Monthly Archives: October 2017

Castello di Querceto 120 years history of wine

Entering Castello di Querceto, one’s gaze is immediately caught by a late 18th-century photo of some François family’s ancestors. The images are a bit time-scarred, but those piercing eyes, even 120 years on, leave no doubt about the reasons why this family, still today owners of this wine estate, has become one of the leading lights in Chianti Classico, driven by their desire to offer wine-lovers authentic expressions of classic Tuscan grape varieties.    

Starting in the early 1900s, with their first all-Sangiovese vineyards, through 1924, when they and a select group of 32 other producers founded Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico, and right up to the present moment, Castello di Querceto has always, through its wines, spoken to the world in an intensely family and personal fashion.   

The interpretation of the cru vineyards and the identification of grape selections that best represent the estate have always been, since the 1970s, Alessandro François’ objectives, and he has succeeded in winning recognition across the globe for Castello di Querceto as one of Chianti Classico’s best-known producers. Today, in fact, 90% of its production is exported to over 50 countries, a marketing achievement of which Alessandro and Antonietta François are justly proud.    

2017 ushers in Castello di Querceto’s commemoration of its 120 years of winemaking, and it is celebrating that milestone by uncorking two of its iconic wines–both obviously monovarietal Sangioveses. The first, La Corte IGT Colli della Toscana Centrale, was the winery’s first cru, and some early-1900s vintages of it are still lying in collectors’ cellars. The second, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Il Picchio, is the quintessential expression of the best vineyards in the south-eastern part of the estate. 

“There will be no special commemorative label for either wine,” states François; “the wines themselves are perfectly capable of recounting our history.” And in fact, these two interpreters of the wine estate’s philosophy prefer to reveal themselves directly in the glass: La Corte through its elegance, its fruit and subtle hint of balsam, Il Picchio with its structure and impressive length, heightened by herbaceous and floral notes and a touch of chocolate.   

Raising a glass of Castello di Querceto is a full-immersion into the history of Chianti Classico. 



Ruinart: the origins of champagne

If it’s the vines that give birth to our champagnes, it’s well below there that they grow. Here, 38 meters under our feet, the underground chalk tunnels has been keeping watch for 60 million years.

The sea, in pulling back from these lands and smoothing out all of the crayères mud that had accumulated, strengthened and transformed this ground into chalk. And thus, the chalk pits came to life. We’ve been making our gems here since the 18th century and these most prestigious sparkling wine were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015.

For novices, the crayères are true labyrinths; only the initiated can understand. They’re the ones who know that when you come down the massive staircase, supported only by a wrought iron railing, you’ll soon find yourself in a maze of tunnels…

We can still find new ones today! Here, the stretched-out bottles slumber, lying upside-down on the racks. Here still, these precious containers are shielded from the other side of the champagne mirror. A must-see in Reims, with eyes wide open.

Siddura, eight wines to tell an island

Siddura winery founded in 2008 from the fusion of the experience of a German industrialist and the profound knowledge of the territory and market of Massimo Ruggero, Siddura CEO.
Located in the little village of Luogosanto in Sardinia, it has in the “Terroir” the strong feature of the winery. The estate is immersed in a valley surrounded by granite, protected by the mighty winds of maestrale and caressed by the sea breeze.

The union of climatic factors and the specificity of the granite soil degradation give the wines a particular minerality. The cellar was born around its fulcrum: a fully-buried amphitheater building that exploits the geothermal potential of the site and boasts an innovative control system for the fermentation of individual tanks.

Here, the entire production chain, from grape to bottle, takes place, privileging spontaneous fermentations and using the most diverse types of containers: from concrete tanks, barrels and amphorae.
The estate stretches for two hundred acres and the grounds are a mixture of granite, sand and clay. They are loose soil, often arid, ideal for viticulture.

Sardinia in purity” is the Siddura philosophy, which has made it possible to produce a line with eight high quality wines. The company’s goal is to produce wines that identify with the terroir from which they come from. Production therefore provides limited harvests to ensure maximum quality, selective handmade harvest, micro-wine making and aging in the best oak barrels built in France.

In five years, Siddura wines have conquered over 130 medals in the most renowned national and international wine competitions.

To point out a revolutionary concept of Siddura; the innovative winemaking of white wines as if they were red, that is to create a long-lasting Vermentino that improves after a year of aging.

Siddura wines

1) SPÈRA Vermentino di Gallura DOCG in purity, about 13 °.
2) MAIA A Vermentino di Gallura coming from another squad of our vineyard, always in purity DOCG.
3) BERU Extreme processing, French vinification, small Chardonnay cut on Vermentino’s mass.
4) ÈREMA red sardine grapes, vinified in long fermentation.
5) BÀCCO Cagnulari in purity, historical grape of Sardinia recently rediscovered by the great international oenologists.
6) FOLA Cannonau in purity DOC.
7) TIROS It is the Sardinian super Tuscan, a base of Sangiovese and Cabernet sauvignon as the great wines of Tuscany.
8) NÙALI Moscato di Sardegna DOC Passito.

Recovered the first sea refined Brazilian wine

Miolo the Brazilian wine estate, announces the recovery of the first batch of aged Brazilian sparkling wine in an underwater cave. The company is the first and only in Brazil to use this method.

The operation was carried out on 12 October, 12 months after Miolo Cuvée Brut diving in the Brittany Sea, France. The labels will reach the Brazilian and European markets by the end of this year, for a special and limited edition.

“In Brazil and Europe there are high expectations regarding the withdrawal of bottles from the sea. We are approaching the end of the year, an expressive moment for sparkling wine sales and no doubt, lovers and collectors will want to have in their cellars and the first Brazilian product aged in an underwater cave, “says Adriano Miolo, superintendent of the Brazilian group.

Strategically immersed in the island of Ouessant, in the region known as Baie du Stiff, bottles of Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut have been kept in contact with sea temperatures (11 to 13 ° C). The underwater cave creates ideal conditions for aging wines: darkness, total humidity, constant temperature and pressure.

According to Director Adriano, the effects of conservation of sparkling wines on the seabed are observed in laboratory tests and tastings. A submerged label has up to 10 times more molecular compounds than those aged with traditional methods; these compounds are responsible for the formation of aromas and complexity of the beverage. In the tests the results indicate the quality of the method: sparkling wines have a richer floral flavor, complexity, freshness and clear notes of butter and nuts.

New lots in 2018

In 2018 it will be possible to appreciate the results of the aging of another Miolo in a submerged cave: Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut Rosé, in an even smaller edition. A small batch of the product rests in the Brittany Sea from June this year and has to stay there for 12 months. A second batch of Miolo Cuvée Tradition Brut was also submerged in June and will arrive in the market next year.

The labels of the Miolo Cuvée Tradition line are processed in the Vale dos Vinhedos in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, with Chardonnay and Pinot Nero grapes using the traditional method, ie fermentation in the bottle itself; the process is the same as used by French maisons for processing Champagne.

2017 Ornellaia harvest

“Here at Ornellaia 2017 has been an unusually early year dominated by a long lasting drought period, which has forced us to startharvest two weeks earlier than usual. It is certainly a challenging year with a very small crop and very concentrated fruit. The Merlot have been harvested from last week of August to first week of September. The Cabernets have benefitted from some rain in mid September and could be picked in perfect conditions in the last decade of the month.”

“In the cellar it was crucial to drastically sort out any dehydrated and dried fruit and go through very gentle extraction with moderate maceration times. The quality of the red wines is definitely a nice surprise, they are certainly ripe and concentrated, with intense and dark colour, abundant but ripe and silky tannins and, luckily, healthy acidities to balance out the alcohol levels. The whites are equally beautiful for all varieties, they are concentrated with bright aromatics and excellent acidities.” Axel Heinz, winemaker and Estate Director

Barolo Castle, “Food & Wine Experiences”

The “Food & Wine Experiences” will be part of the new “permanent project” of Collisioni

Every weekend, from October 7th to November 26th 2017, in the Barolo Castle, tastings of the wines of prestigious wine producing companies of Langhe paired with top quality food products.



Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa and Collisioni have sealed a deal to include the Food & Wine Experiences in the new permanent project launched last May at Castello Comunale Falletti di Barolo and entirely addressed to the promotion of the best territories of Piedmont in a tourist perspective.

Aim of the new permanent project of Collisioni is to amaze the thousands of tourists that come here every year so that they will fall in love with Piedmont. In other words, the goal is to better tell the wonderful places they can visit, as well as the great wines and top quality food production they can find and discover.

The project Wine Tasting Experience® fully expresses the soul of this initiative: and here stands the reason of this partnership. On schedule there is a calendar with 16 Food & Wine Experiences, some special Wine Tasting Experiences® paired with top quality food productions of Piedmont. Exclusive tastings addressed to a public of international wine lovers during which the great wines of Langhe e Roero will meet D.O.P. cheeses and cold cuts and other culinary delicacies of the region in an extraordinary explosion of flavours!

The events will be from October 7th to November 26th 2017, every Saturday (in English) and Sunday (in Italian) at 11.30 in the courtyard of the Barolo Castle, know as Castello Comunale Falletti di Barolo.

The topics, that will rotate, are “The taste of the hills” and “The Crus of Barolo”: the first is an introductive journey among the most peculiar productions of Piedmont, with the tasting of four different wines among Arneis, Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Barolo and Moscato; the second is a travel marked by the tasting of three different Barolo labels. The tastings last 1.5 hours and include the tasting of 3 or 4 wines, according to the topic, and 3 or 4 tastings of food products.

It will be possible to buy the tickets online on or directly on site at a cost of 30 euros per person.

Beside these appointments, the agreement with Collisioni also includes the use of the spaces in the courtyard of the castle for on demand Wine Tasting Experiences®. There will also be a promotional corner with the wines of the members of Strada del Barolo inside the Wine Bar, which will be located in the courtyard of the Barolo Castle.

2017 Eu wine grape harvest: the lowest in 36 years

2017 seems the poorest wine grape harvest in 36 years, this caused by heavy hailstorms, late frosts in spring and a hot, dry summer.

According to the European Commission, production of pressed juice, or must, in Spain was set to be down 16 percent from 2015/2016 volumes. In France it would be 17 percent lower and in Italy down by 21 percent. Wine must production across the 28 members of the EU is seen at 145.1 million hectoliters, down 14 percent from the 2015/2016 level.

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