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Subzones in wine: yes or no?

A few days ago the Rioja wine region has decided to divide the territory in subzones. So here is my reflection on the utility and problematic regarding subzones

Zoning-Barolo-Cannubi

Zoning-Barolo-Cannubi

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Advantages and problems in dividing a wine region into small portions with similar characteristics: the subzones. Journalists talk about this, the more traditional wine lovers ask for these as an instrument to preserve the “purity” of their favourite wines, but in truth there are some international wines such as  Grange, the Australian “first growth” for which, each year, grapes from different vineyards and different zones. It is legitimate to ask then if the subzones offer real advantages then, or if they complicate the work for the Italian producers already bound by a long list of rules and a lot of bureaucracy. In Montalcino, for example, many wineries use grapes coming from different zones of Montalcino and it is exactly because of these blends of slightly different characters that a particular style comes out that distinguished this brand. In 2012 Kerin O’Keefe editor and taster for Wine Enthusiast

Rioja-subzones

Rioja-zoning-subzones

launched the proposal to divide the Brunello territories into 6 zones, and initiated a great debate.

In Montalcino e cultivate 2.100 hectares of Vineyard used for the production of 9 million bottles of Brunello. The territory seems to be a small one; especially too small to be broken up, however there are those who are adamant that the subzone method is to be followed. Barolo has a surface of 1900 hectares of vineyards, for a production of about 13 million bottles per year. In this territory the division has been found in the definition of historical districts (for example Cannubi) and the analysis of the vocation of the territory that began at the end of the Nineteenth century and continued with the coordination of the Regione Piemonte, so as to form boundaries that are administrative, agronomical and agreements, in respect of previous situations, that set off ferocious conflicts. Read more…

Toscana Lovers the boutiques for artistic handicraft

From “Toscana lovers” in Siena and in Bagno Vignoni your shopping becomes a treasure hunt rich in traditional and artistically handmade surprises

toscana-lovers-tuscan-handcrafts-boutique

toscana-lovers-tuscan-handcrafts-boutique

These typical local objects of Tuscan handicraft and life style are created with a certain dexterity that renews tradition. With our usual courtesy and competence we will help you discover the typical character and the history of Tuscan and Italian handicraft. An old story, refined and full of creative characters.

If you want to take home some of Tuscany take it from the hand of our artisans and look for something exclusive that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

“Toscana lovers” is an obligatory stop for refined tourists. Each season new handmade objects arrive; they are skillfully made according to tradition by small Tuscan workshops. These are exclusive objects, often one different to the other like the Scarperia knives, the hand loomed cloths and scarves, the life style ceramics, the olive wood objects, soaps with natural essences …… as well as, obviously the wines made by Donatella Cinelli Colombini and her husband Carlo Gardini coming from the Prime Donne winery in Montalcino and from Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda.

Next to excellent Tuscan handicraft there are some Sicilian ceramics, some Venetian glass jewelry and Umbrian cloths.

HOW THE TOSCANA LOVERS SHOPS CAME ABOUT

Toscana lovers Siena is only a short walk from Piazza del Campo in the Nobile Contrada dell’Oca; a little further away is the house where in 1347, Santa Caterina was

toscana-lovers

toscana-lovers

born. So we are in the heart of medieval Siena where there is a crossroads of the I tre Terzi (the three parts) of the city. The building where the shop is positioned was originally a convent, then like the entire Fontebranda district it was used for artisan workshops and for shops. It is here that Nello Bianchini had his leather store at the beginning of the 1900’s. From Nello the shop went to his daughter Lelia who passed it on to her son Carlo Gardini who was born in the apartment above the shop.  Carlo married Donatella Cinelli Colombini and together in 2006, they created “Toscana lovers” a store dedicated to high end and extremely traditional handicraft.

On March 24th 2016, the second “Toscana Lovers” store was opened in Bagno Vignoni so as to duplicate the success had by the first in Siena. Bagno Vignoni, which is in the Val d’Orcia park, part Unesco world heritage site for the beauty of its agricultural landscape and because of its towns rich in art. A wonderful frame for a splendid small hamlet that has become a cult destination for those who love wellness, because of its exclusivity and its history. In fact Bagno Vignoni is the only medieval spa still intact; in the village centre stands the baths where Santa Caterina and Lorenzo il Magnifico while on the scope of the hill are the underground mills that were fuelled by the hot water springs.

Toscana Lover is on one side of the  piazza delle Sorgenti.

LATEST ARRIVALS

Ceramiche-Virgina-pottery-handcrafts

Ceramiche-Virgina-pottery-handcrafts

Here are just a few words about the latest arrivals on sale. The floral bowls and plates from Ceramica Virginia, Montelupo Fiorentino, near Florence. Handmade objects in small series, as they have been done for hundreds of years. Showing hydrangeas, daisies and anemones. A touch of style for your dinner table.

From the maestro knife maker Saladini in Scarperia comes a series of 6 knives, each with a handle made of a different type of wood. In this case too new trend s for an elegant table together with tradition Scarperia, like Toledo and Sheffield, is one of the places with the longest tradition in sharp blades, even in Palazzo Vecchio in the heart of the political Grand Duchy of Tuscany, is exhibited a knife from Scarperia. Today technology helps tradition: laser gives the blades a perfect finish.

And for last a simple product like soap. The soap maker Alighiero Campostrini began in 1894 and is the second oldest in all of Tuscany to still be in activity. His logo is still impressed on the soap bars with bronze stamps and they use natural fragrances and ingredients like lavender, pomegranate, olive oil, violets, and the famous iris of the Florence hills.


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