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Italian Wine Grape Varieties

We begin our journey to Italy today and land in the Eternal City tomorrow. In our case, all roads do lead to Rome. Our agenda includes the Wine Pleasures FAM trip for bloggers and media. We will explore wineries in Umbria and Campania. The itinerary also includes the International Wine Tourism Conference. I am presenting at the conference a week from today. Prior to our itinerary we have a few days in Rome and after the itinerary we have a few days in Naples. On this journey to the old world we hope to taste many wines made from grape varieties we haven’t tried before.

Both Kathy and I are members of the Wine Century Club. This is a group of people, world-wide, who have tasted at least 100 different grape varieties. Recently the Wine Century Club added a 200, 300 and 400 level. It took us close to three years to taste 100 varieties. Now, prior to our trek to Italy, we have tasted 151 varietal grapes in wines. A mission of this trip is to taste 50 different grape varieties. At first thought this seems impossible. However, while visiting Fiore Winery in Maryland, we noticed a poster of different wine grape varieties. The poster showed about 60 varieties. Early in our wine career, I asked owner and winemaker Mike Fiore if the poster showed the grape varieties in Italy. Mike laughed and said, “No! Those are the varieties from the village I am from.” Given the time, we should have no problem tasting 50 new wine grape varieties.

During the conference Jane Hunt will conduct a wine tasting called: The Many Flavours of Italy. This tasting includes many wines and of them eleven will be made from varietal grapes we haven’t tasted before. Our mission to taste 50 grape varieties that we haven’t tasted before seems doable. We are looking forward to discovering Umbria and Campagnia.


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