditional Specialties and Gastronomy culture. Its aim is also to promote, even in the legislative branch, the introduction of its didactic approach in Hospitality related schools, as well as to endorse the Sommelier’s professional role, international recognition and esteem. An educational, Experience with AIS of Lucca will ensure you have all you need to take your passion to a high  level.

My  graduation as a Sommelier with the AIS of Lucca was an unforgettable moment.

I worked hard for that exam. It was one of my Growth Days: we all have days that mark special life milestones, all events that allow us to celebrate, to reflect, to learn. It was last June I went to “Berlucchi Winery ” in Franciacorta (Brescia Area)  to get  a Sommelier Certification offered by the AIS of Lucca after a three year course recognized by Wine industry and Restaurant Professionals throughout the world. It was an incredible journey for : rounding out my knowledge ,  expanding  my  palate, making a professional assessment on Wine. It was something more than  connecting the dots between a flavor, such as clove and vanilla in a sample Pinot Noir!  There are two types of Certified Sommeliers: those who currently work in the industry, and those who go through the certification process to learn much more than Wine, that is the area in which is produced. That’s me!  I started my adventure with Wine by chance, because  dealing  with Tourism, attending a Sommelier Course in Lucca (the best in terms of organization and preparation in Tuscany) was the right way to know  better Tuscany with all its Beauty, Art and Culture. I recognize that to be a Sommelier  without working in the industry  is much harder,  since you’re not working with Wine every day, you have to carve out time in your schedule to practice and to dedicate to Wine. One option isn’t better than the other–you just need to know which category you’ll likely fall under before you become a Sommelier. In order to make it through the long class schedule and nerve-wracking final exam, you should have an ultimate end goal in mind from the beginning. Some Sommelier students drop out before the courses are complete, sometimes because they underestimate the amount of studying required to pass the exam, and sometimes because they only liked the idea of being a Sommelier, without having a plan to use their education for a specific purpose. You need to have a purpose in mind when you receive Sommelier Certification! Becoming a Sommelier is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that Wine Education never ends, even for those who are fully certified with every program. Getting certified is only one method for growing a greater understanding of Wine, and it’s not necessary for every Wine ‘fan’. Before you pressure yourself into becoming certified, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to go through the experience, and whether it’s truly the right choice for you!

My fortune was to have clear ideas why to be a Sommelier and to run into AIS of Lucca for my certification. 

Studying for being a Sommelier meant to meet Wine Professionals  who loved exploring the best about Wine & Food Tradition in Tuscany . The AIS of Lucca was absolutely essential for me, because they gave me the chance to practice what I  learned in their classes  about the Wine Education and  Tuscany Culture . Nowadays, I ‘m really able to give useful tips for visitors who want to experience Italian Life Style and who want to discover this awesome region  with my services in www.WeLoveItaly.eu

Recently, a friend asked why a person should invest in a Wine Class instead of purchasing a few bottles and having a liquid study session at home. I think it’s a great question! 

Learning about Wine seems a foreign concept to many,  but it’s actually a great deal of fun as well as financially rewarding – the more you know about Wine, the better your Wine purchases will be. You need to know at least enough to understand what makes you happy. I know, Wine makes you happy. But, which Wines make you happiest? Until you try a well-curated selection, how do you know? Learning the  “AIS” Systematic Approach to Tasting will give you great insight into how your palate works. In the  “AIS” course, I tasted Top Wines from different parts of and from all over the word. I got  great tasting experience there. Of course, I could taste Wine at home, but the difference  is that in the “AIS” course  my  tasting was  focused and guided. It was tasting with a purpose and  even after a one day class,  my tasting abilities  and my appreciation of what I tasted was considerably greater.  I can guarantee that “AIS” is not only a  a great place to get all your answers about Wine with other like-minded Wine Lovers, but above all a possibility to make frienships with interesting people.  My Sommelier Experience is not only made of books, of Wine glasses , restaurants, and now My Wine Tasting Events in Pisa and its province, but above all of it is about all  my friends I share my passion about Wine and travelling with.  My family  and my friends describe me as an explorer, enthusiastic, adventurous,  dynamic, optimistic, sociable person and it is really who I am. I love life and that’s why I love Wine because it represents all that I love about life.  To me, Wine is like a friend. Through Wine, you:

  • Meet great people:  Yes, there are so many great people behind and around Wine, people who enjoy having Wine,  the Winemaker, the Wine-Seller, the Cook, and the Sommelier of course! 
  • Celebrate life: Yes, don’t you have Wine when you’re celebrating a birthday, a wedding, Christmas, or a graduation?
  • Eat great food: Wine without Food is not really Wine, don’t you agree with me?
  • See the world:  Yes, Wine is International, with it you discover new Countries and Regions, along with their History and Culture. 

 

I’m a Passionate Traveler and wherever I go, I always try to find the most unique vineyard, meet with the winemaker and also to find the best restaurant in town, or wine bar and, living in Pisa, my starting point of course is Tuscany !  

Salute ! 

Stefania