Revamped the site, updates

So, I started this little blog last year as a way to document last year’s three month trip to Italy. But really, I had created it because I was scheduled to return for another three month trip later in the year, centered around the harvest in Barolo, and I wanted it to be packed full of details of both segments of extended (wine) travel.

A few things happened that caused me to stop posting. The very first thing, was I had no internet connection – for weeks. At that time I was in Staggia, Greve, Montalcino, Lucignano d’Arbia, Maremma, Bolgheri, Bibbona, etc., etc. Literally, I was all over the place. And if there is one thing that is consistent across those places, or with this type of travel (in the countryside) in general, it’s that the WiFi does not work as advertised.

After many weeks of this type of (frustrating) disappointment, I had to acknowledge the fact that as much as I wanted to have WiFi everywhere I was, it was simply not going to happen. I hate feeling helpless like that. I hate giving up. But I had to, because it wasn’t healthy to focus on something I had zero control over.

Then, in July, after I had been back in the States for just over a month, I developed some health issues. I endured two eyelid surgeries (July and Nov.) as a result of it, and, sadly, I’ve been blind in my right eye since last September. I had been scheduled to depart 1 December, 2016 for a 3 month trip to Italy, but my doctor told me I had to give the eye a chance to heal, something that’s not yet happened; I’ll probably have to haven another corneal transplant this coming July.  Oh well.

On top of all the health stuff, one of my dearest friends passed away from cancer. He was only 61, and very full of life. I took it hard, for months, and if  I’m being honest, the last thing I felt like doing was writing, or even talking. Brad, you are missed; each and every day.

With that said, I’m bringing the site back up again, with a new look that my wife and daughter told me was needed. In that spirit, if there is something you’d like to see (feature article, particular wine reviewed, etc.), drop me a note.

2017 is going to be a great year. And even if others say it’s not a great year, I’m going to do my best to make it a great year. I’ve already got two 3-month trips fully booked. I’ll be traveling from Valtellina to Etna, and just about everywhere in between. All of it wine related. As I’ve previously said, I’m not a tourist. I did that 20 years ago, and it seems that I got it all out of my system.

Six months in the winegrowing countryside, in little villages like Randazzo, or Comiso, or Staggia. I’m already excited.

(photo: Pinot Noir harvest/work in Russian River Valley, about 10 years ago. How time flies.)

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