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Travel Blog | Cellar Tours Blog Featuring Food, Wi Blog
This is our weblog on interesting people, foods, wines, place we come across over the course of our travels. We hope you enjoy these highlights and tips as much as we do.
Guide To Portuguese White Wine
2023-03-15 14:07
The familiar images of Portugal – Mateus Rosé, Port, and Madeira – do no more than hint at the incredible diversity of this wine country. Portugal is now a key exporter of… Read More
Vioshino And The Rise Of Trás-os-Montes
2023-03-11 10:08
In the 20th century, it seemed as if the quality revolution had bypassed the vineyards of northeastern Portugal. Remote and mountainous, Trás-os-Montes was forgotten as international… Read More
Top 10 Best Wineries To Visit In Alentejo
2023-03-07 13:38
The best of authentic wine tourism: Alentejo A warm climate, spectacular scenery, and pristine beaches have made Portugal one of Europe’s leading tourist destinations, attracting milli… Read More
Reclaiming Trajadura
2023-03-04 08:07
Many cultural differences polarize Spanish and Portuguese winegrowers, despite their close (at times, too close!) geographical proximity. For example, the Galicians have only recently starte… Read More
Rarer Than Rare: Rabigato Grape Variety
2023-02-28 08:10
Time and time again, winegrowers in the Douro manage to confound our expectations. This is the home of Port: Europe’s leading sweet fortified wine. Most consumers, therefore, don&rsquo&hell…Read More
Gouveio’s Port Surprise
2023-02-20 10:20
Even a category as famous as Port can keep a secret or two. Indeed, most people imagine every bottle of this iconic fortified wine is a sweetened concoction of red grapes, sometimes aged for… Read More
A Portuguese Legend: Cercial
2023-02-17 11:13
Now, this is a conundrum. How can one of Europe’s most obscure grape varieties be a Portuguese legend? Cercial, also known as Cerceal, rarely appears on wine labels. Neither does the g… Read More
Bical’s Return To Grace
2023-02-15 14:39
In the 20th century, it took a lot of work to make a case for obscure grape varieties like Bical. As global demand coalesced around familiar wine styles (Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc remains a house… Read More
Arinto Reborn
2023-02-10 13:41
Portugal has been a late entrant to the world of saline and aromatic white wines. For decades, poor viticulture and outmoded equipment held the nation back – its reputation was solely… Read More
Guide To Italian White Wine
2023-02-04 08:42
One of the most enduring Italian stereotypes is the ‘mammone’: spoilt, live-in mummy’s boys who expect their parents to pay the rent, cook their food, and iron their shirts… Read More
Vernaccia Di San Gimignano
2023-01-25 18:04
Every wine lover, critic, sommelier, and buyer has an opinion on Tuscany. Each of them will have a set idea of what this corner of Italy offers – the majority coalesce around an archet… Read More
Jewel Of Sardinia: Vermentino
2023-01-23 08:35
The destinies of Vermentino and Sardinia have long chartered a parallel course. Until recently, this beautiful island (widely adored for its spectacular landscape and pristine beaches) had l… Read More
Verdicchio Conquers All
2023-01-20 10:00
Italy used to have zero cachet in the white wine market. The small volume exported in the mid-1900s seldom elicited a positive response from critics or consumers: it wasn’t so much a h… Read More
Trebbiano Toscano Grape Variety
2023-01-17 08:59
Regular visitors to our blog may have detected a certain sniffiness toward this ubiquitous variety. You might construe this as a simple case of jumping on the bandwagon: wine critic and auth… Read More
Becoming Mainstream: Ribolla Gialla
2023-01-12 14:54
In 2021, British retailer Marks & Spencer welcomed a new brand of Ribolla Gialla into its wine range. It represented a historic milestone for the growers of Friuli-Venezia; the Italians… Read More
Pinot Grigio’s Comeback
2023-01-08 11:43
The Italians, for all their virtues, have damaged the reputation of this noble variety. Pinot Grigio: the name sends a shudder down the spine of any self-respecting wine snob. For decades, b… Read More
Masterclass: Pinot Bianco Grape Variety
2023-01-05 16:02
Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc to the French) is the most misunderstood grape variety cultivated in Italy today. A lighter-skinned mutation of Pinot Noir, the grape was historically confused with… Read More
The Hero Of Marche: Pecorino
2023-01-04 14:49
The genius of Italy is its ability to cater to everyone: there are as many autochthonous grapes as varieties of pasta in the Italian peninsula! So, if you seek comfort and familiarity, immer… Read More
Moscato Giallo’s Hidden Talents
2023-01-01 10:00
Wine lovers can overlook the spectacular vineyards of Trentino-Alto Adige. It may be because they lack the global fame of Tuscany or the collector cachet of Piedmont. Perhaps it is because t… Read More
An Island Treasure: Malvasia Bianca
2022-12-23 10:33
Learning about Malvasia can be a recipe for confusion. It is a very well-traveled variety, cultivated in Italy, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Australia, South America, and the US. That would be ba… Read More
Inzolia: A Tale Of Two Grape Varieties
2022-12-21 09:02
Inzolia is a grape with two distinct identities. One of them stretches back over a century – Inzolia is one of the key white varieties used to make Sicilian Marsala. This fortified win… Read More
A Second Chance: Grillo Grape Variety
2022-12-19 12:39
The Italians have a knack for reinvention, motivated by pride and commercial pragmatism. Take, for instance, the esoteric white grape known as Grillo. For centuries, Grillo has been used to… Read More
The A To Z Of The Greco Grape
2022-12-17 11:09
Is there a region as dynamic and exciting as Campania? Or less easy to pigeonhole? Described as Oenotria (land of wine) by the colonizing Greeks, the majestic terrain of southern Italy holds… Read More
Prosecco Rises: Glera Grape Variety
2022-12-09 15:12
From one perspective, Glera is the most important white grape cultivated in Italy today. The backbone of all-white Prosecco, it is responsible for a global phenomenon that has no equal; few… Read More
The Magic Behind Soave: Garganega
2022-12-07 10:40
The Veneto region is a mass of contradictions. Several of Italy’s most iconic appellations and wine styles are nestled in its hills, including Valpolicella Classico, Amarone della Valp… Read More
Friulano’s Hidden Depths
2022-12-05 09:41
The wines of Friuli-Venezia Giulia bear little resemblance to the Tuscan stereotype: full-bodied reds of savory potency and charm. No, this corner of northeast Italy has long been in the whi… Read More
Fiano’s Glorious Comeback
2022-12-02 08:11
The world of wine is not a democracy: certain varieties produce heavenly nectar, while others can only deliver a mouthful of acidic dross. Fiano lies in the former category – this piec… Read More
The Resurrection Variety: Falanghina
2022-11-28 08:47
If you enjoy drinking Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, you’ll love Falanghina. Once described as ‘the wine of Emperors,’ it is a glorious white variety, capable of producing very… Read More
Rarer Than Rare: Erbaluce Grape Variety
2022-11-25 14:58
There are two sides to Piedmont. One is Barolo and Barbaresco’s fashionable and increasingly expensive wines. Produced in relatively small volumes, these superlative reds tend to come… Read More
Jewel Of The North: Cortese Grape Variety
2022-11-24 12:59
Italy is highly adept at creating regional brands with a global cachet. Do you want proof? There is scarcely a wine lover today who has not sipped a glass of Amarone, Brunello di Montalcino… Read More
Coda Di Volpe’s Second Chance
2022-11-21 13:12
In Roman times, Italy’s most prized vinous treasures were produced in the hills of Campania, flanking the beautiful city of Naples. Bathed in endless sunshine, indigenous grape varieti… Read More
Sicily’s Secret Weapon: Carricante
2022-11-16 08:36
Sicilian white wines can be astonishing. With average summer temperatures hovering around 37°C in July, logic dictates that this Mediterranean island should struggle to produce fresh and… Read More
Top Secret: Arneis Grape Variety
2022-11-11 09:00
Certain wine regions require little or no introduction. Piedmont is such a destination – the home of seductively-scented Nebbiolo is loved and admired by sommeliers, collectors, and wi… Read More
The Best Wine Hotels In La Rioja
2022-11-07 15:18
Where to stay in La Rioja La Rioja is, without a doubt, Spain’s most evocative and beautiful wine region, sprinkled with medieval villages, world-class wine estates, and some of the be… Read More
Guide To French White Wine
2022-10-20 15:42
In the great pantheon of European wine nations, France stands alone. For centuries, L’Hexagone has pulled off a remarkable feat: viticultural diversity. Unlike Spain, Germany, and Ital… Read More
Going Solo: Semillon Grape Variety
2022-10-17 07:51
For centuries, winemakers in Bordeaux have blended Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc to produce whites of impeccable balance and finesse. However, until very recently, it was only the Australian… Read More
Gewürztraminer’s Fair Hearing
2022-10-16 09:15
Gewürztraminer presents a conundrum. From one perspective, the grape has all the necessary credentials for global fame: one of the world’s most pungent white varieties is both att… Read More
Saved From Extinction: Courbu Blanc
2022-10-13 18:58
The French Basque Country holds many secrets, not least a smattering of indigenous varieties that seldom make international headlines. Chief among these is Courbu, known as Hondarrabi Zuri o… Read More
The Great Divider: Sauvignon Blanc
2022-10-10 11:11
You can smell a glass of New World Sauvignon Blanc a mile off: a pungent concoction of tropical fruit, blackcurrant leaf, and freshly cut grass. This modern-day exemplar was established by t… Read More
Roussanne’s Collectability Credentials
2022-10-04 13:52
Burgundy myopia is a long-established trait amongst the world’s collectors and connoisseurs. Indeed, a wealth of superlative white wine is being made across France today, yet the secon… Read More
Pinot Gris: N’est Pas Grigio
2022-10-03 11:58
Pinot Gris has been unfairly typecast as quaffable weekend drinking: bland, inoffensive, and unfailingly polite. Its reputation was made as the second-cheapest option on the wine list &ndash&hell…Read More
A Race To The Top: Picpoul Blanc
2022-09-27 10:25
Picpoul could give Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc a run for its money if there is a new fashionable white grape variety. It has excellent credentials: the grape produces an aromatic style full of char… Read More
A Lost Legacy: Picardan Grape Variety
2022-09-22 10:36
French wine covers the whole gamut, from varieties exported worldwide to obscure grapes that almost no one has heard of; you can probably imagine which category Picardan falls into! However… Read More
The Bargain Of The Century: Petit Manseng
2022-09-20 10:25
This year, more than ever, consumers will seek relative value and excitement when choosing wine. Trend-conscious understand what we’re talking about; comfort zones and ‘old favor… Read More
Steady As She Goes For Muscadelle
2022-09-15 09:25
Underrated and underestimated, Muscadelle has long been damned with faint praise as the ‘third’ variety of white Bordeaux. With the notable exception of Monbazillac, Muscadelle r… Read More
Magnificent Mauzac
2022-09-08 13:42
It is generally agreed that the best sparkling wines come from cool climates. All over the world, producers seek out the chilliest spots that offer a facsimile of the climate – and soi… Read More
The Rise And Rise Of Merlot
2022-01-14 13:05
Merlot, the resplendent red grape variety of Bordeaux, achieved massive notoriety in 2004. The impetus was the Oscar-winning film Sideways. During a brilliant scene, the lead character Miles… Read More
Pomace Brandy: Marc De Bourgogne
2021-12-31 12:36
Recently, a leading university in California made a remarkable discovery. After conducting several experiments, scientists at the UC Davis in California found that grape pomace (the grape sk… Read More
The Origins Of The Méthode Champenoise
2021-12-23 10:59
What is Méthode Champenoise? Sparkling wine can be made almost anywhere if you have the correct equipment. It is an expanding global enterprise (despite what the Champenoise would hav… Read More
Guide To Italian Red Wine
2021-12-08 15:54
The length and breadth of Italian red wine Italy wrote the book on viticultural diversity. A nation of just over 59 million people boasts a treasure trove of indigenous grape varieties and e… Read More
Tuscany’s Best Kept Secret: Canaiolo
2021-11-19 09:03
In the rolling hills between Florence and Siena, there is a grape variety with ancient origins. It has been part of this timeless landscape for centuries, providing color, acidity, and verve… Read More
The Refosco Family Reunion
2021-11-12 12:01
Refosco has spent over a century shrouded in anonymity. Cultivated in discrete corners of northeastern Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, the name ‘Refosco’ is only occasionally menti… Read More
Lagrein Grape Variety Finds Its Roots
2021-10-29 06:40
Sommeliers often remark that certain wine styles and regions sell themselves. After all, most collectors are (self-certified) experts when it comes to the Cru Classé estates of B… Read More
Teroldego: Jewel Of The Italian Alps
2021-10-20 07:28
First-time visitors often believe that the Tuscan cliché defines Italy’s entire landscape. This is perfectly understandable: the rolling hills, olive groves, and sweeping vistas… Read More
Nerello Mascalese’s Great Revival
2021-09-24 14:51
The wine trade is unanimous: Nerello Mascalese is the most exciting grape variety cultivated in Sicily today. One might even believe that it was created in a lab, custom-built to receive hig… Read More
Montepulciano’s Rising Star
2021-09-17 07:09
Montepulciano grape is something of an outlier among Italy’s eclectic palette of red grape varieties. It lacks the international renown of Sangiovese (although it is Italy’s seco… Read More
2021-08-27 14:10
What is Aglianico Wine? Italy has a thousand distinct grape varieties, each adapted to a niche in the country’s incredibly diverse landscape. Sadly, many of these wonders remained loca… Read More

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