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    Blog

    Glera is the principal grape of Prosecco sparkling wine. Originally the grape was known as Prosecco (more precisely Prosecco Tondo). The variety has an unclear origin and an even more complicated ampelographic history due to the fact that several distinct varieties have been called “Prosecco-something” in northeast Italy since the 18th century. The grape is late-ripening and prone to both fungal diseases and water stress. It is widely planted in the province of Treviso.

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    A BIT OF WINE CHEMISTRY: Lessons from Champagne

    Day one of the Champagne study trip initiated a discussion which continued throughout the week of factors impacting aromas and flavors in champagne. Broadly, aromas can be categorized into the impacts of grape variety, terroir, vinification, and post-production events (influencing individual bottles versus entire “batches”).

    This article will focus upon the biochemistry of sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and sugars in an acidic environment (esters arising from acidification of alcohol); the intent is not intended to be comprehensive. For purposes of this essay, the use of the word aroma will include the complex notes of aging characterized as “bouquet.”

    “Although many efforts have been made to characterize the quality and flavor of the compounds in wine… tasting remains the single universal test used… This is because the taste of a molecule, or blend of molecules, is constructed within the brain of a taster.” F. Brochet and D. Dubourdieu, 2001

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    Italian red wines may get all the attention, but insiders know that Italian whites are as varied and interesting as the country’s reds. Italy’s multitude of mountains and hills ensures wines with bright acidity—the hallmark of Italian whites. Acidity is what makes a wine food friendly, and Italian white wines do not disappoint. From appetizers through dessert, there is a perfect Italian white for your table.   

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    The Super-Whites of Friuli

    In the late 1970s, the producer, Jermann, created Vintage Tunina, a complex blend of native and international white grapes that became iconic among Friuli’s superior white blends. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Jermann inspired several other Friuli producers, particularly in the DOCs of Collio and Friuli Colli Orientali.

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    The best way to make sense of Italian red wines is to simply start tasting them. Italy offers the perfect red wine for every occasion—from pizza on Monday, to roast beef with the in-laws on Sunday, and everything between.

    Many of Italy’s best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, often in combination with the grape variety. If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed while browsing an Italian wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment’s notice.

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    Advances in the cellars coupled with better vineyard management and Friuli’s natural gift of a temperate climate, resulted in concentrated wines with an extra layer of richness. From the 1970s onward, Friuli gained commercial success and popularity for its white wines.

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    Are you looking for the best Italian red grapes? The wonderful thing about Italian red grape varieties is that they are distinctly Italian. Plenty of winegrowers around the world have made attempts at growing Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, but few have come even close to matching the results of these grapes’ native soils. As a rule, Italian grape varieties don’t care to leave Italy, and who could blame them? Completely at home in their places of origin or tradition, each Italian red grape has evolved and adapted in perfect harmony with their surroundings. 

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    A number of Friuli’s native varieties were rescued from the brink of disappearance. Let us introduce you to Vitovska and Pignolo.

    Vitovska: The name of this white grape variety is of clear Slavic origin, but it is generally considered to be a native variety of both eastern Friuli and Slovenia, as it was historically only cultivated in Carso (in the province of Trieste) and in Slovenia.

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    With a treasure trove of native white varieties, Friuli Venezia Giulia makes some of Italy’s most exciting white wines.
    Friuli Venezia Giulia is considered the birthplace of modern Italian white winemaking. In the late 1960s, a small group of inspired producers began crafting clean, fresh and fruity white wines—a monumental shift from the tired, oxidized versions that had been largely produced prior.

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