Tag Archives: Leuta Wine

From Vine to Wine

14 Sep

When in Italy, it’s hard not to get caught up in the production of wine. Grapes seem to grow everywhere with diverse types of soil, climate and winemaker contributions. Saturday afternoon, we headed to Leuta in Cortona, not only to sample wine but also to visit nature at its best.

Our friend Carlo was our guide as we headed to the beautiful Leuta vineyards. I’ll let the photos tell the story of the beautiful day we had.

Leuta vineyard with Cortona in background:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.comLeuta vines up close:

Leuta vines up close:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Carlo and Len:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Leuta worker:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Next career?

©Blogginginitaly.com

Len’s new job! ©Blogginginitaly.com

Yours truly ready with Epi pen and Benadryl, but the bees were much more interested in the grapes…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Other beautiful sights:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

A close up of same building with a fig tree growing within…

A fig tree growing within©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Afterward, we caught up with Denis, the passionate owner of Leuta, as he was giving a tour of the wine making process…

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

We were fortunate enough to sample several of Leuta’s excellent wines and once again hear  the story of Denis’ love of winemaking, a passion that grew from working with his grandfather.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

On the way home, we saw this, the inactive Amiata Volcano .

Amiata Volcano (dormant) ©Blogginginitaly.com

Amiata Volcano  ©Blogginginitaly.com

Thanks, Carlo, and Denis, for a wonderful day!

thumb_IMG_7865_1024

For more on Leuta, visit Leuta.

Ciao,

Judy

 

 

From Grape to Glass

3 Mar

While we continue to meet Chicagoans who visit Cortona, it is less often that the Cortonese visit us. But Saturday was an exception. Meet Denis Zeni.

Denis is the “titolare” – or owner – of Leuta, a boutique winery in the Cortona area. He is visiting several cities in the States and conducting wine tastings in his hosts’ homes.

©Blogginginitaly.com

Denis in center with hosts     ©Blogginginitaly.com

Denis’ story, like so many other entrepreneurs we meet in Italy, is a love story based on deep-rooted traditions. His grandfather cultivated grapes on his land in Trentino, in northern Italy, and shared his passion with his young grandson. Constantly at his grandfather’s side, Denis soon grew to love the land and over time, the possibilities.

Denis’ father, however, hoping for a different life for his son, eventually sold the family land, and encouraged Denis to seek a career in Finance. Denis obliged, but after a successful career and several finance degrees, he awoke one day and decided, “I don’t want to die as a banker!” Not that there is anything wrong with banking, he notes, it just didn’t mesh with the passion that had been ignited in his blood as a child.

With his grandfather’s land no longer available, Denis searched and found land in Tuscany to launch his dream. What began as The Tuscany Project, a small initiative with his friend and then partner Enzo, is now the Leuta Estate, approximately 62 acres at 31o meters above sea level near Cortona.

But back to the wine tasting. As we enjoyed delicious Tuscan antipasti prepared by our amazing hosts,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Denis shared some of his personal history as well as that of Leuta. He then began pouring the first of five wines we would taste.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Wine tastings are a fun and interesting way to sample various wines and learn something about each. They usually include a 5 step process: see, swirl, sniff, sip, savor. As I listened attentively to Denis, it occurred to me that this tasting was quite different from most others we have attended.  And I quickly realized why.

Denis not only knew about these wines, he was personally connected to all aspects, from grape to glass. He described the vines, how they were planted, how they behaved as they grew, the choice to avoid/limit chemicals, the grape selection, the harvesting process, the aging, the bottling, the mistakes and the successes. It became clear to me that the bottles held not only his wines but also his dreams and life’s work.

Similar to the eye of the beholder, I believe that wine preference is in the senses of the taster. Expensive or not doesn’t necessarily mean great or not. But a really nice wine seems to taste even better when I know its history and understand its traditions.

Grazie, Denis, for sharing your wonderful story and wines with us! We look forward to spending time with you at Leuta.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

In the meantime, as we enjoy our new purchases, we will toast to you and recall the history you shared with us. Your grandfather is surely smiling.

Ciao,

Judy

For more information:
http://www.leuta.it

 

.

 

%d bloggers like this: