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Mother Nature is a strange bird – one year ago the grape harvest was in full swing for our Prosecco Tour. This year, the long hot summer delayed the harvest a week which the experts say will make for an excellent Prosecco year. Seeing the vines full and heavy with juicy grapes ripening in the glorious Italian […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Postcards from Prosecco Tour 2016

Group in Prosecco Vineyard

Last summer, on a very hot and steamy July night, my daughter and I arrived a few minutes early for our reservation at Scarpetta on West 14th Street in New York. The restaurant had been on our list for quite a while but for some reason we just never quite got there. I was looking […]

Recipes, Wine and Cocktails

San Remo {The Cocktail} and a Simon Pearce Giveaway

San Remo Cocktail

From drinking Prosecco in the vineyards of Valdobbiadene to boating through the Venetian lagoon, we experienced it all.  Prosecco was the theme of our trip and included many glasses of the sparkling wine, but we also dug a little deeper into this extraordinary region, northwest of Venice. We had an absolutely fantastic group of people who experienced first hand […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Postcards from Prosecco


First, a bit of Italian geography – the 57 mile long Sile River in northern Italy flows through beautiful countryside, the historical city of Treviso, and empties into the Venetian Lagoon. The Venetian Lagoon is an enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea where the city of Venice is situated among 118 other islands and archipelagos. […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

A Day on the Venetian Lagoon

Fritto Misto

If you’re on Facebook and follow Ortensia Blu (you do, right?) you’ve seen lots of really nice photos and videos from my trip to the gorgeous Prosecco region earlier this month. And if you’re not on Facebook, I don’t want you to feel left out so I’ll catch you up on a few things. First of […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

A Glass of Prosecco Awaits You

Le Volpere Prosecco

I’ll never forget my first one. It was in springtime in Sienna. I’m a bit fuzzy on the year, but it was post lira and the dollar was 80¢ to the euro (far better than $1.38 today) so quite a few years ago. And I very clearly recall the beautiful Tod’s shoes I bought that […]

Food Production, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

10 Things to Know About Prosecco


If you’re on Facebook, you probably know that I was in Italy for a couple of weeks since I posted a number of photos of my travels. I had a fabulous time with Monica, Cristina and Marisa and visited several beautiful towns in northern Italy while doing some serious research (aka eating and drinking…a lot). […]

Lake Garda, Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival 2013 (Festa dell’Uva e del Vino)

Bardolino Wine

  “What type of Pirlo would you like?” asked Nicoletta as we were sitting at a quiet outdoor café with a view of Lake Garda in the distance. “With Campari or Aperol?” Well, since I didn’t know what the heck a Pirlo was I said I’d try one of each.  I soon learned that a Pirlo is an aperitif […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

Spritz vs. Pirlo (with video)

Spritz and Pirlo

VinItaly, held in April, is definitely the main reference event to get acquainted with the best wine growing and cellar techniques as well as olive growing and olive oil technologies. It is the best place for passion-driven wine drinkers to meet wine producers, importers, distributors, restaurateurs, critics and wine journalists. 95,000 square meters, over 140,000 visitors and […]

Travel, Wine and Cocktails

VinItaly-April 2013 {by Massimo*}

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