La Sponda Bresciana del Garda  can be a perfect weekend for those who love nature, history, art and good food. Lovers of food and wine tours and gourmet enthusiasts will find fantastic dishes both in the traditional menus and in the re-edition of centuries-old recipes. 70 km of coastline and 20 km of hinterland await you, where ancient traditions, stories of real life, unique products linked to companies that have been handed down recipes, advice and… exquisite dishes at the table for generations are concentrated.

The Sponda Bresciana halfway embraces the western profile of the great lake mirror, scattering it with landscape beauties, cultural heritage and food and wine excellences, which testify to the union between the products of the earth with the rich quantity of refined lake fish, including pike, whitefish and bleak, here traditionally eaten in brine.

The production of wine and oil is remarkable, one of the leading producers is Perla del Garda whose ambitious idea was to bring the vine back to the morainic hills of our farm. We find Trebbiano di Lugana or Turbiana, Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Incontro Manzoni as well as the white wine varieties. Rebo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon represent the types of our red grapes. The harvest is carried out exclusively by hand, selecting the bunches and placing them in small boxes which are quickly brought to the cellar.

Benvenuti in Franciacorta!
by Cesare Zucca
Its extension is about 240 square kilometers and includes the municipalities of Adro, Brione, Capriolo, Castegnato, Cazzago S. Martino, Cellatica, Cologne, Coccaglio, Cortefranca, Erbusco, Gussago, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Polaveno, Provaglio, Rodengo Saiano and Rovato, where we find architectural evidence of antiquity such as monasteries, churches, abbeys, villas and castles of the medieval era.

The viticultural tradition has been the protagonist of this territory for centuries and since the most remote times. It has its roots in the distant sixteenth century with the curtes francae and arrives at the “biting” wines of the sixteenth century. In this environment, on the hills, the Italian Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG) was finally born, dedicated to the Franciacorta method, emblem of a land that has always been dedicated to viticulture, also thanks to the proximity of Lake Iseo, which mitigates excursions. thermal.

It is no coincidence that the famous Michelin Guide chose Franciavorta to present all the starred restaurants in 2022, signing a profound sharing in terms of food and wine enhancement, and a sustainable environmental approach, crowned by Consorzio per la tutela del Franciacorta

On the green transition front, Franciacorta has been able to perfect a viticulture leader in sustainability, champion of an agriculture careful to minimize environmental impacts and improve functional biodiversity within the vineyard ecosystem.

Did we say ‘Franciacorta’? … In the heart of this eno-generous land, we find the Azienda Agricola Mirabella Franciacorta which since 1979 has been producing wines that are unique in character, typicality, naturalness and quality. Teresio Schiavi, heart and founder of Mirabella and his sons Alessandro and Alberto, have always been champions of sustainability, closeness to man and his well-being. Mirabella was among the first companies to embrace organic viticulture (Valoritalia certification) a concrete sign of civic and environmental sensitivity


The last jewel by Follador Prosecco dal 1769 is called FOSÉLIOS Millesimato Brut D.O.C.G. Brut D.O.C.G.

Vegan Friendly, fresh and pleasantly savory sparkling wine, decidedly fruity with clear notes of green apple and pear with delicious floral notes on the finish. The audience of young people has been thought of, to whom a further touch of originality is dedicated. in fact, the label offers a surprising luminous effect …. If exposed to LED light: the Follador logo and the name of the wine “light up” to help make the moment of the toast even more festive and engaging As a hymn to light, conviviality and youth, the term Fosélios merges the Greek noun Phos (“Light”) with Eliosche “God of the Sun”.


Cinque Terre, a a short piece of the Ligurian coastline, just West of the border with Tuscany.
MonterossoVernazzaCornigliaManarola and Riomaggiore are five multi-colored borghi (villages) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. They are pretty close to each other, a few minutes distance by car or train. Better yet, a boat, weather permitting, will take you back and forth, making an unforgettable five stop mini cruise. If you like to hike, you can also reach them via a beautiful trail and enjoy spectacular sea views.

Try them “au naturelle” simply seasoned with local olive oil, oregano, focaccia and butter, accompanied by a glass of White Wine Cinque Terre, the famous white wine of the area that requires mountaineering skills to be produced, given the steep slope on which the grapes grow. facing the sea .

Cantina Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre 

Sciacchetrà, it ‘s time to toast!
Imagine: a secret bottle kept in the cave for years (sometimes more than 30). It is the rich and velvety wine called sciacchetrà. This ancient treasure is resurrected on the occasion of a wedding as the greatest gift the groom’s family can offer to the bride’s family. I had the privilege of opening a bottle that was over 10 years old. Intense color, from golden to amber shades. The taste is a fruity and floral bouquet reminiscent of a Mediterranean garden: hints of dried fruit, apricot jam, nectarines, vanilla, chestnut honey and spices.


For generations, the Ciociaria companies have been producing sheep and goat cheeses, grazing animals, farm animal rennet. Among the most delicious are Caciofiore, Pecorino di Picinisco, Conciato di San Vittore, the Marzolina slow food presidium. To accompany a “pecorinoso” dish, nothing better than a glass of the vigorous cabernet produced by Masseria Barone, in the heart of Ciociaria, both the gold Atina “Ricucc” and the Riserva “Marcon”, with their hand-painted label, are perfect companions. journey of Lazio dairy excellence.

I cabernet della Masseria Barone, datata 1800 e abitata dal celebre Barone Brancalasso. Quanta storia e quante tradizioni nell’enogastronomia ciociara…

Il Cabernet Sauvignon it has been cultivated, since 1860, on the sunny hills that frame the historic center of Atina. After careful harvesting and manual selection of the best grapes, an accurate vinification follows from which this elegant and powerful wine is obtained. A patient aging in French oak barrels allows the development of a complex and intense aroma. Brilliant red with intense garnet reflections. The taste shows sweet tannic notes in balance with a structured and persistent body.


Monferrato is a land made up of beautiful hills (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014), villages, castles and great wine traditions. Few kilometers away are the Turin-Milan (Chivasso east exit) and Turin-Piacenza (Asti east exit) motorways.
Of course, to crown the weekend, it is essential to enjoy the gastronomic delicacies of Monferrato. Among the great classics of the Piedmontese tradition, not to be missed, given the favorable season, the tasting of the prized white Alba truffle accompanied by “noble” wines

In the scenic Vigna della Pieve in Cocconato, in addition to Stradivario, the grapes for Thou Bianc, surprising Piedmontese Chardonnay, Sauvignon Relais Bianc and Albarossa are produced. The Barolo Docg Bava and Langhe Nebbiolo are born from the Castiglione Falletto farmhouse in the Langhe, in the province of Cuneo, in the heart of the Scarrone cru. The Piedmont aromatic herbs have always been in the Bava tradition: in particular Malvasia, (Rosetta and Malvasia Rosé), Moscato d’Asti and Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato.


Among Expect wineyards, suggestive villages, sanctuaries of ancient devotion and castles dating back to the 10th century, you will discover the Valtènesi famous for the beauty of the lake and hilly landscape and for the production of rosé wines, whose the characteristic grape variety and great heritage is Groppello. Doc Valtenesi is the wine, a modern and innovative expression of the Garda winemaking tradition, the sales of the first bottles of “Valtenesi” Chiaretto began on a truly romantic date: February 14, 2012, Valentine’s Day. In fact, it is easy to fall in love with this delicate but also seductive rosé …

Just as in the 19th century it happened to the Venetian senator Pompeo Molmenti who, in addition to being a historian and art critic, was also a capable winemaker and agronomist. Pompeo had married a noblewoman who owned a villa in Moniga surrounded by 15 hectares of land. there, among the vineyards overlooking the great lake, Pompeo began to try his hand at the production of Chiaretto, a delicate wine with spicy aromas, enchanting color, excellent balance. and intense fruity notes, excellent when accompanied by savory first courses, fish, meat and medium-aged cheeses.

Chiaretto is nicknamed “the wine of a night”; a name that derives from the personal vinification system put in place in an operation that takes place over the course of a single night, by each producer and which gives each individual Chiaretto a unique color, scent and fragrance.

Il Consorzio Valtènesi Riviera del Garda Classico, promoted by the enterprising Jury Pagani, it protects the cultivation and production of this rich variety of red and white wines that blend harmoniously with a landscape of great charm, among hills, olive trees and lush Mediterranean vegetation.

The excellent combination of Chiaretto with dishes based on lake fish and extra virgin olive oil (all produced in the Garda area) and the intrinsic beauty of the hills of Lake Garda stimulates beautiful trips on the lake. It is no coincidence that “Italia in Rosa”, the largest Italian event dedicated to rosé wines is right here in the precious setting of the castle of Moniga del Garda.


Bevi un bicchiere! Have a glass!
In addition to tourism, wine production also has an important economic activity. In June, Menfi hosts Inycon (ancient name of Menfi), a three-day marathon, full of food and wine workshops, showcookings by Sicilian chefs, visits to wineries, walks through the vineyards, even on horseback or by bicycle. , the square hosts numerous wine tastings with the production of local vineyards, including Planeta, Settesoli, Donnafugata and Mandrarossa. Music, attractions, fireworks to celebrate wine. I loved the old courtyards of Via Vittoria, lit with a thousand candles and surprisingly transformed into small restaurants, where the chef is often the grandmother who lives in the building! Everywhere there is a wide range of tastings, from porchetta to pate tapas, from Sicilian cassata to fish couscous. All accompanied by bread and local oil

Welcome to Menfishire!
In September, Mandrarossa hosts the Vineyard Tour, an event that crosses this territory renamed ‘Menfishire’. Food and wine tastings, sports activities and excursions through unspoiled nature, give the thrill of exploring an area full of surprises. The harvest, open to all, continues with the technical tastings and activities included in the program which ends with the joy of dancing in the pine forest with live music, sipping their wines.


Weekend in Forlì … and beyond!
Forlì is one of the largest cities in Romagna, it has a privileged position in the region and is located near national parks and the splendid Adriatic coast.

Few kilometers further, You discover a small world that could be the perfect destination for a happy, sweet and … a little tipsy weekend!. Welcome to Poderi dal Nespoli, in the Bidente Valley, on the Forlinese hills at about 177 meters above sea level. An area that connects the Apennines on the border with Tuscany to the Romagna Riviera. They are excellent soils for the production of high quality wines, in the spirit of this generous, tasty and welcoming land.

Wine and chocolate
The Gardini brothers have cleverly brought together wine and chocolate by creating a line of pralines and spreads that wisely allow to bring together wine and chocolate that will be the protagonists of the next “Goblets and Cocoa” tasting-event promoted by the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli di Forli and Cesena and hosted by the Balducci and the Ca’Ross farms as in his famous praline of which we ‘stole’ the recipe …

Which Sangiovese to pair?
Guido Gardini suggests the Teluccio di Poderi dal Nespoli, a Sangiovese from overripe grapes produced from a vineyard that has its roots in four generations of Romagna, who have deeply believed in their territory and in its fruits, enhancing its production through constant research and improvement.

Teluccio is the result of the traditional vinification of grapes left to partially dry on the plant, delaying the harvest. Ruby red color, notes of jam, blackberry jam, chocolate, roasted coffee and sweet spices. A soft and enveloping wine in its balanced sweetness. A concentrated and rich taste, which make it an excellent meditation wine. To be served at 14-16 ° C.

Mandrarossa, Sicilian wine excellence with its wines born in “Menfishire”, the territory of Menfi and in the 2 selected districts, for a production that ranges from classic wines to an intense variety of new wines, some of which are unique for the Sicilian landscape. three Madrarossa excellences We pass from the classic and popular Grillo, the Sicilian white par excellence, fresh and young, with hints of citrus and prickly pear that immediately recall the atmosphere of the real Sicily, to Grecanico Dorato, with an intense scent of orange blossom, lemons and cedars to chiccherie such as the Chenin Blanc Brut obtained with the Charmat method from Chenin Blanc grapes which, with its freshness, enhances all moments of celebration and conviviality. Sapid and elegant, with a long and persistent finish, it invites you to experiment with new combinations. Let’s toast!

Una scena della Cavalleria ©Foto Franco Lannino

Cannonau di Sardegna is the most important red wine of the region and perfectly reflects the Mediterranean character of the island. Cannonau is a ruby ​​red color, with pleasant violet reflections. Bouquet: the nose is striking for its intensity and olfactory cleanliness, evident notes of red berries and light spiciness. Taste: on the palate it has a good structure pleasantly supported by a delicate, warm and dry tannin, stands out for its softness, harmony and pleasantness to drink. It closes with a long persistence and a good mineral memory. warm and full-bodied wine, with an important alcohol content and a solid structure. , Cannonau DOC gives its best with meat main courses , specially lamb dishes

A wine adventure started in Nuoro in the late 1940s by Mario Mereu, grandfather of the current owners. Since that time Mario, like a true pioneer, decides to focus all his resources on the enhancement of Cannonau, contributing in a few years to the spread and knowledge of this vine also at an international level. A work continued by Mario’s son, Renato Mereu, who in the seventies bought new land, planting other vineyards.

A fundamental change of course for the qualitative production of this winery, which since the 1980s has been producing wine only from its own grapes. With the third generation of winemakers an important renewal process begins, so much so that 20 hectares of vineyards have been reached, all cultivated according to the certified organic method. Wines that come from ungrafted single-variety varieties, such as Cannonau DOC Naniha, an excellent example of how well suited this land is

The 25-year-old vines are located in Ogliastra, on the Eastern coast of Sardinia, grown organically, without the addition of synthetic fertilizers or irrigation. On the other hand, this company has made the eco-sustainability of crops and the relationship between man and vineyard its own, its philosophy, which does not translate only into viticulture.
On the other hand, from their territory – Ogliastra – comes one of the most authentic expressions of this great native vine, the oldest in the Mediterranean basin, so much so that it is considered one of the two grape varieties that symbolize the island’s enology.

Recommended pairing: the freshness and savory minerality make it suitable both for a tasty aperitif, based on raw ham, meats and cheeses, and for the whole meal. It is certainly excellent with all the first courses of that magnificent rude and authentic territory that is Ogliastra, such maccaroni pasta seasoned with tomato and basil sauce but, if you are “on the continent”, the stuffed pasta from any region is equally perfect. Obviously, it is ideal when paired with roasted meats and with sauce and with medium and long-aged cheeses.

Recommended pairing: the freshness and savory minerality make it suitable both for a tasty aperitif, based on raw ham, meats and cheeses, and for the whole meal. It is certainly excellent with all the first courses of that magnificent rude and authentic territory that is Ogliastra, such as culurgiones and maccaronis seasoned with tomato and basil sauce but, if you are “on the continent”, the stuffed pasta from any region is equally perfect. Obviously, it is ideal when paired with roasted meats and with sauce and with medium and long-aged cheeses


Prosecco Follador 1769… on the road

The special Truck dedicated exclusively to sparkling wines, signed by Follador Prosecco dal 1769 and conceived by Massimo Morelli with Nicolò Barbisotti, is on tour!
Fun and a desire for lightheartedness will be the common thread of the journey in stages destined for the major Italian Street Food Festivals, where you can taste the spearheads of the historic Venetian company.
Among the main proposals are Cru Torri di Credazzo, DOCG Extra BrutXzero, DOCG BrutNani dei Berti and Prosecco DOC RoséLaelia, accompanied by delicacies studied ad hoc to enhance their aromatic characteristics. All paired with great gastronomic proprosals

I choose a refined sparking Valdobbiadene prosecco:
the Cru “Torri di Credazzo”MILLESIMATO EXTRA DRY-
Brilliant straw yellow with greenish reflections. Very fine and persistent perlage.
Elegant to the nose, with hints of apple, peach and rose petals. Excellent aperitif and with fish-based first courses and seafood

The magnificent Torri di Credazzo PATRIMONIO UNESCO and may fav Prosecco

Here when to find the “Follador Food Truck“and its gourmet proposals
Marina di Massa (9-11 August)
Comeriodi Busto Arsizio Park (3-5 September)
Sesto San Giovanni Crane Bridge (24-26 September) ).
Follador Prosecco dal 1769
Sparklin’ Wines on the raod


What In the glass?
Certainly a Bianchello del Metauro, a white white produced in the Marche with the Biancame and long white Malvasia vines, It is a precise, young and versatile wine, with a straw yellow color and a dry, fresh, pleasant taste of wild thyme, a disc of chocolate 90% and black truffle compote

The Bianchello d’Autore Projet is from the union of some historic producers of Bianchello Metauro DOC and has been entrusted to the experience and professionalism of a careful choice of nine local producers, whose labels bring to the table a wine that can accompany with harmony the most varied dishes, especially those of fish, including a true icon of the Marche cuisine: the brodetto.

I magnifici nove del Bianchello e le loro etichette

Great ending!
The brodetto, a dish born on board fishing boats as a soup of “poor fish”. A super mixture of mazzole, monkfish, dogfish, weever, ray, boccaincava, St. Peter’s fish, mantis shrimp, cuttlefish, redfish were cooked with oil, onion, tomato paste and vinegar.


Oscar nigh: “And the Oscar goes to….”
Well, I am not sure who is going to win…
Best movie: Nomadland? Mank? or a surprise winner such as The sound of Metal?

For sure I know that a well deserved award honor the extraordinary Northern California winery “directed” by Oscar Winner FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA who will celebrates THE 93rd Awards WITH TWO LIMITED EDITION WINES IN GOLD BOTTLES, PRODUCED BY BOTTEGA S.p.A. “The Family Coppola 93rd Awards’” limited-edition bottles themselves have been produced by Bottega Spa and feature a mirror gold color exterior. Each bottle was crafted as a symbol honouring the significant talent, passion and hard work achieved throughout the entire film industry.

The Francis Ford Coppola Winery wines selected for the 93rd Awards are a Chardonnay , extraordinary Northern California winery,and a Cabernet Sauvignon, both coming from grapes grown in Sonoma County,
From the friendship between Francis Ford Coppola and Sandro Bottega is born an exclusive golden bottles have been produced by the Bottega S.p.A. winery in Bibano di Godega (TV), which for years has been developing an exclusive metallization process, thanks to the mirrored gold colour becomes “glass,”, a patent recently recognised also by the Court of Appeal of Venice.


The Lungarotti wineries, symbol of enological excellence, started by Giorgio Lungarotti, pioneer of modern Italian oenology and founder of the company of Torgiano, a small village a few steps from Perugia, a passion that continues from generation to generation and that counts 250 hectares of vineyards,

Since 1962, the workhorse of the Lungarotti cellars is Rubesco, a red with a balanced body, Sangiovese and Colorino grapes, ruby color, spicy aromas with strong references to pepper and sweet tobacco and a background of red and violet jam.


  Which good wine to combine with a strong, peasant and robust cuisine?

Among all the red grape varieties, Pinot Noir is universally considered one of the most difficult and, at the same time, one of the most fascinating. It took several years before courageous producers capable of tackling the noble grape variety arrived on the horizon, dedicating all the necessary care to it both in the breeding phase and in the vinification phase.

Immancabile selfie nelle cantine Gori, nel regno del Pinot Nero

Undoubtedly this wine maintains its austere Nordic elegance by adding an amazing Mediterranean note in the excellent Pinot Nero Nemas 1 ° which comes from the vineyards of Agricola Gori in the Guyot hills. In the mouth it reveals all its elegance and complexity with fruity notes supported by a fine tannin that makes it austere but pleasant to taste

A wine to pair?
PLAN Friulano from the Rodaro winery, of which Paolo is the sixth generation of winemakers in his family. A native white, straw yellow tending to greenish. Dry, fresh, velvety with a slight hint of bitter almond with an intense fragrance reminiscent of wild flowers, chamomile, Golden apple and Kaiser pear. Ideal pairing with local excellences: Montasio cheese and San Daniele ham.