Sunday, 3 August 2014

Oldies but Goodies Series: Wine trip to Italy

Verão em Londres. Eu sou mais a 25C verão type of girl que a loucura de 35C na sombra. Então eu não sei se foi o clima ou se foi o fato de ter tentado organizar minhas fotos no computador...a vida era mais fácil com máquina fotográfica de rolo mas bateu uma nostalgia geral... principalmente quando eu achei essa preciosidade aí embaixo...e outras que estão por vir por aqui também. 

Eu escrevi essa “essay”para o blog da Kate da Green & Blue Wines, a empresa que eu trabalhava back em 2007. A viagem foi para a região da Toscana na Itália (Pisa, Montepulciano, Sienna), foi uma viagem a trabalho com pessoas da indústria vinícola para a seleção de vinhos para minha empresa. A viagem foi muito marcante para mim em todos os sentidos...não só pelo conhecimento que adquiri de vinhos italianos, os Super Tuscans mas também a experiência de vida, super thank you a Kate por isso.

No texto fica bem claro o meu entusiasmo e um também pouco da minha ingenuidade...acho que dá para para sentir que eu estava me biliscando para ver se aquilo era verdade mesmo...Incrível como o tempo que eu passei no G&B mudou a minha vida...abriu as portas para uma monte de coisas, me ajudou a definir meus objectivos em Londres, sem falar como aquele tempo lá me ajudou amadurecer... a nostalgia é palpável. A saudade is in the air. Hoje eu não trabalho mais na indústria vinícula mas os amigos que eu fiz naquela epoca ainda são parte da minha vida...

Trabalhei lá por dois anos, bons tempos de muita party, vino, wine trips e pessoas maravilhosas... infelizmente em 2009 a empresa não superou a crise econômica aqui na Inglaterra e Kate teve que vendê-la. Mas o legado ficou para todos que conheceram G&B e Kate Thal: “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”

O meu texto é o original mesmo... se não entender alguma coisa e só perguntar. As fotos seguem em selecionei somente devo colocar algumas mais no meu Flickr mas isso é algo que eu estou working on now.

My Mona Lisa days
written in 2007 - Wine trip with Green & Blue Wines

My first wine trip as a Green and Blue pupil started the early morning of 3rd of September 2007. The night before I packed my things, I really tried not to put all my wardrobe in my bag but it wasn’t really successful, I couldn’t sleep very well either because I was really excited. Apart from that Kate, Jude, Kamila, Olly and I arrived at the Stansted Airport on time and I don’t know about my fellows but I was full of enthusiasm even though I was a bit tired (I worked till late the night before). 

We arrived in Italy it was a beautiful, shining, warm day, great! After we waited for Kate to get the car for us, she then drove us to the first vineyard. This moment was very important for me cause was my first sight of a vine in all my life! This beautiful place is called Poggio Argentiera a vineyard in Maremma, south west of Italy at the very end of Tuscany. After that we went to Podere Keeling, a place bought in 2001 as bare land and today produces wines Bellamarsilla and Antonio Camillo both of them we have in Lordship Lane’s shop. 

The grapes varieties planted in this land are Sangiovese and Alicante, they’ve got a small plantation of Shiraz and Cabernet Franc and a even smaller production of Fiano as well. The soil is full of rocks and stones and the vineyard is located 250 m above sea level all this together gives the wines minerality, freshness and elegance. 

We taste the wines produced in this place: Morellino di Scansano Bellamarsilia, Morelino di Scansano Capatosta, Ciliegiolo Principio and the whites Sauvignon Alture, Ansonica-Vermentino Guazza and Fiano “Fonte 40”. The reds were big and mineral. The one I liked the most was Bellamarsilia from Poggio Argentinio and the Savignon Alture. The Savignon Blanc from this place is very petroleum in nose, dry and very different from Sauvignons I’m used to taste. The reds are quite tannic, with good acidity, spicy and with a elegant structure. 

It was about 7:00 pm when we finished and we were all quite tired but our night hadn’t started yet! We went for a beautiful restaurant specialized in sea food… I think no one was prepared for a feast in the best Italian style! After prime prate with all sort of bits and pieces from the sea, the secondi prati came I choose a traditional pasta, a roman recipe, as Christian describe to me, but it haven’t finished! There was still waiting for us a massive fish as third prati!! Well…I finish in secondi…Jude and Olly went for fish, dessert and espresso… Absolutely full of food & good wine we went to the Hotel… 

Our second day started in a vineyard called Il Paradiso, a small farm with 4 hectares but only 2 hectares destined cultivation of grapes, as usual in this area of Italy the grape produced was a Sangiovese but here called Sangiovese Grosso, because the skin of the grape, he had a small production of Trebiano e Malvasia, both whites and very common in this region as well. The soil was with rocks and the weather quite cold as a result of this facts the wine was very delicate, elegant and perfumed. I did like the wines from this place. 

Brunello de Montepulciano is the traditional wine produced here and we could taste it in three different vintages 2002, 2001 and 2000. The wine maker from this “Paradise” was another thing that impressed me a lot. The way how he spoke about the wine, about how he wanted to keep the old way of production, his desire of keeping making a real wine, his passion… “Let the wine speak” he said… and the wine really spoke specially the one from 2000. The wine from this region is quite ripe and muscular but with such a beautiful equilibrium! I really liked it. I think we will have this one in our Green & Blue. 

After that we went to Cantine Innocenti to taste the wines produced by Vittorio Innocenti, he produces Vino Nobile di Montepultiano, Rosso Di Montepulciano, Chianti, Vino Santo Del Chianti and Acerone. The grapes varieties for Chianti are Canniolo and Sangiovese. This blend works very well because Canniolo is less tannic than Sangiovese and this make the all difference in wine equilibrium. When we tasted the wines we could feel the power of Sangiovese grape! The wines was quite heavy , very rustic, and perfumed. 

That's why it's called Green & Blue

In our last day we went to visit the biggest farm on this trip: Fattoria Rodano in Castellina Chianti, it is in total 32 hectares of vines with production of another clone of Sangiovese (red), Trebbianno and Malvasia (whites), and a tiny production of Merlot. Geographically the soil is full of rocks, the weather is quite dry not much rain. The Sangiovese from this region produces Chianti Classico. 

One of my absolute favourite pictures of all the trips I've taken. I called it Under the Tuscan Sun like in the movie 

We tasted Chianti Classico 2005, it was big and tannic. 100% Sangiovese. Rich with good acidity and structure. Flowed for Chianti Classico 2003 very rustic, mineral, this one was 90% of Sangiovese, 5% Calorino and Canniolo. He explained that the blend of this two grapes with Sangiovese works very well because makes the wine less tannic. The next one was Chianti Classico Reserva 2001, again 100% Sangiovese, heavier, with good acidity and structure with a fresh smell of red fruits. 

I couldn’t remember all the details but I think I’ve done a good a resume of my beautiful days in Italy… our last hours there we spend in Sienna. Kamila and I walking around, taking photos, buying souvenirs, wines and me…thinking how lucky I am to find this family … my “Mona Lisa” photo, as Kate named it, her race surrounded of all sort of psycho-maniac drivers. Jude’s cocker’s spaniel (I still laugh when I remember it), our shy Kamila sending messages to Michelle and Olly always looking for a new competitions…all this moments, days, hours in car will stay in my memory, in my life … 

The iconic picture of a Tuscan home


It is so unbelievable how life change and find its own way to drive us to our destiny! I had never thought in all my life to be in a trip like this. 15 months before I was in the another part of the world dreaming about to come to London. I felt really glad being on this airplane, with those G&;B people, learning about wines, about grapes, about how to produce a wine, etc …The only way to finish my resume is saying: Grazie Kate! Grazie Jude! Grazie Green & Blue Family!!! 

Xxx xxX

Great memories. Great people. Great great times.
Thanks London. Thanks Life. 

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