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Old 09-02-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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Brief bulletin this year's harvest of main wines in Italy

This is last week's bulletin on the 2016 wine harvest. White grape harvests imminent in southern Italy and almost ready in the more northerly areas.

The 2016 vintage in Italy is forecast to be top quality, with better quality than France, who takes the lead on quantity. In Italy, production is slightly increased on last year, and the quality is exceptionally high, which always bodes well for a good vintage.Reports on the high quality The grapes are exceptionally good, putting Italy in a very good position to compete on the international market, reports Andrea Faccio, Italian President of the National Wine Producer's Association.

"It is vital that we should be in the top position, not as producers so much as producers of the best quality/price index. These figures should be more stable this year, especially on price, for the types of wine available on the international markets. There has been a rise in production this year in lesser known wines from grape varieties from areas of the same name, such as Ruchè from Piedmont (Northwest Italy), or Valtesinesi from Lombardy.

As regards volume, a rise of 5% in production is predicted on last year's yields, not withstanding problems arising from frost and hail where producers have virtually done miracles to keep the season going.

We are by no means talking of the disastrous year of 2014, says Confagrcoltura, because weather conditions, all told were good, in spite difficult ,and they it was the same this year as well. Harvests started with the sparkling wines, in Franciacorta in Lombardy, in some areas of the Veneto and also in Sicily, which are alwaysd the grapes that ripen first.

In Piedmont, it has to be said, the harvests started at the beginning of this month with the tradtional white grapes (Moscato d'Asti DOCG) The reds will be harvested towards the end of the month. The reds in Puglia (south east - the 'heel' of Italy), harvesting started a little late for the area, at the end of August.

And a note of despair: In Piedmont, around Asti, the sparkling Moscato dAsti DOC was assessed as follows: per Kg DOC Moscato was priced at 1.10 Euro for 1000 Kg. Now DOC quantities have been reduced to 1.10 Euro per 7800Kg.

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Old 09-02-2016, 01:42 PM   #2
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I am making a note of this.

Must say I drink wine, but I am not an oenophile. I think that I have the temperament and taste for it but it is a hobby that takes resources I lack, money to buy, space to store, and time to enjoy.

Now I do enjoy a quality wine vs. a poor wine. And I do drink wine, and this is going to either interest you or really disturb you, di reston, for which I apologize.

I like box wine.

For one, I think there are some reasonable box wines, nowadays, that aren't great, but drinkable everyday wines. And I like an OK glass of wine with a meal. Packaging in a bladder makes it last longer than opening a bottle. Most important? Some good California wines are making boxes (see bota box), not great, but good, and I can take it out of the box, put it in a backpack, and drink a glass of wine after a meal after backpacking a bit to some remote camp. I know an idea of wine is terroir, its heritage from where it is produced, but there is also a kind of same thing when you consume even an mediocre glass in an incredible place that I think elevates the senses a bit.

If you don't mind, I'm going to share your information with my father-in-law who is an oenophile, and I'd love your advice to find some piedmont wines you think are good that he might not have heard of. I think he over-much focuses on the french wines. [however if you give me a lead or two, I will not share that I have inside info AT ALL ;) see below]

As an Alumni of Cornell, many of my friends were in the Hotel School there, and training for work in the hospitality field. I was a humble English Lit / History / Medieval Studies major, and used to kind of dread their dinner parties. They are good people, but as college student, Ivy League, confident newbie minted foodies that they were, they really were excited about their culinary and wine knowledge, and eager to show it off.

I made it a point to find more obscure wines, just so I could bring something to the dinner party that wasn't all, oh, a Kendall-Jackson Chard? put it over with the rest, thanks, within my small budget for such.

Still adore Rojas. I also, during that time, learned a bit waiting tables at an Ithaca restaurant that hosted a number of tastings for PA LCB buyers, sponsored by various countries outreach programs trying to get the PA market.

I remember in particular the Chilean contingent, after making their presentation, asking if I knew of a local bar where they could 'relax' a bit. I was living in a huge fraternity house at the moment, and said if they didn't want to go right back to the hotel, well, if they waited until we cleaned up a bit, we'd start a fire in our great hall, and we could scare up some food for them. (Restaurant owners I was working for didn't even feed them, jerks.)

Our fraternity house is on the slope, prime real estate at Cornell, and this was after classes were done, we often rented out hall out as an event space, it had also an enormous fireplace. Had a great balcony, so we opened up the doors, started a fire, and we had a flat of dirty wine glasses from an event the previous day, threw them through the dishwasher. I actually was a bit worried as my fraternity guys were not always the nicest, but these guys from Chile, loved the wine, and were going back the next day, so we got to drink all the samples that were leftover from their tour.

Wasn't a broken wineglass, got those guys to their plane, and I learned a lot about Chilean wine, have had a soft spot for it ever since.

So I will be interested in looking at, when I have the wherewithal and time to enjoy a bottle, rather than a bag, to some Italian wines. I think I know some of the grapes, but if you could share what to look for, I'd be appreciative.

And if you know a good Piedmont that you could recommend, I have had Barberro (red) and Nebollio (sp?) grapes from the region? I wouldn't mind impressing my father in law. I'm going to wikipedia grapes from your region, and wineries.

I can't compete with my father-in-law in most wines, he has the time, the money, and the storage, to be very good with wines. I'm just a broke ass Adjunct English Teacher with an apartment, a wife, a backpack, and a tent, that likes to cook, when I get fresh ingredients, and have a decent cup of wine with my meal, all is right in my world.

Now if I could impress my father-in-law, that would be something.

TBS
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Old 09-02-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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Hi all, I made a mistake and didn't say it was a revue of main Italian wines from this year's harvest. I translated it directly from the article in La Stampa, and comes directly from what would be, in English, the Italian Wine Authority. Before I retired, I was a professional translator and interpreter, as well as running my own small wine business. This is to reassure you that the work can be considered reliable.

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Old 09-02-2016, 01:59 PM   #4
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I'd be delighted to point you in the direction of some 'hidden classics', as it were, but you'd have to search through the lists of knowledge fine wine merchants, and know that you get has been properly. Last year was a memorable year for quality and characteristics, but a bottle of that would require cellaring for a good 10 years in the right conditions. A good Barolo or good Barbera be ideal for long cellaring in the right conditions. Also, look out a merchant who stocks 'Contratto' method champenois (Spumante Brut). It's spectacular, but there's only one producer of it. Not cheap. I'll look a few more out for wines you and post them asap, and we can take from there, and it'll hopefully be interesting for others as well.

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Old 09-03-2016, 04:19 AM   #5
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And I'd be delighted as a home cook, not a chef, and one who is at his best in the woods, to take some recommendations, and names to look for.

As I might have said, to be a true wine lover, you have to have money, space, and time.

I don't have any one of those.

My cellar is my backpack, my friend, any wines to recommend?
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:38 AM   #6
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di reston,

I cut a stump out for a very nice italian lady about ten years ago, she said it was an '82, and a good vintage.

My first and only experience so far with piedmont grapes.

I do have to ask, what is your experience with teas? you can take a fine wine sensibility to tea, and, well, not need the cellaring.

I can tell you love wine. My wine cellar is under my sink, and I wish I had more time, money, and space to devote to it. I have had the pleasure and privilege of tasting a couple really good wines, and one really good sherry, there is nothing like it.

Flavors, and you have to make up names for flavors, that you haven't ever tasted.
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:34 AM   #7
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The article I sent was specifically about the mass production of grapes for mass production of wine (value bottles - small production - and cartons and wine boxes) and talked about quality of the grapes, an indispensably vital aspect of quality/quantity ratio wines. In my years as an interpreter I had lots of experience interpreting in the wine trade, to the extent that I took the UK Wine and Spirit Association - as it was called then, as the aspects of wine production when you get down to it are very complex. I remember when wine boxes were introduced to the market - an obvious but ingenious way of preventing oxidation after opening the box. For years Italy had a reputation for producing 'vino collapso', because they had concentrated their marketing, apart from their more presitigious ranges on the, like Barolo, Chianti Classico and other acknowledged Italian greats. Wine boxes revolutionised all that, because it was possible to introduce wines of a better but still affordable quality to the market. Furthermore, you can use them both for kitchen and for the table. In turn, the production of other DOC and DOCG wines was also improving considerably.

You have to save up to stock a prestige cellar, and it's a slow process.
Under the sink is great, because it's already there, conditions are right, you stock it a bit at a time, and it doesn't cost a fortune. You start a cellar with one bottle, and go from there. Given the time it takes for the wine to be right for drinking, you'd have a nice little collection.

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Old 09-03-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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di reston, I know diddly squat about wines. I don't drink. But if any country can outdo France in wine competition, I am all for it. We did it one year with our California wines. Poor France went into shock. They tried to limit future competitions in France to French wines only. That didn't work.

So many countries are now producing their own wines. And from my readings, there are some real up and coming countries. Australia and New Zealand along with Chile come to mind.

Thomas Jefferson tried his hand at wine making in Virginia. It was not successful. Today, there are growers in that region that are producing wines that are worthy of sale to the public. New York is another state that is producing some fine wines.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:08 PM   #9
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I'm a great fan of Californian wines. The US is a very large market, and California is now easily matching the best of other countries outside the USA as well, and has being doing this for sometime. And when you see how they care for their vineyards you see why. They're amazing If I were starting to build a wine cellar in the USA, that's where I'd go to start it off, and keep it up.

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Old 09-03-2016, 01:47 PM   #10
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One more thing: for the past two years I've been doing translation work for various oenologists commissioned in China to supervise mass planting of vineyards and building of wineries on a massive scale, the aim being to overtake the total production of France and Italy put together within the next 5 years. We'll have to wait and watch this space! This information was published in the papers more than 3 years ago, so they should be well on the way by now!

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