For the second "Wine Wednesday" event in our TF Together online event series, we asked readers to grab a bottle of Sangiovese for a lively discussion of how this typically Tuscan grape expresses itself in different terroirs. Led by The Florentine's Helen Farrell, we were joined by wine educators Filippo Bartolotta and Emily O’Hare, and representatives of three Tuscan wineries Querceto di Castellina, Castello di Potentino and Ruffino.
This video was recorded with Go To Meeting, where participants who chose to share their webcams were able to communicate, and a chat added to the interactive nature of the event.
0:00: Helen Farrell introduces our guest wineries for tonight’s Sangiovese-based wine chat.
1:11: Mary Shea and Jacopo Di Battista
Wine: Sei Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione 2016, Querceto di Castellina
A wine from a single vineyard and two different Sangiovese clones.
5:49: Filippo Bartolotta comments on Querceto di Castellina
9:13: Francesco Sorelli
Wine: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, Ruffino
Sangiovese is an iconic grape for this difficult moment, “resilient and prosperous”, works well with others as well as on its own, not to mention that it is representative of Tuscany.
12:12: Francesco Sorelli
Sangiovese and the land that makes the difference, alongside the people who cultivate it
12:58: Helen Farrell
Wine is culture. It’s not just about what’s in the glass, but about everything that goes on around it.
13:28: Charlotte Horton
Castello di Potentino produces an atypical expression of Sangiovese in a microclimate on Monte Amiata where hot dry air comes in off the plains but, at night, cold, dry air rushes off the mountain, and vines love that. A “magic mountain” with a variety of volcanic soils that allow sustainable viticulture without fertilizers.
21:24: Emily O’Hare comments on Castello di Potentino and how it differs from the winery where she is based in Colli Chianti Senesi.
The qualities of Sangiovese
25:10: Filippo Bartolotta
Comments on Castello di Potentino, “a fairytale place” where we need to have a massive party as soon as the Covid-19 emergency.
Comments on Ruffino in the 1977 vintage - the phenomenal longevity of the DNA of Sangiovese.
26:31: What he’s drinking: Podere Le Ripi Amore e Magia 2015, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Do you have to wait 30 years for vines to mature to make good wine? At Podere Le Ripi, they planted high density vines to increase their competition and force the roots to grow as deep as a 30-year old vine, and the result is magical.
31:08: Helen reads messages from the readers-participants who are not on screen, as we have numerous participants who are “drinking along” with us.
31:27: Our reader Terese, tuning in from Germany, drinking Castello di Verrazzano Sassello 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
33:07: Our reader Paige praises Francesco’s description of the wine drinking experience and shares her feelings about the Monsanto Chianti Classico she is tasting. “I’m enjoying learning alongside you.”
33:59: Our reader Colette is drinking Chianti Montalbano, a light expression of the grape.
34:36: Helen mentions that news reports indicate a major increase in wine sales and consumption during the coronavirus crisis and asks panelists to comment. Francesco mentions that the best part of the day is currently around the table, where they always have different wines that they are ordering online. Mary speaks about the increase in online sales at their winery and the outpouring of support from loyal clients. Perhaps the increase is due to more time for cooking and opportunity to pair food with wines. Wine brings people together, it’s an emotional experience and we need a little joy these days! Charlotte also notes that they’ve received numerous orders from friends and contacts, much more than from trade; at this time that the supermarket is no longer convenient, people realize they can get their favourite wine directly from the producer. She hopes it is a positive shift in the market that will remain also after the emergency.
40:11 Emily mentions a poem by Pablo Neruda about wine (“Ode to Wine”) that Charlotte always reads out at the end of the courses Emily leads at Castello di Potentino (see their residential courses here).
It reminds her that "wine is a conversation, and at the end of the day, this is my opportunity for intelligent conversation" (while in isolation with a two year old).
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
as a golden sword,
as lascivious velvet,
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
you feed on mortal
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left
of your immutable soul.
stirs the spring, happiness
bursts through the earth like a plant,
and rocky cliffs,
as song is born.
A jug of wine, and thou beside me
in the wilderness,
sang the ancient poet.
Let the wine pitcher
add to the kiss of love its own.
My darling, suddenly
the line of your hip
becomes the brimming curve
of the wine goblet,
your breast is the grape cluster,
your nipples are the grapes,
the gleam of spirits lights your hair,
and your navel is a chaste seal
stamped on the vessel of your belly,
your love an inexhaustible
cascade of wine,
light that illuminates my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.
But you are more than love,
the fiery kiss,
the heat of fire,
more than the wine of life;
the community of man,
chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I like on the table,
when we're speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
and remember in every
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel with wine;
and in the ritual of his office,
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine.