After our trip to Italy, I felt so much pride and gratefulness for my experience that I was eager to share it with everybody. However, I was a little hesitant because I felt these amazing winemakers should be introduced and have their story told by a local with a native, Italian approach.
I kept wondering how we could accomplish this, and then one day, I read a few blog posts on a website called TanninTime, and I just knew this was the right approach. So I asked Alessandro Ingrosso – the Italian blogger behind it – if he could help us tell the stories of these Italian owners and winemakers, and luckily he replied, “Yes!”
Alessandro did three interviews for Vegan Wines which you can watch in full here, and everything went so well that I had to meet him in person!
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Discovering Calabria 🍷 with @francesgonzalez_newyork ____ 📌 Cosenza 👉🏻 tag #TanninTime _____________________________ #wine #winelover #winelovers #winetasting #winestagram #wineaddict #wineporn #wineblogger #winetime #winelove #winegeek #wineoclock #winenight #winelife #winenot #instawine #sommelier #вино #ワイン #vino #wein #vin #vinho #wineo
Meeting Up in Italy
Alessandro and I were finally able to meet during a visit to the two winemakers at Serracavalle and Terre del Gufo. The way Alessandro’s words fell right into sync with our mission, it was like he had been with the Vegan Wines team from the beginning! He understands Vegan Wines, our guidelines and standards, and the “why” behind them. He is also easy-going, an amazing Italian wine blogger, and an expert on Italian wines, so it all fell into place.
Vegan Wines is excited to welcome Alessandro of TanninTime to our team as a Brand Ambassador!
I love Italian wines and want the Vegan Wines portfolio to keep adding more and more each year, so having Alessandro on our team is the perfect arrangement! After knowing him for some time, we now have a team member who will be on the ground in Italy to help with our wine research – keeping everything amazing and locally vetted!
To introduce Alessandro to you, we asked him to write a little about his background as well as his winery visits with Vegan Wines in Italy, so here is Alessandro:
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It’s #TanninTime – @eraldo_dentici , #blindbloggertasting _________________________________________ 🇮🇹 Vivere il blind come partecipante è emozionante ma viverlo come organizzatore è un qualcosa di indescrivibile, a maggior ragione dal fatto che viene svolto nella propria regione e da un ‘amico’ produttore. Sabato 21 e domenica 22 settembre, Eraldo ha aperto le porte della sua cantina e ci ha fatto sentire parte della sua famiglia, con sua madre e sua moglie ai fornelli, suo padre in cantina, i suoi figli e lui con noi. Un doveroso ringraziamento ad @eraldo_dentici ed alla sua famiglia per l’ospitalità, a @fabioenotecalavigna e @bonomi_winediary per aver condiviso con me questo evento, ai partecipanti per essere venuti e per aver portato dei vini eccezionali. Ci vediamo al prossimo blindbloggertasting ‼ _________________________________________ 🏴 It’s #TanninTime – @eraldo_dentici , #blindbloggertasting _________________________________________ Living the blind as a participant is exciting but living it as an organizer is something indescribable, in addition because it is in Umbria and at a 'friend' winemaker. Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September, Eraldo opened the doors of his cellar and made us feel part of his family, with his mother and his wife in the kitchen, his father in the wine cellar, his children and he with us. Thanks to @eraldo_dentici and his family for their hospitality, thanks to @fabioenotecalavigna and @bonomi_winediary for sharing this event with me, thanks to all participants for coming and for bringing exceptional wines. Are you ready for the next blindbloggertasting‼ _________________________________________ ➡️Continue on tannintime.it ⬆️link in bio _________________________________________ #umbria #montefalco #sagrantinodimontefalco
A Word from Alessandro of TanninTime
Wine has been always present in my life and in my study and training in the hotel world. I am a sommelier, but I prefer to simply be called a “wine lover.” My TanninTime Blog was born in August 2015 just because I’ve always loved to make notes about the wines that I tasted. I enjoy listening to winemakers’ stories in their cellars. I love to talk and write about wine, its nuances and the emotions it creates.
This was my first enological journey to Calabria, a land that is very well-suited to viticulture but still not very well-known. I found myself in the car, forced for logistical reasons, to drive for over 700 kilometers to go and meet Frances from Vegan Wines in the beautiful land of Cosenza. In recent years, this area has begun to gain the attention of people who are passionate about wine. The objectives were two: discover new wines and meet new winemakers.
I arrived in Cosenza in the evening and immediately I met Francesco and Michele from CerzaSerra, two young winemakers with so much enthusiasm, and we tasted their “Vasciu” rosé made from Magliocco and Mantonico. They produced only 1,200 bottles of this wine and it expresses generous red fruit with a slight acidity. Their “San Pietro” is a red wine made from Magliocco, sapid with vibrant tannin. The Magliocco variety (also called Magliocco dolce or tondo) is a native black grape of Calabria, widespread throughout the region, particularly in the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro, and Crotone. They are ancient vines, once almost completely abandoned in favor of Gaglioppo, that have in the last few years been re-evaluated and often vinified in purity. The wine obtained from this vine is of an intense ruby red color with hints of ripe red fruit, warm and soft on the palate.
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Thank you @tannintime for joining @myveganwines revisit to @terredelgufo ⠀ ⠀ It was a beautiful day to visit Eugenio and his wife. We got to taste wines that was still fermenting while hearing of Eugenio plans to go back to Italy's traditional aging method in bigger barrels to age his wines. I am not sure how many people are aware that the small barrel aging in Italy comes from the US for the past time period oak barrel taste in wines was in high demand. Now its great to see that more winemakers like Eugenio are going back to aging wines back to traditional larger barrels so the wine holds the grapes natural flavors verses masking it will strong oak flavors. ⠀ ⠀ Terre del Gufo is also listed in the official wine guide of AIS #vitae2019 AIS stands for Associazione Italiana Sommelier or Italian Sommelier Association)⠀ ⠀ During our Trade Event @plantfoodandwine in NYC a lady asked the question what the owl stands for and would like to share with you all. Eugenio dad's nickname was "Owl" because he had big eyes and wore eyeglasses so made his eyes look big like a owl :)⠀ ⠀ We are so grateful Italian Blogger, Alessandro joined us because with his bilingual speaking the limited language barrier was lifted and the visit was like long time friends having delicious wines paired with great talks and laughs! So thank you @tannintime very much! 🍷 ⠀ The beauty of the vineyard high in the mountains overlooking Cosenza is such a life experience to remember!⠀ ⠀ #veganwines #myveganwines #veganwineexpert
Calabria is known for the area of Cirò, where the main grape is Gaglioppo. The Terre di Cosenza DOC, a denomination born in 2011, is trying to make its way into the panorama of wine lovers thanks to the hard work of the Consortium. This denomination includes within it seven sub-areas characterized by the production of wines from grapes including Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Calabrase, Chardonnay, Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco, Greco Nero, Magliocco, Merlot, and Montonico.
The morning here was a pleasant discovery for me because I love small producers. Terre del Gufo is truly an artisanal or craft producer of wine – the only building present is perfectly integrated with nature, designed and built by the owner Eugenio’s father. My memory of the tastes and smells here reminds me of two wines in particular, both from pure Magliocco: the Chiaroscuro 2018, a fresh and pleasantly fruity rosè, and Portapiana, a full-bodied red with hints of jam, spices, and toasting.
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Flaviana and Demetrio are two of the most heart warming yet sassy people I have met. I love their wines just as much as I love their personalities! We had wonderful vegan lunch together hosted at beautiful Azienda Agricola Serracavallo. The food and wine pairing were perfect! ⠀ ⠀ There is a wine story to share in a special blog post coming soon with @myveganwines and @tannintime. We will be sharing some exciting news and also our wine story adventures that include @serracavallovini great Italian wines. ⠀ ⠀ You can now enjoy their beautiful vegan wines by shopping at our online wine store and have it shipped right to your door. Always keep in mind that my heart is set in finding wines made with love and taste amazing! This is my dedication and promise to you, mother nature, and the animals. Beautiful wines are #lessismore #veganwines #veganwineexpert #italianwines #italy
To conclude our journey, we visited Serracavallo, an important winery in the Terre di Cosenza where the winemakers Demetrio Stancati and Flaviana Bilotti perform miracles from just one hour from the vineyard through lots of experimentation and careful clonal selection. The place is enchanting – it seems to be lying on a balcony while going through the vineyard on a tractor. The average height of the vines is high for the region, and this can be tasted in the wines. The whites are an explosion of pleasant acidity, from the elegantly mineral Besidiae to the Petramola with a touch of exotic fruit. The reds have an intrinsic big character – the Terraccia is warm and silky with a very long aftertaste, and the Vigna Savuco 2013 is a full-bodied red with pleasant jam fruits and an enveloping palate.
Happy for this short tour of only two days that led me to discover this fantastic land and grateful to Vegan Wines for the outstanding experience, I drove home, planning a new wine journey.