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…spontaneously fermenting

A tasting note: 2002 Le Due Terre Schioppettino Magnum

I have to admit that I feel right at home in Krakow, even though some would say that it has a lot to learn from it’s more wine-oriented bigger brother, Warsaw.

In fact, one reason that I feel right at home here in Krakow is because it reminds me so much of Bergen, Norway where I now work (and lived for 8 years). No, the architecture is not the same (at all), the people are certainly not similar and the weather back in Bergen is not even remotely close to the glorious weather (by comparison) we have here in Krakow.

What is so similar to me is that Bergen has always crouched in the shadow of the country’s capital, Oslo. Oslo is where anything wine happens. Fairs, events, dinners, winemaker visits and it’s home to the majority of Norwegian wine importers. There is always an inherent wine struggle in Bergen, and I feel that the Krakow-Warsaw scenario is much the same.

But things are looking up in Krakow as I find it much easier as time goes by to find wine that I can actually consume, so thank you!

Le Due Terre is a producer I know little about except that the producer is from Friuli in the North Eastern tip of Italy and that they produce low-intervention wines – the sort of wines I love to drink. I had tasted their wines on less than 5 occassions, so when we were presented with a magnum of Schioppettino («the little fire cracker» in Italian), we paid no notice to the 2002 vintage stamped on the front label. Schioppettino is a grape I have come to love due to it’s extreme freshness and peppary mouthfeel, so I was looking forward to this double-sized dose! Here’s my brief tasting note:

Date Tasted: March 3rd, 2012 20:30

Appearance: Still youthful with barely a hint of obseravable age

Nose: Again youthful. Barolo-esque with hints of forest leaves and sour cherries.

Palate: Elegant, focused, light and long. Inky. Bitter almonds. The very delicate green hints (perhaps a vintage trait) help to actually lift the wine giving it added freshness. With some time in the glass, my thoughts of Barolo drift away as the wine starts to resemle a wine from Cornas, with it’s elegant focus, light pepper hints and loads of acidity.

This is overall a very elegant and delightful wine with tons of drinkability, in fact I believe that the magnum disapperared within an hour.

*This post was written especially for Winicjatywa and translated to Polish language here

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, organic wine


A (quick) tasting note: 2008 Sutor Pinot Noir

Ah… Slovenian wine. Although you can certainly find Slovenia on a map, I hope to see it more and more visible on wine maps. This smallish country of about 2,000,000 is really producing some interesting, if not great wines. Some of my favorites in fact. Refreshing reds &  skin-macerated whites (aka orange wines), many of which practice low-intervention farming and wine-making.

Thank you Wikipedia for the map

Sutor’s farm is located in the Vipava Valley of the Primorska region.  You can read more about Sutor on Wojciech Bońkowski’s blog.

The Sutor website doesn’t even mention the production of a Pinot Noir, but with a bit of research I was able to find out that the wine has been fermented and macerated with de-stemmed whole Pinot Noir berries in Stainless steel, then transferred to mature for one year in barrels.

Date tasted: Friday the 13th of January 2012

Appearance: As it poured into the glass, it inspired confidence. Not having tasted, or remembering tasting, the wines of Sutor, I didn’t know what to expect from this Pinot Noir. Will it be dark and extracted like you often see  in the new world or in some modern Pinot Noir’s coming out of Burgundy today? In fact, no it wasn’t. What poured delicately out of the bottle and into our glasses was a cranberry-red, non-opaque wine that I recognized as the color of Pinot Noir – the sort of Pinot Noir I studied and drank for years. Holding my fingers behind the glass of wine, they were easy to see.  I now looked forward to my first sniffs…

Nose: Extremely fresh with no intrusions from the oak. First thoughts were of Burgundy or even of a Beaujolais Morgon. Light red fruit like cranberries, delicate raspberries and some hints of herbs and earth. Very clean on the nose without any burning sulfur notes. Very precise and focused. Enticing while at the same time, not deep.

Palate: Same on the palate. Fresh, red-fruit driven wine with great acidity. Clean and delicate. Not terribly complex, but quite honest and drinkable.  As the wine opened up, what appeared to be overly-sweet  fruit and hints of oak became a bit more dominant and the wine lost a bit of its appeal to me. Was the wine overripe? Was it unbalanced? I have to be honest, the wine perplexed me a bit.  We couldn’t finish the bottle..

The next day I began to think about this tasting experience…and then it hit me. Although the wine was not very complex or deep, those overly sweet notes and hints of oak that appeared after the wine sat open must of been indicators that the wine needed perhaps a few more years of bottle maturing? Although the fruit became  too sweet and dominant, the more I reflected on it, the more I realize that the fruit was not overripe, but young and perhaps a little too expressive, dominant and maybe even a bit vulgar. Will the fruit calm down and integrate over the next 3-5 years? I would suggest so…and i would be happy to drink another bottle


Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, organic wine, Slovenia, Vipava


The Wine Garage – Heaven Underground?

In a country where disposable income seems to be increasing rapidly, the world of wine is only at it’s infancy with hopefully only one direction to go and that’s up.  This will be of course an “uphill”  battle in a country that consumes loads of Vodka (which is very cheap) and beer (also cheap).  They also have a vast variety of  “wines” from central Europe which on average can cost half as much as the wines from what I call the “Old World”.   Still, people seem to be talking about wine and wine shops seem to be opening up as fast as you can imagine.  Yet, in Krakow (Poland’s second most populous city with a population of just over 750,000), there is a serious lack of wine bars.  I can count them on one hand and still have some fingers left over.  Just to give you some perspective, in Bergen where I currently reside, there are at least 5 wine bars. Bergen is a city with one third the population of Krakow and is in a country that doesn’t (yet) produce wine (Poland does, by the way).  Despite this, one wine bar is surviving and even growing.  Welcome to the Wine Garage.

Wine Garage (the bar) got their start about 18 months ago.  Not only is Wine Garage a nice, cozy spot to drink some good wines, but the owners Mariusz and Agnieszka have also been importing and distributing their wines throughout Krakow for the last 5 years.  They focus on organic and biodynamic products (they also have a small selection of coffees and teas) from mostly small producers from Italy, France, Hungary and even Moravia (Czech Republic).  Wine Garage is located underground (that is,  one floor below street level) on a small residential street about a 5 minute tram ride from the historic city center.  The vibe is very informal and easy going, making you feel welcome and relaxed from the minute you enter  and come down the stairs.  Sit and enjoy a glass of wine with some cheese, or buy a bottle to take with you. It’s up to you.

In countries where a new economy is booming, many people with these new found riches like to show others  by proudly displaying recognizable labels from not only marks like Mercedes Benz and Prada, but also wine labels like Möet & Chandon and top Bordeaux’s.  This makes Mariusz and Agnieszka’s job even tougher trying to sell items with little known, non-conventional labels.  But it seems to be working out for them because as I write this, they are preparing to open a second location right smack in the city senter.

Ok, now on to some wine! Last night I had the privilege to get to together with Mariusz, Agnieszka and a few other wine enthusiasts to taste some wine.  The first wine we started with was a bottle I brought with me, a 2007 Dario Prinčič Pinot Grigio.  Seven days of skin contact gives this Pinot Grigio an unfamiliar hue that most wine drinkers wouldn’t expect.  This pinkish-skinned grape is usually made into a white wine, which I feel is a shame since my two favorite Pinot Grigio’s are made with the skins, like red wine.  Dario’s Pinot Grigio is made with grapes grown in a very natural way, only spraying sulfur if he really needs to and nothing more.  His philosophy is carried over into his wine making where, you guessed it, nothing is added, not even the yeast.  He checks his free sulfur levels before bottling (he adds none during the wine making process), and sometimes adds a little just to get the number up to about 20mg/liter.  I love this wine, and the others seemed to enjoy it as well.  Aromas of orange peel and tea, spices and herbs.  On the palate the wine is simply delicious.  Fruity, mildly tannic and even at 14% alcohol, extremely refreshing and easy to drink. Perhaps the best Pinot Grigio I have tasted (or should I say – perhaps my favorite Pinot Grigio thus far).

The second two wines were sponsored by wine enthusiast Kuba.  The first of the two was a “mature” Burgundy.  A 1995 Domaine Chaumont Pere et Fils Mercury that he found at a very reasonable price (about 100 Polish złoty – or about $34). Kuba had drank a bottle just the night before and was pleasantly surprised by it, so he decided to pick up another for this tasting.  I don’t know much about this producer except that the grapes are his own, not purchased.  The wine appeared more youthful in the glass than the age would suggest. The same held true on the nose.  No dominant oak here, just fresh red fruit, some herbs and hints of characteristic farmyard.  The nose made me eager to taste, but I nosed the wine at least 5 more minutes because the nose made me so eager with anticipation that I wanted to delay the pleasure a bit.  When I did finally take a sip, I have to admit that I was disappointed.  The wine still had it’s tannins and acidity in place, but the fruit was no where to be found. Have I just found my favorite H2O?  We laughed a bit at the comment made by Kuba that the wine tasted like Pinot Noir-flavored water.  The bottle he consumed the night before was still alive and fruity according to him.. Oh well… on to the next wine.

The next wine was a surprise.  A 2008 Vinařství Baloun Merlot from Moravia.  A very light, fruity and peppery wine carrying a modest 11.5% alcohol.  When I first nosed the glass, the first aroma that hit my nostrils was pepper, and lots of it!  Followed by very sweet, almost candied, red fruit.  These two aromas I would never have expected to find together.  Most of the “peppery” wines I have come across carried more earthy, less sweet aromas.  This was strange.  But, the more I aired the wine, the less candy-like the aromas became.  The pepper stayed and now red cranberries were the dominant red fruit.. Now the wine was getting interesting to me.  On the palate the wine was light, fresh and peppery with red fruit shoulders.  Low acidity and no tannins make this the perfect quaffing wine on a hot summer’s day.  I enjoyed the wine, but I felt it carried a rather hefty price tag of 43 Polish złoty (about $11.50).

We then moved on to a Spanish wine from Jerez de la Frontera provided by Carlos, a distributor for the wine.  A 2009 Viña Greduela Coupage Joven.  A bold blend of organically grown Merlot (40%), Syrah (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and Tempranillo (only 10%).  First aromas to hit my nose were quite intense.  Ripe fruit, even some over ripe fruit characteristics, with mostly dark berries, plums and stewed plums.  Hints of the yeast with a mild volatility suggested to me spontaneous fermentation.  Very nice structure on the palate, refreshing acidity and medium plus tannins suggest that this Joven was young and could be possibly enjoyed for the next 5 years.  A good wine, a drinkable wine.  Not yet available in Poland.

And the last wine that made an appearance last night was actually a wine provided to us by Mariusz and Agnieszka from the Wine Garage selection of wines. A new Piemontese producer for them (and for me as well).  A 2007 Olek Bondonio Langhe Nebbiolo.  An organic producer of Polish decent.  This wine was a modern Nebbiolo made in the slightly oxidative style.  On the nose, the delicate aromas of the nebbiolo grape were hard to pick up at first whiff, but as the wine aired (and aeration it does need), the wine became a bit more characteristic.  Structure on the palate was immense and the tannins were very round (rounded out by the storage in small oak barrels).  This for some may not be an easy to understand nebbiolo, and for others may not be their style.  Whatever the verdict, it’s a pricey nebbiolo at around 120 Polish złoty (around $41). Despite this hefty price tag, and the average person’s propensity to spend little money on wine in Poland, the wine is selling well says Agnieszka.  That’s good news.

All this wine made us hungry, so we were fed some homemade Bigos, a traditional Polish hunter’s stew.  This Polish “national dish” is made with cabbage, sauerkraut, various cuts of meats and sausages and a few other ingredients.  I’m told the longer you take to make the dish, the better it is!  And, it’s supposed to get better the longer you keep it for.  This was by far the best Bigos I have tasted in Poland. Thank you Agnieszka!

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, organic wine, The Wine Garage


Bio Millésime 2010 – Montpellier, France

I just returned from the Bio Millésime wine fair in Montpellier France, in the Languedoc.  With 490 exhibitors, there is a lot to see and taste. Overall, I thought the fair was well organized and although there were more than 2900 visitors, it never felt crowded (except for when it came time to eat lunch in the lunch hall – it was a challenge to find a free table and the buffet lines were quite long).  A fair catalog listing all of the producers and the table numbers you will find them at is available for sale for 10€ and is a good shop.  Be aware that producers are not grouped by country or region, rather they seemed placed at tables at random – this can get a bit complicated.

It was nice meeting people I have had internet relationships with up to this point – like Alice Feiring and Hans Dusselier Wijnfolie!  Of course it was great to also meet the faces behind many of the wines I sell and enjoy on a regular basis back home in Norway.

While you are in Montpellier, make sure you take a quick trip over to La Remise.  This smaller scale tasting about a 15 minute drive away focused on natural wine makers from around Europe. Here I tasted the wines of Le Mazel, Laureano Serres, La Stoppa, Arianna Occhipinti, Camillo Donati, Domaine du Possible, etc etc etc! The highlight at La Remise for me was Laureano Serres’ White – stunning wine quite similar in style to the Cornelissen Munjebel Bianco! Yum

Also while in Montpellier, don’t miss having a meal (or two) at Mesdames Messieurs. Located in the center, Mesdames Messieurs serves simple but good food and has an intriguing wine list focusing on natural wines.

Also check out the tapas bar El Picador. Also centrally located, this restuarant also offers an interesting selection of natural wines with decent food (you cannot order just wine here, you must also order food).

I am looking forward to my trip back to the charming Montpellier next year!

Category: 1 WINE, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Bio Millésime 2010 - Montpellier, natural wine (100% living wine), organic wine


A Tasting Note: 2000 Domaine Gasse Lafoy Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

2009-10-08_02009591Date tasted:  October 8th, 2009 at 23:00

The Philosopher Grower Vincent Gasse lives just outside the main village of Ampuis, in the northern hamlet of Verenay, in the AOC Côte-Rôtie.  From here he conducts his private campaign – to solve the conflict of making truly organic wine off slopes that crumble when you hand work their soil. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Côte-Rôtie, France, Northern Rhône, organic wine


A tasting note: 2006 Tiberio Nocens


Loc. Gropina – Fraz. Penna, 116/A
(Terranuova Bracciolini)
+39 338 4604806

Date tasted: September 9th, 2009 18:30 (6:30pm)

The Nocens  is Tiberio’s top wine and is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Canaiolo in equal parts.  The grapes are farmed organically and are grown in Chianti D.O.C vineyards. Grapes are harvested by hand.   The wine is designated “Rosso dei Colli della Toscana Centrale (I.G.T)”

2009-09-09_1890The Nocens  is made in the “Antico Metodo Governo all’ Uso Toscano“.  A pre-harvest selection of 10% of the top grapes are harvested by hand and placed in a well-ventilated room to let them finish maturing (and drying) for about 15 days, time enough to finish the rest of the harvest. The rest of the grapes are also harvested by hand and fermented spontaneously using indigenous yeast and without the use of enzymes.  Once the fermentation is completed, the pre-harvest “Antico Metodo Governo all’ Uso Toscano” grapes that were set aside are added to the wine and a second fermentation commences (think “Ripasso” from the Veneto here). The wine is then aged for 12 months in 225-liter French Barriques. The wine is bottled without filtration

Appearance: Clean. Medium dark red with hints of blue. Medium to medium low intensity.

Nose: Clean.  Medium intense nose of dark cherries and wild black currants with hints of cedar and eucalyptus. Medium complex wine with  well-integrated oak on the back end.

Palate: Clean.  Good fruit on the front end. Sour cherries, black currants and blackberries. Good structure and good acidity carrying the wine to a medium-long finish with medium tannins.  Oak is well-integrated, but noticeable lending to the tannic structure of this wine.  Very well integrated alcohol at 13,5%


Overall impressions: This is a well-made wine with good structure, balance and clean fruit which should be a pretty good wine to match with food.  I am thinking a grilled steak, or grilled vegetables would be a nice complement to this wine. This being said, the oak is too dominant for my palate, but I feel that many people will enjoy this wine. It sits nicely between a modern-made wine and one made traditionally.  In my opinion, this wine can be stored for a few more years, but I don’t think that it will improve so I would drink it now.

I have tasted other Tiberio wines and find his fruit to be clean, precise and on the feminine side (especially his Sangiovese, my favorite of his wines) and I feel that his wines would be better represented if they weren’t stored in oak. For those of you who share my feelings on this, rumor has it that he is playing with some un-oaked versions of his wines as I write this and perhaps I will have the opportunity some day soon to taste as stainless steel version of his Sangiovese.


Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Italy, organic wine, Terranuova Bracciolini, Toscana


A tasting note: 2008 Bodega Biurko Gorri Arbanta

2009-05-07_520091575Date tasted:  May 7th, 2009

Not only is this wine certified organic, but it’s also somewhat of a rarity of the wine world.  In the Rioja region of Spain, wines have traditionally been aged in oak (with exception are the Joven wines which may not see any oak at all).  And I am being kind here because not only have wines from Rioja been traditionally aged in oak, but often wines were aged for many many many years in oak.  It wasn’t uncommon to see wines, including whites, to be stored in oak for 20 years, although 2-5 years was more usual.  On top of that, American oak was often used imparting in my opinion, well you know, unwanted flavors in the wine often covering up the beautiful fruit.

The fruit in this case being the very underrated (by some) Tempranillo grape. “The little early one” as it’s called due to the fact that it usually ripens a few weeks earlier than other Spanish varieties, is a grape that can produce full-bodied wines with a huge aging potential.  Not only can they age for decades, but they do so gracefully.  At a “blind” wine tasting that I attended last year with fellow enthusiasts, half the group mistook a 1982 Rioja for a Burgundy (Pinot Noir) while the other half mistook the wine as a Barolo (Nebbiolo)!  No joke, and we were a pretty talented bunch!

Now on to this wine.  The bodega Biurko Gorri is a family run estate with one aim “they use their wine-making tradition and great care of their vineyards along with very modern installations to produce and age high quality wines“.  The vineyards are found on the sunny slopes in the area at an altitude that  give the grape an excellent balance of acidity and ripeness.  The fruit grows on old vines (15-20 years) and most of the 30ha are organic; organic fertilizers are used, not herbicides nor synthesized chemicals.  The wines made from these grapes go on sale under the Denominación de Origen Ecológica as well as the D.O.C. Rioja.

This Arbanta wine comes from organic vineyards in carefully chosen well-ventilated areas at high altitudes.  The vineyards are located in the small town of Bargota in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria Mountains.  The grapes are destalked.  Fermentation is with natural yeasts in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures between 20 and 28ºC. Natural fining through decanting and racking.

Appearance: A very youthful reddish purple.  Good color concentration with a medium intensity.

Nose: Wild strawberries and other berries.  Plums and flowers.  Mineral undertones.  Hints of orange peel and anise.

Palate: Plums, blackberries and hints of sweet licorice.  Nice gripping tannins with a long mineral aftertaste.  Great concentration.  Light & fresh with medium acidity.

A wine to be enjoyed young.  No sense aging this wine as it’s so good and fresh now.  I would enjoy this wine with some grilled light colored meets like chicken, or some aged hard cheese.  If you like fish with red, this could be an option as well.

I am extremely happy to live in a time when new wave Rioja wine makers are reducing oak use to such a degree that some are skipping the oak all together.  It allows us to better understand the fruit as the fruit becomes clear without the clutter of artificial (oak) additives.


Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, organic wine, Rioja, Spain


A winemakers dinner – Luca Roagna

Luca speaking passionately
Beautiful Roagna bottles

Event:  Stavanger, Norway Vinfest 2009

Restaurant: Bølgen & Moi

Date:  Thursday April 23, 2009  19:00

Host:  Luca Roagna and Best Buys

In my opinion, Luca Roagna is a rising star in Piemonte, Italy. And I’m not alone in believing this as his wines are garnering a lot of interest in other parts of the world as well.  I was very impressed with him and his philosophy after visiting him at his estate in Paglieri (Barbaresco), Italy in November of 2008.  I am equally impressed if not more so with his wines. They are immediately approachable, yet are so well structured and well made that they will endure the test of time and will age gracefully.

Vinosseur and Luca Roagna

Luca  is extremely passionate.  His eyes light up when you ask him questions about his wines.  He is such a purist.  He approaches his viticulture and “winemaking” in as a natural way as possible.  Luca does not use chemical nor organic fertilizers.  All of this is reflected in his wines.  They best way to describe them is super clean, precise with focused fruit. Extremely well-structured, balanced and elegant.  His signature is his terroir, which he allows his wines to express beautifully.

Luca is also as down to earth and personable.  He is a blast to hang out with and really knows how to enjoy himself. I look forward to the next time we meet Luca!

Langhe Bianco

As an aperitif, we started with a wine that isn’t currently available in Norway. A Langhe Bianco with 5-6 days skin contact giving the wine a full-golden yellow color bordering on orange. The wine was made using 90% Chardonnay and 10% Nebbiolo. Yes, you are reading this correctly, 10% Nebbiolo and yes, vinified white.  Naturally, only indigenous yeast is used.  This wine was made in a slightly oxidative style but was extremely fresh and elegant with mild tannins, elegant acidity and a medium long finish.



Terrine of fois gras with cherries, salad and brioche

Terrine of fois gras with cherries, salad and brioche


2007 Dolcetto d'Alba

2007 Dolcetto d'Alba

Comments:  35 days maceration. Unfiltered wine with clean, focused fruit and feminine, but firm tannins.



Sweetbreads of veal with spring carrots, spinach and orange-butter sauce

Sweetbreads of veal with spring carrots, spinach and orange-butter sauce


2001 Langhe Rosso

2001 Langhe Rosso

Comments:  35 days maceration, 4 years in large Botti and 2 in bottle.  The orange peel notes found in the wine worked extremely well with the orange-butter sauce. A very open and approachable wine made entirely of Nebbiolo.  More like a Barbaresco then a typical Langhe Rosso.



Lamb with asparagus, glased onion and bercy sauce

Lamb with asparagus, glazed onion and bercy sauce



2000 Barbaresco Pajé

Comments:  good color depth with a very slight browning around the edge.  Very classic Nebbiolo aromas – floral, cherries (amarena cherry).  About 65 days maceration and 5 years in large Botti.  Even the asparagus worked surprisingly well with the wine.  A very masculine Barbaresco.



Filet of deer with braised celeriac, porto bello, confit of tomatos and Marco Polo sauce

Filet of deer with braised celeriac, porto bello, confit of tomatos and Marco Polo sauce



2001 Barolo La Rocca e la Pira

Comments:  Average age of the vines is 40 years.  About 85 days maceration.  5 years in large Botti and 2 years in bottle. Dark, sour cherries.  Elegant and feminine.



Mature pecorino with honey, raisins and nuts

Mature pecorino with honey, raisins and nuts


2004 Barolo Vigna Rionda

2004 Barolo Vigna Rionda

Comments:  About 70 days maceration. Bottled in November of 2008. Quite open, but in my opinion it needs about 10 more years just to start stretching it’s legs.  At around 350,- Norwegian Kroner ($50), it’s a real bargain.


I will end this post by saying that it’s producers like Luca that really inspire me and spark an infinite passion in me for wine.  This is the reason I do what I do and love it!  Thanks Luca!

Category: 1 Appetizer/Starter, 1 WINE, 2 Main Course, 3 Dessert, 6 FOOD & WINE PAIRING, 7 WINE MAKER DINNERS, Events, organic wine

1 comment

Vino Vino Vino 2009


I had the opportunity to check out the Gruppo Vini Veri, Vino Vino Vino 2009 gathering at Villa Boschi in Isola della Scala, Verona Italy last week.  I had never been to this gathering before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Although some things impressed me, I was also disappointed by others. Of course I didn’t get to taste everything, but from my sampling, here’s my personal feedback.

manifesto.inddFirst, the positive. Many exciting wines coming out of Sicily. These Sicilians, especially around Mount Etna, are delivering fresh and interesting wines from  indigenous grapes. White wine grapes like the Carricante and red wine grapes from the Nerello family. What really impressed me the most about these wines was the freshness, something you are seeing more of in well-made Sicilian Wines. Many of these wines were natural, without the addition of Sulphur Dioxide, no filtering and thankfully, no oak. Many of the wines were fermented/stored in cement, steel or amphora’s.

It was also nice to see many “orange wines”, white wines made using maceration techniques (letting the grape must sit with the grape skins for some days) rendering some white wines with a more orange-like hue. Although some of these were exciting, fresh and well-made, many were over-macerated, overly tannic and bitter. Just because this old wine making technique is coming back into fashion, doesn’t mean you should be (over) doing it! Listen up!

Then, there were too many wines from the region of Tuscany. It seemed that upwards of 25% percent of the producers at this gathering were from Tuscany. Although there were some interesting (and excellent) wines from Tuscany,  I found most to be too similar and un-interesting.

The most disappointing thing for me, however, was the shortage of non-Italian wine makers. I understand that Italy has more vineyards being farmed organically (up to 5 times) than other European wine-making countries and that we were in Verona, Italy, but I would have liked to have seen more French, Spanish, Portuguese and German (etc.) wine makers at this gathering.

Overall, I can see that producing natural wine is becoming fashionable and trendy. I am glad that at least natural products are becoming trendy and fashionable, but I felt that there were too many wine makers making natural wine because it was the fashionable thing to do. Thankfully, you can taste who these copycat producers were, and they were not good.

I would like to end this entry on a positive note by saying that I was happy to meet some wine-makers whom I have had some contact with both personally and of course through their wines:

Drink more naturally made wines and wake up the next day feeling fresh!

Category: 1 WINE, biodynamic wine, Events, natural wine (100% living wine), organic wine


Joe Dressner is part owner of Louis/Dressner Selections, an American wine importer specializing in small producers, mostly French wines from highly regarded names like Bernard Baudry and Didier Barrouillet.

I just had to share this quote which was found on a blog post about the state of wine tasting today:

“Wine is not a vehicle for egomania, boastfulness and self-promotion. All the great ‘tasters’ I have known are able to submerge their ego and understand what is in the bottle.”

I couldn’t agree with this quote more and that’s why I am repeating it here.  I feel that there are too many people working in the wine world that just don’t understand wine. Just because you have an education and some knowledge (and brag about it), doesn’t mean you understand wine or that you ever will.

You can follow Joe Dressner’s blog here.

Category: 1 WINE, biodynamic wine, natural wine (100% living wine), organic wine