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The excellent Biondi Santi Brunello wine

aprile 7th, 2011

Brunello di Montalcino was developed in the second half of the 19th Century, when Clemente Santi began to study the potential of a variety of the Sangiovese grape, the Sangiovese Grosso, which was known as Brunello locally due to the particularly dark colour of the grapes.

Then, around 1860, Clemente’s grandson Ferrucio Biondi Santi began to produce a red wine which clearly had excellent qualities. Over 150 years later the story of Brunello continues with Dr. Franco Biondi Santi. Although he is now 91 years old, his age does not stop him from constantly striving to improve the quality of the Brunello from his Greppo estate. “Wine Spectator”, one of the wine world’s most important magazines, included the Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi Reserve 1955 among the 12 best wines produced in the world during the last century, the only Italian wine on the list. The grapes are all hand-picked and the grape pickers select the grapes bunch by bunch, selecting only the very best ones for the production of the future Brunello. The “Riserva” is produced from Greppo’s Sangiovese vineyards of at least 25 years of age, and is made only in exceptionally good years, whereas the “Vintage” wine is made from grapes grown in vineyards which are over ten years old.

Amarone wine from Villa Canestrari

marzo 28th, 2011

What is the secret of a good Amarone? Time.

The other essential ingredients in Villa Canestrari’s Amarone are the highest quality grapes and the best enologist in Italy. In 1888, the first wines were produced at Villa Canestrari and they have now made wine-making an art. Amarone is an Italian treasure that is loved by wine drinkers looking for ripe fruit, power, roundness and a sense of adventure in their red wine. Amarone is produced in the region of Veneto by estates that make Valpolicella, one of the most popular wines of this area in Northeastern Italy.

Barolo improves your quality of life

marzo 28th, 2011

Nestling in the gently rolling Piedmont hills lies the Damilano wine estate, the baked red rooves standing out against the mathematically ordered sea of vines.

The Damilano family has been painstakingly producing exquisite, full-bodied Barolo wine for over a century, making it one of the oldest wine producers in the area. To make this robust wine, the finest red grapes from Piedmont must be grown on particularly well exposed plots of land. If Piedmont had a Grand Cru classification system like the one in Burgundy, the Cannubi vineyard, which covers a total of 15 hectares in the municipality of Barolo, would surely be considered one of the few true Grand Cru vineyards. As you walk past each carefully placed, rotund, oak barrel, you cannot help but notice the elegance with which this wine is produced. This is confirmed when you reach the stylish tasting room with its asymetrical shelves for displaying the wines and finally sample this sumptuous emperor of wines.

A glimpse of Italy’s soul: Parmesan production

marzo 28th, 2011

The Iemmi family, in Reggio Emilia, know all the secrets of how to make the best Parmesan.

After all, they have been producing cheese here for centuries and the current generation continue with this scrupulous respect for tradition. The cheese is completely natural, made with the purest milk, rennet and salt and the cows are fed a single type of grass and hay which comes from the local area. Walking through the factory you pass gleaming copper cauldrons, each one containing 10,000 litres of steaming milk. This is then used to form gargantuan parmesan cheeses which weigh 40 kilograms each. In order to be branded with the prestigious stamp of ‘Reggiano Parmesan’ the cheese has to be aged for at least one whole year.

The most expensive food in the world: white truffles

marzo 28th, 2011

Why would you spend €10,000 on a dog? In order to find a truffle worth €300,000!

The Morra truffle business in Alba was the first of its kind and was founded by Giovanni Morra in 1930. Alba was even reported in ‘The Times’ in 1933 as having the most exquisite and aromatic truffles in the world and Giacomo Morra was crowned the King of the Truffle. To promote the truffles of Alba in 1949 Giacomo Morra started sending the best truffle of the year to a famous star; that year the truffle was given to the actress Rita Hayworth. In 1951 the truffle was sent to President Harry Truman and legend has it that Mr. Morra received a letter from the President stating,“Thank you for the potato. Unfortunately it must have gone bad during the journey and we had to throw it away.”