Bibemus climbing every mountain. Yodel ay ee ooooo.
On Wednesday 20th March, the Bibemus gang and their fellow Italophiles gathered together to taste a mountain of Barolo from Monforte d’Alba. Fourteen of them, to be precise. Special international guests included Massimo Benevelli of Piero Benevelli wines and Robert Bava and his daughter Francesca from Cocchi Americano.
I don’t get out that much.
By the end of this month however, I will have travelled to Bellingen in northern NSW, to Sydney for an association meeting and the Vino Aperto wine tasting, and finally to Italy. The latter is the most significant travel I will have undertaken in three years, which was in fact the last time I was in Italy.
This year my work is sending my colleague and I on a mission to the annual Vin Italy wine fair held in Verona.
I am excited yet anxious about all the movement ahead.
It won’t be all that bad though. I am taking a week off before the fair commences to:
(a) spend a night in Venice on the water, get lost in its narrow streets during the day and have a drink far too early at Harry’s Bar
(b) visit all my cousins in Asiago
(c) visit friends in Castelfranco Veneto and explore Verona or Padova together
Once I switch over to work-mode, the long hours, mayhem and spritz will begin. So far I have lined up:
(a) Lunch at the rice king Gabrielle Ferron’s Pila Vecia mill on the Saturday
(b) Dinner with fellow Australian Italian wine importers/friends on the Saturday night
(c) Tasting a plethora of regional wines and exploring new producers
(d) Dinner with Giuseppe Vajra and his family on the Monday
(e) Finally meeting existing suppliers and tasting their new vintages
(e) The occasional free evening to allow the opportunity for an unplanned spritz/dinner
After Vin Italy, my colleague and I will hop in a rental car and travel through Lombardia, Piemonte, Liguria and Toscana, meeting at least thirteen of our suppliers in eight days along the way. Now apart from being extremely organised, that is what you call ‘being on a mission’.
I do not think I will be blogging ‘live’ from Vin Italy. Possibly because I fear there will not be time to. However I hope you will forgive this lady as she attends to those aforementioned events and at the end of the day, her all important ‘beauty sleep’.
Alepa Riccio Bianco Pallagrello Bianco 2010 & Nanni Cope’ Sabbia di Sopra il Bosco 2009
It was a combination of the inner, studious geek within me and this article ‘Grape varieties you’ve never heard of’ by Jancis Robinson that had me keen to research and understand the Pallagrello varieties of Campania in southern Italy.
[This article was first printed in the latest Summer/Autumn newsletter for my workplace. I have adjusted it to be a little more casual for LDdV.]
Castello di Ama is a unique place, a fusion of art and vines, located in the heart of the historical zone of Chianti Classico in Gaiole. The 90 hectares of vineyards sit high up in the quiet hamlet of Ama, surrounded by rolling hills of calcareous soil full of shale and large rocks. This land is what defines the Castello di Ama terroir and makes it such an inimitable landscape for vines. The property is run by Lorenza Sebasti and her highly skilled winemaking husband and former President of the local consorzio, Marco Pallanti. Together they are ambassadors for the great wines of Chianti Classico.
On Monday the 20th August, an Italian-loving wine club experienced an evening entitled ‘Bibemus Boozes on Barolo‘. While it may not be the most eloquent choice of expression in relation to such a noble wine, it was deemed delightful by Bibemus’ core members nonetheless.
Today I am simply sharing a beautiful quote and a 1964 clip that never fails to put a smile on my face. They both come from the great man, Signor Luciano Pavarotti.
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
Battlesipping in my Barolo King T-shirt. Any commentary on my attire can be directed to Nick Stock.
When I came up with the name for this post I had a good, hearty giggle to myself. I know I’m a lame-o, but say “Battlesip” quickly and it sounds like you have a lisp. Hey, come on. I thought it was clever! Small things really do entertain my small mind on a cold and wet wintery evening.
“Ask not what your country can do with my grapes, but what my grapes can do for your country.” Err, sure thing, Berlusconi.
An essay submitted for the 2012 Lorenzo Galli Estate Wine Scholarship
By Krystina Menegazzo
WHY AND HOW ARE ITALIAN GRAPE VARIETIES IMPORTANT TO THE AUSTRALIAN WINE INDUSTRY? DISCUSS FOCUSING ON AT LEAST TWO VARIETIES.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a shiny accordion of colossal proportions lay in its heavy leather case in the living room of a grand house. The accordion was often loved and cared for by its original owner, Mr Giovanni Menegazzo (known amongst friends as Jack), who would pick up his accordion with pride and play entertaining melodies on its keys and buttons.
This was Nonno Jack. A handsome man indeed.
Nonno Jack playing an accordion
This morning I awoke to the annoying sound of vibration from my Australian mobile. Turns out I was not to be annoyed as it was a message from the dear mother saying, “Good morning bella, congratulations, as of today you are an Italian citizen!” So evidently dad has gone into the Italian Consulate of Melbourne and spoken with Antonio who had already filed our documents and sent away all the papers to our Commune over here! Woo hoo! Now I am having my certificate of citizenship sent over here so if any bloody Carabinieri pull me up I can flash that back in their faces! Ha!
In the meantime I have a photocopy which my boss Giorgio is using to get my codice fiscale (tax file number) and I’ll also eventually go to the Commune and get a carta di identicà (identity card).
This morning we did a whole bunch of pumpovers on the red wines that are fermenting. Greta at one stage had a really blond moment evidently and opened the tank valve after she’d connected her hose but I was still holding onto my end as I had not climbed on top of the tank yet. So I’m about to head up then notice a stream of red stuff coming in my direction at a rapid pace through my end of the hose and I had about a second before I was able to quickly clap my hand over the end and stop it spraying everywhere before yelling in her direction, “CHIUDI LA VALVOLA GRETA! CHE CAZZO FAI?!?!” (excuse the language…and the pun! Haha)
Apart from that tiny bit of drama us girls went off with some boxes of wine to Bolgheri, dropped them off then decided to grab an aperativo before lunch, so a glass of spumante was sent my way! What lovely work! I’ve been taking snapshots of video footage with my camera today to put together in a way to make a small film of a day during vintage…though it will end up being sort of a joke as today was not that busy, with us drinking during work hours and what not. Ah well, nice to see what it’s like over here. I’ll work on getting the video posted…