Posts Filed Under on the road

In the Shadow of the Gods (Tasting Sicily’s Diodoros Nero d’Avola)

Vinted on March 18, 2020 binned in kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review
Diodoros Icarus

“Flyyyyyy on your waaaaayyyy, like an eeeeagle, flyyy as hiiiigh as the suuuuuuunnnnn…”

It’s not often that you get to drink wine made from a vineyard that sits in a proper tourist attraction. But that’s how we roll here on 1WD when we’re touring Sicily. And while it’s always my pleasure to talk Sicily to people, I figured that Italy could use the extra love these days in the time of COVID-19.

Diodoros vineyard viewMy Sicilian media trek last year afforded me the opportunity to visit the somewhat inappropriately named Valle dei Templi, a striking UNESCO site that sits on a hilltop in Agrigento, and is home to some of the most magnificently preserved examples of ancient Greek temples and archeological findings in all of Europe. The fact that they grow wine grapes there is kind of a bonus (head over to the Napa Valley Wine Academy website for more vinous findings from that Sicily jaunt).

The particular wine made from said grapes is CVA Canicattì’s “Diodoros” Nero d’Avola-based red, named after ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus. Unlike the temples, the vines that source Diodoros actually do grow in the valley, right in the shadows of the temple of Giunone and within an Olympic discus-toss of the rest of Agrigento’s most famous tourist attraction…

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Past Masters (Aging High-end Austrian Grüner Veltliner)

Vinted on February 27, 2020 binned in elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, overachiever wines, wine review

Danube 1

Good old Austria… a land with white wines as steely, reserved, and imposingly austere as the (often slightly oversized) architectural wonders that grace its cities and towns.

Let’s wrap up the coverage of my Austrian media jaunt (yes, from back in May 2019… screw you, punky, I’ve been busy!) with a look back in time at how those steely, reserved, and imposingly austere wines get a little bit less steely, reserved, and imposingly austere given some time of repose in the botltle.

Austria lion

Austrian white wine spirit animal

C’mon, don’t you want to know what happens to high-end examples of Austria’s signature Grüner Veltliner over time? Don’t you want to know if they’re worth the time, expense, and patience? Don’t you want to read several extremely similar tasting notes about a single grape variety?

Of course you do, you wine nerd!…

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To Sicily, via the Danube, with Shout-outs (More Travel Stuff for NVWA)

Vinted on January 30, 2020 binned in on the road
NVWA Riesling

image: NVWA

I’m still wading neck-deep in the book writing waters, but wanted to throw a quick update your way to let you know that I still haven’t forsaken (not totally, anyway) those regions that were kind enough to host me on recent media tours.

I’ve got two travel pieces recently published on the Napa Valley Wine Academy website. The first contains my impressions of some of the most underappreciated white wine gems in Austria: The Best Riesling that You’re Not Drinking (a Ride Along the Danube). Seriously, folks, these things are goooooood.

The second recaps (rambles?) some of my latest ramblings through Sicily, in which I postulate whether it’s high time for us to revisit what we think that we know regarding some of that island’s white wine grapes: Sicily’s Unsung Grapes: Grillo and Zibibbo.

Finally, I want to offer up a huge shout-out to the entire NVWA team, who just took home the WSET Educator of the Year Award. It’s a huge validation for the hard work that those fine folks put into their WSET program, and it’s heartwarming for me, in that I enjoy working with folks who happen to be so successful while managing to be such nice people.





Crème de la Krems (Grüner Veltliner Reserve Highlights from Kremstal)

Vinted on January 16, 2020 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, on the road, wine review
Winzer Krems map room

Sure, this is impressive, but…

In the Austrian region of Krems, they know a thing or two (or two dozen) about winemaking; few wine-growing areas have its kind of historical depth, even when measured by European standards. Grape production in Krems dates back to the 3rd Century AD (during the reign of Probus); mentions of specific vineyards can be fond as far back as the 11th Century; and Krems itself officially became a town in 1305 partly because of the reputation of its vineyards.

Unfortunately, that impressively lengthy resume timeline doesn’t mean that they know how to properly combine cinema and map rooms in Krems, as I learned during a masterclass tasting held at Winzer Krems, the Kremstal’s long-standing co-op.

Raiders map room

…can it do *this*??

First of all, they have “4D” theater at Winzer Krems (that combines audio, 3D visual, and tactile/aromatic effects), the kind that most of us have encountered only at science academy museum spots in U.S. major cities. At first blush, that format seems a natural fit for a mini wine movie; in practice, it’s a bit disappointing in terms of translating what’s in an on-screen glass of vino. Winzer Krems also has an impressive map room, which shows the Kremstal in impressively sized detail.

Somehow, despite having both of those elements, they amazingly and inexplicably do not offer a recreation of the greatest map room scene in the history of cinema. Sorry, my Austrian friends, but it’s a very, very difficult thing for us cinema buffs to blithely gloss over such an egregious oversight. Fortunately, Kremstal has an ace up its sleeve: it offers some of the country’s better examples of Grüner Veltliner Reserve…

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