Périgord Wines: Bergerac and Duras

Bergerac Vineyards in Périgord Dordogne France
A view of the vineyards in Razac-de-Saussignac in the Bergerac wine district. Credit: Jill Barth
It was the roses – and the view – that made us pull the car over. Though everyone wanted to make good time, we were compelled to stop, even as other cars whizzed past while we weaseled into a spot across the street from the local cave. Cameras are made with the panorama setting for this purpose: stopping the car in Southwest France’s Périgord. We’d entered the village of Duras, naively thinking we’d quite literally stop and smell the roses, pop a few images and get back on the road to our hotel. We’d woken in Ventenac-en-Minervois and we would hit midnight in the city of Bordeaux. In between: Périgord. This is actually an apt realization of what this part of the country means to Americans – not the Languedoc and not Bordeaux. Yes, ...
The village of Duras in Sud-Ouest France
Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne, Périgord Wine, Dordogne Wine
Wine of Sud-Ouest France
Duras, Périgord Château
Sud-Ouest French vineyards
Organic Biodynamic Vegan French Wine
French country luxury hotel.
Sud-Ouest Wines, French Market, Périgord

Alpine Wines of Italy

Italian wines of the Alps.
.Alto Adige Wine with a view! Courtesy: Alto Adige Wines
Several years ago my husband and I drove through the Alps of France and Italy, leaving me with a sense of admiration for the natural abundance as well as the man-made influences of the mountains. We drove through the Fréjus Road Tunnel which connects Modane, France to Bardonecchia, Italy under massive Col du Fréjus. 80% of the commercial road traffic between the two countries travels via the tunnel.
Italy, Switzerland and France - road trip made possible by Alpine passes.
Our European road trips have offered some excellent Alpine views. Credit: Jill Barth
We’ve also crossed the French border into Switzerland on Alpine roads, checking in at the crossing to purchase our road-tax sticker, or vignette. The concept of crossing so easily from country to country, over and through astoundingly huge mountains is fascinating. Writing about the Alpine wines is, for me, one way to understand the lives of the communities ...
Alpine pass from France to Switzerland
Alpine wines of Italy, Alto Adige

Fresh Wines from Lazio and Umbria: Falesco

When I wrote in my notes…
Create curiosity and knowledge.

…I knew I’d come to admire Dominga Cotarella.
Dominga Cotarella of Falesco, Italian Winemakers
Dominga Cotarella in the vineyards. Credit: RB Design
Dominga (I’ll use first names throughout, to avoid confusion) is a second-generation producer in the Cotarella family winemaking business, Falesco, originated in 1979 by her father Renzo Cotarella and her uncle Riccardo Cotarella. Dominga and her cousins Marta and Enrica eased into the Falesco leadership roles in 2015. The first generation was all-male, the second generation is all-female. The energy that Dominga and her cousins bring to the transition is indicative of what it takes to maintain buoyancy in the modern landscape of making wine. My conversation with Dominga happened in an entirely modern way, over Skype. We shared a tasting of her wines and a discussion that covered everything: wine, creativity, progress, art, terroir, cuisine and family.  Her theme seems to be the ...
Italian Merlot advocates and growers.
Montiano Merlot from Lazio, Italy
Second-generation female winemakers in Italy.
Tellus Chardonnay from Umbria, Italy
Italian vineyards in Lazio.
Italian Merlot
A lineup of fresh summer wines from Umbrian and Lazio