Tuscany Italy on the Altesino Estate

~ The Altesino Estate is one of Tuscany’s cherished wine estates ~

Over the last few months, as the world’s been turned upside down, shaken and then crookedly rearranged, I’ve sat and mused about Italy and what it means to me.  First, it’s always been part of my heritage.  From long, slow family meals to gardening and cooking. Naturally as a child these things were overlooked or taken for granted but now as an adult, I try to create the same fond memories for my family.

Tuscan Vines has become a natural extension of that passion.  It not only serves as an independent voice covering Italian wine, but a collection of recipes, pictures and anecdotes. It has allowed me to embrace my heritage in a deeper way than I could have ever imagined.  Through my love of wine I’ve made countless, life long friends and as a result have become the richer for it.

As I write this, Italy is hurting. Some of my friends are hurting. Recently, several of my readers emailed me asking about ways we can help the Italian wine community.  In this photo essay celebrating Italy,  I’ll provide a few ways we can help the Italian winemakers we adore.

Italy - the Grand Canal in Venice

~ The Grand Canal in Venezia glitters on this sun baked day ~

Italy - Venice

~ The Rialto Bridge in Venice from a Vaporetto ~

Due to the closing of Enoteche, restaurants and tasting rooms, wineries have suffered reduced demand for their products.  Governmental closings have delayed certifications and supply chain disruptions have delayed orders that have been received.  What can you do?

Buy wine directly from Italian wineries!  Many of the wineries we love are small family owned farms.  Yet many have websites and are able to ship directly to consumers.  It may cost a little more, but the slight increase for you could make a significant difference to them.  What’s more, many are reducing shipping costs to entice orders.  Check the websites of your favorite producers and support them.

Italy Venice

~ The Bridge of Sighs is actually part of a prison ~

Piazza San Marco

~ From atop the Campanile, Piazza San Marco needs no introduction ~

Buy directly from Italian Enoteca!  My newsletter Subscribers recently received an amazing coupon code to do just this.  Many Italian Enoteca will ship worldwide.  Some offer free shipping depending upon the value of your order.  Some will offer promotional items that ship for free.  Set Wine-Searcher.com to “Worldwide Delivery” and look for the Italian Enoteche.


~ The Spanish Steps in Rome are a traditional gathering place ~

Buy Italian wine from your local retailer!  If buying wine direct from Italy still induces a level of nervousness you can’t conquer, then search out Italian wine locally.  If the wines fly off the shelves here, it will ultimately result in more orders for wineries; especially as restrictions have eased and shipping logistics have begun to improve.

Rome, Piazza Navona Italy

~ Perspective in the Piazza Navona, Roma ~

Italy, Rome

~ Castel Sant’Angelo dominates along the Tiber river in Rome ~

Join my Zoom calls!  Over the last few weeks I’ve been hosting Zoom calls with various winemakers.  You can email me or DM me at Facebook or Twitter to get the link needed to join.  Each of the winemakers have created exclusive offers for my Newsletter Subscribers. These offers are designed to help them and you! They get much needed sales and you get pristine provenance on wines that in many cases have not been sold at retail, or have been aged for years on the estate.  Many times the wines are limited production.  The next call is this Sunday; 1PM EST and 7PM CET. You must be subscribed to receive the special offers!

Italy, Rome

~ Fontana Trevi, Roma ~

Italy, Roma

~ The Pantheon inspires awe each time I see it. I could sit with a cappuccino or glass of wine and just stare for hours ~

Buy other Italian products in addition to wine!  We all love wine and that’s the majority of the coverage here.  Yet most wine lovers are passionate about things like ceramic pottery, olive oil, pasta, beans, cheeses, etc.   Many wine producers also make oil and many grow pasta and beans. Again, let Google be your friend and search out authentic products.  Every bit helps!


~ The Campanile in Siena is a magical place to people watch, grab some pasta and relax with a Spritz or glass of vino ~

~ Castellina in Chianti in the early morning light. Wednesday is laundry day! ~

~ Many times I’ve sat on these steps waiting to meet friends ~

San Gimignano

~ Piazza della Cisterna boasts several cafe’s and gelaterie ~

Where to Shop

Are you dreaming of Tuscan ceramics?  Leoncini is the best shop in San Gimignano and ships world wide!

Looking for that special bottle of Brunello?  Newsletter Subscribers got a great coupon code for Enoteca di Piazza.

Italy, Montalcino

~ A lovely spot for just about anything in between wine tasting in Montalcino ~


~ Castello Banfi has many products for sale including jams, pasta, oil, salsa balsamica, prunes and honey. Visit them! ~

Finally, some friends…


~ Visit Campochiarenti’s E-Store to order directly ~

Campochiarenti E-Store

~ Mario Bollag pulls tank samples in his winery. He has a rich amount of back vintages available for sale. Visit his website ~

Terralsole Brunello and more!

~ Andrea Cecchi’s wines are widely available. Those that aren’t imported can be found at his Foresteria ~

Foresteria Villa Cerna – Wine and More

~ A trip to Panzano without a stop at Dario’s is a lost opportunity ~

Finally, if you can do nothing else, make a great meal.  Use my Recipes page for inspiration.  Gather close family around a communal table. Dine al fresco. Open a bottle.  Bring Italy to your house.  Then put your pictures wherever you use Social Media and spread the word. #HelpItaly

~ The winding road will eventually lead us all back ~

We will emerge from this. Changed, but stronger.  Maybe more distant at first, but with a richer, more appreciative connection. Forza Insieme!


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