Andrea's Pick: once a resident of Sicilia, Ciro Pirone is well acquainted with the incredible Mongebello (Mount Etna) and its fascinating wines. Ciro takes viewers on a journey to discover more about the history and the bright, vinous future of this magical mountain.
Etna is a mountain but also a volcano, located in the heart of the Mediterranean sea, on the island known as Sicily that for thousands years was the crossroad of civilizations, cultures, traditions, wars, but also great developments in many fields. Etna is a magical territory known to our ancestors but forgotten for a long while, finally is back and provides incredibly different and unique wines with a batch of local grapes.
Ciro Pirone, Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Company, is a graduate of the Istituto Alberghiero (Hotel and Restaurant Management school) of Salerno, Italy and Italian Wine Ambassador (Vinitaly Wine Academy). Traveling and working in Italy, England and the US, Ciro developed an incredible passion for wine, food and culture. After all, growing up in Italy, wine was always a very important part of his family’s lifestyle and traditions.
In 1999, Ciro moved to the US permanently. He landed in Boston, where he continued his wine studies at Boston University, the International Sommelier Guild, the London –based Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), as well as he completed and passed with Honors the Italian Wine
Specialist Certification by the North American Sommelier Association (part of the worldwide recognized Italian Sommelier Association). In June of 2017 (2019 & 2021 with Honors) he completed the Vinitaly Wine Academy and received the prestigious Italian Wine Ambassador certification. In 2019 also passed with Honors the Italian Wine Scholar program by the Wine Scholar Guild.
In 2007, Ciro accepted the position of Italian Wine Specialist for Horizon Beverage. After successful growth at HBC, Ciro accepted on a new challenge as the US Brand Manager for the Arnaldo Caprai Winery of Montefalco (Umbria), the top producer of worldwide recognized Sagrantino di Montefalco. In June 2011, Ciro returned to Horizon Beverage with a new position of Director of Italian Wines in support of their expanding presence in the New England marketplace. Ciro is happy to share his passion for Italian wine and culture in an effort to give the American wine consumer a better understanding and appreciation for Italian wine!
The Italian wine world is full of wine-related terminology that many consumers struggle to understand. Learning the meaning of a few key terms can increase your confidence level and help you make informed decisions when selecting your next glass, or bottle, of vino. We have compiled a list of 25 common terms and phrases that we know will help you navigate the delicious world of vino Italiano!
Piedmont is most known for its Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, the three core varieties that form the backbone of the Langhe, Piedmont’s most famous sub-region.
But a number of other exciting indigenous and qualitative varieties make up the region’s complex viticultural patchwork.
This webinar will focus on 4 lesser known whites – Arneis, Nascetta, Erbaluce and Timorasso - as well as 4 reds – Freisa, Grignolino, Pelaverga and Ruchè and discuss their individual histories, characteristics, attributes and unique challenges.
Originally from the Chicago area, Robin is a Master of Wine who is presently based in Lugano, Switzerland, where she works as an independent wine consultant, wine judge, journalist and educator.
Following studies in French and English literature, she changed career paths in 1998 when she left her teaching position at the Université de Nice to study wine at the BIVB (Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins de Bourgogne) in Beaune, France and the Université du Vin in Suze-la-Rousse in France’s Rhône Valley.
In the 20+ years of working in the wine business, she has held a number of different positions including wine auction specialist for Christie’s in Beverly Hills, California and fine wine buyer for a pre-eminent London-based wine merchant with an award-winning Burgundy list.
In 2014, after many years of study and a successful dissertation on whole cluster fermentation in Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or, she became a Master of Wine.
Her main wine passions are Burgundy, Champagne, northern Italy, particularly Piedmont, Switzerland and Jerez.
The wines of Valpolicella dance across the tongue with the same lift and loveliness as the name itself. Ideal with humble pastas as well as lighter red meats and game birds, it is well-suited to the table. As the more modest bottling of the Valpolicella region, it is largely (and unfairly) overlooked among Italian reds these days.
Valpolicella is the so-called “everyday” red wine of the eponymous production zone that is situated just north of the city of Verona, and extends west and east of the city. Other reds here include the iconic Amarone della Valpolicella as well as Ripasso, a wine made via a method of refermentation and remaceration, in which a Valpolicella is “repassed” over the skins of grapes used for Amarone.
I returned to Campania recently for the first time in three years and as with most Italian regions, discovered that not much had changed, at least as far as appearances are concerned. I did meet a few producers I hadn’t visited before, with one of them – Petilia – being a great new discovery for me. More on that below, but overall what impressed me most was the consistency of the wines, white and red.
Ciro Pirone is the Director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverage Group and will be teaching the next online Italian Wine Scholar course beginning in February. In under 30 minutes Ciro gives us the fascinating history of Italian sparkling wine production, and discusses key points on the spumante wines of Alta Langa. We also learn about the main grapes and styles of Lambrusco, and learn important distinctions between Asti DOCG and Moscato d’Asti DOCG.
Mention the red wines of Tuscany and immediately examples such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano come to mind. Produced primarily or exclusively from the Sangiovese grape variety, these celebrated red wines truly define this region’s viticultural excellence. Over the last three decades, the distinctive red wines of Bolgheri, crafted from Bordeaux grape varieties from vineyards along Tuscany’s coast, have also become icons of Tuscan wine.
Yet there are other sublime red wines from this region that are notable yet lack the renown of the wines mentioned above. Carmignano, Morellino di Scansano and Montecucco are three other important red wines of Tuscany that reflect a sense of place and represent not only special quality, but impressive value as well.
Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS, is the Education Director for the Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) program. During an eight-day summer tour, he led a group of IWS educators through three of Italy’s northern wine producing regions, Trentino, Franciacorta and Lugana.