Some of you already know me - I'm (or was, now I just use my name) winestrategies on CellarTracker.com [url]https://www.cellartracker.com/user.asp?iUserOverride=58485[/url]
For those of you that don't, years ago I decided to devote the balance of my life to the pursuit of Italian: wine, culture, history, food, etc.
Since the time I made the decision to create this site, I've spent about 3 full years of my life in Italia, learning the language, understanding the culture (and history, too, as they're so intertwined), the people, regions, foods, etc., etc.
Each year I travel to Italia for 3-6 months. I typically arrive in early February in order to attend the Anteprime events in Toscana: (Chianti Classico, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, etc.), followed about a week later by the 4-day Benvenuto Brunello event in Montalicino.
Several weeks after the Benvenuto Brunello event, and after dozens of vineyard visits with winemakers, agronomists, etc., in Toscana, I then typically move to the Langhe, my base since 2008. Just a few weeks later, I begin my move to the ProWein event in Dusseldorf. Depending on the timing (dates change) I've only a few weeks to make regional visits before the VinItaly begins in Verona; after my 13th, this year, I feel I may have attended my final fair there.
Each year I spend at least 90 (continuous) days in Italia; I've visited each region multiple times with the exception of Sardegna. In a typical year, I'll spend one month each in Toscana, and one month in Piemonte; each year I drive 10-22,000 kilometers. All of this is done at my expense, it's my way of remaining truly independent.
I don't do touristic things, in fact, I'm seldom in cities - 95% of my time is in the countryside, where vines are grown. My need to explore touristic areas was over a few years after my first visit in 1991.
In addition to Italy's wine regions, I've visited all of the major regions in California, France, and Germany - many times over; several in Spain, too. The study and understanding of wine(growing) is more than a passion for me, it's a purpose.