House For Sale!

It’s official! The St. Louis joint is on the market.  And the place is looking so good we’re tempted to cancel our plans to move.  (Okay, not quite, but almost.)

Check out the great video of the house here.

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Wine Enthusiast Talks Le Marche Wines – Including Our Beloved Pecorino

Check out the March edition of Wine Enthusiast.  They cover Le Marche, calling it “Italy’s Best Kept Secret.”  Here’s a little taste:

Often translated as “the Marches,” this Central Italian region has it all. Pristine beaches and rugged shorelines hug the sapphire-blue Adriatic. Rolling hills lie covered with vines and olive groves. There are well-preserved medieval towns and cultural centers, wonderful cuisine and great wines.

What you won’t find are the throngs of tourists that descend regularly on Tuscany, situated on the opposite coast, although crowds do show up at the main beaches in peak season.

They also talk a bit about the wines of Ascoli Piceno, the slice of heaven where Tutto Doppio is located… and the tasty white wine to which we’ve taken a particular cotton:

… the most interesting wines from the undulating hills around Ascoli Piceno are white, especially the small production of Offida Pecorino DOCG. 

Nearly extinct in the early 1980s, the Pecorino grape was saved by local winemaker Guido Cocci Grifoni, who, after years of experimentation, made his first vintage of 100% Pecorino in 1990.

Because of its intense floral aromas of acacia and jasmine, rich white-fruit flavors, creamy texture and mineral notes, more wineries are now producing this fascinating wine, which pairs well with fish and white meats.

Can’t wait to get back to the farm!

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Is That a Trick Question?

We really got a kick out of this email exchange between a friend of ours and her sister about whether they should come visit us on the farm.  (Note: I’ve redacted the names and potty mouth language, in case Dad sees this entry.  For the rest of y’all, I think “WTFY” is a nice shorthand for “absolutely.”)

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Surf’s Up, Le Marche Style!

G and I spent Thanksgiving with our family on the island of Kauai. Although I spent a lot of time in the ocean as a kid, I never took up surfing. But I did give it a spin on Kauai… and am really interested in pursuing it a bit more.

Imagine how happy I was to learn that – every so often – the sea in Civitanova (about an hour north of Tutto Doppio) is suitable for surfing!  Can’t wait to check out the scene next fall.

Here’s a little clip of some of the action.  Gnarly, giusto?

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Beautiful Le Marche – Through the Eyes of Marco Gentili

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Our Ripatransone Neighbors Star on Italian TV!

Tooling around YouTube uncovered this RAI 3 television show focusing on the people and culture of Ripatransone.

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Making appearances are:

  • Stefano Acciarri — Stefano and his family are the hardest working people we know.  They grow delicious organic things year round, and make some of the very best olive oil.  We procured our little baby olive trees from Stefano!
  • Alessandro Capecci — Alessandro runs a pasta shop in “downtown” Ripatransone. He also gave G a cooking lesson at Le Caniette during one of our earliest visits to the area.
  • Roberto Pasquali — We only met Roberto once, very briefly, at Caffe Blob in Santa Maria Goretti. Our good friend Pietro arranged for us to try out a couple of bottles of his Rosso Piceno.  It was absolutely DELICIOUS!

In addition, there are a number of other talented folks from Ripatransone. We can’t wait to meet the rest of them around town!

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Seven Things Americans Can Learn from Italians – HuffPo

G sent a really good HuffPo post my way, and we spent a bit of time talking about it.  Seems spot on to both of us.

I’ve noticed three threads in the way Italians approach life that seem different and good, and I think they’re picked up in HuffPo’s list:

  1. Italians prioritize family and friends.
  2. Italians prefer to interact in person.
  3. Italians pursue happiness in a sustainable way.

Eating slowly and with others, the evening passegiata (stroll) in a crowded piazza, staying near the place you grew up, drinking but not to excess, maintaining a positive reputation… these all seem to me to stem from a shared set of values that focus on spending face time with those you love, and enjoying life without losing (too much) control.

G and I are looking forward to learning a bit more the way of Italians, and are especially looking forward to family and friends coming to spend some face time in one of the best places on the planet!

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Old Postcards and Photos from Ascoli Piceno

Tutto Doppio is in the province of Ascoli Piceno, in eastern Le Marche.  The province is named after its capital city, Ascoli Piceno.

Ascoli is a beautiful old town, positioned at the confluence of the Tronto and Castellano rviers, and nestled at the foot of the mountains.  It lies along the via Salaria (“salt road”), an important route that the Romans used to transport salt to Rome. It’s a really lovely place, with a couple of magnificent piazze, and warm, friendly people.

Giovanni Vagnarelli has put together a slide show of 150 postcards and pictures of old Ascoli Piceno.  Much has changed, but not too much!  Enjoy!

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Christmas = Karaoke?

It may not be a true Christmas tradition, but we sure do enjoy it!  Although the setting isn’t quite as spectacular as the terrazzo at Tutto Doppio, the boys and I had a great time belting out some tunes.  The girls – G, Gidget, and Buttercup – were good sports and put up with us.  A ton of fun!

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