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 FROM CHIANTI TO THE WINE OF KINGS

Famous Wines From Italy's Tuscana & Piemonte Regions

 with Gary Spadafore
CWE, CSS, WSET
Director of Education
Breakthru Beverage Group
Phoenix, Arizona

We could stay here for hours with what's going on with history and stories and stuff.
 

November 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 21 































 
 
 
 


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Wines of Italy: Toscano and Piemonte with Gary Spadafore, Wine Educator with Breakthru Beverage Group, Phoenix, Arizona Perhaps no other country poses more of a problem understanding its wines than Italy. The whole peninsula, well known for its mediterranean climate, produces over five hundred different varieties of grapes and well over two thousand different wines. Wine has always played a major part of the country’s history, which, wine educator with Breakthru Beverage Group Gary Spadafore said, reaches back as far as ten thousand years. When the Greeks arrived in southern Italy around the eighth century, they found vineyards already growing and making wine. Dionysus, before he had taken his appointed seat at Olympus, obviously had shared his knowledge of viniculture here, and most certainly resided in spirit, as the vines the Greeks introduced flourished. “The vines did so well,” said Spadafore, “that they called the area Enotria, “Land of Wine”. And probably, that’s where the word Italy comes from. So the Greeks were there thousands and thousands of years, way before the Romans.” And we know what the Romans thought of wine. But first, the Etruscans. This well-heeled culture resided in the area now known as Tuscany. The Etruscans traveled the Mediterranean, battled the Greeks and eventually conquered the culture living in an undeveloped huddle of hillocks to the south. “The Etruscans grew vineyards and made wine,” Spadafore said. “It was a very important part of their culture. The Etruscans were an unusual people. The Greeks thought they were crazy because they not only allowed the women to read, they also let women party with them. The Greeks, when they partied, it was just men. So the Etruscans were way ahead of their time. But they didn’t leave written records. Everything is from what was written on the walls and the tombs and things like that.” The inhabitants of the hillocks, later known as Romans, overthrew the Etruscans. By that time, they had been thoroughly imprinted by their captor’s way of life, from engineering to oracles. Which means they really liked their wine.