Sunday, July 9, 2017

What a Wino

We had the honor of touring two different vineyards during our adventures in Italy. No adventure is complete without a good bottle of wine! At first glance, it was difficult to notice the grafting line on the grape stock. I estimated the grape vines at Montepulciano to be fifteen years old and was only a year short. While I knew chianti was a blended wine, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Sangiovese was commonly mixed with merlot grapes. The leaves are maple shaped and smaller than merlot. Merlot clusters are looser and tend to mold less due to the air circulation among the individual grapes. Orange peels are placed around the vineyard as a natural fungicide. Pheromones confuse insects, such as the lobesia, from invading the vineyard and corrupting the harvest. Montepulciano grapes are grown organically but cannot be certified due to the sulfates accumulated in the aging process. During our wine tasting we tried a twenty-two year old Vin Santo dessert wine. It was one of the best and oldest wines I have yet to try. The smell resembled nail polish remover with a hint of jasmine but the taste was pure honey! It was fun to teach my friends about the different characteristics to wine tastings: tannins pull at the sides of your cheeks, acidity tingles the sides of your tongue, sweetness rests at the tip of the tongue, and fuller body wines feel like molasses. One of the oldest wines in Rome and treasured by the Pope is Frascati wine. I would love to come back to Italy and travel around the different wine regions.

Kristen Foxworth 

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