It's always great fun to meet with a winemaker.  And it's especially fun when the winemaker is a woman—in a somewhat-still male dominated field—and when she's also an owner of an estate that goes back well more than a thousand years.  And she's a Contessa! So I was very much looking forward to a wine-soaked lunch earlier this week with Ginevra Venerosi Pesciolini, whose family and estate have been around since the 1200s!  I spent three hours with her at Manhattan's Quartino Bottega Organica, an especially fitting place because Ginevra transformed this ancient business into an organic and biodynamic farm and winery more than ten years ago. The winery uses no herbicides, chemical fertilizers or synthetic chemicals, and uses naturally-occurring indigenous yeasts for fermentation. Even the corks are…

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In this wine, Italy does meet France. Argiano is an Italian winemaker with 120 acres of vines in Montalcino, Tuscany, and also produces a Bordeaux-style wine entirely from French grapes, in addition to three 100% Sangiovese wines. This is a full-bodied, very satisfying wine that a bunch of work colleagues and I enjoyed the other night at Eno Terra in Princeton.  Forty percent Cab, and twenty percent each Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah, this is one of the most interesting blends I've ever tasted.  Nice blackfruit, a touch of spice, noticeable but not overwhelming tannin and a really nice, long finish, this is a great wine with food or just by itself on a cold, winter night.  Like we're having here…

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