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Winery-Sage: Tasting In Tuscany

Wine tasting in Tuscany has been a decades-long goal of Karen’s and mine, so when we finally got to Tuscany we knew we’d be spending some time in a winery. The interesting part is that, in Tuscany, Chianti reigns supreme. But in our little corner of heaven — San Gimignano — a curious wine grape called Vernaccia is the queen (it was explained to us that Vernaccia is a feminine grape… hence the “queen”). Vernaccia is a white wine grape that only seems to produce good wines in the San Gimignano region.

The borders of the growing region are quite well defined, centering around San Gimignano, so Vernaccia de San Gimignano became the first DOC defined in Italy. A DOC, short for Denominazione di Origine Controllata is the Italian equivalent of a French Appellation or an American AVA (American Viticultural Area). The problem was where to taste, but in Italy, minor problems seem to solve themselves. True to form, after eating at a great little Osteria in San Gimignano, we found a great house wine for an embarrassingly inexpensive price by California standards. The best part was the winery was only six kilometers up the road and less then two kilometers from our hotel. We made an appointment to taste the following afternoon.

Fattoria San Donato is one of the newer breed of eco-tourism wineries where guests can stay, enjoy house-prepared meals and partake in a number of other local wine and farming related activities. Although the ecotourism is new, don’t mistake this for a young, upstart winery. It has been in the Fenzi family for 85 years and it’s still going strong. Our hostess Federica was with us for most of the tasting and then we took a tour with Andrea, the winemaker/vineyard manager/general Jack-of-all-trades. Andrea’s English wasn’t the best but between it, the few words we had picked up in Italian. and similar sounding words in Spanish, we managed to have a great time in the vineyard and on the farm walk he took us on.

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Wine Tasting in Tuscany

Winery-Sage is an online Winery Encyclopedia designed to help you compare wines, wineries, and regions by using a unique database. Cross-reference varietals and the wineries that produce them, as well as discover events sponsored by wineries and associations. We’re not here to sell you anything or pass you off to paid advertisers, just share the love for wine. Discover the world of wine at

About Karen and Ken Geiszler:

Here you can find information on bloggers bios and how the web site came to be. Ken – Brief Bio I am somewhere approaching middle age (which is everyone’s way of saying older than I want to be but I’m not dead yet). Isn’t it ironic that when some one claims to be middle aged, that would typically mean they plan on living to be 110? I can claim to be in my 40’s as long as the blog post gets published relatively quickly. I was born and raised in Northern California, and developed a passion for wine in my late 30s. I am married to Karen, the other principal in KG Web Publications, the partnership that publishes Our last name starts with “G”, hence the name “KG “ works for both of us – no top billing. Marriage is all about compromises. When/if things slow down at work, I would like to get my certificate as a certified wine professional. Karen – Brief Bio Karen is slightly older than Ken (a point that never gets old – not hard to tell which of us wrote the biographies, is it?). She was born in Southern California but moved to Northern California in the mid 80’s. Ken claims it’s because she was looking for him. She ignores him, something at which she has become quite adept. She was a retail manager for a number of years and continued to work through our older child’s school years but became a stay at home mom for the 2nd one. To avoid going nuts, she volunteered at both kid’s schools. Now that the younger one has moved on to college and doesn’t want his parents within a three hour drive of the place, she has moved onto administering the web site and allowing the 90 pound Black Lab to take her for walks. She graciously allows Ken to think that they have compromised on a number of things even though she’s usually had the end game figured out from the beginning. Joint Bio (Updated in late 2017) Karen and Ken have now been married for almost 25 years and to date have still not had a fight since being married, probably because Karen has the patience of a saint. They live in the Silicon Valley area but have had a cabin just south of Yosemite (in the Bass lake area) for roughly 13 years and spend as much time up there as they can. The first 10 years was just relaxation. The last three has been lots of work recovering from damage caused by the Courtney Fire and then continuing on with a remodel. In 2018, they hope to spend as much as a third of their time up at the cabin. They are now empty-nesters with with older soon being married and living in London with his new wife for the next two years and the younger one living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, getting his PHD in Bioinformatics. From where he got the brains is a complete mystery but the best guess is the dog. They are not sure what they did to drive their kids so far away but the only consolation is that both sons claim to want to move back to the Bay Area in the future. Why was Winery Sage born - frankly, it’s too long of a story to post to include in here but if you are interested you can read about it at: Cheers! Karen and Ken

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