On the Wine Trail in Tuscany @ 130kmph


On the road again

The sign was put on the door, gone fishing. For wine. I took a quick, long week to make an orbit around Tuscany to taste the new wine and talk to some of my winemakers. We traveled as far north as Vinci and Capezzana and as far south as the Maremma, with some time spent with winemakers in Montalcino and in the Chianti Classico zone. We saw estates in Greve, Panzano, Castellina, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Barberino Val d�Elsa. 

The road, SS 222, is my main road for this ride, through the strada del vino. I’m in search of the meaning of Sangiovese, Chianti and the wines of the region. Why? When there are so many important issues pressing on all of us from so many directions? I don�t know. Maybe it�s the level I am able to rise to, to address some confusion and wander forth through the jungle in search of beauty, of meaning, of a simpler existence.

It was my intent to spend some time in Tuscany only, to try and begin to make sense of what is going on there, on the ground. Chianti and Sangiovese wines are still confusing to a lot of people and it is my hope to begin to try to demystify the wines and the styles, to find a simple way of looking at it and explaining the paradox of choice when it comes to wines from Tuscany.

Ah, but if only simpler meant what it used to mean. If only we could find one or two of the �great ones� from the vineyards of the past set in albero style, climbing, climbing, finding their level under the warm sun in the hills between Siena and Firenze. One here, and another there, Sangiovese , Malvasia, governo, wicker. Greatness. But that is not to be.

What I hope to be doing in the next few weeks and on into the next year (and beyond) is to simply take it one bottle at a time, one estate, one winemaker, one person. The beauty of this is that there is so much excellence in the land that this will be a pleasure. Yes, the light is shining bright and warm, and the time is special for Italians in the world, again.

2006 will be an exciting vintage and hopefully the beginning of a movement which will engage and embrace more wine lovers.

Mr. Columbus, we�re turning the ship around and are heading back into the new-Old World. Back to the hills and the golden rush of light and luster.

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