We missed the first three days of our vacation because of a cancelled flight. Finally arrived at our Villa in Tuscany late Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday we spent the entire day with Monika Iris – our guide to the Chianti region. Every single place she took us had one thing in common – they stay deliberately small so they can concentrate on the quality of their product.

A great example is the DOCG rating for Chianti wines. There are rules – much like the NCUA’s CAMEL rating only these make sense.

Rule #1 – Your grapes must be grown by you. You must have complete control of the product. No participation grapes.
Rule#2 – You must limit the quantity including the number of grapes per vine that are allowed to grow to maturity. You cut down several bunches before they are allowed to mature and they become fertilizer. Not every grape can join the bottle. There is no “lives, works, worships” grape rule.
Rule#3- You must pass a rigorous blind taste test – a valid survey of your product – the experience.

Everything I experienced yesterday validated the thought that quality versus quantity still matters. In one day I feel as if the cost of the trip was justified.

Today – Castellina for gellato…….

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