Aljoscha Goldschmidt When Swiss architect Wendel Gelpke bought Corzano in the early 70s, he promised the Marchese Ippolito Niccolini that his run-down seventy-hectare estate would remain intact forever. He made the same covenant with the Marchesa Rangoni-Machiavelli, when he bought her Fattoria di Paterno. Together, they form a 140-hectare estate that produces some of the finest olive oil, sheep’s milk cheeses, and wine in all of Tuscany. A member of Wendel Gelpke’s family manages every activity, including the holiday rental of the beautifully restored farmhouses and apartments. Aljoscha Goldschmidt, who is the managing agronomist and winemaker, is Wendel Gelpke’s nephew. Aljoscha tells his story
Luca Ferraro, his mother, Antonella, his sister, Paola, and his wife, Giulana Danilo Ferraro set out with the goal of producing fine, estate-bottled Prosecco in the early 1980s when he was an oenology student. His father-in-law had a hectare of old Glera (the grape that used to be known as Prosecco) and Malvasia, and sold the wine in in demijohn to locals. After completing his studies, Danilo went to work at a nearby distillery, and helped his father-in-law in the vineyard in his spare time. He soon realized that Prosecco was the “heart and soul” of the Colli Asolani, and set out to establish what has become the leading estate in the region. When we met him, his tiny winery was about the size of an American, two-car garage–producing the best Prosecco we’d ever tasted. Today Danilo continues the work with his son Luca, who oversees the organic farming of their vineyards…and the winery is a little larger, just off of the family home. Here's an Italian television
polyoxyethylene 40 monostearate…looks appetizing… The following is offered without a whole lot of comment–well, here and there I may have added a comment. This is a by no means comprehensive list of ATF approved chemicals and processes allowed in U.S. "industrial" wine production: polyoxyethylene 40 monostearate (I think that's what the formula above is about. I'll have to ask Greg's daughter. She knows these things) dimethyldicarbonate diacetyl (gives your cheap Chardonnay its "buttery" flavor - and Orville Redenbacher popcorn its flavor) silicon dioxide dimethylpoly-siloxane sorbitan monostearategyceryl mono-oleategyceral dioleate (nothin' says "love" like an oleate, and a DI-OLEATE is even more special) copper sulfate calcium carbonate ascorbic acid erythorbic acid ammonium phosphate [mono- and dibasic] (I prefer the mono, but, you know, thats just "how I roll") gum arabic dimethyl dicarbonate catalase ce
Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl Sec from Château Viella – and a perfect pairing It had been been a long time since we’d been able to bring in one of the great white wines of the Southwest of France. We missed them, but Alain Bortolussi at Château Viella finally had enough for us to bring in a small amount of his dry, (say it with me now), Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl. If you’ve never experienced wine like this, it’s a revelation. The most important indigenous white grapes of the Southwest in appellations such as Pacherenc, Irouleguy, and Jurançon include Gros Manseng, Arrufiat, and Petit Manseng, all grown to varying degrees depending on local preferences. They are a “Basque” tradition.
Alain Bortolussi and his family in Madiran In 1952, Alain Bortolussi's grandfather, an immigrant from the Veneto, purchased the eighteenth-century château and the surrounding 25 hectares of vines, which had just been classified under AOC regulations as Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh. At the time, it had almost no value. Over the next thirty-five years, most of the estate was replanted with the best clones of Tannat and Cabernet Franc for the Madiran, along with a tiny one-hectare parcel of local white varieties for the Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Alain, who is the first to bottle wine at the estate, took charge in 1991. When we met him in 2013, he was just completing the restoration of the château. In 2016, his daughters, Claire, and Marion, joined Alain at Château Viella, and in 2019, on Alain’s nominal “retirement,” have taken the reins of this jewel of a winegrowing estate.
Frédéric Méhaye The estate lies on a privileged location: atop a rare mound of Garonnaise gravel, looking directly down on the Gironde estuary. Château Sipian had always been classified a Cru Bourgeois of the Médoc, until the vineyards were pulled up and abandoned in the 1950s. Bernard and Nicole Méhaye purchased the estate in 1978, and planted the first seven hectares of Merlot. But the real history of Château Sipian begins with their son Frédéric, whose risk-taking vision and hard work have lifted the estate into the front rank of Médoc producers. Today, Frédéric’s son, Quentin Méhaye, has taken over responsibility for much of the work in the twenty-five hectares of mostly 30-year-old vines.
Alessandro Castellani in the Casal Vegri vineyard Ca’ La Bionda was founded in 1902 by Pietro Castellani, Alessandro’s great grandfather, who was a passionate grape grower and winemaker. The east facing hillside vineyards extend over 29 hectares in the commune of Marano di Valpolicella, northwest of Verona, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone. Only traditional varieties, including Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, and Rondinella are grown (there are no international varieties), and the farming is entirely organic. Particular attention and care are given to the delicate process of drying the grapes for the production of the Amarone and the sweet Reciotto.
Treating esca, organically, Here's Greg Moore and Peter Fischer of Château Revelette discussing the importance of organic farming in winegrowing. It's a good thing to let some weeds and wildflowers to grow among your vines - this attracts other life to the vineyards, helping to maintain balance. It's also a good idea to cut these weeds and flowers so that they can return natural nutrients to the soil.
Wil Franklin is a Moore Brothers alum, with the reputation as the finest producer in Humboldt County, California. He has given us permission to republish his pieces from The Courtier. One of the most perplexing characteristics of wine is “sweet vs. dry”. I have often heard friends say they don’t drink white wine because it’s too sweet, yet they like late harvest red Zinfandel that is sweet. Others tell me they don’t like red wine because it’s too dry, but then turn around and drink an even drier white wine. What’s at the root of these perplexing contradictions that keep some people from even considering half of all wines? Clearly the words dry and sweet mean different things to different people. To make all this more understandable, I’ll put on my winemaker’s hat and explain the actual, technical meanings behind the terms. First, dry does not mean the puckering sensation felt in the mouth when quaffing a high acid white wine – that’s tartness. Second, dry is not the tactile, chalk