Vintage 2019 has been a great season so far.
Mother-Nature has cooperated and given us some great, grape-growing weather!
As we turn our sights to the finish line, “Crush,” there are still a few decisions left to make.
What critical decisions, need to be made in the vineyards, aimed at creating the best outcome for a successful harvest?
Wine grapes need to be stressed, in order to produce a high-quality wine; however, there is a delicate balance when dealing with a stressed vine.
Too much crop load, can affect the vines ability to ripen its crop in a timely matter.
Too little of a crop and the vine turns that energy into its canopy growth and second crop.
Second crop is, an inferior grape cluster that forms outside the fruit zone and is high up in the canopy.
This unwanted growth, can result in an unbalanced fruit ripening in the plant; and as a consequence, result in inferior grapes.
Crop thinning is an art!
One of the decisions being made is; how much crop to leave on each vine?
The standard being;
Sounds simple enough, until one adds the caveat regarding the removal of fruit that is clumped together, and assessing the overall health of the total vine, to see if it can handle the fruit load.
Another example, is with cane-pruned vineyards;
the crotch by the trunk, tends to be crowded with fruit, that may need to be thinned out.
Cane pruning and spur pruning are two different ways to train a grapevine to grow along a trellis. Pruning is necessary to remove dead wood and to cut back on the amount of living wood, so the grape plant's energy can go into making grapes, rather than just growing vegetation.
Another decision, will be based on weather and irrigation.
Adding irrigation or not, (for the perfect grape), at this time of year, takes a good amount of thought to get it right.
One of the last decisions to be made is, when to harvest.
Hopefully Autumn will provide us with plenty of hang time, and cool weather without the chance of rain, so we can harvest a crop, that has ripened to the amount of brix (sugar) and the perfect PH (acid).
Over the next month, these decisions will be discussed and debated by the viticulturist and the wine-makers, to ensure a balanced crop, which equals high quality grapes.
If all goes as planned,
“Vintage 2019” will definitely be worth the wait.
Taken from Invaluable - Wine Regions of the World
The wine regions of Italy are renowned the world over for the caliber and variety of wine they produce. The country is divided by county, each of which align neatly with a wine region. The list below explains more about the regions included in the map above, briefly describing each region, listing popular grapes and offering suggested vineyards.
Halfway up the boot on the eastern coast of Italy is the Abruzzo region. As one of Italy’s poorer regions, wine production dipped for centuries but has seen a rise in the last 50 years thanks to cooperative wineries and importers such as Germany and the U.S.
Grapes: Montepulciano, Trebbiano, and Pecorino
Vineyard recommendation: Emidio Pepe Wines
Located in the northwest corner of Italy, the Aosta Valley is surrounded by the Alps and full of the highest elevated vineyards of Europe. This region is the smallest geographically and produces mostly red wines.
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Picotendro
Vineyard recommendation: Château Feuillet
On the boot of Italy, is the long wine region of Apulia. This area is noted for its olive production as well as its grapes. Known for its reds, Apulia recently had to change from cheap blends following the success of new wine regions like Australia and Chile.
Grapes: Primitivo, Negroamaro, and Malvasia
Vineyard recommendation: Gianfranco Fino
Basilicata is a small area in the southern part of Italy that is just building a reputation in the modern wine-making world. The DOC Aglianico del Vulture is gaining momentum as a full bodied red and has been named one of Italy’s greatest wines.
Grapes: Aglianico, Moscato, and Malvasia
Vineyard recommendation: Cantine del Notaio
Calabria is in the southeastern tip of Italy, only a channel strait away from Sicily. Calabria’s wine production took several hits in the 19th century. First by an epidemic of phylloxera, then by the expansion of increasingly popular French wines, and then by the New World of wine production in the Americas and elsewhere today.
Grapes: Gaglioppo, Greco di Bianco, and Mantonico Bianco
Vineyard recommendation: Librandi
On the lower, western half of the boot lies Campania and its capital city, Naples. This is one of Italy’s oldest wine regions famed for the Aglianico and Greco grapes. Because of its long history, it has many ancient grape varietals which cannot be found elsewhere.
Grapes: Aglianico, Falanghina, and Greco Bianco
Vineyard recommendation: Galardi
As one of Italy’s most fertile and prolific wine regions, it is one of the few to span across the country with both an east and a west coast. Red and white wine comprise an almost equal amount of production and sparkling is popular as well.
Grapes: Sangiovese, Malvasia, and Lambrusco
Vineyard recommendation: Fattoria Zerbina
The northeastern tip of Italy stands out for white wine from non-traditional grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Quintessentially Italian varieties such as Pinot Grigio are popular in the area too.
Grapes: Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, and Friulano
Vineyard recommendation: Jermann
Lazio is home to the Italian capital city, Rome. There was a dark period of wine production between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the renaming of Rome as the capital in 1870. The volcanic soil is particularly well-suited for white grapes.
Grapes: Malvasia, Trebbiano, and Merlot
Vineyard recommendation: Falesco
The Liguria region is home to the popular Cinque Terre coastal towns. The area in the northwest along the Italian Riviera specializes in light, white wines as well as red wines further west.
Grapes: Vermentino, Pigato, and Rossese
Vineyard recommendation: Barone Ricasoli
In north central Italy, the Lombardy wine region is known for sparkling wines. The Milanese area is landlocked and home to beautiful lakes and mountains. Because of the diversity of microclimates, the area produces a wide array of varietals.
Grapes: Valtellina and Franciacorta
Vineyard recommendation: Nino Negri
Situated on the mid-eastern coast, Marche is bordered by the Adriatic sea on the east and mountains on the west. Many different cultures influenced the wine-making of this port-heavy region, resulting in a variety of traditions and styles.
Grapes: Verdicchio, Montepulciano, and Sangiovese
Vineyard recommendation: Oasi degli Angeli
Only awarded its own denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) in the latter half of the 20th century, Molise is still a rather obscure wine-making region. Popularity is growing for reds and white blends produced in the area.
Grapes: Montepulciano, Sangiovese, and Pinot Grigio
Vineyard recommendation: Di Majo Norante
The Piedmont region is popular for red wines with polished tannins and sweet, sparkling wines. Because of its location in the foothills, there is heavy fog in the area. The Piedmontese word for fog, “nebbia,” inspired the name of the Nebbiolo grape, popular in the area.
Grapes: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Moscato d’Asti
Vineyard recommendation: Paolo Manzone
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and is located 150 miles off the west coast of Italy. Various empires have taken over Sardinia over the course of centuries, which has created a diverse blend of architecture, place names and dialect, as well as a diverse array of grapes.
Grapes: Grenache, Vermentino, and Carignan
Vineyard recommendation: Argiolas
Off of the southern tip of Italy is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily. The classic Mediterranean climate of Sicily is ideal for grape production. While the winemakers briefly switched to low-quality vines, the process is now set to return to the high-quality Sicilian wine of the past.
Grapes: Nero d’Avola, Catarratto, and Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard recommendation: Donnafugata
Thanks to the romantic, rolling hills, Tuscany is the most famous of all Italian wine regions. This reputation is well-deserved thanks to world-class reds including Chianti and Montepulciano.
Grapes: Sangiovese, Chianti, and Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard recommendation: Ornellaia
Located on the border with Austria, South Tyrol is known for its heavy Austrian influences due to the long rule of the Austria-Hungary empire. The Mediterranean climate creates versatility in winemaking.
Grapes: Lagrein, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay
Vineyard recommendation: Cantina Terlan
Umbria is just south of Tuscany in the center of the country. This is the only wine region in Italy that is both completely landlocked and borders no foreign country. Like the other central regions, Umbria is known for its white wine.
Grapes: Sagrantino, Orvieto, and Trebbiano
Vineyard recommendation: Castello della Sala
Home to Venice, this productive region has been out developing powerhouses like Tuscany, Apulia, and Sicily since the 1990s. Veneto’s recent success is due in large part to recognition for increasingly popular wines like Valpolicella, Amarone, and Prosecco.
Grapes: Valpolicella, Amarone, and Prosecco
Vineyard recommendation: Romano Dal Forno
Cheer yourself up with these 10 picture-perfect scenes of Havana.
Cuba's colourful capital
Cuba's wonderfully charming capital city, Havana, is one of the most colourful cities in the world, in body and in spirit. Its beautifully bright houses and friendly faces give it a certain joie-de-vivre that is sure to lift anyone's mood. Here are just a few pictures to brighten your day and give you the travel bug!
Electric, bustling streets
Street performers can always be found in the streets of Old Havana, the historic city centre. Every October, the city celebrates its Theatre Festival, during which professional performers take to the streets as well as the city's theatres to entertain the public. But if you take a stroll down the streets of Old Havana on any day of the year, you're sure to find something exciting happening, from men on stilts to ladies dancing, immerse yourself in the vibrant Cuban culture.
Grand public buildings
Built in the late 1920s, El Capitolio is one of the most famous public buildings in Cuba. The former house of the Cuban Congress, the building fell into disrepair after the 1959 revolution, and has since been renovated and opened to the public. The building also houses Cuba's zero mile marker, from which all other locations in the country are traditionally measured. Entry fees are very affordable, with guided tours around the building.
Unusual, thrilling street performances
Los Gigantes are a group of dancers on stilts who take to the streets of Old Havana each day. Their performances are so famous that some people will wait in the streets for hours just to see them. As if dancing on stilts wasn't already difficult enough, many of these old streets are cobbled, making the performances not only a dance spectacle, but also an impressive and dangerous balancing act. Los Gigantes' joyfully colourful costumes are bound to lift your mood!
Cuban classic cars
Havana is known worldwide for having mostly restored, classic cars on its streets. This happened after the 1959 revolution, when importing cars and even car parts was banned in Cuba, causing time to virtually stop in the automobile industry. Today, thousands of these original 1950s classic cars are still circulating Cuba, mostly in Havana, and many of them function as taxis.
A coral stone cathedral
Officially La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de la Habana, this stunning, Baroque-style cathedral is situated in the northern part of the historic centre. Built in the late 18th century, the building looks onto a tranquil square dotted with cafes. If you look carefully, you might also notice several marine fossils in the coral walls of the cathedral!
El Gran Teatro
Home of the Cuban National Ballet, the Gran Teatro de La Habana is one of the city's most visited buildings. Each year it attracts thousands of visitors to a range of performances and events from ballets and plays to orchestras and operas. Located just next door from El Capitolio, the spectacularly ornate building was originally constructed as a community centre for Galician immigrants arriving from Spain after Cuba gained independence.
Spectacular sunsets over the Havana skyline
This brilliant sunset over the Havana city skyline is a sight to behold. The towering dome of El Capitolio, to the left of the picture, was one of the tallest in the world at its time of construction and largely resembles the United States Capitol. Enjoy this fantastic Cuban sunset from the statue of El Cristo de La Habana, on the eastern side of the port, which overlooks the whole city.
The dome featured in this picture belongs to the Museum of the Revolution, situated in northern Havana. It was the former home of the president of Cuba until just after the revolution, when it was converted into a museum to honour the historical reform of Cuban Politics. The Neoclassical dome protrudes above the buildings around it with sunshine yellow bricks and fits beautifully into the mismatched, rainbow skyline of Havana.
Walking through the streets of Havana, you'll struggle to find dull colour, even in people's clothes. Cuba's traditional dress consists of vibrant, brightly coloured pieces, and is often characterised by matching headbands or bandanas. These women's dresses are an example of how Cuban style takes inspiration from a number of influences including Iberian Spanish and West African traditional dress with ruffles, headwraps and intense colour to create something all its own.
Golden hour over the port of Havana
A popular stop for cruises, the scenic port of Havana sits to the left of the old city and is overlooked by many historical monuments including the Statue of Christ and the Morro Castle. This fortress, visible in the distance on the right of the above photo, is officially called El Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. It was originally constructed in the late 16th century to protect the city, which used to be named San Cristobal de la Habana, and today serves as a maritime museum open to the public.
Emirates Flight Catering in Dubai makes all the snacks, main dishes and desserts served aboard the airline's 200,000 flights each year. The facility runs 24-7, dishing out 110 million meals a year. Emirates' 1,800 chefs from around the world create region-specific menus for each flight.
A previous version of this video inaccurately identified lamb chops as pork chops. Emirates serves only Halal food and has never served pork aboard their flights. We regret the error.
One group of local fisherman in Kenya are building a boat entirely from plastic waste to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution.
TripAdvisor recently released its list of the best beaches in the world, part of its 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Unlike other travel websites, where similar lists are curated by a team of editors and travel experts, these rankings were based strictly on the reviews and ratings of TripAdvisor’s users.
You can see Tripadvisor’s full list here, but here’s a look at the Top 25:
By Ann Abel
It is hard to talk about Kamalame Cay—the private island resort that has been a darling of the jet set for more than a decade—without bringing out the clichés. Robinson Crusoe. Castaway chic. And, of course, barefoot luxury.
I was late to the game in visiting Kamalame. But when I finally, recently made it to that corner of the Bahamas, one of the friends I was traveling with removed her shoes as soon as she set foot on the island. I thought perhaps she was jumping the gun. But no. She had been to Kamalame before and knew that this is exactly what one must do. Within a few days, hardly any of us had shoes on.
What is the point of wearing shoes when there is no pavement and everything is only sand? Where there are three miles of pristine white beaches? Where everyone is coming as they are and no one is making a fuss?
Also, there's no need for a watch. Nor a phone, since yours likely won't work here and the Wi-Fi is intentionally limited. You come here to disconnect.
Sure, I could say that about many places. But Kamalame has an energy all its own. A lot of that comes from the family of owners. Island living is in their blood. Brian and Jennifer Hew were born and raised in postcolonial Jamaica and came of age in an era when the island nation was a jewel of the Commonwealth. They moved to Florida to start a family in the 70s, when life in Jamaica became less laid-back. They frequently sailed to the Bahamas with their children.
There are few experiences more “James Bond” than walking up to a bartender at 33,000 feet and saying “martini, shaken not stirred” on a commercial airplane.
While some airlines are attempting to peel everything but the seat cushions off of planes, others are making the so called “golden” age of travel look like Oliver Twist. If you’re lusting for bars on planes, you’re going to want to fly one of these airlines, which we’ve ranked in order of how awesome their bar is:
Bar available to: First and Business class passengers on A380 flights only.
Qatar Airways bar is large enough to exist on the ground, with refinements you’d be lucky to find in a five star hotel. The couches are utterly swanky, the lighting is attractive and the canapés, cocktails and champagne always go down with ease. A must…
Bar Available to: Residence, First Apartment and Business class passengers on A380 only.
Etihad manages to offer the most unique bar in the sky, a round table of sorts where you can run into fellow guests flying in one of their three prestige classes. Without a doubt you’ll find the most extensive range of fine wine in this bar, so get your palate ready and taste.
Bar Available to: First and Business class passengers on A380 only
Though the bar area only features a few seats and a nifty circular bar in the center of the plane, it’s incredible chic and social. Perhaps most amusingly, passengers in First can have a bottle of their First Class liquor sent to the business bar, for their exclusive use. It’s a hilarious feeling having someone guard your Dom Perignon in the sky.
Bar Available to: First and Prestige (business) class passengers on A380
Korean Air offers the “celestial” bar on their A380, where you’ll undoubtedly feel “celestial”, or at least like you’re on a spaceship of the future, where people chill out drinking Absolut vodka and make their own cocktails. It’s a futuristic hot spot in the sky, which also happens to be under utilized, giving guests space to spread out, there’s even a second mini location too
Bar Available to: Business class passengers on any Virgin Atlantic plane.
Virgin Atlantic is the only airline in the sky where you’re guaranteed to have a bar on the plane. That’s pretty awesome. You may only find four or so chairs, but once there it’s hard not to love the ample cocktails, champagne and crisps (that’s potato chip in American) to pass the time.
Bar Available to: Business class passengers on Boeing 777’s.
Not to be outdone by their partners Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia upped their game designing their swanky new Boeing 777 to include a full service bar, with a modern, hotel lobby styled layout. It’s not the biggest, but if at any point during your 13 hours in the air between Australia and the U.S. you need a place to hang, it’s pretty magnificent.
With a civilisation that dates back as far as 5000 BC, Malta has a long history with its fair share of unique and interesting trivia.
Most of us know that Malta was British until 1964 and we’ve all heard that Mdina used to be the capital city and how everybody loves pastizzi.
But those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to awesome Maltese facts.
Here are 20 random things about Malta you never knew you needed:
EXPERIENCING THE SEA CLOSER THAN EVER ON SEA CLOUD CRUISES
Step back in time when sailing was a way of life, and the only real way to see the world. Windjammers Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II have been chartering their own course for years.
Watch the deckhands hoist and unfurl the sails by hand, and experience true seafaring on board these majestic yachts. Here the sea is always within reach, not a dozen decks away. Every sailing cruise becomes a special travel experience, for people who earn for something unique and different.
In 2020, the new Sea Cloud Spirit will join the fleet, offering guests three extraordinary sailing vessels.
THE TRUE SAILING EXPERIENCE
3,000 square meters of sail area, the creaking of the rigging, a glittering sea: At Sea Cloud Cruises, guests travel in the centuries-old tradition of hand-sailed windjammers. When the orders ring out over the decks of our two windjammers and the crew climbs the rigging, every single manoeuvre brings a centuries-old ritual to life.
Everything is done manually and can be watched from close up – from loosening, tightening and adjusting the sails and carefully rewinding the ropes on deck, to polishing the brass and mending the sails. It takes the crew almost one hour to hoist the sails by hand, and it is a fascinating spectacle each and every time.
A PERFECT BREAK FROM EVERYDAY LIFE
Crews of around 60 are there to ensure that all guests (max. 94) enjoy a unique cruise experience that is tailored to their needs. Many of them have been working together for years, forming an established team which meets guests’ needs with a smile and spoils them with culinary delights. Savour the classic maritime atmosphere and experience the proud sailing tradition in every detail. Whether on deck in the sun or in your comfortable cabin, you will soon find your favourite place on board. While away the days in the elegantly casual atmosphere of the yachts, and feel the stresses of daily life melt away with each nautical mile sailed.