Peter Femfert, the German owner with his Venetian wife Stefania of Fattoria Nittardi, is an artist. He would not think so, for his main profession consists of running Die Galerie, Frankfurt’s leading art gallery specializing in modern painting and sculpture, so he might say that he works with artists, represents them, befriends and understands them, but is not one himself. Yet at Nittardi, the historic estate that he bought in 1983 thinking that he was merely assuring himself and Stefania of a home for the holidays, he has created a true Work of Art.
Fattoria Nittardi, an estate producing wine and olive oil north of Castellina in Chianti in the heart of Tuscany nearer to Siena than to Florence, has a history of almost 1,000 years. In the 12th century the fortified tower that dominated its surroundings was known as ‘Nectar Dei’, which presumes a wine production of some quality. In the early 16th centur...

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Chianti: The Art of Wine

Steven Spurrier - Peter Femfert, the German owner with his Venetian wife Stefania of Fattoria Nittardi, is an artist. He would not think so, for his main profession consists of running Die Galerie, Frankfurt’s leading art gallery specializing in modern painting and sculpture, so he might say that he works with artists, represents them, befriends and understands them, […] Read more >>

Yields: one tool to balance supply and demand in Champagne

Giles Fallowfield - Champagne producers agreed to set the maximum yield for the 2019 harvest at 10,200 kilos per hectare, 600kgs/ha down on the base level set for 2018, to produce around 300 million bottles. The CIVC Comité that represents the two sides of the champagne business – the growers and the merchant houses (négociants) – see this […] Read more >>

Loire: Five Top Restaurants

Jim Budd - La Promenade Restaurant If I am asked for a really good Loire restaurant, here are five that I would always recommend. One is in Anjou, three are in Touraine and one in Chavignol by Sancerre. They are favourites because they are consistently good, the cooking is inventive without being gimmicky and their food is complemented […] Read more >>

California: The Happy Valley

Norm Roby - Winemaker Joe Webb punching down Pinot Noir Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, once dismissed as too ‘remote’, ‘sparsely populated’ and ‘laid back’ is now arguably the most exciting New World region for Pinot Noir. What happened? Located over 125 miles northwest of San Francisco, it remains remote. But it is a rare transverse valley, running east to […] Read more >>

England: Back to the 1970s

Stephen Skelton MW - Winning the Gore-Browne Trophy for the ‘English Wine of the Year’ in 1980 In 1974, at the tender age of twenty-seven I had the wild notion that there might be a future in growing grapes and making wine in the English countryside. At the time, the industry – not that anyone called it that then […] Read more >>

Champagne: A Question of Yield

Giles Fallowfield - Champagne producers agreed to set the maximum yield for the 2019 harvest at 10,200 kilos per hectare, 600kgs/ha down on the base level set for 2018, to produce around 300 million bottles. The CIVC Comité that represents the two sides of the champagne business – the growers and the merchant houses (négociants) – see this […] Read more >>

China: Burying Vines in Winter

CH’NG Poh Tiong - Vines have to be dragged into the ground and buried as the temperature can dive to minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter in Xinjiang It is not possible – not yet anyway – to be buried alive and come back in the flesh. That may be the subject of a future Marvel or DC Comics […] Read more >>

Languedoc: The New Whites

Rosemary George MW - Traditionally the Languedoc is a region of red wines. With the exception of Clairette du Languedoc, all the early appellations concentrated on red and tended to ignore white wine. St. Chinian and Faugères were appellations for red wine in 1982, whereas their white counterparts were not created until 2005. In the extensive Coteaux du Languedoc, […] Read more >>

Eastern Europe – The Hot Spots

Caroline Gilby MW - Sign for the famous Nice Woman Valley in Eger (Hungary) Three decades of being a lone voice in the wilderness and how things have changed. Judges are now fighting for a spot at my Decanter World Wine Awards tables whereas a few years ago it was definitely seen as a short straw. Today there are […] Read more >>

Chile: País – The Cinderella Grape

Darren Smith - Tino, one of the campesinos who helps Roberto Henriquez, is loading País grapes into the back of his car in Santa Juana Southern Chile is one of the coolest regions in the world in which to make wine. This dawned on me on a misty morning on April 25 2019, when Roberto Henriquez was driving […] Read more >>

Tuscany: Cloud over Montalcino

Monty Waldin - Certified organic Sangiovese vines in Sant Angelo in south west Montalcino Italy’s recent local government streamlining has subsumed smaller townships 'comuni ' into their larger near-neighbours. Now vacated council offices and even rural police stations are morphing into private houses, shops, warehouses and even bakeries and restaurants.  The reforms saw Montalcino, already the largest township in […] Read more >>