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Finger Lakes Day Two and Its Viticulture

By Catherine | On Aug 24, 2015 | 1 Comment

This is a complex subject to condense down to a blog post.  Nevertheless, let’s give it a try. Regardless of the growing region, there are hybrid grapes and Vitis vinifera. Hybrids are crosses between two grape, or vitis, species and Vitis vinifera are crosses between the same grape species. The Concord and Niagara are examples of well known hybrid grapes…

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Introduction to the Finger Lakes

By Catherine | On Aug 19, 2015 | No Comments

The 2015 Wine Blogger’s Conference began on Wednesday, August 12, with a pre-conference excursion. But first, a little geography lesson: About two million years ago, the first of a series of glacial flows began advancing and retreating across what is now New York State. The ice gouged out the land, creating deep trenches and steep inclines. Because of the changes…

Sunset from Hotel Forum

Arrivaderci, Roma

By Catherine | On Oct 5, 2013 | 1 Comment

The last day in Rome dawned bright, but soon gave way to rain.  I wasn’t about to let the rain stop me, so with umbrella in hand, I set out in the direction of the Trevi Fountain.  The rain got heavier and navigating the narrow streets full of people with umbrellas was hazardous.  I forged on, turning down an even…

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Rome!

By Catherine | On Oct 2, 2013 | No Comments

Our departure from Gubbio was not without problems.  It was raining (first time during the trip), but more importantly, there was a local run that morning and the tiny streets were blocked off while the runners got started.  I believe I mentioned the bicycle race that interfered with our day in Florence – what are the chances of encountering two…

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Spoleto

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2013 | No Comments

Saturday’s day trip was to Spoleto, home of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, conceived by Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1958. Charleston is home to the US version of the famous music festival. Spoleto is an ancient city built high on a hillside, dating back to 240 B.C.  Today, the city is accessed via a series of escalators that easily take…

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On to Umbria

By Catherine | On Sep 30, 2013 | No Comments

Thursday we said goodbye to the Villa Montecastello and headed east into Umbria and the town of Gubbio that would be our home for the next three nights.  Gubbio is built into a steep hillside and dates to the early 1400’s.  We have been staying at Relais Ducale, a charming old hotel that features beautiful patios and gardens.  One of…

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Siena

By Catherine | On Sep 27, 2013 | No Comments

Tuesday’s destination was Siena. I had a brief visit there three years ago and was anxious to return.  Siena is built on seven hills and to visit the city requires traversing many steep streets.  It is known for its magnificent black-and-white-striped cathedral and also for the bareback horse race called the Palio, held in July and August, and whose origins…

Dinner at the Villa

Andiamo a Toscana

By Catherine | On Sep 24, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Saturday, our group met at the Rome airport and off we went to Tuscany.   It is about a three hour ride and we were all glad to arrive at our beautiful home for the next five days, the Villa Montecastello, which is in the area of Monteriggio.  The villa dates back nearly 1,000 years and was originally a…

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Exploring Salem

By Catherine | On Aug 17, 2012 | No Comments

Day Two and we were headed to Salem with our fantastic tour guide, Irene. Our first stop was Willamette Valley Heritage Center which includes the site of  a woolen mill established in the 1889. Peter Booth, the Executive Director, took us on a fascinating tour providing  a good understanding of the history of the mill and how it functioned as…


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