Nothing gets me more excited than progress. I hate standing still. It must be a family trait as I see it in my eldest daughter. We are both wake up at the same time each morning and jump from the blocks, ready to take the day on. I have always been a believer that time is too precious to waste and it is in the morning, when my brain is the sharpest and idea’s flow freely.
Even whilst studying at school and university, I never worked on assignments or studies for exams past 8pm. By that time, my mind was frazzled and all I wanted to do was unwind.
Getting back to progress, there has been a lot going on at @boccacciovino with work underway to create something unique in Australia. I do not want to just build a new wine store and Italian supermarket: I want it to be a showcase of all things good about Italian food and wine.
Today there is a crew of twenty plus tradesman working on our new @boccacciovino wine store which should be ready for us to operate out of in ten weeks (yes 10 weeks, scary really!) and a new Italian supermarket which will take a year of building.
I will keep you posted along the whole journey and it is sure going to be a fantastic experience!
Well what a crazy couple of weeks it has been, so much wine arriving from Italy and plenty going out around Australia. This time of year, our window for preparing orders after the Italian summer vacation and having those wines land before Christmas is relatively short indeed. Hence, now is the time to try and order those wines we want to sell in Australia before Christmas.
The Lucarrelli Salice Salentino is one such find. This wine should arrive to us at the end of October/start of November and I can’t wait to show this wine in Australia
Well after delays almost the whole way along our trip we finally made it to Roma. A 90 minute delay in Dubai due to fog (can you believe it in Dubai!) meant that we missed our connecting flight to Italy at Heathrow which then affected our car hire booking. After wasting half a day sorting all this out we finally arrived at our hotel and turned our watches to Italian time.
After enjoying a spritz on our hotel balcony overlooking Piazza di Spagna we sat down to an amazing dinner at Palatium in Centro storico in Piazza di Spagna. After a fantastic meal, we did what I always do in Rome: take a stroll to the Pantheon.
Well after a great holiday it was back to reality yesterday with a container waiting at my back door on my first day back.
Whilst I have been away, new wines from a variety of producers have been rolling through the door. It is always a highlight when new release wines from Luca Roagna arrive and last night I opened a bottle of the new Roagna Le Coste Barolo 2007.
This famous vineyard has been making some of the best wines in Barolo for close to one hundred years. Some of the first Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Barolo came from this vineyard and Luca has managed to buy grapes from this plot for the first time.
It is a beautiful wine and I can’t wait to see it develop over the next two decades.
With holidays over, it is going to be a busy month ahead.
Last week I was looking through my cellar (I do not catalogue and prefer to put wines in and forget about them) and reminiscing about all the different wines, wine styles and varieties that I have put in there over the last decade and a half. The vast majority of my cellar is Italian, split roughly 40% from the North, 30% from the Central and 30% from the South of Italy.
Over this fifteen year period my preferences for wine have changed markedly. I have also fallen in love with certain regions and styles before falling out of love and now after fifteen years, falling back into love with those wines. It is amazing the changes you go through.
The perfect example of this is Brunello di Montalcino. When I was fresh out of University, my favourite wine was Brunello di Montalcino and a good proportion of the Brunello in my cellar was from these days. It peaked around the 2001 vintage and therefore in my cellar are the likes of Casanova di Neri, Fanti, Fuligni, Castelgiocondo, Banfi and Mastrojanni. These wines are now just entering their drinking window.
However it did not take long for my preferences to change and I found that a couple of years later, I had a preference for Chianti Riserva over Brunello and this continued up until recently. Hence, I have put a lot of different Chianti Riserva from 2004 and 2006 in my cellar over the last five years.
There also also some wines in there that I would never think about putting in my cellar today. I love Barbera d’Alba and have a major preference of it compared to Barbera d’Asti. However, in those early years I put more Barbera d’Asti in there without knowing the major differences between the two. I am sure that I will enjoy the Barbera d’Asti but looking back at it now, I wish it was bottles of Barbera d’Alba as I know I would have got far greater enjoyment from them.
Fifteen years ago the wines of Southern Italy did not exist in my world. Today it is the exact opposite. Now Nerello Mascalese from Mt Etna, Aglianico from Basilicata and Campania, Negroamaro and Primativo from Puglia and Gaglioppofrom Calabria are front and centre in my own cellar. I can’t wait to see how the wines I have put to sleep in the last years will develop in the next decade.
My cellar has also witnessed my life journey over the last fifteen years: and what an amazing journey it has been. Fifteen years ago, I had just finished a couple of degrees at University and entered the wine world fresh and eager to learn. Whilst I have grown up in and around wine, being able to work with it almost every day of the week has given me a different perspective of it and I could not think of a life not revolved around wine.
As the years have passed, my life and cellar have developed along a constant line and length. Whilst finishing University (literally the last few weeks of it) I met my future wife and it was in those early years of our relationship that we started to head to Italy travelling. Those were also the years that my cellar started to develop a strong Italian line.
When we married, I was given some amazing wines as gifts and these wines have a special spot in my cellar. The birth of my two beautiful daughters (born in 2007 and 2010) has meant extra German Riesling and Vintage Port so they can drink it with their children.
My cellar and also the journey through life is always changing, with ebbs and flows, and differences in what we like and prefer. I am sure in the next ten or twenty years time this will continue and I can’t wait to see where both will be in another decade or so.
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia