After a challenging 2017; a year of extreme heat, prolonged drought infused with damaging hail, by comparison 2018 was subdued. This brought a welcome sigh of relief as Mother Nature did not disappoint & was indeed generous this year to the Montespertoli vineyard.
Harvest started in early September & continued through the beginning of October. We were fortunate to be there picking Sangiovese grapes in glorious weather and in great company. There were enough grapes to satisfy our demand and wild boar & deer who like to feast on sugar rich, ripe grapes!
Our talented partner, 11th generation winemaker & certified organic farmer, Luca Nesi was optimistic about this year’s harvest, confirming that even with higher yields, the quality is excellent. He expects 2018 vintage wines to be balanced, clean, with good structure & unique flavors.
Working alongside Luca, I am humbled by his dedication to nurture the vineyard while improving the quality of his wines. This includes integrating biodynamic farming techniques like cover cropping. Post-harvest in mid-autumn, a variety of seedlings are planted between the rows of the vines, mineral & nutrient rich, the crops fortify & regulate the soil. During spring & summer they attract beneficial bats, birds, insects & spiders proving food & shelter. More importantly, these animals feed off the predatory insects & mites replacing the need for chemical insecticides or synthetic pesticides. Prior to harvest, the crops are cleared, dried & used as compost. A robust ecosystem, this produces healthy fruit without leaving chemical or synthetic residue in the soil. Labor intensive and time consuming, the bio-diversity contributes to vineyard’s long-term sustainability & the environments’ well-being.
As Luca continues his is commitment to sustainably care for the vineyard, we will be on hand to learn & share his story.
GMO versus Non-GMO Battle Continues
As the landscape of the world’s population is changing, so is the food world. Today, consumers are faced with all sorts of options. And to many that is not a good thing. Nowadays our food choices are vast and not always clear—especially when it comes to GMO versus non GMO. How do you tell the difference? What is the difference? These are valid questions that are being asked. In fact according to a recent survey, 7 out of 10 participants admitted they aren’t even sure what GMOs are. Will a clear understanding ever find its way to the consumer? That is the question that is set to be answered in the near future.
A recent amendment has been made to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 that requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard. President Obama signed the mandatory GMO labeling bill in 2016, that mandated the Department of Agriculture to implement the regulation by July 29, 2018. Fast forward to today and the USDA still has not issued the requirements. So the fight continues on the GMO versus non GMOs debate.
To connect with you—our loyal fans—we're letting you know where you might enjoy Villa Graziella products in & around the Chicago area.
Saturday, November 17th
Want to shop at Uplifting Goods in real time versus online? Shop at the 1st annual Showcase! Meet & shop from fine local artists whose work is available in their online store. No charge for admission to the Showcase with complimentary sips & snacks from Villa Graziella Organic. A perfect day to get a head start on your holiday shopping! Click HERE for more information!
Wednesday, December 5th
Come toast & taste the best of the season with Villa Graziella Organic wines at The Chicago Botanic Garden while you enjoy the surrounding Wonderland Express exhibition with trains & more than 80 Chicago landmarks. Proceeds benefit the Chicago Botanic Garden. Click HERE for more information!
Sunday, November 18th
Mark your calendar & meet us at Montage Wine Bar & Spirits for their Annual Thanksgiving Tasting with complimentary sips & snacks from Villa Graziella Organic. Click HERE for more information!
Sunday, December 9th
Holiday Shopping doesn’t get better than this! Join Villa Graziella Organic & Chicago Woman magazine for the Covet Market Holiday Edition at Revel Futon Market. Come shop, eat & have fun. Sip Sunday cocktails, grab lunch, visit the beauty bar, stop by the kids activities area or relax in the design lounge. Click HERE for more information!