Archive for the ‘Final Individual Projects’ Category

“Le ova sono finite!” – A Wine-Making Story in Panzano

June 12th, 2014 by zplong16

“Le ova sono finite!” – A Wine-Making Story in Panzano

Zachary Longo


When the last grapes enter the cellar in October, Vicky and Guido brace for a new season of wine making. Their estate, Le Fonti, located in Panzano in Chianti, lies in the heart of Chianti Classico, home to a renown wine biodistrict. This is where my journey begins. How do you make wine out of a bunch of grapes? I came to study an artisan winemaker. I arrived in mid May in Panzano, to complete a four-week course on the philosophy of food and I fell in love with the culture of wine-making.  I became fascinated during this short amount of time with the artisanship that goes into making a craft wine.  While I was only in Tuscany for a month, I was able to gain valuable insight from the producers and from my own studies on the production of wine, after the harvest.



As the last of the grapes enter the cellar, already hand selected from the vineyards, they are sent to the press.  Here they are lightly pressed, in order to start the juicing process.  Guido and Vicky are very focused on producing an organic product, that allows for the sustainability of the land.  This means that they let the grapes go though the process of turning into wine with as little outside input as possible.  After being lightly pressed, the grapes enter large metal vats.  It is crucial that the grapes from different vineyards are separated into different vats.  Guido explains that each vineyard can produce a different quality grape and it is important to not blend them until the quality of wine is determined.

The grapes, now in the metal vats, will start to undergo the fermentation process.  This process occurs in two steps while in the metal vats.  The first fermentation will occur within the first 21 to 26 days.  This is when the sugars in the grape are converted to alcohol.  The grape juice is very reactive with oxygen at this point so it is crucial to avoid air contact throughout this whole period.  The alcohol percentage has the potential to vary greatly year to year.  It is entirely dependent on how hot the summer is.  With a hotter summer, you will get a sweeter grape, which, in turn, means less alcohol.  However, if the weather is not as hot, you will get a less sweet grape, which allows for a higher alcohol concentration. Some producers will add chemicals and yeast to aid the fermentation process.  However Guido and Vicky do not believe in this philosophy.  They choose to let the grapes undergo their process at their own pace, because the grapes have a natural yeast that they will produce in order to drive the fermentation.

As the grapes ferment in the metal vats, the skins will start to separate from the grape.  The skins and other solid parts of the grape will settle down on the bottom of the barrel.  This causes a problem for Guido because this could limit fermentation and also affect the color of the grape.  To resolve this, Guido goes from container to container with a pump, slowly bringing the contents on the bottom of the vat up to the top.  The process is slow as to not break the grape’s seed, which contains bitter oils that will have a negative impact on the quality of wine.  With the slow pump, you get the added benefit of recycling the contents of the vat and also without breaking the grape seeds.  Guido repeats this process daily throughout these first 3 weeks.

It is now the beginning of November and the grapes have completed their first step of fermentation.  The grape skins are now ready to be removed and the second step of the fermentation process can begin.  During the next month, the acetic acid that is in the grapes will be converted into maleic acid.  In order for this process to proceed, bacteria will need to be present in the vat.  Many producers will spend thousands of dollars to buy the desired bacteria to add to the vat.  However, Le Fonti has derived a way to “trick the grapes into producing the correct bacteria.”  By keeping the metal containers around 20oC the grapes will start to produce the natural bacteria that is needed to complete this second step of fermentation.  This not only saves Guido and Vicky from undesired costs of production but also is in line with their all natural philosophy.  These choices by Guido and Vicky early on in the production process already start to distinguish Le Fonti’s Chianti Classico from the many other producers.

Walking into the cellar, the aroma of grapes is instantly apparent.  The metal vats are neatly arranged around the border of the cellar while two wooden barrels sit in the middle of the room.  One of the things I appreciated the most is the cleanliness of the whole room.  Everything was without a scratch and no dirt could be found.  This reflects kindly on the Le Fonti operation because it shows the precision and care that they put into their work.  If you walk into a cellar that is a mess, it could show carelessness, however, if everything is kept clean and the workspace is organized, then it demonstrations that the producer is dedicated to the quality of their wine.



After months spent in the metal vats, the grapes have finished the fermentation process.  Its now December and the blending of the grapes is now in full swing.  Among the vats, you can observe that Sangiovese dominates the collection.  Along with this, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can be found.  Guido and Vicky are attempting to determine which grapes from this year will be used in their different wine offerings.  To help with their selection process, they will send blind samples from each of their vats to a consultant who will offer his recommendations.  Vicky explains that they trust his input very much and have been with him for a considerable amount of time.  Taking the consultants recommendations into account, Vicky and Guido decide on the final blend for the Chianti Classico.  In order to sell a wine as Chianti Classico, Guido needs to meet certain criteria.  Specifically, the wine needs to be at least 80% Sangiovese, and aged for at least 12 months. All the grapes need to be grown in the Chianti region and all are required to be red.  Guido and Vicky believe that 80% Sangiovese is not the correct percentage to create a good wine.  While the exact percentages can vary from year to year, Le Fonti’s Chianti Classico is usually slightly over 90% Sangiovese.  With the remaining, there is Merlot, usually around 5-6%, and then finish off with Cabernet Sauvignon, with about 3-4%.  This combination, in their opinion, produces a complex, well-rounded wine.

Le Fonti finds it crucial to blend the wine before aging it.  While many producers will blend their grapes after the aging in oak barrels, Guido and Vicky believe that this is not the correct strategy for today’s market.  If the grapes are blended after the aging process, the wine needs to be aged for a longer period of time before it is pleasant to drink.  Vicky explains, “In the first four or five years this type of wine could taste bitter and unpleasant to drink.”  The grapes do not have enough time to adjust to each other so as a result, they need to age in the bottle before it is ready to be drank.  By blending the grapes and then aging in oak, the grapes are given a longer time to adjust to each other.  As a result, you get a very harmonious wine that is ready to be drank young. In todays wine market, the consumer is looking for a wine that can be drank within a year or two of being purchased.  As a result, a wine that requires aging for about five years will not perform well on the market.

I found this to be very interesting.  I was under the assumption that the blending of the grapes occurred as the last step before entering the bottle.  The concept that the grapes need to get acclimated to each other was also something that contradicted with my prior understanding.



As the heart of winter closes upon Tuscany, the Chianti Classico blend enters the oak barrels.  Guido and Vicky are very particular about what barrels they will use for their wines.  There are several oak options for the barrels.  American and Hungarian Oak are options, but both face a similar problem; they are too porous and as a result give a very strong oak taste.  As a result, Le Fonti has decided on a French Oak, which they believe provides the perfect amount of structure for the Chianti Classico.  With that decision behind them, they were then faced with the decision on whether to use the barrel right away with the Chianti Classico, or to use it on other wines.  Guido and Vicky decided on the later, for a similar reason for choosing the French barrel, the new barrel will be overpowering for the Chianti Classico.  Le Fonti sends its barrels through a rotation.  The new barrels are used on their Reserva and Fontissimo because they can handle the strong oak influence.  After they are used there, the barrels can then be used on the Chianti Classico wine.  The main reason for aging in oak barrels is that it provides stability to the wine.  As Vicky explains, this means that a wine that would normally only last one or two years can now last from five all the way up to ten in some cases.  While in Tuscany, we visited many other wine producers in the area. The ability to give a wine a longer life is very important because it will make their wine more marketable.  With the wine now blended and sitting in the oak, the long days in the cellar draw to a close.  The wine will now sit in the oak for at least a year before being bottled and sent out to face the market and critiques.

Le Fonti produces Chianti Classico wine that is in tune with the philosophy of Guido and Vicky – to create a production that is natural, organic, and allows for the sustainability of the environment.  While the guidelines for a Chianti Classico wine are stricter than ever before, Le Fonti is able to produce a product that is truly unique in its production and taste.  The production of wine takes a true artisan in order to get out a high quality product.  It is important to have someone dedicated to not only spending long days tending the vineyards, but also spending hours in the cellar with the wine.  By owning the winery and also making the wine, Vicky and Guido are able to construct wines that are in line with their philosophy and are able to fine-tune their craft to meet their desires in the wine.  The Chianti Classico that is bottled each and every year is a true work of art that embodies the dedication, work ethic, and skill that is evident at Le Fonti Winery.  I look forward to additional enjoyable wines and many more successful years of wine production, as I am sure Guido and Vicky do as well.

Grape PressLe Fonti 

Le Fonti Barrelsle fonti wines

Le Fonti Pano

In Search of White Wine

June 12th, 2014 by mmdudd16

One of the main intentions of our time in Panzano is to understand the Italian culture of food and wine.  In addition to learning about these topics in a classroom setting, we have been lucky enough to visit many different wine producers, butcher shops, gelaterias, and other places that make items that are typical of the Tuscan region.  After visiting wineries, including Le Fonti, Le Cinciole, Nittardi, Le Mortelle, my interest for wine production sparked.  We have had the opportunity to take tours of their vineyards, wine cellars, to taste their wines, and to see the hard work that must be put into running a vineyard.  In addition to visiting these sites, we have also been able to understand the different marketing aspects that are used in tasting sessions through the information gained in our class time.

Before this class, I knew very little about wines and wine production, but since my arrival in Panzano I have greatly expanded my knowledge of wines, among many other things.  One thing we have focused on throughout our class has been the production of the most famous wine of this region: Chianti Classico.  Because we have been immersed in a Tuscan culture that is very proud of the wines it produces, I became increasingly curious about the history of the Chianti Classico.


The Recipe for A Chianti Classico

At almost all of the vineyards we visited, the emphasis of the tastings was put on the Chianti Classico.  It was easy to see that creating this type of wine is something to be proud of.   There are quite a few strict rules that a producer must follow in order for their wine to bear the name Chianti Classico, but after the completion of all of the requirements, it makes the title of Chianti Classico well deserved.

It is essential for the vineyard to be a part of the Chianti wine region for the wine to be a Chianti Classico.  There are no exceptions.  This region lies in the heart of Tuscany, between Florence and Siena, and includes Radda In Chianti, Greve In Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuova Berardegna, Poggibonsi, Berberino Val d’Elsa, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, and San Casciano in Val di Pese.  Although the Chianti wine region is considered larger than the area these towns cover, this area is the only place in which a vineyard can produce a Chainti Classico.

Another equally important part of creating a Chianti Classico is the creating a proportional blend.  In addition to finding the perfect blend for the current market, it is essential for the producers to follow a very rigid guide to create the Chianti Classico.  In order to be called a Chianti Classico, the wine must be at least 80% Sangiovese grapes, many wines have more than this.  The remaining 20% of the blend can be any other type of autochthon red grape, most often Cabernet and Merlot.  Among other regulations, the wine must have a minimum alcohol content of 12 degrees and must be aged for a minimum of seven months in oak.

When the wine is finished, the winemakers send samples to the Consorzio vino Chianti Classico for testing.  This is when the wine is tasted and tested to see whether the wine fits the standards of the Chianti Classico.  When the winemaker sends the sample of the wine, they must also send the amount of bottles they will be producing.  If the Consortium approves the wine, the producers will receive the exact number of labels that they requested.  A number is put on each label that is unique to each bottle of Chianti Classico that is produced.  Because the Chianti Classico wines are popular, many producers market their wines Chianti Classico’s even though they are not.  They may replicate the label, but if it seems counterfeit, one can check the identification number online.  If the wine presented online is not the one that you had bought, you can report the wine to the Consortium and there will be severe consequences for the producer at fault.


The History of The Chianti Classico

After speaking with wine producers and researching the production of Chianti Classico, I discovered some information about the origin of the wine.  The Chianti Classico wine is native of the area of Tuscany in which we have been staying in for the past few weeks and wine can only be produced in this specific region of Chianti.  When digging deeper into the history of the Chianti Classico, I found that the first record of the exporting of wines from the Chianti region was in 1398.  The wine then became increasingly popular in the following centuries due to its unique and acidic flavor. With the rising popularity of the Chianti wine, many wineries began to advertise their wines as Chianti even though they were not produced in the Chianti area.

In order to reduce fraud and protect the unique taste of the Chianti wine, Cosimo III Grand Duke of Tuscany declared borders of the Chianti region in 1716.  This document indicated the progression toward distinct wine making regions and deniminazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG).  This documents shows how important the Chianti region is in the history of wine production. Although the new borders were added in an attempt to prevent fraud, there were still counterfeit wines being produced.

In 1924, a new group of vineyards met to create a new set of guidelines for the protection of this important wine.  Thirty-three vineyards met to make up the “Consortium for the defense of Chianti wine and its symbol of origin.” This new consortium had a goal to maintain the high demand for the Chianti wine by removing producers that were not making quality wines. Because the original borders of the Chianti region were expanded in order to create more wines due to the increased demand, by 1932 there were many other types of Chianti wines.  To protect and distinguish the original Chianti wine from these new types, they made the region smaller by tightening the borders and Classico was added to the name, creating the Chianti Classico.  In 1984, the Chianti region gained a DOCG and in 1996 the Chianti Classico received its own DOCG.

Before the 1990s, the recipe for Chianti Classico was 80% Sangiovese and 20% white wine, most often made from Trebbiano grapes.  While Sangiovese grapes are red and rather acidic, the Trebbiano grapes are white and crisp.  After hearing this from Lèon at Nittardi, I was taken back.  We have heard from many producers about how the Chianti Classico was known for it’s deep red color and use of Sangiovese grapes.  Lèon talked about how the Nittardi property was once owned by Michelangelo and his nephew and there they made wine with Trebbiano grapes.  There are letters documented from Michelangelo to his nephew during the time he was painting the Sistine Chapel in the 1400s.  Michelangelo inquired about how the grapes are doing and asked his nephew to send a bottle so he could give it to the pope.

To get another perspective, I spoke with Vicky Schmitt-Vitali from Le Fonti.  We spoke about the history of the Chianti Classico and I learned that from the 1700s until 1993, white wine was required to be in the Chianti Classico blend.  In 1993, there were new rules that allowed the producer to decide whether the remaining 20%, after the 80% Sangiovese, would be white wine or red but in the early 2000s, the Consortium required the remaining 20% to be red.  I was very curious as to why, after hundreds of years, the Chianti Classico was changed to exclude white wine completely.

When I asked Vicky her thoughts on this topic, she replied with the same answer that most of my research led me to: white wine simply does not age well.  People were not able to keep the bottle for more than 2 years, at most.  The wine would spoil and turn a brown color.  Because the market trends show that many people buy wine as an investment having a wine that spoils quickly was not profitable.  Lèon, from Nittardi, stated that it was because it didn’t taste very good.  I did more research online and found more of the same answers: white wine causes the wines to be weaker and to not age well.  Although these arguments make sense, I am still left to wonder how, in a land firmly based on the traditions and memories of ancestors, did the people decide to remove white wine completely from the Chianti Classico after hundreds of years.

The Other Chianti Wines

This question has plagued my curiosity since our visit to Nittardi and I have found no other explanation.  I began researching the other Chianti wines to see if any of them have continued using white wines in a blend with red.  There are now seven other Chianti wine regions, including Colli Fiorentini, Montalbano, Rufina, Montespertoli, and Colline Pisane, which prohibit any white grapes in the wine.  Although these regions of Chianti wines prohibit the use of any white wines mixed with red, both Colli Aretini and Colli Senesi allow white wine.  Colli Aretini is made with at least 75% Sangiovese, up to 10% Canaiolo, up to 10% Malvasia or Trebbiano, and up to 10% of other red grape varieties that are permitted by the consortium.  Colli Senesi is made from mostly Sangiovese, as well as Canaiolo, Colorino, cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  It also can have up to 10% Trebbiano and Malvasia until 2015.

The fact that two of the seven Chianti wines still allow white grapes is very interesting.  There is no information presently published about why these two regions of Chianti still include white wines while the other ones do not other than because they are easier to produce in large quantities.  Many wine consumers buy wines as an investment to sell after ten years of aging but more and more consumers today are buying a bottle and drinking it within a year or two.  I wonder how the wines of Colli Aretini and Colli Senesi will compete in this market.  It is interesting to see that a few wineries still mix white and red and that there is no reason to justify the change to only red grapes other than the taste and short shelf life of white wine.  It is fascinating that a culture so strongly rooted in tradition dismissed this type of wine after hundreds of years.

nittardi vineyard vicky sola cicca le fonti wines bar-ucci

Works Cited

“” Chianti Colli Aretini, Prodotto Esclusivamente Nella
Provincia Di Arezzo. Tour Operator Iscrizione Regione
Toscana, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.
Chianti Colli Aretini, Prodotto Esclusivamente Nella Provincia Di
Arezzo. Tour Operator Iscrizione Regione Toscana, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.

“Chianti Colli Senesi Wine.” Chianti Colli Senesi Wine. Wine-
Searcher, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.

“Chianti Wine,” Chianti Wine,
N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.””

“Chianti and Tuscany Wine Grape Varieties.” Chianti Tuscany Grape Varieties. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>.

“Il Vino Chianti Classico.” Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. Il
Consorzio Del Vino Chianti Classico, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <>

“The Wines of Chianti ClassicoPart I.” The Wines of Chianti
Classico. Tom Cannavan, n.d. Web. 11 June 2014.




Quality Olive Oil: A Philosophy not a Fat By: Vincent Martello

June 12th, 2014 by vjmart16

The olive is one of the biggest and most influential parts of the Mediterranean culture. It is more than a present-day commodity. It is the face of the Mediterranean culture and the brainchild of millions of people across thousands of years who have managed to perfect its preservation and ensure its future success. The olive is more than a critical part of the local diet for those living around the Mediterranean.  It is and has been an integral part of the lifestyle for the last few millennia. This fruit is heralded for its nutritional qualities and its versatility and an agricultural resource. Aside from its consumption as a food, the olive has had an even greater impact on global culinary tradition in the form of olive oil. In present-day Tuscany alone, 70 thousand olive grows devote their lives to 95 thousand hectares land to maintain 14 million olive trees in order to produce this oily elixir. On a more macroscopic scale, when the production of oil in other nations such as Spain, United States, Greece are all accounted for, one cannot help but stop to consider as to why this plant grew to international notoriety.

The global abundant and extensive use of such a valued plant is more than just a coincidence or serendipity. The success of the olive and olive oil takes is roots in a highly philosophical cultural paradigm that ultimately respects the plant for all of its contributions. This philosophy simply stresses that it is physically important, for sustainability and for progeny, to use the entirety of the plant in its purest form. In order to fully embrace and live out this philosophy, one requires a deep connection to the plant, a connection that one would typically find amongst the passion that many ancient cultures, such as Greek or Roman, would express in their aesthetic beauty. Ultimately, this philosophy manifested itself in a perspective that views the olive oil and the olive plant as a resource in which health and aesthetic pleasure are unified.  This philosophy is still practiced today.

La Fonte di Olive
This philosophic lifestyle is carried out every day amongst the thousands that produce olive oil in the Mediterranean. One of the most embracing experiences of this philosophic lifestyle can be found as we dive deep into the heart of olive oil production in Toscana’s region of Bolgheri. Simone and his family purchased Oliveto Fonte di Foiano in the year 1979. In this year they began growing and selecting various varieties of olives to produce quality olive oil for production in a smaller local farm setting. The production of olive oil is actually quite particular. First, the olives are hand-picked from the tree. Then the olives that are deemed to be the healthiest and most conducive for production are entered into the production line, washed, and separated from the remaining dirt and rock that are mixed with the picked olives. These cleaned olives are then sterilized from disease and bacteria by passing through controlled UV radiation exposure before passing into large grinders that begin to mash the olives into a pasty solution. This paste is then centrifuged at extremely high speed of 5000 rotations per second. This allows all of the different parts of the paste to separate and the oil is removed. The oil that is removed after the first centrifugation is deemed extra virgin olive oil. Other grades of oil come from future centrifugations of the used paste to collect whatever remains in the solution. This oil that is extracted is then filtered through a paper filtration system that removes any remaining impurities from the oil. It is then stored in large aluminum vats with controlled exposure to nitrogen gas to prevent fermentation of the oil. When ready, the oil is acceptable for sale.

Quality Olive Oil

The process by which the oil is extracted from the olive itself is clearly very complex and particular. There are many steps that need to carefully monitored and regulated along the way. Therefore, it is only natural that the type and “quality” of the olive oil stems from the regulation of its prediction. As mentioned, extra virgin olive oil is simply the product of the first wave centrifugation to which the grinded paste is subjected. But, the classification of oil as a product is much deeper than its name of extra virgin or not. Olive oil has traditionally been associated with a specific type of quality or standard by which it is regarded. This substantial characteristic of the oil is vastly different than its name. The title extra virgin is a name. It is a grade of oil given based on its extraction during the process. Quality, on the other hand, is an innate property of the oil itself. It is defined by the biochemical composition of the final product combined with the oil’s impact on the life of the consumer. In fact, as one could imagine, producing a “quality” oil would require much more of a careful regulation of the production process.

Quality olive oil requires many specific criteria. Most importantly, the production of quality olive oil must come from a cold press. The entire process, especially the step that mashes the cleaned olives into paste, must be temperature controlled at approximately 23 to 24 degrees Celsius. This specific temperature allows for a clean extraction of the oil in a way that the oil’s highly nutritive characteristics are still maintained. Furthermore, UV radiation control must be extremely precise to make sure that only the bacteria that rest on the olives themselves are killed and the oil’s chemical properties are not altered. Finally, quality oil is often filtered through a paper filtration mechanism to remove the impurities. This prevents the producer from having to raise the temperature of the extracted oil in order to remove the impurities. With this, the chemical properties of the oil are maintained.

Quality oil as a product of a careful method of extraction can therefore be described by a variety of nutritive qualities that may otherwise not be associated with olive oil in general. Quality olive oil is much more than a bottle of unsaturated fats. As we learned from Oliveto Fonte di Foiano, a bottle of their locally farm produced olive oil is found to have various organic compounds that are vital for human life. A bottle of quality olive oil can contain 1200 milligrams of polyphenols which have been proven to reduce the amount of HDL cholesterol in the blood according to biomedical studies. High quality olive oil has also high levels of Vitamins A, C, D and E which are high instrumental in immune system health and digestive system maintenance. With healthy benefits such as this, olive oil in some cases is more than oil, it is a medicine. For this reason, “quality” produced olive oil has been used for millennia as a home remedy to many diseases and afflictions. Now, its role as a remedy has been replaced with modern medicine. Anthropological evidence has shown that our earliest evidence of olive oil production took place amongst the ancient Egyptians who used this product for skin rehabilitation and massage therapy. Evidently, most of olive oil’s cultural significance came from its versatility as a well-rounded quality ingredient made to benefit the consumer’s health in every aspect of life.

 The Purest Form

The development, growth, and success of olive oil during the past few millennia are actually causes worthy of marvel and praise. In fact, given this product’s versatility and the overwhelming benefits it has to offer humanity, its successful progeny was almost inevitable. Olive oil has been more than just a product but a respected aspect of many different cultures’ social structure. Therefore, the important question to ask in regards to this product is what allowed olive oil to become such a staple in society? Was there a specific ideology or perspective that allowed for the rise of such a plant? Well, many years of research and observation of cultural practices have come closer to the conclusion that olive oil success is a result of the cultural philosophy that stresses the use of the olive tree in its purest form.

This as a code of consideration may seem like quite a loaded ideology. In reality however, it can be boiled down to an ideology it which those using the olive plant for consumption have a genuine respect for the entirety of the plant and carry the intention to harness its gift and make the best product possible. Cultures and society respect the plant for everything it has to offer. This active philosophy can be witnessed, not only in Oliveto Fonte di Foiano, but in small local producing farms that take the time to respect the process of extracting olive oil and put pride into their product. From the picking of the actual olive to the final filtration of the extracted oil, the olives are cared for at every step to ensure that the end product produced is of maximum quality. Thus, quality is more than a name or a title applied to the oil. Quality is the active manifestation of a millennia old philosophy that respects the product by using it in its purest form possible.

Pleasure and Health

Simone, his family, and his staff that are responsible for the production of high quality, award winning olive oil at Fonte di Foiano themselves are a reflection of an active philosophy representative of cultural norms and upbringing. Their oil is a manifestation of a philosophy that deals with respect for the plant. They, however, are the exhibition of an ancient philosophy that uses a product such as olives or olive oil as a means to achieve the artful combination of health and pleasure. This philosophy represents the foundation and motivation on which they produce high quality olive oil. For them, the desire, skill, and artisanship used to produce every ounce of olive oil provide the most convenient way to respect ancient tradition and ancient culture. In this case the olive oil is the combination of health and pleasure. Health is represented in the careful regulation that goes into the production of every bit of olive oil in order to maintain the integrity of the plant’s natural qualities. Pleasure is more subtly represented in the passionate expression of the olive oil making tradition that is used to define every bottle. Pleasure is the careful construction of every sip so that the oil itself acts as the perfect and purest compliment to any dish created. Pleasure is the pride in aesthetic emotion that the oil brings out in the consumer.

If there is one thing that the production of high quality olive oil has shown the world is that olive oil can be more than just a large quantity of unsaturated fats destined to harm one’s health. Quality olive oil is a nutritive ingredient and a medicine. It is a representation of a cultural social structure that has withstood the test of time. It is the outward manifestation of a philosophy that specializes in using the plant in its purest sense. Inevitably, quality olive oil is one of the ultimate examples of a cultural way of life, a philosophy that combines the visions of health and pleasure.


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Works Cited

Journey through Tuscany to Discover Typical Products. Regione Toscana- Dipartimento Svillupo Economico, Ufficio Scolastico Regionale della Toscana. 2001. Giunti Gruppo Editoriale. Firenze. Print

An Elegy for an Olive Tree

June 12th, 2014 by mmcgra16

Going nowhere and scooping up the light.

It is the silver tree, the holy tree,

Tree of all attributes

– “The Olive Tree” by Karl Shapiro

An Elegy for an Olive Tree

Ancient cradle of memory,

what was the first song?


Was it your fragile branches murmuring grace to the earth low in the June breeze?

Was it a farmer’s plea with nature to spare you,

who can survive all,

in a deep, chilling freeze?


Or do a thousand years blend into a refrain

of oxen grunts and simmering stone,

of brave steady steps walking past you towards the unknown?

Of children’s laughter and sifting leaves,

or that soft echo of prayer for a harvest beyond beauty,

beyond dreams?


A hymn sings out from your limbs.

Did those now gone hum along

when they tended the melody with reverent hands?

Could you teach the words to one who does not know this land?


Bent-backed giver –

so different from the proud cypress carving the horizon –

when the wind moves,

is it you calling the land to learn herself by heart?


You have witnessed time peel her lyrics away,

yet still urge her praise for new life each day.


Every curve in your trunk mirrors the toil of the forgotten

and bows to the patient guards of your ephemeral blossoms.

         In your constant nature of abiding,

         do you ease them of the frigid fear of dying?

Their resolve lifts as prayer into sea-dipped skies,

returned as blessings on the elegance of purposeful lives.


Holy tree archaic and alive,

I am young yet ever-fading.

Generations of those who embraced you are gone,

but I find comfort in how their devotion thrives in your roots

and lives on.


Olive trees grow with those who hope,

stay for those who leave, and

tend to those who to them tend.

In the veins of small hard fruit,

three-thousand years of silent answers

pulse alive and



Bloom of unchanging peace,

you hold the past while calmly awaiting the future,

e non chiedi nulla.


Tuscany possesses an immensely poetic landscape. It is even musical to observe with its crescendos of hills, perfectly arranged vineyards whirring past roads, and lights of solitary houses twinkling at purple dusk. The land is always speaking, singing, or capturing our attention somehow and we’ve responded by closely experiencing this imminence every moment we’ve been here. However, I’ve discovered over the course of this month that the most lyrical and elegant aspect of the land is also the most unassuming: the olive tree. Before this Maymester, I understood the olive tree was a profound symbol of peace and new life for many different cultures, yet wasn’t aware of the magnitude of their lifespan and how it contributes to their spiritual meaning. Simone at Oliveto Fonte de Foiano in Bolgheri told us a rare few can reach 3,000 years old (!) and he suspected some of the olive trees in his orchard to be around 1,400 years old. By all accounts, when Brunelleschi was constructing the Duomo and Michelangelo was sculpting David, those olive trees swayed in the breeze just the same as they do today.

The olive tree’s adaptability helps explain its extraordinary endurance. Olive trees can sustain long, fertile lives in various areas because they are extremely adaptable to different climates, with the exception of freezing cold. Due to their versatility, olive trees have been at the receiving end of generations of labor, patience, and devotion from different groups of people who have migrated to Tuscany. What I attempt to express in my poem is how the olive tree reflects these patterns of migration and adaptation and how each one is a living testament to the many diverse hands that have tended it over the years. Thus, olive trees quietly connect us to the past in ways other historical artifacts cannot. They are breathing statues of memory, consistently evoking the sensations of antiquity and transcendence.

Since olive trees have been such a vital aspect of the land for millennia, they have greatly contributed to the identity of Tuscany and are deeply rooted in the souls of the Tuscan people. During our last cooking lesson at Lele’s, Enrico explained to us how seventy percent of the olive trees died in the “Great Freeze” of 1985. It was a huge desolation for the Tuscan landscape and it took years for the trees to recover. The base of the dead olive trees had to be cut to allow space for the trees to sprout anew and Enrico reflected on how the exchange of abundant pale-green elegance for shorn stumps rendered the land similar to the jarring grey sparseness of the moon. It was both physically and emotionally displacing to lose so many ancient olive trees because of how integrally embedded they are in the identity of Tuscany and how uniquely they assist in the formation of a genuine identity for people who have moved here and desire to call the land their home. Enrico expressed that even though he wasn’t born in Tuscany, he feels deeply that this land is his true home due to his close relationship with the olive trees.

Nevertheless, in keeping with our closing discussions of authenticity in class, the olive tree also reminds us of the transience of all that we cherish, especially the transience of authenticity and our own identities on this earth. Olive trees may be known for their vast lifespan, their history entwined with their branches, and their ability of adaptation, yet 1985 showed us that they too are as ephemeral as their small white blossoms that eventually fall away to reveal olives. Since they are so old, they are admired as an entirely authentic aspect of the Tuscan landscape, but they present one of numerous unanswerable questions that we must take with us and consider: can anything remain truly authentic forever?

Today, whenever I see an olive tree, I am reminded of the poet Shel Silverstein’s children’s book, The Giving Tree. Similar to the steadfast and caring apple tree in the story, something gentle and melancholy lives within the olive tree as well. Its lifespan capability certainly contributes to this evocation, but the olive tree also reminds us that outward exuberance should not be the first thing we value. The olive tree expresses itself humbly, almost hiding itself with its drooping branches, yet it is more than worthy of all the dedication it receives because of how entirely it gives itself to mankind and the earth. It has linked generations upon generations with its medicinal benefits and boundless nourishment. The olive tree does not seek respect in a world of chaos and deafening technology, yet still rightly receives extraordinary devotion and spiritual praise because it remains simply holy and giving.

Gelato- Tasting for Quality, Taylor Teulings

June 12th, 2014 by tateul16

When we arrived in Italy, everyone wanted gelato. Within a couple of days, or for some, hours, we had tried both the gelaterias in Panzano. Then, when we went to Florence on our first Tuesday, Professor Borghini wanted to make sure we tasted two specific gelaterias so we walked all around the city together. At the time, we questioned why he was dragging us to these gelaterias when there was one every couple of feet.  Soon after trying these memorable gelatos, we knew his reasoning. We were introduced to quality gelato. Gelato in its simplest form is sugar, milk, cream, air and sometimes eggs. It is hard to believe that any gelateria can steer far enough away from these ingredients to produce a poor quality, or high quality, gelato. However, we soon began to learn the difference and finding gelato to eat on our second trip to Florence was much more difficult. We must have gone into ten different gelaterias before we finally found one that was close to par. Unfortunately, not every tourists can have a Philosophy of Food professor to show them which gelatos to eat and which to not. I question how tourists are able to have the true gelato experience. I want to share the experiences and insights that I have gained here in Tuscany, especially with gelato, to all other tourists who travel to Italy. They too, should taste a quality gelato.

A Tourist’s Experience

As Americans, we are used to ice cream and its rich and creamy taste. Most of us can easily tell apart a good ice cream from a bad one. Eating gelato is a completely new experience and therefore required us to adjust our food pallets. After a few tastings, especially the one at Gelateria De’ Coltelli, we became well-versed consumers of gelato. Most tourists, however, do not have the same opportunities to gain this insight and are therefore are at a loss. It is easy for a tourist to try a gelato from a gelateria that prefers quantity to quality. These gelaterias are everywhere. I remember walking by one particular shop with a guy standing out front yelling deals at us tourists. This shop was so desperate to have tourists eat their gelato that they were willing to offer a lesser price if we bought two gelatos. I worry that some tourists fall victim to these tactics and leave Italy without ever having the true gelato experience.

Our Trip to Gelateria De’ Coltelli

In my opinion, the true gelato experience was at De’ Coltelli’s. While I am aware that every tourist cannot personally try this gelato, I know that there are many places that would provide a similar experience. I found Grom, for instance, comparable to De’ Coltelli’s. Gelateria De’ Coltelli, located in Pisa and Lucca, is one of the best for several reasons; most involving it’s ingredients. The ingredients are both simple and natural. First, they use only fresh, seasonal fruit. While most gelaterias will always have strawberry flavored gelato, De’ Coltelli only has it when the strawberries are in season. Since strawberries are currently in season, we were able to try both strawberry and strawberry with sage. Next, in order to achieve the best flavors De’ Coltelli selects the best raw materials. The owner of De’ Coltelli, Gianfrancesco Cutelli, uses raw pistachios rather than roasted ones, a change that causes quite the difference in taste. Also, all of their ingredients are organic. This includes fresh whole milk and fresh eggs. Unlike most typically touristy gelaterias, De’ Coltelli uses no dyes, chemical stabilizers or synthetic flavorings.

Our experience at De’ Coltelli’s was remarkable. When we first arrived at the Pisa location, the line was out the door and around the corner. After some plan adjustments we came back later and we were able to pile into the gelateria and learn everything there was to learn and try everything there was to try. It must have been a sight to see because nineteen spoons were digging into communal cups of endless flavors. One of the first flavors we tried was strawberry and sage. Most would not expect this flavor to be so good, but this flavor and all the flavors that followed were delicious. We tried many other flavors including pistachio, kiwi, almond, hazelnut, and the overall favorite, vanilla. Along with trying these flavors, we also had the opportunity to see a lot of the raw ingredients. We saw the pistachios and also the pine nuts, licorice and hazelnuts. As I said before, this experience shaped the way we all ate gelato for the rest of the trip.

Tips to Consider

At Gelateria De’ Coltelli and through my experience, I learned the following tips to look for when trying to find a decent gelateria to try in Italy.

  1. Food coloring. Gelato that is made from real fruit should be the color of the fruit when crushed and not a bright artificial color. For example, crushed banana is a shade of gray and therefore banana gelato should be that color. If it is yellow then it contains artificial flavoring. In a similar sense berry-flavored gelato should not be light, instead it should look almost black. Quality pistachio flavored gelato can also be determined this way. It should resemble the color of crush nuts, not a rich green color.
  2. Container. In order for gelaterias to have the tall mounds of gelato seen in most gelaterias, they would need to 1) freeze it solid or 2) add chemicals to make it solid. Since gelato is supposed to be soft and fluid, it is best to store gelato in containers where it does not go above the rim. Be mindful, however, some gelaterias that serve gelato in flat tins get their gelato shipped in instead of making it fresh. You are most likely guaranteed quality when the gelato is kept in tins, like De’ Coltelli’s. The tins, to me, mean that a gelateria is so confident in their quality of gelato that there is no need to display and show it off.
  3. Flavors offered. In most gelaterias, one will find the same flavors all year round. A high quality gelateria will sell certain flavors only if they are in season. You might find watermelon in the summer, fig in the fall, citrus in the winter and berries in the spring.
  4. Particular flavors. Look for fior di latte and/ or fior di panna. Both of these gelatos are the most basic form of gelato because they are made only from pure milk and pure cream. If a gelateria did not use pure ingredients they would not offer these flavors. It would be easiest to taste artificial flavoring in these two particular flavors. Also look for Hazelnut. Hazelnut would be the most expensive gelato to produce so very few places would make a pure hazelnut flavor. Most do not make it at all or they will add chocolate chips and/or cover it in chocolate syrup.


gelateria coltelli IMG_1820FINALcups FINALgelato FINALicecream


For more information and recommendations of gelaterias, visit De’ Coltelli’s website.



Dario Cecchini’s Restaurants

June 12th, 2014 by mmcarl17

“To beef or not to beef?” is the question that diners are confronted with at Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop and restaurants. Whether a personal question or a question proposed by the wait staff, Dario Cecchini answers this question by treating his animals with the upmost respect. As the first famous butcher, Dario Cecchini embraced the philosophy of using the whole animal and respecting the animal throughout his thirty-eight year career as a butcher. Growing up in Panzano of Chianti and now running three restaurants in the town, Dario Cecchini has placed the small town on the map as a popular tourist destination for diners eager to taste some of his world-class meat.

For the four weeks in May and June of 2014 that I have studied in Panzano, I have had the unique experience of meeting Dario, touring his farm and processing facility, dining at each of his three restaurants and spending one night working behind the scenes at the two dinner restaurants, La Officina della Bistecca and Solociccia.  While there are two restaurants for dinner, the other restaurant, Dario Doc, is open only at lunchtime. At each of these restaurants, guests begin with an aperitivo in the butcher shop, where they are provided with wine and a sampling of bread and meat. They hear a variety of popular songs from musicians such as AC/DC and the Beach Boys playing and enjoy watching the waiters dancing in around the shop in order to get people excited for their meal. People from across the world congregate in and outside the butcher shop waiting for their meal and hoping to see Dario, wearing his signature Italian flag vest, chop some small types of meat behind the counter. After the aperitivo, diners are escorted to their respective restaurant for a special meal prepared by Dario and his incredible staff.  Every one of the staff members is very passionate about their job and loves to tell the diners about the meat that he is preparing. Each of these restaurants is widely revered and visited by people looking to catch a glimpse of Dario and try his meat.

photo 2

Dario Doc

Dario Doc, which is the newest of the three restaurants, opened in 2008 and only serves lunch.  This restaurant can seat about ninety guests and is attended by ten waiters.  Dario Doc is located above the butcher shop and people are seated at long tables with other diners. There are three options for lunch, which includes two types of burgers and a sampling of Dario’s meats. The prices range from ten euro for the Mac Dario, which is pan fried with a crust of corn flour and is a mix of meat containing about eight percent of butter of Chianti, to fifteen euro for the Super Dario, which is charcoal grilled and is a mix of meat that includes about eight percent of beef marrow. Each of the burgers is served with french fries, tomatoes and onions. The third lunch option is the Accoglienza for twenty euro per person. This is a sampling of beef tartar, Chianti tuna, roasted pork and meatloaf with a bell pepper sauce. On the table are placed vegetables, bread, and glasses of natural and sparkling water. All of the dressings from the ketchup and mustard to the olive oil and the Profumo del Chianti, which is sea salt and herbs, are created by Dario and dressed with one of his signature labels. Even though this is meant to be a quick meal, I have met tourists from all over the world, who have stopped by to enjoy some delicious meat before continuing their journey.



The first of Dario’s dinner restaurants is Solociccia, which opened in 2006 and is a representation of his philosophy of using the entire animal. This restaurant seats about forty-five people, with seven staff members, and is approximately nine courses, each taken from different parts of the cow.  The seating times at this restaurant are seven and nine p.m. Thursday through Saturday and one p.m. on Sunday. A meal at this restaurant costs thirty euro per person. When the diners are finished with the aperitivo, they walk across the street and enter a white house with rooms each painted a different color. These rooms all contain communal tables, which are filled with wine, bread and vegetables to share. Each diner also receives a placemat containing the different meat cuts of the cow. This placemat allows for the consumers to be educated about what they are eating and to emphasize Dario’s philosophy of using the whole animal. Then each diner is served, in sequence, muzzle and broth, true Italian beef, spicy meat sauce on bread, batter fried meat and vegetables, beef stuffed with rosemary, beef roast, boiled beef and vegetable salad, and braised meats. Every dish of meat is prepared in a special way, which varies from the grill to the oven. The meats are either served or placed on the table for everyone to share. While observing at Solociccia, I noticed that the restaurant design, the wait staff and chefs, allow the guests to feel like they are eating a home cooked meal. It is a very relaxing meal, where people from different countries are able to come together and converse over food. After about an hour and a half, the diners are served olive oil cake, coffee and grappa before ending the meal. The diners at Solociccia receive a taste of one of Dario’s animals from the head to the tail in a variety of cooking styles.


La Officina della Bistecca

     Dario’s third restaurant, which is located above his butcher shop and debuted in 2007, is La Officina della Bistecca, which is open every day with one seating at eight p.m. After the aperitivo, diners enter the dining room through a secret door in the butcher shop. The guests walk up the stairs and are greeted by two large grills with a long table facing them and two long tables outside. People are seated respectively and are offered wine, vegetables, and bread on the table. Once seated and comfortable, Dante, who was introduced to me as the ringleader of the restaurant, comes over and entertains each group of people. He poses for pictures, makes sure people are comfortable and gets people talking to each other. Dante has the ability to speak to people of multiple nationalities, regardless of the language barrier. Dante prepares the diners for the show that lies ahead. La Officina Della Bistecca was referred to as a show by each of the seven staff members that I worked with and they look to provide the guests with the best quality meat and the best possible entertainment. The diners are served beef tartar, seared rump carpaacio, strip steak, Bistecca Panzanese and Bistecca Florentina. The meats are cooked on the large grills and the diners can watch the master griller cook each type of meat. The meat is then presented by one of the proud chefs in an exciting presentation. The diners take a lot of pictures and are cheering throughout the presentation. The meat is then cut and served to each diner with olive oil and Profumo del Chianti. At this time, I observed that the conversation changes to a discussion between different parties about the quality of the meat. Just when the diners think they cannot possibly eat any more, the Bistecca Panzanase is presented in a loud and passionate presentation, which the diners follow by an eruption of cheers. This entire experience lasts about two and a half to three hours with non-stop entertainment by each server. It is apparent that they make a point to talk to every diner, no matter the language barrier and to teach them about where the meat comes from and how it is cut. After the steak is finished, the diners are served olive oil cake, grappa and coffee and enjoy their final time at Dario’s restaurant. This experience costs fifty euro per person and the restaurant creates memories that will last a lifetime.


La Officina della Bistecca Presentation



Dario Cecchini has succeeded in creating three memorable restaurants within the small town of Panzano in Chianti. Whether stopping in for lunch at Dario Doc or going for dinner at La Officina della Bistecca or Solociccia, diners are guaranteed to experience delicious food and a good time. I have seen Dario’s passion for his job throughout his restaurants, especially in all of his thirty-eight staff members that share the same passion for butchery and his philosophy. The incredible work done by each and every individual at Dario’s restaurants helps to contribute to an amazing experience for every guest. I have personally witnessed, the respect that Dario has for his animals, which can be seen by the way that his staff carefully prepares and explains each cut of meat. After talking to Dario and his other staff members, I have realized that Dario is constantly looking for ways to expand his business and improve his butcher shop and restaurants, while keeping true to his philosophy of respecting the animal and using the entire animal from head to tail. No matter what the reason is for a trip to Dario’s, guests are assured they will be welcomed into his butcher shop with smiles, passion, and the smell of meat and will enjoy a memorable gastronomical experience at any of his restaurants.

2.cecchini scrive



June 12th, 2014 by jlwals16


            Dario Cecchini is the product of a long line of patriarchal butchery.  For eight generations and two hundred and fifty years the Cecchini family has handed down the craft from father to son in the town of Panzano in Chianti.  The cows traditionally bred for the business was the Chianina, an ancient breed of cow typical of inland Tuscany.  Today, Dario gets Chianina meat from the Fontodi farm in Panzano.  The Cecchini family philosophy prided itself on the compassionate death of the cow.  The cow was to live a good, long life in a shared relationship with the family.  It would work hard in the fields, and help the family tend to the farm.  Growing up, Dario was never fed expensive cuts of meat; often he and his family ate what was left over, and what the family did not sell that day.  He didn’t have his first steak until the age of eighteen.  This goes along with the idea that his father stressed: in order to slaughter the cow compassionately, the entirety of the cow must be eaten.  The point, Dario argues, is that the butcher must use the whole cow from head to tail to respect its death.  Dario once said he was “fine with being reborn as a cow” (Zachary Norwak, Intervista con Dario Cecchini, Food In Italy).  In congruence with this statement, I have divided Dario’s life into a series of characteristics.  Each of which represents a body part of the cow that correlates to a particular aspect of Dario’s life, the first of which being the stomach for accountability.

Stomaco (Stomach): ACCOUNTABLE

Dario’s character was first tested when he broke Cecchini family tradition by moving away from his hometown of Panzano to Pisa.  In Pisa, he attended veterinary school.  As a child, he did not take part in learning the craft of butchery from his father.  His father didn’t share the craft with Dario because he lacked curiosity for the business.  In fact he did not believe in slaughtering animals whatsoever, which is why he pursued veterinary school.  After halfway through six years of schooling, however, he heard the news his father was dying.  His mother died soon before, and he quickly realized he would be the head of the family.  Therefore he forwent his pursuit of veterinary school and went back to Panzano.  There he realized he had to find a way to support his family, and he did so by following in his father’s footsteps.  His father recommended he learn the craft through a long time friend and teacher, “The Maestro.”

Schiena (Back): PERSEVERANT

Dario worked hard for awhile under an apprenticeship with “The Maestro” in order to learn what was necessary to own a butcher shop.  He knew nothing about meat or butchery, and at the young age of twenty he was forced to not only participate a in a craft he did not believe in, but also doing so while supporting his family.  Perhaps because it was in his blood, or simply because “his story suggests that a meaningful life is less about doing what you love, and more about striving to love what you must do” (Anand Giridharadas, Embracing an Unchosen Path in Italy, NY Times).  Either way, Dario has risen through the ranks within the last couple decades, and he has made quite the impact on the meat industry.  His popularity rivals him to some as the world’s best butcher.  People from all over the world come to Panzano, originally a relatively unknown town, to have a meal at his restaurant.  His humility and passion for his business is apparent.  He welcomes incoming consumers with the story of his family and his belief in the respect for the cow.  His charisma and the family environment keep costumers returning for years to come.  The Cecchini family business, nonetheless, would not have thrived as it has without Dario’s unyielding commitment to the philosophy.  To this day Dario holds the Cecchini tradition true: every cut of meat is equal, and the treatment of the animal and preparation of the meat are essentials in respecting the animal.

Occhi (Eyes): RESPECTFUL

The meat Dario uses comes from Catalonia, Spain, he only uses the Chianina on occasion.  He does so because he firmly believes all races of cow are equal.  Some local consumers disagree with this because the Chianina is a special breed of cow central to the Chianti region, and they argue Spanish cows are not good representations of Tuscan food.  Dario, however, has a strong argument against this.  He uses the concept of race and contends certain cuts of meat don’t need to correspond with certain races of cows.  He contextualizes this argument by comparing it to us as a human race.  He says “like us, the life of a animal depends of context: it depends of good food, attention, space to roam.  It has to have a good life, which is the dream of every human as well; but it has to have a death that is (I won’t say without pain) as respectful as possible, and above all the animal has to have an artisan who accepts the responsibility of having killed (like me, as I’m talking about butchering).  This is the responsibility of a carnivore, to respect the animal you’ve killed, the meat.  I try to do just this” (Zachary Norwak, Intervista con Dario Cecchini, Food In Italy).  In other words, Dario is telling us there is essentially no difference of quality of meat between the Chianina and Spanish cows.  He believes the focus should not be on the type of meat being used, the name ‘Chianina’ adds no value to the meat of the cow.  The focus should be on whether or not the cow lived a good life and if the meat is prepared well.  This idea is congruent with the Cecchini philosophy in that all parts of the cow, or all races of cow, have equal value.  One does not have to have a filet to have a good cut of meat, if other unwanted parts of the cow are prepared well the cut of meat can be equally satisfying.


Today, sustainability has become a major topic in our global economy.  Therefore the Spanish cows may confuse some since they are six hundred and eighty-three miles away from Panzano.  Bringing the meat that far of a distance may appear as a disregard for preservation of fossil fuels.  However, Dario points out that Chianti is a region known for its exceptional production of wine, not meat.  “If you owned four acres of land in Chianti, would you pasture five or six cows, or makes several thousand bottles of Chianti wine? Four acres of wine grapes can make someone a lot more money than four acres of pasture” (Zachary Nowack, Dario Cecchini and the Possibility of Sustainable Meat, Food In Italy).  Dario could easily choose to have local food, raising cows a few miles away in Chianti.  However in doing so one overlooks the problem of feeding the cows in this region.  The grain would not be local; instead it would come from countries such as the United States and Argentina.  Producing and shipping this grain would guzzle more fossil fuel than shipping the meat from Spain would.  Dario claims he is an artisan, he strives to find the best raised meat and make it his own.  The meat he uses is not always Tuscan, but the methods he uses are.  As Cecchini puts so perfectly, “You don’t need to use Italian lemons. You don’t need to use Italian rosemary. You don’t need to use Italian meat. If you have good ingredients, you can find the balance” (Russ Parsons, Lessons from Dario Cecchini, the World’s Most Famous Butcher, LA Times).


My experience with Dario began the Sunday we arrived in Panzano.  We had a five-course meal, all meat.  At the time I did not realize the impact Dario’s restaurant would have on my perception of meat consumption.  Two weeks later, we visited the Fontodi farm in Chianti, which raises beautiful Chianina.  The cows we saw were strong, big, and well taken care of.  From there, we went straight to the butcher shop and saw hundreds of cuts of cow, most of which were the Catalonia cows.  There, the butchers taught us about the different cuts of meat.  They stressed the importance of the use of the whole cow, each part of the cow is used and nothing is wasted.  Immediately after, we went Dario’s restaurant and had the famous MacDario.  Personally, I did not feel comfortable eating the meat after seeing the cows and walking through the butcher shop.  I felt a little bothered thinking about the cows being butchered and then eaten.  Because of this, I decided I wanted to know more about Dario so I studied his philosophy.

In retrospect, my experience that day did force me to stop and think about the ethics of slaughtering animals for consumption.  However, after reading about Dario I realize I have a lot of respect for his work.  He respects the animal, and three major components contributing to that are the good life of the cow, a good death, and the use of the whole animal.  “Animals need to enjoy a good life with a good diet, in this case pasture as well as a mix of oats and barley. They also need a good death: the cows and pigs are not moved before slaughter, but rather slaughtered then shipped to the butcher shop. Finally, all of the pieces of the animal are used, not simply the most popular cuts; this gives meaning to both the life and the death of the animal in Cecchini’s eyes” (Zachary Norwak, Dario Cecchini and the Possibility of Sustainable Meat, Food In Italy).  This once again reiterates the philosophy of the Cecchini family: a respectful life and death of the animal is essential.

Zoccoli (Hooves): LEADER

Dario began his journey with the intent to save the lives of animals as a veterinarian.  He now is a renowned butcher, yet he still has the same respect for the animals he slaughters.  He warrants the animals are respected in their death by eating the entirety of the animal, not only popular cuts.  This is a paradox, but it is his way of combining the craft both veterinarian and butchering.  Dario’s journey is unique, but his leadership in the field separates him from others, and he is laying the foundation for others to follow suit.



Works Cited

NORWAK, ZACHARY. “Dario Cecchini and the Possibility of Sustainable Meat.” Food in Italy. N.p., 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 June 2014.


Parsons | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, Russ. “Lessons from Dario Cecchini, the World’s Most Famous Butcher.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2008. Web. 10 June 2014.


Giridharadas, Anand. “Embracing an Unchosen Path in Italy.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 June 2014.


An Analysis of the Beautification of Gelato, Wine, and Meat

June 12th, 2014 by saroul16

by Stephanie Roulier

Do marketing strategies skew the line between beauty and truth—can there be no marketing strategy at all? Producers put themselves in a position such that their product may entice the consumer. Consumers often believe that the producer really does have a higher knowledge in the product, evident by their pure pride in their work or wares. With gelato, wine, and meat, customers are sold an experience, a product that has an inherent aesthetic appeal. Each producer has his or her own marketing strategy, and upon comparing the differences, there are clearly more extremes that these producers go through than meets the eye, just to attract even one more buyer. While studying various producers who create high quality products throughout my stay in Tuscany, I have been able to discover underlying patterns among the marketing strategies of producers. This paper will discuss such realizations, relating to gelaterias, vineyards, and Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop.


For instance, gelato, an integral part of every Italian’s (and tourist’s) diet, and the success of the gelateria, depends heavily on marketing and presentation of the gelato shop’s offerings. From the way the ice creams are displayed, to the décor of the shop, to the variety of flavors, each shop has its own way of attracting consumers. What many consumers do not realize, however, is that though the ice cream may look fancy and delectable, artificial ingredients are sometimes added to the ice creams to create high piles of gelato, causing one to “oo and ahh” at the site of the frozen treat. That presentation of the ice cream can be quite a spectacle for tourists, though those who truly know quality gelato can understand that only artificial ingredients would allow for the gelato to look so mountainous. Additionally, producers will design their shops in attractive ways, to entice customers. Some shops take the more modern approach, with their ice creams in circular cylinder canisters, while others go for a more classic and vintage feel, with old-fashioned registers, chairs, and countertops. Even still, names of ice creams and the uniqueness of flavors can draw consumers in. Flavors such as strawberry sage, salted caramel, and olive can attract many different gelato enthusiasts. It is this aesthetic appeal of the shops and the flavors of gelato that reel in consumers. One can wonder if the producers who choose to use artificial ingredients to make a spectacle of their gelato are doing wrong. Though they aren’t necessarily lying to their consumers, they do often use a tricky marketing technique to attract buyers, and to play with levels of aesthetic appeal.

When one is searching for gelato shops, it depends on the person’s desires, as well as their palate. Are they well-educated in gelato, or gelato making for that matter? Do they truly understand what makes an excellent gelato? Few, fresh ingredients is the answer to that question, though many will simply be drawn in to the spectacle, regardless of what is actually in the frozen treat. The food space that the consumer falls into can also heavily impact at which shop the person lands in—being in the top right quadrant, with high culture and capital should allow for a superb ice cream experience. At the gelateria De’ Coltelli in Pisa, we were treated with quite the gelato experience. The owner of the shop allowed us to sample almost all of the shop’s flavors, putting on an incredible spectacle. He explained that only the freshest, seasonal, and top quality ingredients are selected for their gelato, and no artificial ingredients are used. A sign on the wall details the same statement, a clever marketing strategy for inquiring customers. This high quality product is absolutely worth the journey to visit, and I believe that their emphasis on fresh ingredients truly does make the ice cream experience that much better. It is as if this is the true beauty of gelato—simple and fresh ingredients blended to create a product that the owner is incredibly passionate about and eager to share with customers of all areas of cultural finesse.


In another more sophisticated realm, we find wine. From labeling to wine tasting, the experience one receives when purchasing a bottle of wine is crucial in keeping vineyards high on the market. Right down to the tasting rooms themselves, wine producers make, or rather their chosen marketing representative, make it a point to attempt to reel in buyers. Through our many visits to vineyards during the trip, I have noticed that each vineyard has its own personal touch on the beautification and aesthetic appeal of their product. For instance, at Le Cinciole, the wine tasting room had comfortable couches, chairs and antique furniture, with a view of the vineyards from the windows. This room put one in a more quaint and special mood, emphasizing that the tasting was focused on the consumer only—the room was there solely for them. At Nittardi, the tasting was held in the room where all of the paintings that were used for their Chianti Classico wine labels and wrapping paper were hung. This room was aesthetically pleasing, in the sense that I felt as though I was in an art gallery. This was impressive, and would be impressive to art enthusiasts alike, as every painting was dedicated to Nittardi’s wine. Even more impressive was the fact that Yoko Ono had created a label for them not too long ago. From this room, consumers get a full picture and idea of the appreciation of art that Nittardi has, so, especially for those interested in art, this wine tasting room is an incredible selling point and marketing strategy. On the other hand, at Le Fonti, the tasting was in one of their wine cellars, with many barrels of aging wine, the smell of the wine lingering throughout the room. Such smells created a vintage and personal feel so that all of the flavors of the wine could be brought out in the air. Though the tasting room wasn’t a posh, special room, it did create a more authentic feel, transporting us to that next level of tasting through all of the wonderful smells in the air of oak and grapes.

However, Le Mortelle exhibited the ultimate spectacle, right down to the outfit of the woman giving the tour. At the other vineyards we visited, the owner of the vineyards spoke with us personally, though at Le Mortelle, a very animated woman dressed in a cocktail dress walked the group around the cellar and processing rooms, trying to reel in those who were there through her enthusiastic words and hand gestures. Using a separate guide seems somewhat disconnected in a sense to me, as the person giving the tour may or may not truly know about the wines, thus what they say often sounds rehearsed or not as unique and special. Nevertheless, Le Mortelle’s wine cellar was truly amazing. The building was massive, the metal wine holding tanks reaching up three stories and a large spiral staircase leading down to the cellar. It seemed as though the structure was coming straight out of a movie. A large floor-to-ceiling glass window stood at the other end of the building, revealing rolling hills dotted by trees and covered in rows upon rows of beautiful green vineyards. The guide spoke of how the estate is very environmentally conscious, reusing CO2 to promote photosynthesis in the plants, recycling water, and the fact that the cellar is built in to a hill. These facts seemed as though they were yet another marketing strategy to impress the potential buyers, especially those who are environment enthusiasts. To top it off, the cellar at the very bottom circled around the entire building, and was controlled by a panel of touch screen buttons. In the center was a table set up for exclusive guests who desired to dine there privately. The entire tour was interesting and aesthetically pleasing, though to me, the tour seemed very superficial, over the top, and almost too much for a vineyard. Their marketing strategies are clearly focused on the beautification of wine, almost to an extreme. Whether it is the goal of the producers to create a more exclusive feel or not, I believe that sometimes extravagance pales in comparison to the beauty of simplicity. Personally, a smaller vineyard that has the owner present truly offers the ultimate package.


Lastly, the way the butchers present and explain their meat products can play a vital role in attracting consumers. In relation to Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop, Dario details how the cows are raised humanely, live long and healthy lives, and are killed with compassion. This often pleases those who are focused on animal rights and do not wish to eat animals raised on CAFOs. Upon visiting his small farm of cows in Panzano, one can see that the cows do seem healthier and are allowed to walk a bit more freely. These cows are slaughtered at the age of eleven, living long lives and “killed with compassion,” as Dario says. However, many of the things that Dario and his assistants present are marketing strategies. The small farm in Panzano is a way of increasing the aesthetic appeal of his meats, causing consumers to become even more wrapped up in the experience of interacting with Dario’s shop. Though he is honest and upfront with everything, it may come as a shock to some that most of his meat comes from cows who are raised in Spain and killed after just two years of life. That small farm in Panzano doesn’t produce nearly the amount of meat that the young cattle in Spain do. Dario’s assistant did explain that those cows are raised humanely, though because we cannot see those cows personally, there is a bit of disconnect. Regardless, what Dario is doing is a great and wonderful idea in terms of animal ethics and rights. At his dinners and in his butcher shop, Dario is very eager to explain passionately his philosophies, inspiring those who are listening to have more compassion for animals and to be more wary of the meat that they are consuming. Right down to the beautiful décor and artfully designed placemats that show the various cuts of the cow, his restaurant and butcher shop is a complete experience that effectively conveys the message that every meat cut is just as precious of the others. It is difficult to not want to support Dario and his business because his booming and energetic voice is simply impossible to ignore and forget. With his passion and dedication to humanely raising and slaughtering animals, the strategies he uses are very effective. His pride in his work is simply contagious.


Through comparing various producers’ wares, it is evident that the majority of the producers have unique marketing strategies that draw in consumers. Whether it is the ingredients of the gelato, the wine tasting rooms, or the philosophy of Dario, each producer exhibits varying levels of pride in their work. It is difficult to ignore such strategies upon entering a shop or winery, and whoever is speaking only amplifies such appeal. With all of this beautification and aesthetic appeal, where is the line drawn? When is it simply too much? Hopefully in the future, consumers will be more conscious of this truth and tendency of over-beautification of products, though in the mean time it is great to realize and appreciate how passionate producers are of their work.

le mortellecoltelli spiegagelatomeatLe Fonti dario

Finding One’s Identity Through Chocolate

June 11th, 2014 by eafroi16

Emilia A. Froio

The Philosophy of Food

Professor Borghini

June 9, 2014





The person who is a master in the art of living makes little distinction

 between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their mind and their body,

their education and their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which.

They simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace in whatever they do,

leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing.

To them, they are always doing both.






What Is Chocolate to You?

What is chocolate to you? What is your favorite flavor; Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, pistachio, salty and sweet, white chocolate, or maybe lemon? There are millions of flavors of chocolate in the world that can appeal to different varieties of people. Personally, I enjoy dark chocolate; I enjoy its strong, often cleansing taste. Through differing techniques and differing cultures, chocolate producers are able to construct many different flavors and specialty combinations for consumers. These flavors are often mixed differently, allowing unique flavors to emerge based on the combination of sweet, salty, warm, or cold ingredients. To each person and their differing pallets, each flavor and sensation is different.  Consumers are not only able to discover new things about themselves,  but also able to relate tastes and flavors to memories, experiences, and other aspects of their life, either past or current.



Have you ever consumed a food that reminds you of your childhood? Or perhaps summer; or winter? Through these types of memories, food is able to take you back to those times. This characteristic of food, apart from it being a necessity to survive, is what excites and motivates many people to explore different types and varieties of food. However, most importantly, chocolate can open a new window to reveal one’s identity. Personally, I never considered tasting artisan chocolate, or any chocolate for that matter, with the intent to savor flavors and consider what memories or connections I could make with the flavors I would taste. However, after experiencing a chocolate tasting with Paul De Bondt, owner of De Bondt chocolate, I have learned and hopefully acquired the interest and attentiveness to tasting chocolate with an open and enthusiastic outlook. Through an experience with chocolate, one that is different than that of wine tasting for example, one can better comprehend their culture, race, and therefore the basis of their identity, by the flavors and tastes they experience.



One’s identity rests on education, race, gender, and additional outside influences that shape and construct it. By and through integrating interesting ingredients in chocolate that are popularly grown in a certain region, chocolate producers, specifically Paul De Bondt, is able to connect and relate to his consumers. Through the construction of chocolate and the perfected ingredients that are used for different flavors, chocolate can bring out different flavors in anyone’s palate.

Specifically, Paul De Bondt, a Dutch born man, is able to construct his chocolate in a way that is relatable to Italians all over Italy. The Italian cuisine is often known for it’s simplicity, Mediterranean ingredients, and traditionalist values. Mediterranean ingredients include things such as olive oil, cereals, fish, and tomatoes. With these aspects of Italian cuisine in mind, De Bondt believes that by creating chocolate that incorporates these aspects of Italian culture, he will not only be appealing to Italians all over Italy, but also be able to open a doorway into a world of taste that will help them discover their identity more clearly. For De Bondt, chocolate can bring people together, further understand a common culture, and serve as a catalyst to recall positive memories from the past. These aspects of chocolate significantly helped De Bondt connect with Italians. Upon his marriage to his Italian born wife, he grew a strong connection to Italian culture and Italian cuisine, specifically through the art of chocolate production. Through his excitement to learn and discover additional aspects of the Italian culture, in which he works towards achieving simplicity, De Bondt created specialty chocolates that not only bring out amazing and definitive flavors, but also define the Italian culture for those that consume it. Some interesting combinations that include popular ingredients of Italian culture include, the hot pepper bars which are called, “Peperoncino”, sensual bars which are called “Sensuale” (rose, orange blossom, jasmine), spicy hot bars which are called “Piccante” (pepper, pink pepper, ginger), and aromatic bars which are called “Aromatico” (mint, coriander, fennel). Masters Paul De Bondt and Cecilia Iacobelli are continuously working to perfect new flavors. “The taste of chocolate we eat today depends largely on the type and quality of the cocoa, but also on other ingredients that are added. In artisanal chocolate, like Paul De Bondt’s, you only find cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, a little soy lecithin and natural vanilla” (Chocolate lesson).  By introducing simple ingredients, such as fennel, mint, ginger, and peppers, De Bondt chocolate has become not only a local success, but also a global triumph.



In De Bondt’s chocolate constructing process, while maintaining a simplistic construction, he completes a process called conching. “Conch comes from the Spanish word concha, which means shell. The name “conching” arose because the original vessel used to hold the chocolate was shaped like a “conch shell” (The Alchemist’s Notebook).  Through the process of conching, one is able not only to create the chocolate bar itself, but also formulate the exact taste, specifically the bitterness, of the chocolate: “The conching process consists of mixing the cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla for a very long time. The chocolate is processed and well ventilated, in order to evaporate excessive acetic acid and other bitter substances” (Chocolate lesson). By using this technique, which is significantly different in De Bondt’s chocolate shop than in other chocolate producer’s workshops, De Bondt creates a unique and personal flavor to his chocolate bars. De Bondt believes that through careful and precise attention to details and to the origin of his products, he can create flavorful chocolate that will appeal to virtually anyone.


How To Taste Chocolate: De Bondt Style

One extremely important aspect De Bondt stresses is the ability for one to savor and experience the full flavor of the chocolate. In order for this to ensue, consumers must carefully follow his instructions for tasting his chocolate. De Bondt recommends that one should allow the chocolate to melt on the inside of the mouth, but not to bite it. By biting the chocolate, the consumer loses a significant amount of the flavors incorporated into the bar. By allowing it to melt on the tongue, the taste buds and additional mechanisms in your mouth have time to taste all properties of the chocolate. It is important to understand that chocolate tasting is very different than that of wine tasting. While tasting chocolate, it takes about four or five minutes to completely absorb the taste of certain types of chocolate. In a wine tasting, all the flavors are acquired and realized much sooner. If this process is preformed correctly, the consumer will have the opportunity to taste the chocolate as the producer intended it to be tasted. By learning to embrace every flavor, those that you like and those that may not necessarily appeal to you, the consumer will be able to advance his or her pallet in a way that makes every chocolate experience one of pleasure, excitement, and critique.


Concluding Remarks

For some, chocolate may be a way to experience new things in a very different way. For others, the consumption of chocolate may be a way to travel back in time and understand who he or she is, about their family, and their background. Through savoring and properly tasting chocolate, specifically all of the different flavors that have been intentionally incorporated into every bar, the consumer learns about him or herself, while also learning something about their culture. Chocolate is not solely a piece of candy; De Bondt has transformed regular day-to-day chocolate into an artisan chocolate that is capable of connecting and bringing together the Italian culture, despite his Dutch origin. Through my experience with De Bondt chocolate and Paul De Bondt’s suggestions for tasting it, I have gained a more critical outlook on chocolate and its production. Chocolate tasting will now take on more significance and meaning for me.

Work Cited

“Chocolate lesson with Paul De Bondt.” Tuscan Recipes Food and Tradition Tuscanycious. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2014.<http://www.turismo.intoscana. it/allthingstuscany/tuscanycious/chocolate-lesson-with-paul-de-bondt/>.

“The Alchemist’s Notebook – Conching / Refining.” The Alchemist’s NotebookConching / Refining. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2014. <http://www.cho

Biological Vineyards: The Key to Wine Market Success- Emily Campbell

June 11th, 2014 by emcamp16

I. Introduction
In today’s socioeconomic climate, it is difficult for wine producers to remain relevant in the global market. For years, industrial vineyards dominated, because they were able to produce wines efficiently, for very little money. However, this is not enough for today’s consumers; they are tired of the old status quo. Producers from Panzano, Italy, believe they have found the solution to this demand, biological wines. According to these producers, biological wines are superior because they lack chemical or mechanical influence, improving the taste of the wine, and protecting the health of the consumer, and the environment. As biological wine development progresses, it will overtake the popularity industrial vineyards maintain.
Historically, there were two classes of wines produced to satisfy consumers. The first class, known as the “fine wines,” was typically produced on European estates and was associated with “glamor” and “prestige.” Although these wine were made in small quantities, they were expensive and rich in flavor. The larger class, known as “commodity wines,” was made for a much larger group of consumers who were unable to afford “fine wines”. These wines were made industrially and were sold for slightly more than production costs, but had a poor taste. Currently, consumers of “commodity wines” are no longer content with drinking poor tasting wine; they want a wine that is rich in flavor while still economical (Goode and Harrop, 2008).

Biological Chiani Classico Sign Vineyard Non Biological
II. Flavor of Wines
Biological Vinicultures believe they have achieved better tasting wines because of their grape cultivation. They set out to grow grapes that are more controlled in their sugar production, helping in the development of physiological ripeness. Producers achieve this by encouraging competition among vines, forcing the plant to rely on the soil in order to get the nutrition it needs. This causes the grape vines to grow low to the ground to absorb the materials it needs. Many producers remove large quantities of grapes, so the vines can focus on making a select group of quality grapes. If this is accomplished, the wine has a more balanced alcohol and flavor content, even if there is a change in climate conditions. During fermentation, producers rely on spontaneous fermentation instead of yeasts that distort the flavor of the wine (Tamburlaine 2012).
In an article from Fortune magazine, wine experts sampled biological wines and their industrial counterparts to compare their flavors. The wine experts found that the biological wines were more expressive and represented their origin based on its texture, aroma, and flavor. This study concludes that biological wines are the answers to the gastronomic experience consumers want when they drink wine (Tamburlaine 2012).
III. Consumer Health
Also, biological wines will become more attractive to consumers because they are healthier for humanity. Farmers working in industrial vineyards suffer from respiratory and neurological problems, from spraying pesticides. The toxins in grape pesticides include: carcinogens, hormone blockers, neurotoxins, and reproductive or developmental blockers. The only chemicals that biological grapes are exposed to are sulfides and copper, which help protect the grape from extremely hot temperatures. Other additions to these wines are strictly biological including: animal manures, minerals, household wastes, plant wastes and algal preparations. Additionally, there are no of antibiotics or growth hormones exposed to the grapes to promote unnatural growth (“EU Rules for Organic Wine Production”2012).
IV. Supporting the Environment
At the same biological wines reflect the environment they reside in, because the vines play a key role in the ecosystem. Producers rely on the surrounding environment in order to protect the vines and promote grape growth; this could be the reason why these wines contain flavors that are reflective of their environment. The vines are grown with the natural fertility of the soil, no synthetic soluble fertilizers are introduced that cause water and air pollution. Similarly, there is a reduced irrigation system because the soil is promoted to maintain water, protecting against run off. Cereals and grasses promote a worm population that help this process and mix the soil around so it does not remain stagnant (Tamburlaine 2012).
With no pesticides sprayed, there are no animal deaths in the ecosystem. Moreover, the lack of presides promotes insects activity protecting the plant against more dangerous insects and diseases (Tamburlaine 2012). Traditionally, certain types of trees surrounding vineyards have been used to protect grape vines from pests. For example, rose trees are used to test the soil for fungi that cause serious disease. According to Luca Orsini, owner of Le Cincole (a biological wine producer), ‘Today, this is a new starting point for us—a way to continue our constant search for sustainable productivity: in favor of the environment and for our own benefit as producers who face a sometimes unscrupulous market that we’re deeply involved with day by day, (“Biological Wine in Tuscany” 2013).
V. My Experience in Panzano
At the forefront of this movement is Panzano, a small town in Italy. All of the producers in this town made a pact to grow their vineyards biologically. It has become a way of life for these producers, they are constantly looking for new ways to produce a wine that is reflective of their town but competitive in the global market. With the help of an agronomist (a person who studies the application of various soils and plant sciences to soil management and crop production) there have been studies on how to grow vineyards organically.

After living in Panzano for the last month, I have been inspired by the goal of the vineyards we have visited. In the United States, we are constantly told how important it is to purchase organic foods, but I have never heard about biological wines. After listening to the producers’ stories, I have learned they are truly grateful for the environment; grateful enough they will do anything to protect the environment for years to come. I am sure that each of these producers could make more money if they stuck to the conventional way of producing wine. However, these producers look at their grape like their own children, and are willing to put in the extra time in order to grow them naturally.
As a consumer who has tried these wines, I have begun to taste the artisanship and the environmental conditions that go into their production. I may not have a developed palate to taste every single nuance, but I can definitely taste a wine that reflects Tuscany and the environment of Panzano. When I go home, I will be able to share with my family the wine that I have purchased from these vineyards. Even though they have never visited Panzano, these wines will give them a glimpse of the experiences I have enjoyed. I believe this ability to transport consumers to different regions of the world will cause biological wines to dominate. Unlike industrial wines, consumers will be able to take a vacation through taste without leaving their homes. This will open up a dialogue among consumers about how different regions of the world bring their own spin on wine. This will leave behind wines that taste similar, and lead to embracing wine individuality.
VI. Conclusion
As consumers start to become more educated on biological wines there will be a change in current wine culture. As the health side effects of current pesticides are exposed, people are going to have to change their drinking habits to help their health. Similarly, people are going to have to embrace sustainable farming in order to help the environment. But most importantly, people are going to drink wines that are rich in flavor crafted by skilled artisans because they are going to love the stories that unfold as they drink it. Biological wines are going to act as a passport, allowing people to visit places like Panzano, helping them to better understand their culture. Ultimately, commercial wines are going to be a thing of the past.

Works Cited
“EU Rules For Organic Wine Production.” (2012): 5-45. Web. 4 June 2012. <>.
Goode, Jamie. “Improving Wine Quality with the Use of Biological Tools.” Lallemand. 2007. Web. 06 June 2014. <>.
Pellegrini, Paolo. “The Biological Wine of Tuscany.” Editorial. Firenze: Made in Tuscany 16 May 2013. Web. 6 June 2014. <>.
Privietera, Plania. “Organic Wine: Perceptions and Choices of Organic Consumers.” Academia. 2012. Web. 6 June 2014. <>.
“What Is Organic?” Tamburlaine. 2012. Web. 06 June 2014. <>.