Single-variety wines: A tale of two grapes

November 5, 2014

Tasting wine at Toulouse’s annual Salon Vins et Terroirs demonstrated to me, once again, the intellectual, oenological and qualitative interest of single-variety wines. The Toulouse Salon Vins et Terroirs is held on the first weekend in November. This is the Midi-Pyrénées region’s largest gathering of winemakers. A total of 235 were there this year–up from […]

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Scoring Corsica’s (and perhaps the world’s) best honey

October 15, 2014

Jean Orsatti audaciously claims that he makes “The best honey in the world.” Certainly, it’s made in one of the most striking and beautiful landscapes imaginable—in the shadow of south-central Corsica’s Bavella massif, where jagged “needle” peaks (“Les Aiguilles de Bavella”) rise 1,600 meters (5,429 feet) in altitude. Before becoming a beekeeper, Orsatti was a […]

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Chez Pierrot in the Alta Rocca Corsica: where
wild horses, pigs, cows and montagnards still roam

September 24, 2014

Quenza is a quiet village in the Alta Rocca (“High Rock”) region of southern Corsica. Its winter population is certainly well short of 100 people, but, in the summer—as in all Corsican mountain villages, the streets fill with people. Sons and daughters, along with grandchildren, return like salmon to swim in deep cultural waters that […]

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Getting by with a little help from my friends:
A Corsican wine tasting in western Pennsylvania

September 8, 2014

This was a busy summer, with a biennial visit with my family back in Pennsylvania, followed by our annual “August 15th” celebration in Corsica with my wife’s family. Both visits were special this year. In Pennsylvania, we had a family reunion that allowed me to reconnect with cousins whom I hadn’t seen in decades, and […]

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No regrets at the Domaine Jones

August 27, 2014

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you’re young at heart. Frank Sinatra, “Young at Heart” (1963) Like many who follow the wine industry in France, I was shocked by an incident that happened in April 2013 in the Roussillon region of southern France. Katie Jones, an Englishwoman who had started […]

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