Sunday, February 05, 2006

4 Week Countdown

Welcome to the Slow Food Sabbatical weblog. Today marks the 4 week countdown to my departure for Parma, Italia to begin my year at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Colorno. I will be studying the food and wine products of the Mediterranean for a year and hope to recharge my batteries, meet new people from around the world, learn a new language and exercise that portion of my brain which has become too sedentary during my last 25 years in surgery. I await my student visa and continue the study of Italian, a language quite unlike the two I have studied before, English and French. Hopefully, once there, the immersion and necessity of that learning will bring me fluency quickly since my classes will mostly be in the native language.
Thanks to all for their support and tolerance through the last 20 years of my private practice and stay tuned for more of my musings as they occur.
Special thanks to Jasper Mirabile for my letter of introduction and recommendation to the school and to The Honorable Robert Serra for helping me with the requirements of the Consulate of Italy in Chicago.

110 comments:

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Dwight,

Con piacere!
If only I were in your shoes! Wow! I wish I was going with you...I will keep in contact but before you go we will have a grand dinner, I look forward to cooking for you! You are going to learn so much, when you come home, I will learn from you. When I travel to Turino with Slow Food kansas City in October we will all have to get together.
A Presto!
Jasper

Dwight said...

Feb 21. This was my last day of work as a surgeon for a year at least! How freeing to be on a year's sabbatical. Lots of italian to learn between now and the start of school in 15 days! My classmates are from Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Italy, France and the US. I am the 2nd oldest student in the new Master's program, so henceforth i will be know as L'uomo vecchio! Stay tuned. Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

Sorry about the delay in updating the blog. It has been an eventful 2 weeks! My mother became ill and then passed away the Tues. before I was to leave and after the funeral on Saturday last, I flew to Italy to start the Master's program in gastronomic science and quality products. I arrived in Parma on monday after leaving KC at 0700, flying to Atlanta and then on to Milan. one bus and one train ride later brought me to Parma. I still wait for my 67.5 lb. package with various helpful items which I shipped ahead, but is now behind! I have moved into an apt in Parma with 2 roommates; one from Germany and one from Milan, both of whom speak excellent Italian. In fact, I am the least learned in the class as far as the Italian language goes and since all the classes are in italian, i am studying constantly. The left side of my brain aches! Parma and the Reggia in Colorno which you can view on the Slow Food website are very pretty. There are 24 students in my class from all around the world, but only 2 others from the US. This will definitely be an exciting year, but of course, it will be better when i am more fluent. dwight

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Dwight, I am so glad to hear you arrived safely! Have a great time and I will stay in touch. Your Mama is in my thoughts and prayers.
Ciao!
Jasper

Dwight said...

Scusi, but my brain is full of new Italian words and has been somewhat stressed the last 2 weeks! Thanks to Jasper for the wonderful dinner in honor of my best referring DR.s! I haven't come close to experiencing anything in Italia near as good as his lobster cappuccino or osso bucco! The weather here is similar to KC; it snowed yesterday. I brought a little cold with me, but am improving. Listening to lectures in another language definitely causes your left brain to swell (at least in my case). Today lectures were on the origin of Slow Food and more language instruction. In all, only 2 weeks of language and unfortunately , the class is geared for those who have more Italian language skills than me, but I am studying every day on my own as well. Domani. dwight

Leslie Brown said...

D:

I am glad you have arrived safely and are enjoying your classes. Remember, we don't always know the Italian words you are using either! I hope to make it out there sometime for a week's visit! It sounds wonderful and I am jealous! Here's to you for taking the risk to enjoy life!

Leslie Brown

Dwight said...

Buona Primavera. Happy Spring. I hear it is sleeting and snowing in KC , but raining here. Some observations. They don't build apartments here any better than in the states, probably worse. i am located on a busy street with lots of traffic noise! The cabinets seem to be made of something between plywood and cardboard. It is amazing how little you need to spend to get by if you don't have any money! Am Ex doesn't work here, i don't have an atm card and some banks won't change my cash , because they haven't seen the new bills! The new Alfa Romeo coupe is very nice looking! I don't miss driving!! yet. i take the bus everyday to school about 15 km away in Colorno. i may yet buy a bike and ride the back roads. Lunches are provided in the tuition and made by the local cooking school and for outsiders cost 12 Euros or about 16dollars. I find myself shopping like the Europeans once a day for fresh ingredients. Also, i find i can drink cheap wine again (necessity). Off to Vinitaly in April, better wines there.

Dwight said...

Still struggling with the Italian, but slowly improving. Spring is here, but not my package i mailed 3 weeks ago with lots of my stuff or my passport which has been lost or stolen. i spent the weekend and last Friday in Milan seeing the sights and the American Embassy and for 100.00 they will replace my passport in 10 days. Meanwhile I can't travel outside the country. NO LOSS there. We get about 11 days off for Easter and I am considering taking the train all over Italy. Don't bring American Express here , which unfortunately is the only card I brought. I have taken to begging for alms at the local churches for some spending money. Hopefully , my trusty banker will come thru and send me a Visa! Lots of studying, but even with the minor and major frustrations; I feel NO stress. It is really amazing, but I miss surgery very little if at all, at least for now. Ciao Dwight

Dwight said...

Sorry there are no italy photos on the site yet. talk with the italian postal service for me and ask why they won't deliver my package. It has the power cords to download pix from my camera. Today , we have 6 hours of lectures on Pasta. I should know how to grow wheat, harvest it , process it, cook the pasta and eat it by the end of the day! It will be important for me because my writing assignment is concerning pasta and needs to be written after our visit to the Barilla pasta factory here. The biggest Barilla plant in the world is in Ames Iowa, i found out. It is Spring here and the trees are starting to bloom as is the forsythia. I have a new korean roommate who was a TV journalist in Seoul and is taking a 6 mo. sabbatical; good for him! Thanks to Terry for sending me info about the hard winter wheat which goes into pasta. Ciao

Lorie said...

Greetings from Casa Vista,

While nibbling on TJ's tasty Caponata, we thought of you. Derivation of the term came from fishermen who ate this dish during the summer fishing season of the "capone" fish. TJ's eggplant caponata is made from a Sicilian family recipe used for over 300 years. The black oval eggplants from Sciacca Nocellara, green olives, capers from Pantelleria Islands, and sweet hill tomatoes from Regaleali make this spread very scrumptious.

Glad you found the cheap table wine so you can weather the initial Italian immersion.

lorie

Dwight said...

i am not a big eggplant (melanzolo i think) fan, but i am becoming a fan of cheap wine as i am now a pensionata (retired person). I viewed the opera in parma on sunday and saw "The Turn of the Screw", actually performed in English, though i got more out of it by reading the italian subtitles. Spring is beautiful here, as everywhere! i am down to my last 3 Euros, so hopefully i will get a useful charge card here soon. Ciao. dds

Dwight said...

This will amuse all my wino friends, i think. Last night i hosted a tasting of pinot noir wines; blind. 2 from france and 1 from italy. 9 people participated and a vote was taken and the winner was the pinot nero from Italy. the bad news is I picked the italian one as well. me, the burgundy wine snob. However, the 3rd bottle which was the premier cru red burgundy was a "cooked" bottle, so i ordered another at the enoteca and it was my new favorite. PHEW! Vinitaly, a huge gathering of wine producers, distributors, vendors is friday and the weekend and the students have been invited for the Friday section which is usually only open to those in the industry. exciting for the class! The daffodils and forsythia are in bloom here as i am sure they are back home. E' primavera! dds

Dwight said...

Please note all; my niece cancelled my roadrunner account at home, so you will have to access my email address ddstanford@hotmail.com to contact me directly. More reflections. Never! send yourself a big package to Italy! i have now waited for over 4.5 weeks and i know it was in country by the 10 of march, but no sign and no replies to my emails. How long has it been since you airdryed your clothes. i don't have a dryer, so we hang the wash to dry. Divertenti! Off to Vinitaly tomorrow, but today we are all talking with the originator of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini. We will see how my mastering? of the lingue is going. Ciao

kim and jim said...

dwight, where are you. we can not find you. Please call. Hopefully you are having too much fun. Kim

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Hey, I have been reading your blog weekly! Vin Italy sounds great, I miss it this year but can't wait until October in Italy!
I feel bad about your pkg! Be safe and send my regards to Carlo, we are making great progress in Kansas City with Slow Food, 167 members and growing. Now go try some Sicilian Nero d' Avola, I hope you can meet the Planetta winery owners, great wine!!!
have a great Easter!
Buona pasqua!!!!!
Jasper

Jasper

Dwight said...

Jasper, send me your email! i lost it. Great news! My package which has been tied up in customs for unknown reasons since march 8 arrived today! YEAH! all my chargers for cameras, palm,etc, all my spring and fall clothes, books about italy, you name it and it is in there. I have had a busy easter break. I am becoming Catholic (just kidding), having attended mass on good friday and saturday night at 10:30 which lasted until 12:45! Cool though and my previous studies allowed me to translate most of the service. This was in Milan where i stayed Friday until monday; then to genova on tuesday until wednesday, a very pretty city and one of my beautiful young fellow students was my guide and hostess (no, nothing going on , there) While in Milan I visited with 4 others, the "aunt" of our class in switzerland where she cooked the best meal i have had in 2 months. ( I am the uncle, by the way-we could be the parents of all but 4 in the class) also, visited Bergamo at night which is a very pretty town atop a hill. The week prior on a monday off, i hiked all of Cinque Terre , having lunch in Vernazza, Very cloudy and somewhat cool, which is really an advantage as the total hike is 11km, but can be strenuous. Next, to Assisi, tomorrow, i think and then to Venice to visit another of my classmates on monday and tuesday. That will end my spring break and then back to the grind!!! Oh, did i mention the grind includes a week in Sicily and 11 days in spain in may? And Jasper, Nero d'Avola is quite prevalent here and i have tried perhaps 10! I have some other ideas for your restaurant wine list, though. I have 5 wines from Sicily and will have a wine tasting before travel there for my fellow students- 4 Nero D'avolas and a marsala. Ciao. Email arrives in the apt in mid may and then i can be more regular with my postings. dwight

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Let me get this straight, you drink wine everyday, hang around young girls, eat great meals, travel throughout Italy, hiked the Cinque Terre (I did this in September 2005 and lost 8 lbs)Ahh, La Dolce Vita, isn't it great!!!!!!

Dwight said...

I haven't lost 8 lbs, only 3! i have been all over Italy since my last posting as this was our 12 day Easter break. I am a 1st class bum now and visit my classmates all over. After Milan, i visited my friend Teresa in Genova and ate traditional food at an osteria found in Osterias of Italy (unfortunately available only in Italian). She put me up in her 5 star apartment in the hills. Next, i visited Assisi on what would have been my mother's 71st birthday. St Francis was the quasi patron saint of my mother and grandmother, so it was sort of a pilgrimage for me. I had the best restaurant meal so far in Assisi at a place called La Pallota, so if anyone visits there, be sure and try it and get the degustazione menu, not the turista menu (good advice everywhere secondo me!) In honor of St. Francis and since my package arrived with all my stuff after 7 weeks in customs, I used my binoculars in Assisi to spy 7 new species for me. Unfortunately, they didn't talk with me, On to Orvieto, which is worth an afternoon, before returning to Parma. After a free night's sleep there, I visited another classmate and her fidanzante in Venezia and had a wonderful time and another great dinner at an osteria with typical Venecian food and no americans in sight. Not that i have anything against americans! If anyone needs a water taxi in Venice, let me know and i can forward Marco's name and number. Everyone is wonderful to me here and very patient with my improving italian. Classes resume now for 12 days, before we have our stage in Sicily for 8 days. Today's class is information retrieval! Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

Wine update. We have 20 people in my class, so there is always a birthday! Last night we had our pre-Sicily-sofia BD party and i had found a number of wines which were cost effective but rated 2 glasses by the Gamboro Rosso wine guide for Italy: all from Sicily. 2 were 100% Nero d'Avola from Tasca D'Almerita and another from Morgante. I preferred the former as it was more accesible with slightly less oak, but you can't go wrong with either. 2 wines from Planeta called La Segreta- one white and the other red and i can't tell you the grape varieties because as the name implies it is a secret!, but both are quaffable and well made, though not memorable. Finally a marsala from Florio from 1994 was fabulous with le dolce or desserts, though the wine is dry, it gives you the sensation of sweetness on the palate. Angela, who went home to Sicily over Easter (Pasqua) was nice enough to supply her apartment and special cheeses and products from her island to accompany the wines. As with all parties in Italy, this one started at 9 and ended at midnight and those who know me recall 930 was my previous bedtime. I am adapting. We are off Monday for an unnamed holiday, so i am planning to study Italian this weekend and probably stay put in Parma. Finally if you can find a wine made from the Cesanese grape, try it! Ciao. dwight

SG of KC office staff said...

We miss you in the office! Glad to hear that an old dog IS able to learn new tricks! We've posted your blog address at the hospitals because everyone is asking how you are doing. We appreciate all the email updates and enjoy reading about your progress. We think of you often and wonder if you might have a position open for us in Italy, we can be on a flight tomorrow!
The Staff at SG of KC

Rick H. said...

Dwight,
HI !! Finally found your blog site. Wow, sounds like everyday is a holiday for you. I may have to take a vacation and come visit you, sounds like you definitely need an old school American bud over there to help with your sightseeing! Weather has been good for golf here, nothing new in Belton tho. Will keep in touch.
PS..Didnt know you were such good friends with Jasper, will have to say hi to him if we go there Sat for dinner.
Rick

Dwight said...

As soon as i open my italian business, i will have jobs for everyone! and no, rick , i have 6 hours of class most weekdays. But, i have a young group of students with me (avg age of 28) and they need to be taught about wine, food, life, etc. so the old ones are having night classes for them.! It is definitely different having 3 hour classes! Sometimes it seems the instructors are struggling to fill the time. And E' vero! (it is true) Life is good; off to Sicily Sunday for a week , then back here for 2 weeks and off to Spain; what's not to like! What i will do with this degree, i am not certain yet, but perhaps something related to enogastronomic tourism, or importation?. Lots of bright minds in my class, so we can toss around ideas as the year goes on. No golf here that i can find!

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Many Italian golf courses to choose from but nthing like America!
check out Italy Golf Courses - www.GolfEurope.com
I hope you enjoy Sicily, you must see the Vuccere in Palermo, Sicily's finest marcato!

Dwight said...

we are going to the fish market in Messina, also an olive grove, a honey producer, the semi wild black pigs of nebrodi which is where our b & b is located, some vineyards, a ceramic factory and of course a sicilian gelatoria! I am not sure we will even see Palermo, so that may have to wait for another trip to Sicily. I will update as I can. My class project is to help write a treatise about the Sicily trip, so perhaps some excerpts will make it here.

Dwight said...

Today was CIBUS in Parma, an international food festival. For the student discount price of 7 Euros, i was able to try Balsamic vinegar which was 25 years in the making and costs about 100. an oz! I think i will save my money, but it was quite different than the 3.00 bottles of fake Modena balsamic you see in the store. (Also avail. here). I had my 1st taste of genuine Iberian ham which is there analogous (but much different) cured ham from Spain. I prefer prosciutta from Parma, but since this has always been a product which was illegal to import into the US, it was nice to try it. I think they have now lifted that ban, however. I am excited about our trip to Sicily tomorrow, but we are limited to just a couple of areas there. We will explore the area around the Park of Nebrodi and Mt. Etna. I will try to update the blog from there, but won't have my computer. We now have internet at home, 2 months late, but hurrah. Jasper, i met Kimberly Sayid form Academia Barilla in Chicago and she says Hello.
The weather here is almost identical to K.C. moderately hot and humid; i feel right at home. I get around solely on foot and by bicycle and public transportation; i am avoiding processed foods and eating my vegetables. That is especially good after trying 11 olive oils today. Ciao.

Dwight said...

Sunday 5/7: Does anyone know of a nice job opportunity for an ambitious young Italian man who wants to improve his English skills while working in the US this summer? He is the brother of my roommate and lives in Milan. Also , if anyone wants to view pictures of my travels, send me an email at ddstanford@hotmail.com and i will connect you with my kodak gallery link. Buon weekend. dwight

Dwight said...

I have returned from our 1st "Stage" in Sicily which took up most of last week. Flew from Bergamot airport near Milan to Catania Sicily on MyAir. I suspect my flight cost about 15 dollars each way. Arrived in Catania at midnight and travelled to a hotel which was unlike those I am used to, entering thru a door in an alley and climbing a flight of stairs to the reception area. Not bad, just weird. The group then explored the city until 2 and next day off to the fish and produce market to explore the important and sometimes rare products of Sicily. Then off to Longi, a pretty little town in the mountains of Nebrodi national park, where we stayed the rest of the week. Accom. there were in a 4 story - 10 X 10 foot apt.-b&b with intermittent hot water and steep Peruvian type steps where 4 of us stayed. Caught my 1st cold of the year and stayed miserable for a few days and with the help of my roommate Luca who had the same illness, we infected the whole group during the week. We visited some special pigs who are kind enough to produce some interesting prosciutto, salami, and lardo. Also visited cheese producers in 2 regions and I finally tasted some great ricotta. It tasted almost like creme brulee! Also visited a local honey producer and the chestnut and multiflower honeys became my medicine for the week. Also visited one vintner and a factory which produced orange, lemon and lime juice as well as essences of those fruits for cosmetics, a candy factory which made marzipan confections, an orchard which raised lemons, limes, oranges, avocados, kumquats, etc. and enjoyed one night during a full moon at the top of a mountain ridge for supper. Our last day was Saturday and we were supposed to visit a large winemaker, but the fan belt on our bus broke down, so we were unable to keep that appt. I forgot we visited one olive grove and tried the Siciclian olive oil which is quite peppery in comparison to others. I took about 270 pictures, so if anyone wants to see them, email me and i will direct you to my kodak site. This week, all my lectures will be in English! yeah. The anthropology of food. We will study McDonalds in China, punk food in Seattle and the changes in the food culture of Italy. Next weekend we travel to Spain for 12 days. Our luggage limits are 15kg for checked luggage and 7kg for carryon! Impossibile! for Spain, so I may have to bite the bullet and pay a supplement. Ciao tutti! ds

Dwight said...

Homework today, Egads! I had to write a book report. 1 page, not too bad. I have finally almost returned my system to normal, having eaten a load of spinach, carrots, tomatoes, grapefruit and of course All Bran! ds

karen baum said...

Dwight,

It's nice to know that we can still communicate with you. I hope all is going well. We miss you back in KC and at COR.
Karen Baum

Dwight said...

Thanks, Karen. for any who don't know about my church and live in K.C. Church of the Resurrection is a great place to redirect your life and regain your faith. Adam, the preacher has a great email this week available at COR.org. read the letter from the president of Iran with an open mind! Don't worry, i am not turning liberal yet. I finished 2 projects this week; a book report on the foodways of Toscano and tomorrow (wish me luck) I am going to give a presentation on a restaurant I know well, Jaspers , and with Jasper's help, i have put together 12 slides in a powerpoint presentation and a 3 page tema or theme paper for our instructor from America who insists on speaking in Italian! No problema! Anyway , wish me luck and then Sunday we are off to Spain for 10 days; my 1st time there after 4 attempts (long story). If anyone wants to read my powerpoint presentation or my tema, write to me at my email address. ddstanford@hotmail.com Ciao tutti! dwight

Dwight said...

Final posting or musing for today. I am the only blonde man in Parma! I thought and my friends thought it could not be true, but last weekend i verified it on my bicycle (my only mode of transportation other than the bus or on foot.) All the Italian men, though not the women, have black, gray or no hair. E' vero! Now I know why they can tell I am an american! Jeans from Levis here are 130. a pair and gas is 6.80 a gallon for super. Now, you feel better, right! dwight

Dwight said...

Miei amici, the Weigel's visited me today. What fun to speak in English at the velocity to which i was accustomed. It was great to see them and they visited the Reggia in Colorno where the Universita' is located and we walked through the gardens and fountains. Perhaps I can join them in the mountains tomorrow before we travel to Spain on Sunday, because unfortunately, the weather here in Emilia Romagna, around Parma is identical to that in KC.. in other words somewhat hot and humid. It is difficult for some of the Italian students who are not used to this weather , but for me e' abituato (I am used to it). Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

Yesterday, I joined Dave and Betsy Weigel in Pontremoli, a train ride of a little over an hour from Parma. If you travel by train in Italy, you are charged by the kilometer, so at 3.82 Euros, it was not too bad. We drove into the mountains and at 4500 feet were in the clouds with a fierce wind at a national park with fishing lakes, a ski lift (for one at a time) and small restaurants, where we had a picknick in the car! They treated me to a very nice dinner at their agriturismo resort with cured meats and antipasti of the region, pasta with pesto genovese and rabbit followed by frozen yogurt. i spent the night in a hotel centrally located and then caught the morning train to Parma. Sort of like a trip from KC to Hermann, MO. Off to Spain this afternoon for a 10 day stage there, so I am unsure if I can access emails and the internet, so I may not post for a while. Ciao Dwight

Dwight said...

Arrived in Spain for the 1st time after 4 attempts, a story which i will relay to anyone who has an hour and likes wine. We then travelled by bus to Salamanca from Madrid, passing Avila. If you visit Spain, be sure to see the wall of Avila at night, preferably, as it is beautiful and very impressive. Salamanca is a very clean and beautiful city with large churches each topped by 2 or 3 stork nests. We have visited wineries, cheese makers and a slaughterhouse , curing plant where they make the prized Iberian hams. An amazing flavor also not to be missed when here! If you can wait a year or so, the US govt. is finally going to allow exportation. It is a cured , not cooked product, so it has been a problem in the past to import it. Today, we spend an interminable time in a bus and travel to Santiago de Compostela, touring a special facility where they process Cecina de Leon, another type of cured meat, which i haven't heard of , but will today. The last 2 nights, disco hopping until 3!, and last night, I had to surrender at 3, because 6 of the students continued past that hour!. It will be fun to watch the busriders today!!. Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

We spent 3 days in Salamanca touring factories which made iberian ham, cheese, and a winery; then off to Santiago. We visited 2 cheese makers yesterday and a processing plant for fish and then a fish auction today. The celebration of the Ascension is going on here with a carnival not unlike those we have with the same carnie games and rides. This city is evidently the last stop on a religious pilgrimage which starts in France and takes about a month to complete. I plead ignorance about that aspect. Internet is iffy in the hotel so I am unsure if i can post again, but I'll try. Weather here is a little cooler than KC, but sunny and 26 C. Everyone have a good Memorial Day holiday! dwight

Dwight said...

We had the day off today and 5 of us rented a car and saw the southern coast of galicia and the northernmost part of portugal, where the coffee is better than in spain where it is schifo. I must say that after trying all these special hams and cheeses etc. that i still prefer prosciutto di parma, parmesan reggiano cheese and italian women to the spanish. Tomorrow we go out with a fishing boat, so stay tuned and see if I got seasick! ds

Dwight said...

It seems likely that I will survive the Spain stage as we leave tomorrow. Yesterday we visited a "farm" in the sea where they grow muscles , oysters and scallops and then visited the processing plant where they undergo an extensive cleaning process. Prior to that we watched the natural harvest of mollusks during low tide (Marea bassa) by a group of workers. Today, we visited 2 wineries where they make white wines from the alberino grape. Tomorrow , up at 6 or so , which will totally "do in" most of my classmates who are unused to early mornings! Then 4 days of recovery and sleep and better food! ds

Dwight said...

6/1/06 i notice the site wasn't posting dates, so i will try to remember to do so. The postings from Spain are from the last 2 weeks. I have returned and have eaten pasta twice, tried some good italian coffee and next stop is the gelateria. It is a national holiday here tomorrow so all is closed. Italy celebrates a lot of holidays including, it seems every thursday! many stores are closed on that day. I slept for 10 hours last night and feel much more energetic. The weather here is sunny and cool in Parma, so it is a good day for a bike ride to the parco ducale. We are off from school for the rest of the week so i will complete 2 work assignments and study Italian. Maybe travel somewhere for the weekend if it is easy. Ciao. dwight PS the spain pix are ready for viewing at the kodak site. see previous postings for info

Dwight said...

6/4. Last night Phil and I took a road trip to Ravenna which is between Parma and Rimini for a Slow Food event featuring the wines of Italy and topped off by a very nice vertical tasting of Rio Soldi Barbarescos from 95 to 2000. Try to find the 96 or 99. At the end they brought out a surprise- the 1982 which was amazingly young tasting, but i doubt it is available. The 99 i was served was cooked, but i found another to try and it was quite good. Today was beautiful in Parma, temp in the 70's (it is hotter in Estes Park), I started work on a paper due on honey making in Sicily and road my bike around town for exercise. It has been a peaceful 4 days after Spain as Michele is in Milan with his family and Yong, my Korean roommate is in France with the other Master's program. Tomorrow , back to the lecture grind. ds

Dwight said...

Obviously, it has not been an eventful week here, but tomorrow we travel to Liguria and the Cinque Terre region for 4 days of study of the history, food , and wine products of the region. Last night, 10 of us went to a figo (cool) osteria which had a cellar full of wine and rather than order from a wine list, one enters the cellar and picks the bottle one wants. I can't believe noone has thought of this in the US. A great idea for you enterpreneurs out there. Anyway, we had a nice dinner, there. It has taken a while, but I am finally a little more used to eating dinner at 10:00 PM!
We did have lectures this week on everything from sensory analysis (lots of statistics and which will be a total of 36 hours), olive oil production, the history of food, etc. I had to email my paper on pasta and next I will be working on a paper on honey production in Sicily. Buon weekend. 6/11

Dwight said...

Scrivo un po adesso. The class has had a successful trip to Liguria and Cinque Terre, where we were introduced to some of the food and beverage products of the region. These include wines that are better drunk overlooking the Med. Sea for the most part, perhaps with a plate of anchovies from the nearby fisherman. After a hard day's hike in C.T. the white wines are welcome. We did all the hikes here, but one and added Levanto to Monterosso, which is a 10 km bear. No discos in Cinque Terre, thank goodness, but now the mania is CALCIO! World Cup Soccer! Tomorrow night is US vs. Italy and it will be a mess no matter who wins! Either everyone here will be totally depressed if the US wins or alternatively, there will be much gloating monday and loud partying Sat. night if Italy wins. I am hoping for a tie! I am apolitical when it comes to soccer. Buon weekend tutti! 6/16

Dwight said...

6/19/06 Well, my wish came true and the US tied Italy. The Italian students were still upset. Now I have to route for the US to do well against Ghana, so they can advance. I don't have any Ghanese in the class. Last night, we had a birthday party, BBQ in the park for one of the members of the English master's class. The park had no BBQ grills, but one of the British students brought 2 aluminum cooking containers and started a fire in the park in the containers using 1st an old wooden box and paper and then charcoal! He "borrowed" the wire shelves from his oven and voila' we had a bbq! Today in class, we are having a tasting of 10 salamis. In preparation, I ate only vegies at lunch. Ciao

Dwight said...

We are having a heat wave here, which i hear is normal for Parma for summertime. it is almost the same as in KC. the only problem is: we don't have air conditioning. I learned to sleep with street noise; now i will see if I can learn to sleep hot!
Sting is playing in Milan Friday in a free concert, so I am headed that way with my roommate Michele. My 1st hookey day. I am now legal in italy, having received, after 4 months, my permission of stay form. I am looking forward to a little break in the states in august in KC and CO and farther west. 2 of my fellow students are joining me, one will visit the US for the 1st time. We hope to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons together and then Teresa will join her family at Cabo San Lucas and Michele and I will journey to the Grand Canyon and who knows! We are studying labelling law this afternoon. Che divertenti! ds

Dwight said...

HEAT WAVE. It is hot here ranging from 32-40 degrees centigrade (granted 40 was in the sun), but it is brutal without airconditioning! Went to Milan and saw Sting for free in the Piazza del duomo in Milan with 100,000 others and he was in fine form at 55 yo. Had a wonderful meal at the restaurant rated best by Zagat's guide called Aimo e Nadia and was appropriately fussed over by the chef, head waiter and sommelier when I told them I was a student at the Universita' di Scienze Gastronomiche. Smiled for 2 hours. The wines were wonderful and unique as was the wine list. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Milan! Be sure and order the spaghetti with cipollini! Everything is hard in Italy when it comes to beaurocracy, so tomorrow i have to return all the way to milan to go to the consulate to get a contract notarized. In the US , my office manager could do it! Ciao tutti and say a prayer for my friend Brad who is still in the hospital in Rochester. Dwight

Dwight said...

OK, I am weak! I had to buy an in room air conditioner today. but what a difference. i haven't slept well for a week as it stays over 80 degrees in the apartment at night. Living in Italy , one learns to at least take a passing interest in soccer. So, tonight was my 1st partita (game) as a participant. There was NO soccer when i grew up in MO. I played goalie and unfortunately I was the losing goalie 11-10. But, I blocked a few shots.
Today we went to a "pig farm" and it brought back some memories of when my grandfather had a small one in the late 60's or early 70's. He always said he got out of the business because he lost money, but i wonder if he didn't like the process. My class thought about all becoming vegetarian.... for about 5 minutes. We are studying prosciutto di parma this week. i highly recommend the product and 2 years of aging is optimal i think. ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

7/2
It seems strange that another month has passed. The weather here continues hot and humid, but we expect a break next week. Many of the students travelled once again to Liguria for the birthday party of Rebecca, now 28 years old , who along with Michele, my roommate will join me in the US in August for the grand tour of the west and to attend my mother's memorial service in Estes Park. We are looking forward to seeing KC, together and have dinner at Jaspers, then on to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Estes Park. After that , Michele and I will try to see the grand sites farther west . This week is all lectures and our next big adventure is in Piemonte in later July. ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

Scusa me, the birthday party was for Teresa! not Rebecca. Mia culpa. Grazie Teresa per la correzione. dwight

Dwight said...

7/4 Happy 4th of July to everyone. The celebration here consists of me wearing a red and white striped shirt and blue jeans. Tonight the Italians play the Germans in the world cup, which should make for a tense time at my house where all will gather. We are "borrowing" the TV projector from the university to watch the Big Game on the Big Wall. We have 2 germans in the class and 14 italians (although one is swiss and 1 brazilian). As the student in 3rd place in the soccer pool (quite funny, really, since I know nothing about soccer or world teams), i have the difficulty of having chosen Germany tonight, but will have to root for Italia.
Finally, for the patriots in my reading public and since it is our independence day and I am a lifetime member of the VFW, I invite all to paste in the following email address to honor our troops:
www.clermontyellow.accountsupport.com/flash/UntilThen.swf. Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

OK, everybody, the italians beat the germans tonight and i have decided that if you want to have a sport's party, soccer is your best bet! You can prepare, serve, clean, use the facilities, schmooze and go out for more wine and not miss a thing!
I am sorry most of you can't read italian because my classmat Giorgio has endured a treacherous journey to Napoli for us to bring back some proper Mozarella di Buffala and his recollection of the trip on our blog site is hilarious! Off tomorrow to study culatello, which is another piece of the pig used for salumi here. ciao dwight

karen baum said...

Saturday we celebrated Jack's 50th birthday. Jemshed and Mike Dennis were there. We missed you. I gave them links to your blog, so expect to hear from them soon. Ciao. Karen

Dwight said...

7/8 The countdown continues as all Italy awaits the big final "partita" (game) in the world cup between Italy and France. All my class and perhaps a few others will be in my little apt. watching the game. My 2nd try at actually playing the game was last week and once again my team lost by one. My goalie skills are improving, but when you are playing in a tempeste (thunderstorm), the ball gets wet! and slippery, so i missed a couple that i shouldn't have and only earned a 6/10 grade for my skills according to my classmate Giorgio. Michele and I then rode our bikes home in the downpour (about 3 miles) and I write this only so everyone who didn't know already, will now understand that I have gone completely mad! (At least the lightning never got closer than 1 mile) Both of the university classes converged on via Farini last night, which is Parma's equivalent to Westport or more fairly the Plaza. the University of Gastronomic Sciences has 2 classes- one in english for food communication and mine which is taught in italian and studies the food products of the mediterranean. The english class travels to Germany next week and the following week my class will go to the Piedmont region of Italy. Buon weekend a tutti! dds

Carrollton said...

Harpo from Carrollton says "Hi"

Dwight said...

Hi, Harpo! I have seen your hotel in Milan many times now and always think of you!

I had a little trip on my bike around Parma today where it is 35 degrees C. and again was amazed at how differently people in Italy live. The single family home in a city is almost nonexistent! Everyone lives in apt.s or condos. they are very nice and as big as houses, many times, but very few people have to mow a lawn here. I tried to find a nice little vigneto (vineyard) online yesterday and their are some interesting options available. Just dreaming for now.
I am gearing up to host the World Cup finals party for my class and have made 3 sorbets; red grapefruit, orange and tomato. Also, I expect at least one person from france to be here. Italy vs France: my guess is either way it ends, very few people will feel well tomorrow. 7/9 dds

Dwight said...

Imagine more people in one plaza than can fit into Arrowhead stadium and you have an idea of the 100 thousand plus Italians in the Piazza di Duomo in milan, another in Rome and another in napoli, watching the finals of the world cup last night. It was incredibly boring by my standards, but the right team won according to all my classmates-Italy!!! Campione del Mondo! Parma was absolutely crazy last night after the match with people semi nude in fountains, throwing buckets of water out of their 3rd floor apt.s onto the crowd in the street, etc. I had to at least experience the bedlam and chaos. The nice thing about the wildness is no cars were burned, no windows smashed and as far as I know, noone was seriously hurt. Va bene! As an outsider to soccer, I think it is more boring than baseball or golf, but vive la differenza! dwight 7/10

Dwight said...

Ciao, tutti! 7/17
It is easy to describe the festival i attended in Venice to my friends in KC, because the wide canal in Venice near the vaporetta stop Redentore was the site of "party cove"! Large boats in groups of 4-10 tied up together to fill the canal and starting about 7PM with food and drink and music, the onlookers waited until 12:00 for a really amazing fireworks display. I have seen quite a few in my many years , but this one was the best; but maybe, they are just developing more elaborate fireworks in general. The festival is held every year to commemorate the building of the church of Redentore which was erected to thank God for delivering the city from the plague.
Now, it is back to Parma for 1 day of classes before we travel to the Piedmont region to study the unique cheeses, meats, and wines of the region. I am especially looking forward to visiting a refuge in the Alto Adige area in the mountains!
Less than 2 weeks before I return to the US on a summer break, starting in London with a classmate and taking in the sites of the Midwest and West.
Time is really flying!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week! dwight

Carrollton said...

Harpo is using the computer at Dickson's on the south side of the square in Carrollton, their son Jonathan, works with Karen at Avila, small world. In Parma there are a lot of good restaurants. Harpo will bring in some of the names of his old friends there and we'll see if some of the restaurants still exist when he brings the list in. Enjoy Italy!!

Dwight said...

7/27 sorry about the long lag! We just returned from Piemonte where we spent 8 days studying the wines of the region which include Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbaresco and many others. I visited one producer where they kept a wine library with many cases of their Barolos from every year, unfortunately, not for sale, and these went back the early 1900's. We also visited cheese producers in the region after visiting the University's other campus in Pollenza where we had a couple of half day lessons on cheese. After our first 4 days at the hotel associated with the winemaker Fontanafredda, we moved to a farm where they produce a very special rice used in risotto. The owner was a very nice man and he and his children work the farm which is flooded for several months of the year and this is a prime breeding ground for monstrous misquitoes! Some of the students with more dolce and tenero skin developed hundreds of bites. I am now vecchio and amaro, so I escaped with only one. During our free day Sunday, I visited lagomaggiore at the town of Stresa and spent a day at the beach before returning to the group that night for pizza in Turin. The last 2 days were the best for me as we travelled into the mountain region of Val d'Aosta where we hiked an hour uphill to a refuge there reminiscent of a chalet in switzerland and visited a cheesemaker there the following day. All my classmates, who are not early risers, got up at 630 to watch the morning milking of the cows which were free range on the mountain side, just as you always imagined it. They milk about 120 liters a day and then make some cheese that is incredible! I bought a kilo to bring home.
Yesterday, I did 8 hours of manual labor for a man who produces culatello. 3 of my classmates and I transferred and then hung from the ceiling, over 1200 five kg back legs of pigs which are aged for 16months to 3 years and are a rival to prosciutto. My reward was a 2 kg piece of culatello (80 euros a kg) and a bottle of wine. Sounds like a great picnic. Tonight I pack and tomorrow I fly to London. Then on to america Monday. Ciao tutti.

Jasper In Kansas City said...

WOW! Piemonte sounds great, I await your asrrival in the states and at Jasper's. Culatell is my favorite along with lardo! Have a safe trip home and I will have some lobster cappuccino and Gianni Gagliardi Dolcetto from Piemonte waiting in the cellar room for you and your friends!!!

Carrollton said...

Harpo says check out Lake Como, Villa d'Este, Lake Aaggiore, at
Stresa, Hotel Milano, Lake Lugano, Switzerland. Bars in Milan Peck, Biffe, Try Bolo wine.

Dwight said...

Well, it has been a whirlwind time since i arrived in the usa. this is the 8th and my roommate Michele (male name for Michael) and I started in London with our classmate Fabio and toured the markets there and had a wonderful time while staying in Shepherd's Bush. One day in Kent with Fabio's parents who are both Dr's in England. Then off to KC where we met Teresa at the airport and crashed at midnight. The following day my office had wonderful tacos for us and i caught up with all the latest. It is amazing to see the stress in everyone's faces while the stress is gone from mine! Jasper cooked up an incredible dinner for some of us tuesday night and Dave Weigel and Bill Ross brought some memorable wines. Not wanting to stay in one place too long, the 3 of us drove wed to Shoshoni WY and the next day to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and because Southern WY had no motel rooms, we had to settle for a smoking room all the way in Rawlings on Thurs. night. Off to Estes Park to meet the family, go thru my mom's stuff and have a memorial service for her which was wonderful. We did a 7 mile hike in the mts, drove Old Fall River and Trail Ridge Roads and then headed to Denver Sunday night to see my old friend Leslie and stay with her. Dropped Teresa off at the airport at 630 AM on Monday so she could join her family in Cabo San Lucas and then Michi and I drove 1100 miles to Truckee near Lake Tahoe. Today visited vineyards in napa and saw Sonoma Valley and tonight in San Francisco. That's all for now 8/8/06 dds

Dwight said...

8/9/06 We visited 2 mecca's today. the golfing mecca of pebble beach and 17 mile drive and Alice's restaurant in Berkeley, Chez Panise. Started the day before the tour buses at Muir Woods. 4000 miles or so thus far and tomorrow, off to Giant Sequoia natl. park and las vegas if we can make it. today in the ca. high desert it was 120 degrees. Hope we make it to las vegas where it is only 106! Ciao. dwight

Kevin Sweeney said...

August 17.

Dwight,

It was great to be with you and your friends Michele and Teresa while you were in KC. Jasper hosted a marvelous dinner and thanks to all for the wondeful wines. I owe you!

I hope that your and Michele enjoyed (survived) your forced march through the western US and made it safely back to Italy (no liquids on the flight, right?).

I am finishing up the prenup arrangements for saturday and looking forward to a week on the beach in Cabo. Also, Erika and I may be able to make a quick trip to see you in October, so let us know your schedule.

Regards to all,

Dwight said...

8/28 I have tried twice to send a posting from Moneglia, my base for the last 10 days , but was unsuccessful. 3rd try is the charm. If you look up Moneglia on the map of Italy, you will find it near Portofino and south of Genoa on the western and northern coast of Italy. I had a very relaxing time there with my roommate's family and took in more sun time than i have since i was a kid. Now, back in Parma, where i hope to study a few days solo before school starts again monday. At least, they are breaking me back in easy with a lecture on wine!
The last part of the USA trip with michele included one day of driving between Denver and Truckee about 1000 miles. The next day we saw Lake Tahoe, Napa and Sonoma Valleys and 5 vineyards with tastings. On to San Francisco and Little Italy for dinner. The next day to Muir Woods and on to Monterey and Carmel before returning to Alice's Restaurant in Berkeley "Chez Panisse". the next day to giant sequoia natl. park and on to Las vegas. I am not a big fan of L. V. but a highlight was a flight over the Grand Canyon for 1.5 hours with Scenic Airways and i highly recommend that to anyone who goes that direction. Then to Denver and the following day to KC. 10000 or more km in total! Saw a bunch of friends at Spin and everyone needs to go there and try their pizza and bring their own wine for a 1.00 corkage fee some nights. My birthday was at Melbee's with the Houstons, Kim, and Michele for a wonderful dinner with fabulous wines incl the highlight, a 75 Parducci cab! 30 hours of travel back to Milan where i then slept for 12 hours and that about catches me up. Everywhere I went in the US, I saw and heard Italians on vacation. Ciao, tutti. dwight

Dwight said...

Well, the fun is over! (only kidding) The longest vacation of my life has ended and now we are back at school. At least they started things easily for me Monday with a lecture on wine growing. Today, thursday and friday we take to the fields of Emiglia Romagna and study the life cycle of the tomato. They grow whole fields of tomatoes, which i thought strange until my trip through the central valley of California this month where I saw the same sort of planting. As my Mother would say, the best tomatoes come from Missouri, but she would have liked these as well, I think. This month also includes a field trip of 2 days to visit production facilities for parmigiano-reggiano cheese and near the end of the month, we travel to Campania around napoli; my 1st time there. Weather here is still on the warm and humid side near 90 degrees.
All the class came to our apt. last night for dinner for a sort of welcome back celebration and I opened a bottle of Dunn cabernet for some of the early arriving wine lovers. It was way too young still! It is intriquing to study the palates of those in other countries. My italian friends are really not so excited about US cabs and Michele, who travelled with me to Napa and Sonoma found only one wine he really liked which was a reserve late 90's Ch. Montelena. My palate has a bit of trouble with some of the acidic Barberas as a counterpoint. Ciao tutti. 6 sept 2006

SuzyTwoTablets said...

09/09/06 Thank you for sharing your Blog with me. Reading it was bitter sweet since Italy is the only other country I would consider living in. Last year I spent 6 weeks touring Italy, Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany by myself in a leased car. Having been to Italy many times prior, I reconfirmed that the country remains at the top of my must explore list. Thus, I enjoyed your postings and longed to be there which at this moment is not possible. Susan in 90210.

Dwight said...

To all who are a little right leaning such as myself and read Susan's post, i highly recommend her blog which is twotablets.blogspot.com. She is a much more refined writer than me.
Well, we have finished tomatoes for this week and visited a wonderful firm called Mutti, which pioneered tomato toothpaste! Not kidding, sort of, they were the 1st to put tomato concentrate in a resealable tube like a toothpaste tube and they also make a fine Passata and canned fresh tomatoes which taste like tomatoes, a real plus, i think. The proprietor and his wife remind one of the stories about Sam Walton, a sack of money but down to earth and really nice folks! I spent a little time in Milan this weekend and at Lagomaggiore. Maybe I'll head that way again next weekend as there is a trip for 35. where you take 2 trains - one in Italy and one in Switzerland to the north end of the lake and return in a ferry ride of 4 hours. After that we have our 1st real exam, all essay about the history of taste (gusto). Hopefully my writing skills by then will be well honed! After that we are travelling like crazy with our 1st trip to Campania which is the province of Napoli, the only place where real pizzas are found according to my Napoletano friend. We will see. Not more than 4 days later, we travel to France and spend time in Dijon and Lyon and Burgundy. Now, I know everyone is jealous. But to take some of the sting away, I am drinking 3.00 fizzy red wine in my apt. I share with 2 others! No car and my bike tire is flat again. What fun! And I really mean that.
Please keep my friend David Williams and his family in your prayers as he lost his son in a car accident this week. And keep all our armed forces in your thoughts and prayers as we approach another anniversary of 9/11 Grazie! 9/10

Dwight said...

I feel like today I am back at work, because I had to get up before 6:00!
Luckily, I just have to catch our early bus which will take us to a large producer of parmiano-regiano cheese. This is one of my favorite cheeses from Italy perhaps tied with the mountain cheese I found in Piemonte.
Yesterday we visited a cantina or winery in the Emiglia Romagna region near Fornova, about 20 km from Parma. This concluded our series of wine making, grape farming lectures. Their main varieties are Malvasia which normally is used for a sparkling sweet white wine, but can also be dry and/or still, and Barbera.
I keep the KC weather forecast on my computer and it is amazing how it parallels Parma as far as temperature, today will be about 28 degrees centigrade.
9/12 dds

Dwight said...

We have finished our trek to visit the caseifici (cheesemakers) of parmigiano regiano. I still can't tell you which parm. reg. to buy when you go to the store here, but my feeling is if you don't buy from the cheesemaker or an small shop that sells gourmet products and instead buy something from the big chain grocery stores, you will probably get an inferior or average product. I will have to try the brands back home to give you my opinion on them, but look for something aged at least 24 months (as is required). try before you buy and expect something not too crumbly and somewhat rich. Our weather has changed and it is finally raining, which is bad for the vineyards as it is so close to harvest time and the grapes will retain more water with obvious consequences. I bought a bike here as i may have written before for 80 euros which is now more than 100. (you couldn't give this bike away at your garage sale!) i have subsequently spent another 50 E. for tires and wondered why the streets here were so rough on the innertubes. the culprit(s) have been identified however, because the last flat was accompanied by a missing valve and a straight pin near the tire. this inside my apt. complex. Some vandals live with me somewhere. I now keep the bike with me on the 2nd floor in our apt. Oh well, i just wish i could have figured the problem out sooner and saved some soldi! Hope all is well back home! 9/14 dwight

Dwight said...

9/19
I survived the 1st exam, but I am not sure all my classmates can say the same. As someone who usually takes the 4 hour surgery boards in 90 minutes, this was a little surprising as the exam required 2.25 hours to finish. It composed of 3 questions and we were able to choose 2 and write a thematic answer. This was open book, open notes, open computer, you name it , but really i suppose required some foreknowledge of the topic of Gusto or "taste". I chose 2 and 3 and wrote about what I thought the new gastronomy would look like and also what types of restaurants i thought would thrive in the future. My classmates thought 2.5 hours was only enough time for 1 answer and they are quite used to this type of exam. i thought i was slow as well , but finished with time to spare.
I have seen 2 films in the last week, having avoided the cinema for the last 6 mo, but i laughed quasi continuously at Hitch in english and enjoyed Prime with english subtitles.
Hunters are active now, probably looking for the common pheasants. Lots of rain lately which has overfilled some of the rivers and is probably giving the winemakers fits as it is near harvest time.
We are off to Campania and napoli Friday and I will probably not have internet access for a time, but it will be my 1st time to try the pizzas of Napoli, which as my friends from there tell me are the ONLY pizzas in the world which are perfect! Ciao Dwight

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

Dwight, Have a great time in Naples, here is my favorite pizza, I have been going there since i was a child!
Antica Pizzeria Brandi: This is the pizzeria where pizza Margherita was invented in 1889, in honor of Queen Margherita, the Savoy queen of the then less than 30-year-old unified Italy. Brandi still makes wonderful pizza but it also has many other good things to eat. It's near San Carlo, the Royal Palace, the Galleria, and good shopping, so it's convenient and good for lunch. Sit downstairs even though it may seem like upstairs is better. Good place to have a whole mozzarella di bufala. The place is touristic so Neapolitans enjoy putting it down, but I like it quite a lot.
Steps off the via Chiaia, on a tiny sidestreet called Salita S. Anna di Palazzo; tel. (081) 416928.

Dwight said...

10/1/06
I will attempt to catch you up on my last week in Campagna where the internet access costs 10 Euros and I am too cheap to pay those kinds of rates.
A group of us went early to Napoli or more specifically Caserta to stay with our classmates from the region. Giorgio, my host made some wonderful arrangements for us and Saturday we visited one of the best enotecas (wine stores) in Italy and had a tasting of rare cheeses, meats and wines of the region. We then went to Napoli where we visited 4 pizza parlors to sample the pizza from the birthplace.... I am sorry, but i prefer the pizza from Spin! Also sampled the night life of Napoli and at 2:15 in the morning on our return, it was worse than rush hour in LA! Sunday a great lunch at the parents of Giorgio... his father is a vascular surgeon and we had a nice conversation about life, the universe and everything. Sunday night and I am still full from lunch we visited Luisa’s parents for another meal with 8 wines, which i sampled but didn’t really feel like drinking since I was still stuffed from lunch.
Monday the rest of the class caught up with us and we moved to the Holiiday Inn in Napoli and started our stage. We visited Mozarella factories where we got up close with the buffalo, also wineries, farms for tomatoes and vegetables, and in Napoli, a store for “street food. The tomatoes here are famous and make the pizzas special even if i don’t like them. We all got up at 4:00 in the morning one day to visit the pescatoria or fish market where all the fishing fleet bring their catch and it is auctioned off to the highest bidder. They have over 300 species of fish per year there. We were able to visit Positano on Friday in time for sunset after visiting a producer of lemoncello in Sorrento. Lemoncello is made from lemon peels and grain alcohol for those with a hankering for that sort of thing. It turns out you can put just about anything in grain alcohol and after a time add water and sugar and sell it. I am one of the few humans on the planet who is not thrilled with Positano, but that is one less person to get in your way if you go. It is filled with rich foreigners with high prices and seemed full of exhaust while i was there. I will have to return to see Capri some day, though.
Saturday the half of the group travelling by train left us for Parma and the rest of us visited a cantena or vineyard which is co-owned by a friend of Giorgio and we tried some native grapes dating back to ancient times. I was interested, but they were not to my preferences. Back to Parma wtih Luigi, Teresa and Allison in Teresa’s car which beats a bus anyday and for 6 hours I buffed my 360 pictures of Campagna.
A full week of travel ahead with a trip to Pollenzo and the other University of gastronomic sciences and the founder of Slow Food (slowfood.com) Carlo Petrini will give a talk to the incoming students in the undergrad program. Thursday we leave for France and Burgundy and this will be my next hiomework as I have been assigned to write a journalistic piece on one aspect of my visit. I am thinking I might write about wine!
Arriverderci. ds PS, Jasper, unfortunately, i got your posting after i got back but we did try some pizza in Napoli which had good topping, but was molle!

Dwight said...

10/4 Another birthday has come and gone with Tim turning 32. I searched high and low for a wine from his birthyear and found a 74 Chianti Classico from Montevecchi near Radda which I figured had a 50% chance of being aceto or vinegar, but was surprised to find it drinkable (sometimes drinkable is all we can hope for) although a little cloudy after Fabio used the bottle to juggle before we opened it.
We are off to France tomorrow and start with the city of Lyon and then to Dijon-2 of the food capitols of France and new cities for me. We will study the mythical Bresse chicken, the making of fois gras, wine and the soil of Burgundy, Charolais cattle, cheese production and the usual topics . I am dreading the long bus ride, but one must suffer sometimes! I hope KC is cooling off; we are still 27 degrees centigrade here, but france will be 14-16 and perhaps a little rainy. I may have to wait till my return the 15th or 16th to repost, but maybe we will get lucky and have access in the hotel. Ciao for now dds

Dwight said...

10/10/2006
Greetings from Dijon, France where today we studied soil types and geography of the Burgundy wine region which stretches from Chablis to Beaujolais for about 300 km. We are heading into a vineyard this afternoon to see the area firsthand. So far in France we have been in Lyon for 4 nights and from that city we visited the cheese producers in the mountains near the border with Switzerland where they make chevre. Then we visited a farm where they raise the famous Bresse chickens which are truly free range! These chickens which the farmer can sell after 8 months for 4-6 Euros a kg or the older chickens which are up to twice as large can fetch 18 euros a kg around Christmas time.
We got to eat the chicken that night at a restaurant, but it was smothered with sauce, so it is hard to say if it is really special. I did have it a few years ago in Paris and it was a little gamey and quite expensive as I recall. The next day we visited the fields around Charolles where they have many farms which are wonderfully picturesque and where they raise Charolais cattle. They are slaughtered at a minimum of 3-4 years all spent roaming peacefully in pastures compared to our messy production in small pens for less than 1 year with hormones and antibiotics and superfattening foods. Lunch consisted of tasting the final product which is tastier than our beef but also not as tender since the meat is more muscular from the time spent in the fields and the slow process of fattening. Yesterday we visited a type of “free range” quasi organic hog farm and tried their products. The proprietor was a civil engineer and changed professions at age 36 and for 6 years has raised hogs and his family in the hills of Burgundy. They slaughter about 3 hogs a week and then fashion terrines and other cooked products for sale in neighboring Dijon. From there we went to a facility where they raise snails or escargot and the owner was a cute french lady of about 40 yrs with 4 children ranging from 1.5yrs to 20 who has a passion for her work. She processes 200,000 snails a year for sale and had a tasting for us there. Next on to Dijon a very pretty city as was Lyon and today’s study.. Tomorrow we go to chablis for a study of good chardonnay. I should mention our day off was Sunday and 8 of us rented a car and drove thru Burgundy and visited totally spontaneously a winery in Puligny Montrachet and tried all the wines in the cave, bought a few and then had a picnic in the vineyard of Le Montrachet. Off from there to La Romanee Conti for a photo op and then had dinner at one of Paul Bocuse’s restaurants in Lyon. A very fun day! Ciao. Dwight

Dwight said...

Today, 10.11.2006, we visited Chablis and 2 cantenas; La Chablisienne and Laroche, the former being much better to my thinking. we had a nice lunch at the restaurant associated with the latter, though. I liked the Grand Cru from the former and bought a few bottles for the future. I have yet to try a really good red wine on this trip to burgundy, so tomorrow when we go to Beaune to study fois gras, i will search out a good bottle, a good loaf of bread and some good cheese for lunch and hopefully be satisfied thereafter. Buon compleanno a mia amica Leslie # 40!!!! Tanti auguri! dwight

Dwight said...

10/14 Happy Birthday to my brother Jim today! #48! We leave today from Dijon and return to Italy which I am sure will please everyone. I was able to eat well last night at a restaurant in Dijon, but most of our meals here have been quite average. I found some really nice wines from Burgundy to take back to Italy, but as always, at least for me, you need to have someone in the know helping you find a quality producer or bottle.
Yesterday, we studied the making of Epoisses cheesse and had a nice comparative tasting, then visited the cows which provide the milk for the factory. The days prior, we studied the geology of Burgundy and why they are able to make special wines here and in Chablis. We visited a site where they raise ducks to make fois gras which has it's dark side; the ducks are confined in very small cages the last 12 days of their lives and force fed up to a kg of corn a day to fatten their livers (but it sure tastes good!). After that we visited a mustard factory and had a visit in Beaune. The mustard factory had a leak of some kind so we were all crying by the end of the hour. It made a funny picture with everyone having swollen eyes! Looking forward now to a week of salads and fruit in Parma. Ciao dwight

Dwight said...

10/17 We are back in class this week and if I didn't say before, we have 2 lectures a day of 3 hours each, all in italian. This week we start with the sociology of food for 12 hours then launch into the history of italian food in the US which will be every morning for 4 days with afternoon classes in restoration of endangered food products and sensory analysis ( our most difficult class full of statistical models, etc ). We are currently in a busy period with many writing assigments, I need to write a "10,000" beat paper on a topic from our France trip. That equals about 2000 words and is written in a journalistic style. We are also to write 2 pages about an important producer of a food or wine product who we found interesting in or lives or on one of our stages. Looking forward to Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre which are really important Slow fod events near Bra and Torino. I hope to meet some of you with Jasper from KC, there. We need to write 3 short papers about Salone del gusto seminars as well. I passed my test which was about 3-4 weeks ago, so i can continue the Masters. Getting more Fall-like weather here and hope to spend the weekend near Lagomaggiore to see the Fall foliage. Ciao. dwight

Dwight said...

10/23 I finally made the trip by train and boat around and on lagomagiore although the Fall weather here is like a KC winter, gray and humidly cold. One starts at Arona and heads north along the lake in a trenitaly train which turns inland and after short glimpses of Monte Rosa, you reach the end of the trenitaly line and switch to a Swiss train for a very picturesque ride thru the mountains on a narrow gauge railroad. Luckily, there was a little sun and the trees have started to change especially at altitude. Arriving at Locarno in Switzerland, there is time to shop or grab a bite and then one leaves by boat for a 4 hour cruise of the lake, arriving back in Arona at 8 PM. Very tranquil and relaxing and a partial mountain fix for me. We are studying food journalism this week thru wed. and then head off to the Salon del gusto. Ciao dwight

Dwight said...

blog posting for 10/29 from terra madre and salone dell gusto in Torino, a city with some resemblance to colorado as there are beautiful mountains to the north and east partially hidden by smog.
Ciao tutti. I am corresponding from the biggest slow food event in the world, Salone del Gusto in Torino Italy or Turin as it is known in the US. I recommend the slowfood.com or slowfoodusa.org sites for more information, but this is a gathering of thousands of producers of endangered, niche and artisan foods from all over the world, over 140 countries are represented this year. There is a contingency of slow food members from KC and i have seen Jasper Mirabile one time at the king of culatello booth, but with 150,000 people coming thru here , it is hard to find people. I have tried several wine tastings including one with wines from Slovenia, with at least one of the producers quite good by the name of Azienda Klinec Also Tuscany wines vs. Ch. du Pape, weird and not that enjoyable, really. I am starting to wonder about the world of winemaking and the “Parkerization” of most wines which seem overextracted and highly alcoholic Then, Verdicchio from the Marche which still has some land relatively affordable for vineyards if I choose to follow that route. It is a region in central Italy, still best known for white wines, but with a number of reasonable red wines as well. Then the grandaddy wine tasting is known as Tre bicchiere and it is supposed to have all the best wines from Italy from the past judging year for the book Vini d’Italy by the group Gambero Rosso. Unfortunately, I was not that impressed. Gaja was gone when i got there as was Sassiccaia and i am sure i misspelled the latter. Ornallaia was quite good as was a really nice Tuscan wine made by an oral surgeon called Rosso di Sera. Fnd that one if you can as it is in the US and not horribly expensive. I have written three blog postings as an assignment for our school , one on agroecology another on the US meeting presented here. Stay tuned for the US equivalent of this meeting scheduled for May 2008 known as Slow Food Nation. I think it will be a great event in San Francisco. Meanwhile, everyone needs to join Slow Food!
10/30 Yesterday I attended a Meursault (white burgundy- the only really good chardonnay in the world according to Dwight)) and there were 2 producers- Roulot which makes wonderful wine! and Comte de Lafon which makes really good wine. Later I attended a degutstation for fragile wines which involved wines without sulfites for those who think sulfur in wines gives headaches. Unfortunately, the wines were very strange, not necessarily undrinkable, but i had trouble with white wines with an orange color and they were all like that. the reds were a little better, but....
Today I am at the closing ceremony for Terra Madre surrounded by representatives from all the countries and it is quite colorful. Back to Parma and studies tomorrow. dds

Dwight said...

11/02 I forgot to mention there were also 1600 producers of artisan and rare food products at salone del gusto. I wouldn't want everyone to think it was just about wine! There are incredible cheeses , unpasterized of course, since that robs a cheese of life and flavor, various kinds of cured meats and salamis, also illegal in the US due to outdated overcautious FDA regulations, so I guess if you want to experience these wonderful products, you will have to travel to Turin Italy in OCT 08 for the next Salone, Join Slow Food 1st of course. I bought 3 packages of real wild rice from the Indians of north america for our thanksgiving dinner as well as some great cheese and oil from a tree in Morocco which will make me smarter , live longer and take away all the lines on my face! On our day off yesterday for All Saint's Day, i went around Emiglia Romagna, the region where you find Parma and visited some interesting castles, a beautiful day, but last night the cold front finally arrived from KC or Sweden, I can't remember which. It will now be below freezing for the low the next 4 or 5 days and the weather will follow us to Tuscany and Croatia. Unfortunately, I was unable to make connections with the KC contingent while they were here, but hope they had a wonderful time as I did at Terra Madre. I was one of the blog posters for the Festival and i think the blog site is terramadre2006.org for those with nothing else to do, but search for my reporting. Ciao ds

Dwight said...
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Dwight said...

We are in Crotaia right now, the day after the election in the US. Looks like things have changed , but if i know anything, they will remain the same; lots more of nothing while we give the rich congressman free lunches, health care and pensions for life and for lots of nothing. Too bad we all can't get that gig!. More than half of us went to Tuscany this last weekend and had a wonderful stay at an elegant winery called Capenelle; all provided for us by the american owner who was in London, the marketing you can do is amazing if you have unlimited moneys! They will make you a customized bottle with a solid gold label for a little over 1000 dollars if you want. Luckily, the wine was made well with 2 worth looking for Solare and 50-50. Avoid the chard. We visited a famous butcher in the region who has been featured on PBS and in US newspapers and Sunday i visited an Abbey where they celebrated mass in gregorian chant and finally we visited montalcino. We are now in Croatia having arrived Monday night. Yesterday, we spent 3 hours on a fishing boat watching that process, then visited a winery in the afternoon. The guy makes some really nice wines, but sells all he can make in Croatia. Today we visit a farm where the proprietor raises buffalo, but he loves them so much he won't slaughter them (they are like pets) and then another cantina or winery. Back to Parma Friday night, where i need to write an assignment on my experience in france. Hope everyone has survived the change of power! d

Dwight said...

11/12 Happy Veteran's Day one day late to all vets. We all survived our Croatia trip where we were introduced to the wines of Croatia, not bad actually, the bison of the region which are unique and now number just a few hundred, white truffles which were my biggest disappointment as they were much less flavorful than those found in Piemonte or Marche and I hear are substitued in those markets where they can be sold for more money. We stayed at a 4 star resort which was almost totally empty, It was part of a chain called Maistra which can be found on the internet and the rooms cost only about 50.oo us a night. Yesterday I walked from Parma to the University in Colorno for 15 km for some exercise which we lack on our stages. I am feeling it a little today. Unfortunately, I took my computer and a bottle of water which leaked a little and those 2 do no mix well. After a few hours on the radiator, I am now able to use the apple again, but all my notes and 3300 pictures are in this G4, so it was a bit scary. Time to buy a backup harddrive! Today, I went to mass in the Parma cathedral and serendipitously, they were celebrating the 900th year since it's beginning. I am in a country which is almost exclusively catholic with 95% of the people claiming that religion and about 7% church attendance. There is a pervasive dislike of "the church", the pope, and all the system of the catholic church here among the young, so while there are some who claim a belief in God and even Jesus, it is not something that draws them to church. Protestantism is so rare here, most of the students in my class are completely ignorant as to our creeds, beliefs etc. Most don't even know we believe in Jesus, his death and resurrection. Many have expressed mild interest in switching churches after my explanations, but i haven't seen anyone follow thru yet. Instead, I find myself going to their mass since it is more convenient.
Tomorrow the students of the English masters program graduate which brings our graduation to mind. Lots of tests and assignments to do 1st and as of now , my final internship looks to be in a winery in Tuscany during Jan. and Feb.
Back to KC and CO Dec. 18th. Hope to see some of you then! ds

Dwight said...

11/16
Today in class we are having a degustation of 3 olive oils, one from liguria which makes a light buttery extra virgin olive oil (not my favorite), one from Puglia which was more spicy and bitter, only 10 days old, and finally one from Greece which was banal at best. In the US unfortunately, most of us don't know much about extra virgin olive oils. If you want a good one, get one as fresh as possible and look for the label DOC which ensures the olives are from Italy and not imported from Tunisia or Spain into Italy for pressing and then called extra virgin olive oil from Italy, This is extremely commmon! Cheap olives find their way here for pressing especially with the major corporate olive oil companies. Pay more only for DOC! I personally prefer olive oils from Tuscany and Umbria which balance the piccante or spiciness with the fruitiness and bitterness. Oils from Sicily are much spicier especially when young and are an acquired taste. This weekend on Saturday we are going to visit another commonly mistaken product balsamic vinegar at the town of Modena. We will visit the real thing. Mon. thru wed we visit the Lake garda region for a stage in olive oil. Ciao dds

Dwight said...

11/20 We are off to Lake Garda to study olive oil and Amarone and Valpolicella wines. Hopefully we will get to try some fresh olive oil> Back in 3 days and then the americans will cook a thanksgiving dinner for 50! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! dds

Dwight said...

11/23 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and I hope you had a blessed year with much to be thankful for!
We are back from the Veneto where we visited 5 olive oil factories and learned about pressing and crushing the olives, the types of olives used, where the bathrooms were in each factory, etc. We visited one place in the hills overloooking the lake where i swear you could eat off the floor, ceiling or walls and be safer than using your plates at home. The proprietor made my father look easygoing. But, he was awarded in some contest or another the distinction of best olive oil in the world, so perhaps all the hard work and cleanliness paid off. In comparison, we visited another azienda where the olives were left to sit around for days on the floor (not good for oil quality) and everything was old and dirty and that oil was not good. This is also the area where you find Valpolicella and Amarone wines and we visited 2 cantinas with decent reds.
I saw my 1st Christmas lights 5 days ago in Italy, so they are quite a bit behind the US, thankfully. The stores are as yet not decorated for the holiday, so I will see if that is a custom. The trees have reached peak color and the temperature is signalling the onset of winter soon. I will be studying this weekend for our 1st final in food technology with 3 to follow. My last 2 months of "externship" are still up in the air, but it looks like I may be travelling to the S. Hemisphere, perhaps even to New Zealand where I will work with a winery. Stay tuned and have a peaceful weekend! d

Dwight said...

11/25 Only one more month of shopping days until Christmas! Thanksgiving here was a blast with over 60 people and 2 turkeys of 15 kg each. I helped the head chef at the cooking school-Alma, cook the birds and i did the mashed potatoes, both with and without garlic and made a reduction sauce for the turkeys with mandarine oranges, butter, a little oil and honey and the chef made a gravy. After too much food and wine we opened up the dance floor and finished in the wee hours. Not my normal holiday for sure and my 1st thanksgiving away from family, but when you are with 20 other people for 8.5 months they become your second family. It is saturday and i have spent all day studying for our exam on food technology, which includes factory flow sheets , pasta, tomatoes, fish, sausages and dried meats and cheese. It should be fun! I hope all had a wonderful holiday with lots to be thankful for! ds

Dwight said...

11/29/2006 What could be more boring than studying for finals and within those studies: statistics. Having survived the 1st half of the technology of food final monday, i am now studying Sensory analysis which is full of statistics, standard deviations, formulas etc. Uccidermi! The monday final included drawing a flux diagram for a business that produces a type of food product including all the layers of control, labor, decision points, waste products and you get the idea; how to identify fish that is fresh in the marketplace, the role of nitrates in the conservation of salami, mold and it's good and bad points for the production of cheeses, Hot and cold breaks in tomato canning and the legislative differences in Italy for dried and fresh pasta. For all who still think I am in a cooking school; I WISH! no , just kidding, it is all interesting stuff, maybe minus the legal stuff. Back to studying. I see a major front has hit Estes Park and cold has arrived in KC. Stay warm! dds

Dwight said...

We have put the statistics final behind us, if we passed it that is, and now change to study for our oral final in technology monday and the following monday, history and culture of italian food. that rounds them all out. we are having typical Kansas City december weather here, cold and gray, but at least we didn't get a huge snowstorm and the cold temps,, you are getting. Last night was the next to the last Friday I will be able to see the via Farini scene where all the Parmagani folks come out in their best duds for Friday night. The new English master's class and some of my class enjoyed some camaraderie there yesterday and some of the more intrepid then went to a disco in Parma with a 110 kg transvestite DJ. The things you find in the world! After that we drove to a bakery which was selling the last of the night's pizza at a discount thru the back door at an early hour i won't mention and finally home. Stay warm and melt the snow for me for 2 weeks from tomorrow. 12/2. ciao ds

Dwight said...

Passed another oral final monday, which was the 2nd part of technology of food production. I did well, thankfully. Our final final is next monday and i have read the book about italian food culture twice, written 22,000 letters of notes (they measure themes here in letters or points), so now it is just wait and see. Today we had a degustation of chocolate with 17 types which is almost as hard as tasting too many olive oils, but we did learn about where the best cacao is raised and it happens to be in Venezuela, with a very specific cacao tree found only there. I have been cooking soups as it is humidly cold here and at the suggestion of my Italian friends i put the uneatable part of the rind of parmigiano-reggiano cheese in the soup and you will be happily surprised with the results.
There is huge gingko tree in the piazza by the railroad station and today was the day it lost it's leaves (i always heard they dropped them all in one day) and i toyed with the idea of just sitting in the park and watch the drama unfold, but I am not quite THAT mellow yet. And finally, today, on the 5th try at the Questura's office, I received my permit of stay, so i am no longer clandestino! Of course, i leave in 11 days. such is italian bureaucracy! 12/5 ds

Dwight said...

12/11 Well,i finished my last final and did it in Italian, although i am not sure that was wise. But, i passed, so we will coast the rest of the week with days ahead including degustations of cheese, wine and pasta on successive days. Everyone is getting a little sad as we near the end of our time together, so I expect we will all shed some tears thursday night when we have our final festa. I was thinking about "things you can live without" this last week and here is a short list for le cose non avete bisogni. A car, a hairdryer ( i know, i don't have hair), a clothes dryer, a dishwasher, good appliances (although I really missed a food processor), eating out in restaurants more than once or twice a month, meat at supper, a tv or radio (you can cheat with a computer or ipod though), a student visa (you have to read my other postings to understand), land line phones, and lots of other things. Things you should always have: all bran cereal (especially if you eat the cheeses), forse a bicycle and a bus pass, a sense of humor and patience (both learnable)- especially with government agencies and italian drivers. a computer and wi-fi!, an ipod for long train and bus rides, a corkscrew and at least 2 good glasses, lots of fruits and vegetables and tomatoes for lycopenes. And one splurge, an ice cream maker. Just a few musings as we wind down. I am still waiting for my assignment for Jan and feb, but am hoping to work in a vineyard in the southern hemisphere for 2 months to get an idea about logistics. Ci vediamo! ds

Dwight said...

12/15
I imagine this will be the last posting from the Regia at Colorno as this is our last day of class. We are attending a lecture on Puglia this morning and this afternoon, appropriately enough, we end the classwork with a degustation of pastas! Last night we had a party at the "Pub" in Colorno to celebrate the "laurea" or graduation of one our classmates from undergraduate studies (seems strange that she is in a Master's without the prior requirement, but once in a while, one is kept waiting for the actual degree for months and a decision by your university sponsor). Anyway, we had a cake and she wore a laurel crown and there were large amounts of mojitos, margheuritas and rum and coke concoctions available. 20 liters of each, I think. Dancing followed and sharing of memories of our year, everyone was a little emotional after spending 8 months together. Did I mention the "weigh-in"? Everyone weighed themselves and we sealed this now public information inside a large card with a pig drawn on the front. I gained 1.5kg in 9 months which i plan to lose in the next 1! Now weigh in at 75 kg. The smallest was our vegetarian at 54kg and the largest was our bel uomo from Caserta who tipped the scales at 104kg! All seem skinny in relation to the norm we are used to seeing, i think.
I head to Milan tomorrow to spend the night before flying back to the states Sunday. Lots planned while I am back! And finally, I am still waiting to hear about where I will be in Jan and Feb for my internship for the master's. Stay tuned and Buon Natale! I will try to post also from the US. dwight

Dwight said...

12/17
Well, i am currently sitting in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris with a 3 hour layover and no available lounges will take me in! I love French bread and here a Le Cafe', they had a nice panini with ham and cheese for only 6 euros which at our current exchange is about $20 (just kidding--$8.). We had our last dinner for a time together at a vegetarian restaurant claiming Bio energetic food and I must say it had an effect on me although i won't say what kind! (Scherzo, allison). Yesterday I caught the train to Milano and celebrated early Natale with much of Michele's family and had a wonderful time enjoying their large group. I also had an incubo (nightmare) the other night that i returned and i couldn't find a fruit or vegetable at the supermarkets in the US with any flavor. I hope it was just a dream. Don't be surprised if I greet everyone with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks; Italy has a way of changing you! See some of you soon, i hope. d

Dwight said...

12/20
Well, after my fun flight home, which had me arriving 90 minutes late in Houston, missing my connecting flight and then staying in the Hotel Sofitel in Houston courtesy of Air France; I arrived safely monday in kc. I hit the ground running and started doing all those important things one must do in america, like renew my license for my car, pay my property taxes and house insurance etc. Love driving my car again at gas prices 1/3 that of Italy. Monday night met some Dr. buds at Yahooz and had some truly memorable wines which we all brought in and I must say, the 90 Ch. Palmer is now in my top 10 wines of my life!!! so buy 1990 bordeaux if you can find it!
Tuesday i went to the office to see the old gang and had a great visit then off to my old tues. afternoon stomping grounds in Belton. The folks who work there were amazed, veramente, at how relaxed and happy I appeared (and am). As i said , you can't wipe this smile off my face! Thanks to all my family and friends back in Italy!!! Tues night I had dinner with Sue and her family who hail originally from Sicily. Today, saw my old office manager and my bird watching Dr. cohort, mike, then got my hair cut shorter than when i was 14 yrs old! Time for a change.
I also talked with classmates from Japan, Marche, Caserta and Milano and was thinking how blessed I was to have friends all over the world!
Dinner with Kevin my friend of 45 yrs + and we had a Tignanello from 97 which was quite bevibile and some sushi at the newest , hottest restaurant in KC. Tomorrow I get to visit mio amico Jasper for dinner.
What a life! ds

unistudent said...

Ciao Dwight!
Happy to know you arrived safe (more o less..) in KC. Have a nice dinner this evening at Jasper's and, of course, Merry Xmas!
luca

Dwight said...

25 dicembre, 2006
Merry Christmas everyone! The creatures are stirring at my brother's house and i expect we will be opening the presents soon.
The week has gone well as I have seen many friends and eaten more hormone and antibiotic filled beef than my body can process in the next year. I had a wonderful authentic Italian meal with my friend Jasper (who by the way does carry good italian products for sale) and I have been searching all over St. Louis for authentic italian brands and here is that saga! My brother and I visited the "hill" which is the italian area of St Louis as i wanted to practice my italian. One store, Viviano's, had about 10 employees, none of whom spoke italian but worse, their P-R cheese was a tiny piece whereas their "parmesan" domestic wheel was prominently displayed. They had no good pasta secca and only one olive oil which was decent from umbria and DOC but from 2004. I think most of their canned tomatoes were from China! I then went to another mercato 2 blocks away where one man behind the meat counter, filled with local and canadian prosciutto and local coppa etc., could understand and speak a little italian and when I asked why the San Marzano can of tomatoes was grown in the US, he explained that was the brand name, che palle!! He also said the pasta secca was all industrial because their clients didn't really ask for ariganal brands. To be honest, they did have prosciutto di parma at 30 euros a kilo (12 mo) and P-R cheese (also 12 mo) from Italy for 21 E a kg and i bought both and when I checked out with the cashier, it the mother of the owner was there and she was from Italy and we had a nice conversation in Italian. My day was complete, so now we are going to have my prizes for lunch with grissini look alikes from america and aceto balsamico from gio and fabio. Off to colorado today and back to KC the 3rd of Jan. I am lost without my MSN messenger, skype and yahoo, but hopefully will regain access in CO. Happy holidays to everyone and I hope they are filled with love, family, peace and happiness. Ciao dwight

Dwight said...

12/30/2006
Winding down this wonderful year, full of new friends and new knowledge and empty of stress! I made a trek to my house in Estes Park right before monster storm #2 and slipped on the ice spraining my ankle so severely I couldn't even think of skiing. This is truly worth several tears from anyone reading my blog as the ski conditions are perfect and I had a nice condo to stay in thanks to Dr. Cordell which will have to wait some months for me to heal. I tried to wait for my university to find me a nice vineyard to work in during the months of jan. and feb. but had not heard anything, so today I made my reservations to return to Italy where I will work in the bank of wine in Pollenza or work with my roommate Michele in the import export realm. Either will be interesting and then I will try to spend may and june in a vineyard in Tuscany or Piemonte instead. Happy New Year to all! dds

Jerry said...

Dwight, As I said tonight... "I'm a better person for having known you"... Thank you for your friendship and owning your future... "The tradedy in life is what dies inside a man while yet he lives"... Not true of you... Live the abundant life God has blessed you with as you are!!!

Jerry

Dwight said...

1/2/2007
Grazie a Gerry! We should always be happy when we encounter someone unexpectedly in our life who re-energizes us in our life or faith and I was lucky enough to have that kind of meeting today! Also, I happily spent many hours at St Joseph hospital talking with old friends and colleagues and relating my experiences and joys of the last 9 months.
Chin chin or Salute to all my new and old friends in america and Italy and may everyone have a blessed and happy 2007!
PS I was reminded today that all the hospitals where they serve food to the physicians want us all to die a horrible death from industrial , canned , high fat, trans fat, processed foods at an early age to make room for the new medical school graduates!
Beware i miei amici!!!

Dwight said...

1/3/2007
Good news from Dr. Tom Samuelson today; my ankle is not broken and I can ski as soon as it stops hurting, sometime in 2009!
I had a nice home cooked dinner from my friends the Tacketts tonight with wine from France including Burgundy, Rhone and Bordeaux (incredible Sauterne which married well with the poached pears with creme anglaise!)
Tomorrow, dinner at Avenue Bistro with the wine drinking docs and Friday dinner with friends at Melbee's.
Reminds me of a great country and western song which said "aint no such thing as too much fun."
Forse!!!
d

Dwight said...

8 gennaio, 2007
After a wonderful time seeing all my friends and family and coworkers in America and after sending all my resignation letters to my hospitals, I have returned to Parma where I still await word on what i will do the next 2.5 months. I arrived in Milan, yesterday where I cured my jet lag at Michele's house and today returned by train to Parma and then by bus to the University in Colorno. I really have the mass transit thing down, now. I am waiting for my buddies at UNISG to find my a stage, but in the meantime, I will pass the time in Parma and maybe other parts of Italy for the next week. Either we will find a vineyard in New Zealand where I can learn the ropes or I will instead head up to Pollenzo and work in the bank of wine for 2 months. Either way, I will be content. My ankle is still swollen and sore, but my land speed is back up to 4 km/hour with my normal being 7. Maybe, if I stay in Italy and winter returns (it is more like Spring here, now) I can ski in 2-3 weeks. Thanks to everyone stateside for their wonderful hospitality!
Dwight

Dwight said...

8 gen, 2007
So, what would you do if given a choice between a 1978 Ch. Figeac or a 1978 Cos d'Estournel? That was the difficult choice i was faced with at the home of my childhood friend Larry and his wife Pam over the Christmas holiday. A grand cru from the otherwise unrated St. Emilion zone or a 2nd growth from St. Estephe? Well, I chose the former, having grown fond of that wine over the years because of it's uniqeness. And with a wonderful dinnner, we weren't disappointed! Ahh, wines from the old days, before "the modern style". Search for wines today which avoid the overjammy, high alcohol styles so popular with modern wine writers and I will search as well, Maybe someday i will make one or 2! d

Dwight said...

1/12/2007
Well on the penultimo day, I finally have received word of a stage for this month and next which is a type of externship required for completion of my master's in gastronomic science and quality products.... remember that stuff? I will be going to Sicily to work with a winemaker and wine distributor named Mark DiGrazie and by great fortune he will be planting 2 Hectares of vines starting Monday when i am scheduled to arrive in Catania, Sicily where i will rent a car and drive to the cantina at the base of Mt. Etna. I expect to stay the 1st 2 weeks there and then when he leaves for vacation, i hope to slip into another winery in Tuscany or Piemonte or maybe even work in the bank of wine until he returns to rack the wines in February, At that time, i will head back to Sicily to help and learn about that aspect of winemaking. This is, of course, exciting news, and i am packed and ready for travel. 1st, however, we have scheduled one of our infamous Colorno Pub parties tonight to welcome back our tutor Fabio and say goodbye to our tutor Corrado who returns to Pollenzo. Included as good reasons to party are my finding a stage (i was the last) and Rafaele's birthday #31. Saturday, I am going with Rafa and our Japanese compatriot Aki to the Marche region of Italy, my 1st visit there, and Monday at 0600 I will board a bus from there to Rome, change to a train for the airport and then fly to Sicily. Weather there is ranging from 8-16 degrees centigrade right now.
As always when I go to a new place, I won't know until i arrive whether there is internet access or not, so, my postings may have to wait a couple of weeks.
Stay well, all. dds

Dwight said...

1/19/2007
Hello from Sicillia! I am working and learning about field work in the vineyard this week at a winery called tenuta delle terre nere which is located near the town of Randazzo on the norhtern flank of Mt. Etna (which is covered with snow on it’s upper half right now and has a constant flow of billowing steam from the summit). People are skiing there, though i haven’t yet been up to that altitude. Prior to my arrival here, I spent a wonderful weekend with my friend and classmate Rafaele and his family in the Marche region of Italy. The ski slope in the mountains near his home was almost completely green as Italy has had a strangely warm winter in almost all the provinces. We tried some local wine which was quite good and explored his hometown of Ascoli which is molta bella!
Here I am working as a guest of the owner of the property, Mark de Grazie, who started life as a major distributor of Italian wines and also a wine consultant. He and his winemaker are making stellar wines and he thinks the region of Etna could someday rival the major wine regions of the world for quality.
I have spent the last 3 days pruning vines in the winter pruning and we have cut all the old canes away and left 2-5 pruned branches per plant with 2 gems or eyes, each ready for the Spring growth. If I ever do this vineyard thing I am planning, i may have to spring fhe 1300 euros for the electric pruning scissors as my hands have taken a beating!
My ankle is becoming more serviceable now 3 weeks after my little incident in the mountains of Colorado and i am thinking it may be ready to try skiing again in 2-3 weeks or at least when I return to the US in mid March.
I cannot read or answer hotmail in this part of Sicily for unknown reasons, so feel free to use my dstanford1@kc.rr.com address which seems to work OK.
1/20/07
Another 1/2 day of pruning which while necessary can get a littly boring after the 1st 20 hours or so. Luckily the new vines arrived today for planting so I spent the afternoon in a different line of work. A specialist from Rimini arrived to lay out the vineyards and measuring 2meters 20 between rows and 80 cm between plants, we planted about 500 new vines in the 2.5 hours of sunlight which remained. Awaiting are about 10,000 more plants for the next weeks work. The plants are placed into the ground with a long metal rod which has a 2 pronged fork at the end to catch the swelling above the roots and if the ground has been properly prepared by excavation and plowing, they go right in up to the graft site. Unfortunately, the field was not excavated properly this year and the hardpan was preventing easy insertion. Normally one person can plant 1,000 plants per day with good soil conditions. The field we were in is full of volcanic rock which probably helps the quality of the wine, but makes this job harder. Today is Saturday and I think we will probably plant over 1500 vines today and then tomorrow, I will try to find an internet hotspot to send this posting, retrieve emails and see Siracuso, a famous city in SE Sicily.
1/28
Yesterday was Saturday and we planted aluminum poles in the vineyard to support the wires which will in turn support the vines when they grow up. In a week I helped plant over 5,000 grapevines. The winery is named terre nere which means black earth and I can honestly say I have not been this dirty since I was a kid (maybe after the 1st 10 days in Saudi Arabia in Desert Storm without showers, I was a different kind of dirty). My jeans are now twice their arrival weight and will take all the skills I learned from my father in his laundry to get clean. The socks may have to be sacrificed and replaced! I was able to try the wines maturing in barrels yesterday and the winery does produce some nice and complex examples from the area. I am not sure this would be an area I am interested in exploring for a vineyard however. Some observations about Sicily: it seems everyone eats bread with every meal, you get used to people driving toward you on your side of the road after a while, as in the US, some of the best workers are not the natives, but the stranieri (foreigners) from Albania and Romania as examples who are much like our illegals from south of the border who work hard and send the money back home to families there, the best pistachios in the world come from Sicily from Bronte and the plants only produce a crop every 2 years, so wait for September 2007, Blood oranges fresh from Sicily are one of those things which have to be experienced right here and you can get 10 kg for 5 eruos! I am always reminded in the US we have no long history like Europe where the churches are 1000 years old and the ruins predate Christ.
The 2 guys who are planting the vineyard are named Vanny and Sanday and the former is from Albania and the latter Romania and it was interesting learning about their countries, especially since my geography skills are so limited.
Tomorrow I head back to Milan Monday from the eastern coastal city of Catania in Sicily and then back to Parma and Colorno Tuesday. the 1st of February I hope to start the second house of this stage in tuscany with an enologist who consults for many different wineries. That should be a blast. I am learning what things cost to see if this thought of mine to buy a winery is feasible. I have a little idea what kind of work is involved now and think I could be a contadino.
1/29
I spent a wonderful Sunday in la Sicilia yesterday! I left my agriturismo at 8:15 and drove many winding roads to the city of Piazza Armerina where one finds a treasure of mosaics in an ancient ruin. From there I continued south thru some really beautiful countryside to the coast near Gela and then northwest to Agrigento. There I was truly blessed with the opportunity to meet the family of my classmate Angela in the neighboring city of Favara where I was treated to some wonderful home cooking including a pasta with fresh sardines (don’t even think of sardines and anchovies from america--quelle sono le alltre robe!) fresh fish, fennel with olives and homegrown oranges, salmon, and a canoli which is something that must be experienced while in Sicily ( a cookie crust in the shape of an oblique tube filled with sweetened ricotta) and did i mention the stuffed calamari? soft, not chewy, and wonderful. Angela’s sister is studying archeology and she and her father accompanied me to the valley of temples which contains many ancient Greek ruins which include temples to Zeus, Hercules, Vulcan, etc. Afterwards we returned to the house where we had a spirited discussion ranging from clothing styles of the young to US and Italian politics before I drove the 3.25 hours back to Randazzo. Che bello! I am busy trying to regain clean hands and feet after my 2 week stint in the black dirt of Etna, while also trying to heal an ankle, an infected thumb and bruised palms (from planting grapevines!!!) I am heading back to Parma and hope to post all this tomorrow. Tonight is the birthday party for my Calabrese classmate Luigi which I hope to attend. Life is good, Sicily is beautiful and I hope all is well for my readers back home! Ciao e un bacione! d

Dwight said...

2/9
Where am I now? I am working in a winery near Gaiole in tuscany at a winery named Rocca di Castagnoli and have met some wonderful people here. I am usually working with their agronomist Giacamo, but have also worked in the cellar with Nicola and others. The work includes everything from trimming the old grapevines of their previous year’s growth as I did in Sicily to sweeping ceilings clean of cobwebs. I have also refilled barriques or wine barrels as there is always some loss due to evaporation or leakage, cleaned the large bottes, (like huge barrels with 23-52 Hl of wine in each), worked on a packaging line where we used a machine which places capsules, wine labels and special other indicators of the wine such as the rooster for chianti classico and then put the bottles in boxes for shipping. This reminded me of the work I did in Carrollton at the cookie factory where I was in charge of the box glueing machine. As in Sicily, I am without internet which drives me nuts, but today I found an internet point in a gelatteria in Rada which is only 12 km away. I need to catch up on emails, so if I have answered you, it because I am in the backwoods when it comes to technology, but the forefront of wines. My friend and classmate Rafaele is working in the marketing dept. at a cantina nearby Ricasole, so it is nice to have someone to share dinners and conversation with and plans for the future. This weekend I plan on exploring the region a little more and the following weekend there is a get-together in Bra and Pollenza (site of the other slow food university) involving many countrie’s delegations for slow food. This will also be a chance to celebrate the birthday of our friend, mascot and classmate Aki from Japan. I have rented a car for the 1st time in mainland Italy and the roads here have turned me into a Michael Schumaker type, all curves! Hopefully I will survive to return home in March, but it sure would be fun to have my US car here. Not much else to report, just Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone (also my 1/2 birthday and Aki’s bd.)
2/13/07
Well, I had the weekend free, so I went around Tuscany a bit with my friend Rafaele and his fidanzata Lisa. Saturday we explored Siena, a beautiful city sort of on the western edge of the chianti region and had a lunch at a nice osteria there and then Sunday we visited Montalcino, home of the famous wines called Brunello di Montalcino and attended mass at a monastery where they still sing the mass in gregorian chant in latin. Then we journeyed to Arezzo which is on the other side of chianti and has some interesting sites including an old fortress, churches of interest and a famous crucifix which is one of a kind and shows Jesus in “movement” for lack of a better word, but his body is flexed and contorted rather than rigid and fixed upright. There was a parade for Carnivale for the kids in the city as well.
Monday I travelled south with the agronomist for the cantina to inspect a new purchase of 20 hectares of vineyard south of Grosseto and this region is known as the Maremma and has famous vineyard owners such as Antinori etc. I asked a realtor to look into the region’s available land for me to get an idea what a small vineyard costs there as Chianti and the Brunello regions are out of sight. Driving home from Grosseto which also has a nice historical center with a fort, I tried to post this and answer my email at the ice cream shop in Radda, but evidently noone eats ice cream on Monday nights as it was closed. I risked my life to get there as the fog was so thick at times, I couldn’t even see the side of the road! Not having internet access really stinks!
Today, after an all night rain, it is uncertain what we can do in the fields, so I may stay in the cantina.
2/14
I have to take it back, they do make a good cabernet in Italy and the name is Buriano from the winery where I am working now. I was blown away by the 1997. I doubt it is available, but if you can find this wine in this year, buy one for you and one for me! Tomorrow I will help with bottling of the chianti wine, my first experience with that process. Friday I return to Parma for the night then on to Pollenzo for a Slow Food Convention with 6 countries represented. One more week at the cantina and then I will start working on a presentation to give to the university as my final project. Ciao. dds.

Dwight said...

Well, i finished my final stage in Sicily and Tuscany working in the vineyards and winery doing manual labor, This is a good way to find out how much work is involved in making wine! I am posting my thesis for those of you who are bored and then returning to KC. If anyone wants to buy a house in the Cloisters, let me know. Thanks for following along in this incredible year! dwight
LA MIA VITENDA 2008
PREFACE: This is the story of my search for a new life as an owner-operator of a winery and vineyard. Much different from my previous life, this is farming with all the uncertainties of weather, vineyard maladies, availability of workers, and also equipment requirements, decisions about wine varieties and styles and perhaps most important it requires a significant outlay of money and hard work. Another apt title might be “What will 1,000,000 euros buy, but that quickly becomes too depressing, so instead here is what I learned about the yearly cycle of work in the vineyard and winery along with some of the realities of finances.

eri... e polvere ritornerai...ma tra una polvere e l’altra un buon bicchiere di vino non fa male.” proverbio yiddish

January
This is a month when you might go on vacation, but on returning it is time to start the “potatura” or trimming of last year’s canes on the vines. Pruning decisions are made based on the type of training system employed for the vines; Cordon, Guyot, albarello or goblet, etc. If the year’s previous yield was adequate and the vine was not overly vigourous, normally one prunes back to two eyes for every gem left on the main trained branch. (The 2 buds or eyes on either side of the cane just below the pruning cut reliably burst because of the hormonal flow of the plant.) Normally for Sangiovese, four gems are left, while with Merlot and Cabernet one leaves five gems as their grape bunches are smaller, yielding less juice, and the vines are more vigorous . If too few buds are left relative to the carbohydrate stores in the plant, then shoots in Spring will grow too quickly with leaves which are too large and stems too thick. This leads to a leaf/fruit ratio which is too high and can lead to poor coulure wherein the tiny early berries are lost, while too many buds (over cropping) gives leaves which are too small, spindly stems, and grapes which ripen too slowly.
As with practically all work done manually in the vineyard, this activity requires about 50 man hours for every hectare, but this number can increase significantly in a vineyard with steep or difficult terrain. Very large vineyards will employ mechanized trimming first which takes about 5 hours per ha and cuts the manual pruning time in half. Pruning weakens the vine by removing carbohydrate stores, so experiments have been carried out where no potatura is performed. This leaves a very unsightly vineyard, but it turns out the following years’ yields are not affected. (Decision #1 Trim or don’t trim? Tradition and aesthetics tilt the balance for me in favor or pruning.)
January is also a time to repair broken support poles and cables. While cable costs are negligible, untreated wooden poles cost from 2.80 euros for smaller caliber supports to nearly 5 euros for the more sturdy end supports. To replace an entire end support pole (with anchor, heavier cable and tightening gripples) costs 15 euros.
Finally, in the vineyard the ligature can begin and as with the other January tasks will continue through the next 2 months.

In the winery, this is a time to systematically check all the barriques or barrels and bottes and refill them completely, the “colmature”. This prevents the growth of Acetobacter which can convert the young wines ethanol into acetic acid or vinegar. This is one of the few bacteria which can survive the high alcohol and low acidity present in wine but has a strong requirement for oxygen and is very sensitive to SO2 which in small doses will prevent growth. (Decision #2 Use SO2 or no? Having tried the wines which do not use sulfur in their wines and knowing grapes will produce some SO2 in their natural growth processes anyway, I will use very low amounts of sulfur both in the vineyard and in the wines to protect them from bacterial contamination)

January is a time to cold stabilize the wines in their refrigerated tanks, if desired. This acts to crystallize tartaric acid which if left in the wine for bottling can precipitate in the bottle and may adversely affect its sale (in countries like the USA where these natural crystals are not as well understood). When cooled to temperatures near freezing for 3-4 days, these crystals will settle at the bottom of the tanks and are left behind during racking or filtering.

February

The potatura continues or commences in february. Waiting to start pruning is advisable in zones where late frosts can occur. After trimming, the vines while still dormant are ready for Spring growth when the average daily temperatures reach 10 degrees C. New shoots can be killed or severely damaged by frost and delaying trimming will delay budbreak.
Work to repair broken posts and cables continues. This is also a time to improve drainage in the vineyard in areas where water efflux was not adequate.

In the winery, the colmature or refilling continues as evaporation tends to be worse in the winter months. This should be done at least once a month and can be done as often as weekly. If desired clarification of wines can be done in a process called fining. This effectively removes proteinaceous material in the wine, another cause for cloudiness after bottling. This is often done with egg whites, gelatin and other substances as strange as fish bladders and bentonite. Charcoal can be used for wines with off-odors. Unfortunately, any time you remove something from a wine, in this case tannins, pigmented tannins, phenolics, and heat unstable proteins, you remove flavor constituents and complexity for the wine. In return you get an aesthetic clear wine. (Decision #3 To fine or not to fine? I think this depends on what you want from your wine and my predilection at present is to fine the white and maybe the less complex red and leave the cru unfined)
This is also a time for racking which is another way to leave behind the solids in the wine and clarify further the final product. The 1st racking is usually done just after fermentation is completed to remove the majority of the dead yeast cells which after time can impart off flavors to the wine. The 2nd racking is done after fining and cold stabilization. For white wines, the 3rd racking is from tank to bottling line in the case of non barrel aged wines while for reds this involves transfer from barrel back to tanks and then the 4th racking for reds will be from tank to bottling line. Every racking involves aeration and the potential for oxidation. As white wines are much more sensitive to oxidation, it is advisable to layer an inert gas such as nitrogen, argon or CO2 on the upper surface of the wine prior to racking. These gases then serve as an oxygen barrier. A minimal number of rackings is preferable.

March

In the vineyard, the potatura continues, especially for the vines in zones most susceptible to late frost. As a cost consideration, manual pruning shears cost about 35 euros and battery operated models cost 1,300 euros. With vines of cabernet sauvignon, where the wood is extremely tough to cut, the automatic shears can improve worker productivity enough to justify their increased cost.
Young vines planted the previous year are are now tied to their support posts which can be either of metal or wood (cost 0.10 each)
Herbicides are now used in the winery rows where plowing can not be performed successfully. The chemicals used are very safe for the operator and environment, leaving no residual, and are weed selective. One class acts against weed seeds and are called pre-emergent, others are active against growing plants and are post-emergent. The latter are effective in 10 days and are inactivated by the soil. They must be applied when there is no threat of rain.
March is also an ideal time for planting new vineyards. This process can be done manually with an implanting fork or with more complex systems such as automatic or hand placement from behind a specially modified tractor with excavating blades and GPS systems to indicate exact placement sites for the new plants. Preparation of the terrain and costs for implantation vary greatly and for a piece of bare ground includes excavation which has been done several months in advance, planting, and placement of support poles and cables. Most of the planting is done by outside contractors and usually they will plant for a fee calculated on the terrain characteristics such as steep or flat, rocky or softer soil and start at about 25,000 euros per ha. Manual planting in reasonably prepared soil can be done at a rate of 1,000 plants/person/day. Planting with a GPS controlled tractor costs 0.25-0.35 per plant depending on the number of vines planted and terrain characteristics such as rockiness and steepness. Each plant costs 0.80-1.00 euro and start with a resistant rootstock, usually from the new world which is then joined with the desired vinifera graft, as follows. Dormant, virus free cuttings are saved from the previous year’s growth and kept in cold storage. Before grafting, they are soaked in a fungicide and debudded. The scion or innestings, which will give the rootstock it’s grape variety, are cut into one bud pieces. Cuts of matching shape are made by a machine in the cutting and scion and the two are joined like puzzle pieces. The new grafts are stored in humid warm rooms for about 2 weeks until a callus or healed scar forms and afterwards are dipped in wax distally to prevent excess drying to await planting in a field nursery where the roots will develop in the next 9-12 months.
Decisions are made on vine density, aisle spacing, and rootstock. Choosing varietal type and rootstock is very important and needs to be based on environmental factors (temperatures, humidity, soil types, common diseases, drought and lime tolerance and vigor desired), zone regulations for IGT, DOC and DOCG wines, and of course “the marketplace”. Italy is a major producer of rootstock and has more severe regulations than France, controlling for 7 viruses versus 3 for France and with a longer length requirement of 33cm vs. 25cm. (Decision #4 What type of rootstock and plant density? Phylloxera resistant, low vigor, with some nematode resistance. Gloire de Montpelier, Milandet et de Grasset or 1616 Couderc; all of which exhibit low vigor, and good phylloxera resistance seem most suitable, but I must wait to see what kind of mesoclimate and terrain type I find. Density of 5-6,000 plants/ha)

In the winery, it is time for bottling. When one thinks of the costs of production of each bottle of wine, this is probably the major expense. Obviously for a large winery with a large production, a bottling machine is a necessity, but for a smaller winery, this process can be done by mobile bottling machines which charge by the bottle at approximately 0.35/bottle depending on volume. Bottles are selected for wine variety and normal bottles cost 0.25, regular labels 0.10, capsules 0.03 and corks of moderate quality average 0.40. An average cost for all labor in the vineyard would equal 1.00 euro per bottle (This is based on the following: 4 grape clusters per vine for a total of 2kg yields 2 bottles of wine, with 5,000 vines/ha and a cost for all vineyard activities for one year ranging from 5,000-12,000 euros per hectare.) Choices which can affect this total are higher grade corks, customized labels with special artwork, heavier or custom bottles, etc. The winery must obviously be able to sell their wine well above this cost to realize a profit. Wines which sell for less must have economies of scale or excessively high yields to lower the number much below this 2 euro mark.

April

The last of the trimming and ligation and training of the vines is completed in the first part of April. This is also the time when the zappatura or hand hoeing is done to remove new weeds from around the vines where machines are unable to reach. During the zappatura careful inspection of the vines is performed for identification of any infestations which need to be chemically controlled. The work in the vineyard requires full time employees. Manual laborers serve in many capacities and a winery will need to hire one person for every 5 ha, as each hectare requires 280 hours of labor per year. Average salaries at present are about 20,000-25,000 euros per year and in some zones where living expenses are prohibitive, housing needs to be provided as well. An experienced agronomist/manager costs a minimum of 35,000-45,000 euros per year, so a vineyard of 10 ha with a manager and 2 employees would spend 75,000-95,000 euros in labor costs. An enologist can also be hired as a consultant with costs varying depending on vineyard size.

Winery activities are minimal in april although it is a time to sell the newly bottled wines. Some of the decisions which each winery needs to make include maturation of the wines in barrique or botte (their sizes, provenance, and degree of toasting) or in stainless steel, whether to ferment in barrel or not and whether to allow malolactic fermentation. Wine and oak seem to have a natural affinity, with oak imparting flavors, aromas and complexity to the wine. The flavors are derived from lipids in oak called lactones (which are found in higher concentrations in toasted american oak barrels and lower concentrations in wood which has been seasoned in the elements for 1-2 years), phenolic aldehydes such as vanillin, terpenes which are essential oils, and with furfurals (more evident with toasted barrels) imparting flavors reminiscent of bitter almonds and caramel and acting as flavor enhancers. The furfurals provide more vivid taste perceptions of other phenolic compounds which in time change and give flavors and aromas of smoked meat or leather. Of course, oak also imbues the wine with more tannins and phenolics which impart some color and astringency while also protecting the wine from oxidation. The gold standard for barriques is the French oak bordelais barrique of 225 L. and sells for 5-600 euros. Barrels from america and slovenia are also of high quality, while imparting different, sometimes harsher characteristics to the wine, but cost much less than French barrels (barrels from the USA are thought more suitable for the powerful wines of Spain as an example and might overpower a pinot noir or sangiovese). For less “oaky” flavors, larger containers can be used with Tonneau - 500 L barrels costing about 800 euros, bottes of 26 and 53 Hl costing 4,500 euros and 6-8,000 euros, respectively. Toast can be light, medium or heavy with the heavier toasts acting as a buffer between the wine and the oak. Oak containers also allow a slow addition of oxygen into the wine. Wine has on average about 6 ml of oxygen/liter and in a 225 L barrel, yearly absorption equals about 25ml of oxygen/L allowing a very slow and limited oxidation while adding oak phenolics. When barrels are purchased, they must be cleaned and inspected for leaks and some wineries prepare their white wine barrels by filling them with a NaCL solution for 2-3 days prior to use.
All through the seasons winery temperature and humidity should be maintained close to 18 degrees C. and 75% humidity to help prevent excessive evaporation of wine from the barrels and bottes. (Decision #5 What type of oak barrel to use for my wines? The cru will probably go into French oak with a medium toast, but I will have to wait for the varietal to decide on tonneau vs. barrique. A percentage of the white wine will go into more mature French barrels and then a blend will be made before bottling, the drinkable red will be aged in larger botte and the grappa may go into the used barrels for 1-2 years)

May

In the vineyard, the vines are erupting with new growth and depending on the climate and the zone, different operations are required. Some wineries specifically plant an undercrop between the rows of vines, preferring not to use herbicides and thus decrease cultivation costs. Other advantages include decreased evaporation of water from the topsoil, less erosion, and addition of nitrogen and nutrients to the soil when plowed under. Deep rooting plants such as mustard or chicory use up subsoil water and encourage the grapevine to send taproots ever deeper due to the water stress which may also encourage earlier ripening of the grape bunches. Disadvantages include an increased frost risk in Spring and these plants can serve as hosts to insects which spread diseases harmful to the vines especially flavescence doree. In drought conditions the undercrop can steal too much energy from the vines, but this is easily remedied by plowing under this growth which is done in May if an undercrop is not desired. (Decision #6 Clean terrain or undercrop? Right now I am undecided and will need to know the insect vector risk in the zone I find before making a choice. My natural instinct is to avoid fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides where possible, but loss of an entire crop from an incorrect choice could be a financial disaster. My thoughts are to control for powdery mildew or oidium (when grape bunches are infected, this causes a loss of fruity aromas, replacing them with mouldy, earthy and oily flavors and in plants infected before flowering it can interfere with fruit set), black rot, another fungal disease, and grape vine yellows as a start)
Budbreak and leaf appearance occurs or has occurred and is preceded by “bleeding” of the vines at the pruning sites. Now starts a very active growing season. If vine bleeding is designated Day 0, one sees the 1st leaf at about day 11, 2 leaves on day 12 and 9 leaves or more by day 19. Shoot growth rates can reach 3cm/day. As vines elongate, they need to be trained between or tied to the cables above as desired. Cordon training which is noticed by a gentle curve of the vine trunk starting 20 cm below the 1st cable, is easily adaptable to many vine varieties. As examples, sangiovese would normally be trained in a system using 2 single cables below a paired set of cables while merlot and cabernet would use a single cable below 2 paired cables because of their more exuberant vegetative growth. The vines would either be guided between the paired cables or ligated to a single cable at this time and as growth continues apace, continued training is required until they extend beyond the top cables.
New vineyard planting should be completed if possible by the end of May to avoid the summer heat which can lead to loss of plant material.
Fungicides may need to be applied in this time frame. Adverse weather conditions where the vines stay damp for long periods of time without drying which can lead to fungal infections. Careful monitoring of rainfall and dew conditions, temperature and size of the grapes can predict when these optimal conditions for fungal infestation are present and a protectant can be applied. If infection is already evident, eradicants or systematics need to be used which can penetrate the plant tissues and have the drawback of resistance of the fungi. Also with systemic fungicides, if residual chemical remains in the grapes themselves, this can inhibit later fermentation by the yeasts.

In the winery, cleaning of empty fermenting tanks and conservation of the empty bottes is performed. This can be done with high pressure steam or hot water cleaning and in the case of bottes internal burning of sulfur disks. Racking may be necessary for wines which are undergoing prolonged ageing in barriques. Now is the time to make sure all is in preparation for the harvest which includes having adequate empty fermentation tanks, bottes or barriques as desired and proper functioning of all the equipment. Ordering of necessary equipment or broken parts needs to be done well in advance.

June

With the rapid growth in the vineyard, one needs to trim the growing vines when they are approximately 30 cm above the upper wire cables. This is part of canopy management and overall is designed to improve yield, grape composition and wine quality. The positioning of shoots continues and the “cimatura” or pruning of the shoot tips is designed to redirect the energy of the plant gained by photosynthesis into grape development. The distal 1cm of the shoot is a very effective competitor for the plant’s energy and is removed with a sickle at this point and again when the shoots reach 20cm above the upper wire. Up to 3 trimmings may be needed, but after veraison this exuberant growth usually stops spontaneously.
Another important pruning is removal by hand of the “suckers” or non-fruit bearing shoots from the upper new growth and any shoots which appear from the trunk of the vine which also rob energy from the plant’s fruit.
Flowering can be expected between days 40-80 and depends on the vine variety and on an average daily temperature of 15-20 degrees C. This is the process preceding the fertilization of vine flowers which leads thereafter to berry development. When 17-20 visible internodes are present on a shoot, flowering is imminent. Individual flowers open followed by shedding of the flower caps (calyptra), then pollen is released and the ovules are fertilized. This stage of vine development is an extremely important time for the winemaker as poor flowering again can be a financial disaster and is adversely by cold, wet and windy weather.

In the winery, racking as required of ageing wine and repair of equipment for harvest are continued.

July

Fruitset, “nouaison”, is noticeable in the vineyard shortly after flowering and signifies successful pollination and transition of the flower into a grape berry. Approximately 30% of the flowers will become berries and those flowers which fail to transform fall from the plant. Fruitset is hampered by hot, dry conditions with excessive water stress and also by cold, cloudy and rainy weather. As in June, another cimatura may be required as well as desuckering (when the suckers reach 10-15cm in length). Carefully monitoring weather conditions favoring fungal infestation with appropriate treatment remains essential.
Canopy management is utilized to affect a microclimate in the vineyard suitable for optimal grape ripening and as the grapes get larger, attention is paid to the leaf/fruit ratio with a desired ratio of 10-15 square cm per gram of grapes. As a leaf absorb 90% of the sunlight available to them, it follows that anything below receives only 10% and below 2 leaves just 1%. Canopy has the greatest effect on sunlight, wind and evaporation. Grape bunches exposed to the sun can reach temperatures 5-10 degrees higher than the ambient air temperature. It may be advisable to remove the leaves exposed to the morning sun on the eastern side of the canopy while leaving the western side relatively shaded for hotter climates. The appropriate sun exposure can also limit the risk of such grape infestations as powdery mildew and botrytis, while improving grape quality. Budbreak and fruitfulness are both decreased by excessive shading, so removing leaves in the fruit zone while also performing the cimatura and desuckering helps in grape development. If none of these are adequate measures because the vines are overvigorous, a change of trellising systems may be warranted the following year. Cautious trimming is needed as overexposure of the grapes to an extremely hot sun can lead to shrivelling or loss of color (berry pinking). In extremely dry conditions, irrigation can be used to avoid crop loss.
(Decision #7 Irrigate or not? I have to study the regulations for the zone, but I have discovered a very interesting method of irrigation which I might use for the cru wine. Partial rootzone drying is a form of 2 sided drip irrigation designed to provide moisture to 1/2 of the vines roots while the other 1/2 is allowed to dry. This imbalance prevents the plant from releasing the hormone abscisic acid which regulates leaf stomal opening and during excessively dry conditions stomal closure stunts shoot and grape growth. Soil moisture content is checked with probes and when the soil moisture level falls below a certain level on the “dry side”, the irrigation channel is switched to that side and so on. The system is very efficient at water conservation and has been shown to increase amino acid content and concentration of volatile compounds in the grapes which help in fermentation and wine complexity, respectively. This would only be necessary in drier zones or in an abnormally dry growing season)
The grapes become completely closed after gradually increasing in size during this time period.

In the winery, bottling of older wines can be done with subsequent conservation of empty barriques and bottes. This is also a time for a thorough cleaning of the winery.

August

August, in the vineyard is the last chance for chemical treatments if needed or desired. The grapes need several weeks to clear all chemicals before harvest. Further removal of excessive leaf growth is recommended to allow complete maturation of the grape bunches.
Veraison or change in color and softening of the grapes occurs around day 81 and from this point to harvest, grapes are monitored frequently for signs of maturity. Color change occurs as anthocyanin pigments develop in the grapes. Also, sugar concentrations rapidly increase as acidity decreases. Veraison is the time when a green harvest is should be done to remove excessive grape bunches or bunches very slow to ripen. This green harvest will channel plant energy to the remaining grape bunches improving their ability to ripen. There is little evidence to support this activity if the vineyard is in good balance, as the grape composition has not been shown to change significantly. If a green harvest too soon, there is a chance remaining berries will become too tight and will be more sensitive to bunch rot due to botrytis.

In the winery all must be made ready for the harvest and aged wines are bottled. Analysis of grape composition may also begin in August and serve as a guide for harvest time.

September

September is an extremely active time in the vineyard as harvest decisions are critically important for wine quality. Weather conditions and forecasts are carefully followed as are the grape’s composition of sugars and acids. In ideal years acids and sugars and phenolic compounds are in excellent equilibrium. Sugars in the grape determine the eventual alcohol content or grade of the wine and can be calculated from the Brix level (the % of soluble solids in 100 gms of solute). The formula used is: % sugar in wt./vol.=Brix - 2.1 X density and each 1.7% of sugar will yield 1% ethanol. A refractometer is a simple, portable instrument which measures Brix based on the refractive index of sugar.
Tartaric and malic acids are the two most important acids in grapes and at veraison are approximately in equal concentrations. At maturity this has changed with tartaric acid concentrations ideally reaching 2-4 times that of malic. The ratio of Brix/total acidity increases with time in a gentle curve and as the curve levels out, harvest can be performed. Ideal levels for white wine include a Brix of 19-22, total acid 0.7-0.9 and a pH of 3.1-3.6 while for red wine levels of 21-23.5, 0.6-0.8 and 3.3-3.6 are ideal. These values are checked in samples of 250-500 berries, each picked from different clusters, sun exposure and from different vine locations in the vineyard. They are weighed to establish the average weight/berry, crushed with a hand press and values are recorded on a flow sheet and checked from twice a week early after veraison to daily as maturation nears. Timing of harvest can then be planned accordingly. Obviously, if significant rain is in the forecast, the harvest may have to proceed with haste before ideal values are reached (such are the risks of farming). A simple laboratory is all that is required for these calculations, while more complex analysis of phenolic compounds or glycosyl/glucose ration (a rough measure of flavor precursors) can be obtained by larger lab facilities.
Harvest can be manual or performed by machine for very large vineyards. An experienced picker on level terrain can pick up to 2 tons/day. Manual picking is felt by some winemakers to be more gentle on the grape bunches preventing breakage. (Studies have failed to show major differences between hand and machine picked wines, however) Time of transfer to the vineyard is an important factor to prevent premature fermentation.
(Decision #8 When to perform the harvest? Given ideal weather conditions and the chance to choose, I hope to pick my grapes before the acid content falls too far. Long “hang times” currently are in vogue which yield a certain style, “fruit bombs”, as I call them. As malic acid in the grapes is completely converted and sugar content and resulting alcohol content rise, the wines become out of balance and too jammy for me. Careful monitoring of the above compounds should allow me to make wine in a long-lived fresh, more equilibrated style)
Careful handling of the grapes from vineyard to winery is key and the grapes are now ready for pressing and destemming. The juice is ready for fermentation. (This is a period I hope to experience and learn more about in the Fall of this year.)
Small amounts of S02 can be added to the juice at this stage to prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage and slightly increase the fruitiness evident in white wines.
Wine yeasts from the Saccharamoces family are often used from several industrially prepared strains available, depending on qualities desired.
(Decision #9 What yeasts to use? Pris de Mousse for the white and Pasteur Champagne for the reds, but I am in uncharted territory and will need the advice of an enologist here.) Use of natural yeasts may lead to a stuck fermentation as many perish at alcohol levels above 4-5 degrees. Yeasts grow in a fairly predictable fashion given ideal conditions of temperature and adequate nutrition. The lag period is first wherein the yeast cells acclimate to the juice environment, followed by the exponential growth phase which converts about 1/2 of the sugar very quickly into ethanol. The stationary phase is next with a slowing of yeast cell growth as nutrients become scarcer and then finally the declination stage is marked by a severe shortage of nutrients and rising levels of Etoh which poisons and kills the yeast cells. Stuck fermentations can be a problem and likely causes include a lack of oxygen which can often be remedied by racking white wine or “pumping over” for red wine, a lack of nutrients, usually nitrogenous compounds which requires addition of Nitrogen, unviable yeast cells which would require addition of a new “starter” and finally, very low temperatures.
The fermenting tanks of 50 Hl cost from 3,000 euros for a simple stainless steel tank to 12,000 for a temperature controlled, refrigerated variety. The latter is required for white wines to keep the temperature for fermentation between 8-14 degrees. Red wine fermentation should be between 22-28 degrees and also can benefit from temperature control. If one has 8 Ha yielding 100 quintals/Ha of grapes and 75 quintals of juice, one needs at least 12 of these “tini” (another 100,000 euros).

October

Harvest in many zones is in October rather than September and much depends on the variety planted and ripening characteristics, some such as Cabernet sauvignon ripen later. Other concerns during harvest include excessive heat during harvest which might be avoided by early morning or even night harvesting.
After harvest if a “new wine” or vino novello is to be made, september and october starts this process. This is still fairly novel in Italy but wines made with carbonic maceration have been enormously successful from France.
For a wine with different attributes, malolactic “fermentation” is often used to convert malic acid to lactic in the wines and thus soften some of the acid sensation in the wine and add complexity but with a slight loss of fruitiness. Malic acid is a 4 carbon acid which when converted by lactic acid bacteria yields to the 3 carbon lactic acid and CO2. This bacteria is somewhat resistant to low pH and ethanol but very sensitive to sulfur, low temperatures and very low pH. The reaction must be prevented in wines not destined for M-L conversion by addition of SO2, early fining and filtering or racking to remove nutrients necessary for the bacteria, temperatures below 14 degrees C. or pH levels in white wine below 3.1 or in red wines 3.3. Otherwise, this “2nd fermentation” can occur in bottle causing undesirable bubbles. When desired, to add flavors and complexity, it can be initiated in a new vineyard by addition of the bacterial strain, but in older wineries, the bacteria is almost universally present in the bottes and barriques.

November

If new plantings are planned for the following Spring, the excavation is best done several months ahead in November. Excavation is an intensive process and requires large earth moving machines which can remove large stones, excavate to a depth of at least one meter and dig drainage channels where the largest stones will be buried. Excavators can cost upwards of 100 euros per hour and require approximately 1 week to process 1 ha. The expense is usually figured into the estimate given for implantation if an outside agency is used. Well prepared terrain will give satisfactory results for 40 years. Soil types vary considerably and are classified based on particle size. Ideal ground (soil and bedrock) for vineyards has a high porosity for storing water and drainage characteristics which are adequate bu not too fast. Chalk, which is found only in Champagne and S. England fits this perfectly. Clay soils with many stones and adequate metal ions are also excellent. Soils play a major role also in heat reflection and retention with sandy soil reflecting more than clay e.g. Vine roots usually extend into bedrock and this is enhanced by proper excavation.

In the cantina, racking is performed and if a vino novello was made, it is time for bottling and labelling for release. Rocca di Castagnoli in the Chianti Classico region makes this style of wine and because of its novelty and drinkability it is completely sold out pre-release at 6 euros a bottle (mostly to Germany) Amazingly this wine sells for more than their chianti classico while costing much less to produce.

December

Time to start on La mia vitenda 2009!

The preparations are continued for new vineyard planting with excavation finishing this month. Continuing repairs are made in the vineyard for damaged cables and posts. Dead vines are removed. One can expect leaf fall after the first frost after which the vines enter dormancy.

In the winery it is a slow time when the wines are sleeping and maturing, but some young wines are ready for bottling.

Conclusion:

Thus ends the yearly cycle and I obviously have much to learn especially about the winemaking portion, but I have learned a great deal about the field work required to grow a healthy grape crop, the hours required, how to prune the vines, etc. It requires 280-300 hours of field work for every hectare of vineyard, almost 50 hours for every manual task. For a vineyard of 5 hectares, one person can manage these activities, but anything larger requires more personnel.
Indispensable equipment for work in the vineyard include two tractors, one with regular tires and one with tracks (cingoli), the latter being required for deep plowing. Each costs about 45,000 euros although that price can be obviously be lowered by buying used equipment. All attachments for treatments, plowing, and spraying cost 20,000 euros, so outlay here can surpass 100,000 euros.
For a small vineyard, expenses of 5-12,000 euros/hectare are normal and with normal ageing, bottling, and labelling, the average bottle will cost about 2 Euros to produce. Wineries can definitely be found for sale in all parts of Italy with prices ranging from the stratosphere to the exosphere. I have seen 5 ha vineyards for sale which are poorly tended with a plant density more suitable to a grove of trees and the vines all over 30 years old, outside DOCG zones in Tuscany, for 1,400,000 euros. There are vineyards in prime zones in Sicily for 50,000 euros/ha. You can find a non-DOC vineyard of 100 Ha with a with a winery and equipment for 3 million euros. (Decision #10 What zone, how big, what wines? My passion and goal is to make a world class red wine which limits the zones to some extent. The grape variety will surely depend on the zone, but being a little eclectic, it won’t be something completely predictable. I also want to make a fun white wine and I already have that concept in my head from the style to the name and label. Then for my partner, we have to make a softer styled, highly drinkable red wine and a vin santo or passito, and finally “Unis grappa” as an acknowledgement to the University that changed my life and instilled this crazy idea in my head! I hope to find a vineyard with a winery of about 5-8 ha, which, if successful, could be expanded, but probably not more than 15 ha when all is finished as I prefer to start small and grow slowly.)

This leads to a very important question: with the market awash in wines and wines which on average improve in quality every year, how does one make a living owning and operating a vineyard and winery?
How does one stand out in the crowd?
The 1st goal, above all, is the production of a truly superior product; the market has a way of rewarding quality. One must find a niche and then exploit it with successful marketing. I have noticed a lack of successful marketing by the majority of winemakers in Italy with some major exceptions such as Planeta. I have been thinking about labels and how to catch the eye of the consumer and become indelibly etched in their conscious. Starting with my nickname obtained on our prosciutto stage “Large Dwight” with an illustration of the large white pigs of Emilia Romagna, the white wine’s calling card should be unforgettable. A really good wine with a recordable, recognizable label is key and I get frustrated with back labels which talk about how much care and tradition went into the winemaking. Instead, I will provide information about the growing season and winemaking decisions for the people who want to know and learn more about the wine they are drinking. Wines for different palate preferences are part of the plan, as is aggressive, interesting internet marketing to target audiences. Personalized materials from t-shirts and aprons to wine openers will be available with the wines’ logos and hopefully will add to the profitability of the winery. Personalized wine openers e.g.. with the wineries name cost as little as 1.60 euros and are found in stores for 10-12 euros. These can be sold at the winery for 6 euros or could be given as a bonus to customers who buy more than a certain number of bottles. If the marketing is really successful, I hope the wine will be only available in a limited fashion in the wine shops. The rest will be sold directly to the consumers and restaurants and have a waiting list as is not uncommon with the cult wines of California. At present, there are lots of dreams and ideas, but I feel like I know the realities as well as I contain my search.

A final word: Vitenda is a fantasy name which combines Vita and agenda and describes a winery’s agenda for the coming year. Each year the major distributors of agrochemicals and winery equipment produce this book to enable the winemaker and/or the agronomist to record data relevant to the vineyard such as weather conditions every day, growth progress of the vines and dates of budbreak, veraison etc. It also gives rough guidelines for field and winery activities and a plethora of advertisements and phone numbers. Writing “La mia vitenda 2008”, if anything, has shown me how much I have yet to learn and discover about grape growing and wine making. But, in 5 weeks, I learned many things, met many wonderful people and changed some of my ideas to adjust to the realities present. In the USA, one hectare doesn’t seem like very much land, but when you are performing the potatura, the size seemingly quadruples! My goal with this stage was to explore the financial feasibility and realities behind a dream and after hopefully careful study, I believe the dream can become a reality, but with a modicum of common sense and caution. The joke in america is: Q:“How do you make a small fortune? “ A: “Start with a large fortune and buy a vineyard.” There are a number of examples of foolishness, such as the cantina which cost 1.8 million euros for a vineyard of 5 ha. But, I guess if I am that foolish, I can always stay alive eating my under crops of mustard and chicory!

References:
1. The Oxford Companion to Wine, Jances Robinson et al
2. Winery Technology and Operations - A handbook for Small Wineries, Dr. Yair Margalit
3. Vitenda 2007 - L’Agenda del Vitivinicultore

Dwight said...

E' allora?! il mio powerpoint presentazione./Users/dwightstanford/Desktop/dwight.ppt

Jasper Mirabile Jr. said...

“Large Dwight” I want the first case!!! Congrats to you, what a difference a year makes!!!!!

steve said...

Dwight,
I have been writing to your email address but obviously wrote it down wrong. It was great to find this site and learn about your work/adventure.
My son and I are going to Rome in May and I would love to see you.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Steve Bowlin (warslug42@yahoo.com)

Jerry said...

How is the search going for a vineyard? The Havasu Falls hike was awesome and awaits your visit! We are enjoying beautiful weather in Kansas City!

Jerry said...

oh... ps... we bought a wheat mill, Hannah has been buying organic wheat berry, milling it and baking bread! She has about 10 customers at $5 a shot... not bad for age 10... by her 18th birthday she will have her investment back... LOL
Jerry