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Ten years ago, when the board of Château d'Yquem fired him, president and former owner Count Alexandre de Lur Saluces was expected to fade into the Sauternes sunset.
Instead, Lur Saluces picked himself up off the mat. The 80-year-old aristocrat continues making great Sauternes a few miles away at his Château de Fargues. Here, since 2005, he has produced seven wines in the outstanding range or better by Wine Spectator. The most recently released,2009 (97 points), sold for $170.
Not bad for a man who doesn't even consider himself a winemaker.
"Here, we are farmer-poets," said Lur Saluces, flashing a boyish, gap-toothed smile as he greeted visitors in a tweed jacket and tie.
The 2013 vintage was tough for all of Montalcino, Tuscany's premier wine region. But for Jacopo Biondi Santi, it was a moment of truth.
It was the first harvest at his family's legendary estate following the death of his father, Franco Biondi Santi, this past spring at the age of 91.
"I have been harvesting here since I was eight years old, first with grandfather, then with my father," Jacopo, 63, said in his office over the winery. "This was the first time I did it alone." ...Read more at the Wine Spectator.
"There are lots of reasons to love wine, but for me the most important reason is people..."
if you are familiar with my books and work you know this is who I am. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to roam the continent (mostly Italy and France) and relate the human stories from the wine world. There will be some great ones coming up very soon, so stay tuned. I hope you'll join the conversation.
You can read the first blog on the Wine Spectator site here.
The home of great bubbly ups its game
By Robert Camuto (and Alison Napjus) -- Wine Spectator Dec. 15, 2013
Few products in history have been more associated with the good life, glamour and celebration than Champagne. Yet in modern times, even as the sparkling wine boomed, the Champagne region itself—one of France's most historic and bucolic wine countries—remained a sleepy backwater.
Up until recently, locals in Champagne didn't pay much attention to creating a travel experience worthy of the name. With the eponymous bubbly easily traveling the planet, the thinking seemed to be, why show off Champagne wine country?
That approach has taken a dramatic turn. In the past decade, the quality of Champagne as a destination has risen with a wave of hotel renovations and new vineyard accommodations, an influx of creative chefs, the area's first Champagne bars and more opportunity to tour Champagne houses large and small. A high-speed train line put the regional capital of Reims a mere 45 minutes from Paris.
The leaders of an Austrian wine renaissance coax stunning whites from stony hillsides
By Robert Camuto-- Wine Spectator Nov. 15, 2013
The Wachau Valley is a 23-mile visual feast of tidy medieval villages, hilltop castle ruins and dense conifer forests, all set amid dramatically steep vineyards whose terraced slopes cling to the riverbanks of the winding Danube.
Despite more than a thousand years as a winemaking center, the Wachau has only seen its wines burst into the ranks of the world's great whites in the past 20 years, with aromatic Rieslings and food-friendly Grüner Veltliners.
Stateside, Austrian wine has become a tiny but fast-growing niche, with wine lovers, merchants and sommeliers increasingly turning to Wachau whites.
At 31 and on the cusp of her tenth vintage, Sicily’s revolutionary winemaker Arianna Occhipinti has redefined the image of the modern vintner by returning to the island’s native roots.
By Robert Camuto-- la Cucina Italiana November, 2013
See the Video Trailer for PALMENTO on You Tube....
Robert reads from and discusses Palmento at McNally Jackson books in NY Sept. 2010.
Robert's Presentation of Palmento in Milo Sicily In Italian.
Corkscrewed On location at Dom. Borrelly-Martin (Provence)...
..at McNally-Jackson Books NYC 2009...
...at home in cellar fall 2008....
....on Wine Library TV March 2009...
Robert on radio