Autumn in TuscanyItalian wine lovers take note! The intense heat in Italy this summer– breaking either a 50- or 150-year record depending on who you speak to– was hard on visitors but good for growing the grapes that produce great wine. Optimism for this year’s harvest is running high among our wine-making friends.Chianti grapes at harvest timeAs goes the harvest (vendemmia), so goes what people are talking about in Italy. The promising season began with a wet winter and early spring. This meant the ground held water to nourish the vines throughout the summer. The intense heat of July killed off the eggs of the dreaded ‘tignoletta’ or grape fly… a problem that cost one of our preferred Chianti vintners, Riccardo Casamonti, and his father nearly 20% of their crop in grapes in ChiantiRiccardo is especially excited by the current health of his vineyard. It is starting to rain regularly and grape-growers are hoping and praying there will be no hail – their greatest fear. Well that and an early frost.Wine tour in MontepulcianoHere in our office, Elyse is already excited to give our 2016 guests a taste of what is to come in the form of a vertical tasting. “We will start with the young 2015s and by the time we get to the 2010s and beyond, they have an idea of what to look forward to.” For those who are buying wine, this will be the time to purchase some cases of the 2015. “It is increasingly difficult to locate the 2007 to 2010 Brunellos for our guests.” she explained. “And when we do, they can range from E80 to E3800 per bottle. You don’t have to be a wine collector to appreciate what a delight it will be to open these 2015s in several years and enjoy an instant replay of your villa vacation.”Olivetto terraceOur fabulous Antonella and her wine-consultant husband have already put a stake in this year becoming a great vintage. “It’s going to be as good as 2010!”Oliveto grape vinesWe’ll drink to that…Vertical wine tasting in Chianti

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