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October 9, 2019

Italy: Alba, the White Truffle Festival


Black truffles on a plate of pasta

In early November 2018 we arrived in Alba Italy at the time of the commune’s famous truffle market. As we learned immediately on arrival, the six weeklong International White Truffle Festival is very popular. Indeed on a long Italian holiday weekend the streets of Alba were packed. (more…)

January 5, 2019

France: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 6:45 pm

A group of visitors walk through the vineyards towards Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

It was the wine that brought us back to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The 2015 vintage is a good one in France and being temporarily homeless we figured it would be a good time to stock up. While we were there we were also able to do some early reconnaissance on the 2016 vintage, which may well top 2015. (more…)

France: Saint-Émilion


The roads leaving Saint-Émilion head through the vineyards.

Saint-Émilion is one of our favorite wine towns. Recently we visited the commune again for our third time. We did not visit alone. Saint-Émilion is a very popular stop for oenophiles from around the world. Usually the crowds put us off but for some reason the throngs of red wine addled tourists are more tolerable in Saint-Émilion. (more…)

January 3, 2019

France: Burgundy, Wine Festivals

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:21 pm

Domaine d’Arlot’s wines and a map of the vineyards

The French regularly drink wine. There’s little doubt about that. But where do they buy the wine they drink? In 2018 we learned a little more about how the French purchase wine. (more…)

November 28, 2018

France: Riquewihr

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:28 am

A steeple through the Alsatian vineyards

If I was transported blindfolded and dropped in the French Alsace region I would instinctively think I was in Germany. This area of Northeastern France looks more German than French to me. Indeed it looks so Germanic that I have tendency to reach for my few German words in everyday interactions. That is inconvenient and embarrassing as I know far less German than I do French. The Germanic appearance of the Alsace influences an unconscious part of my mind that chooses the language to use, even when there is no real choice. (more…)

April 8, 2017

France: Arbois, Maison Pasteur

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 11:22 am

Pasteur’s laboratory

In the Jura department of France, near the border with Switzerland is the commune of Arbois. The town of around 3,500 people is known for its cheese-centric food, theft-worthy Comté cheese, and wine. Indeed, in 1936 Arbois’ viticulture areas became the first designated “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” or A.O.C. in France. Today the Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne appellations are more famous, but Arbois was the first. (more…)

March 18, 2017

France: Côte d’Or


The commune of Vosne-Romanée

Burgundy’s most famous and most expensive wines originate in the Côte d’Or appellation, a band of vineyards extending from the southern outskirts of Dijon to Santenay. On the east side of this limestone escarpment the vineyards spill down the hillside onto the valley floor. A designated 60-kilometer long road route through the vineyards, the Route des Grands Crus, takes oenophiles (more…)

December 23, 2012

Portugal: Alto Douro


Heading to the Douro River

Heading to the Douro River

Where do the grapes come from?

(more…)

November 15, 2012

France: Medoc and St. Emilion


Château Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac (HDR)

Though we frequently make threats, we don’t often get the chance to return to places we’ve visited.  On this visit to Europe we lived up to our promises and revisited a couple of places that we’ve been to recently.  We returned to Bordeaux and its surrounding wine country.

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France: Tain L’Hermitage and Vienne

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 2:30 am

The vineyards of Hermitage

A careful reader might notice that we have a tendency to travel to wine producing regions.  It hasn’t been a conscious plan.  But yes, in retrospect, the labels on the front of more than (more…)

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