First Certified Vegan Chianti Wine

Vegan products are in demand around the world and in Italy. Near Siena, Fattoria Casabianca is well on its way to becoming a fully animal-free operation and has just created Italy’s first vegan Chianti wine. All of Casabianca’s wines from the 2014 harvest forward will be certified vegan. Meanwhile, every aspect of the winery from vineyard to cellar will be cruelty-free, down to the packing …

A “Green” Vineyard in Umbria

This is an excerpt from the June/July 2013 issue of Dream of Italy: Some wineries innovate with art, and others with science. Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio near Perugia belongs to the latter category, as the first in Italy—and among the first worldwide—to reduce its carbon footprint and be certified as having reached zero greenhouse gas emissions. Monte Vibiano, part of …

Florence’s Cantinetta Antinori Gets the New York City Pop-Up Treatment

A famous Florentine restaurant, Cantinetta Antinori, comes to New York for a brief time next month… Mondrian SoHo, one of New York City’s more high-spirited hotels, turns to Florence for inspiration for its first-ever pop-up restaurant. From October 3 through 6, diners can enjoy a selection of Cantinetta Antinori’s signature dishes in the hotel’s inaugural pop-up enterprise, which will be …

Meet Mark Zuckerberg’s (Possible?) Italy Neighbors: Marchesi Alfieri Wine Estate

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has bought an Italian castle in the region of Piedmont. If he indeed purchased  Lavezzole Castle on the Alfieri hillside between Asti and Alba, then I think he’s neighboring one of my favorite wineries in Italy, Marchesi Alfieri. Sisters Emanuela, Antonella and Giovanna San Martino di San Germano are the proud proprietors of Marchesi Alfieri, a wine estate, complete …

An Italian Wine & Movie Night in Denver

I didn’t even know Elizabeth Montana of DreamItalia and her husband the famous Denver sushi master Yasu Kizaki were longtime readers of Dream of Italy when I attended the Italian Wine and Movie Night they co-organized last summer at Balistreri Vineyards in Denver. It was simply the best event I have been to in the two years I have lived …

An Italian Wine Education: Prosecco is NOT Italian Champagne

In the December 2010/January 2011 issue of Dream of Italy, I reviewed Vino Roma’s wine tasting classes in Rome. I had a terrific afternoon with sommelier Hande Leimer and she taught me much I didn’t know about Italian wine, including why I was WRONG (and lots of other folks have been too) to think that Prosecco is the equivalent of …

Special Offer: Join the Alta Cucina Epicurean Society

Have a special culinary experience and become a member of Alta Cucina Society. Alta Cucina is an epicurean society for those who want to explore, share, and celebrate premium Italian cuisine and wines. As a member you will receive invitation to exclusive dinners, free tastings and discounts on products and cooking classes. Alta Cucina membership is $45 annually, but as …