We headed out of Fermo and literally just passed the old town walls when we had to turn into a quiet lane that led us straight to the winery. The Cantina Ortenzi is located in a beautiful setting with wonderful views all around. Even before we tasted the wine, the inebriated hills eased us into a warm sense of hospitality.

One of the co-oweners, Christian, came out to meet us and show us around. The vines were sloping down in a southerly direction and more were being planted in order to expand production. 

Amos, Falerio-Pecorino, La Cantina Ortenzi 

Named after the Hebrew word that describes one who loves to make things, the Amos is a lovely golden colour.

Aromas of apricot, honey, acacia. As we waited, the wine continued to display new characteristics, including hints of butterscotch.

It is rich with good acidity, giving it good length. I would love to enjoy a bottle with local truffle and mushroom risotto.

We also tasted the red wine here which is also delicious.

Rosso Piceno, Baruc (Hebrew for Benedict)

This is an easy to drink wine with aromas  of raspberries and blackcurrants and then a second, more delicate layer of rose petals. There are hints of oak but it not overdone. The DOC rules that all wine rosso piceno wine must have at least 12 months in oak. This wine has been aged for 2 years before it is deemed ready for serving. this means the flavours are well integrated and drinking this wine leaves you feeling very warm and satisfied. What could be better?

For a food pairing, I would suggest either: antipasti of cold meets and vegetables, or rich gamey meats cooked with local Marche herbs. The food here is exceptional, so it is great that the wines are getting the recognition that they deserve too. So many matches made in heaven!

web: http://www.cantinaortenzi.it/

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The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

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Carluccio's deli and restaurants are a high-street staple, where great flavours in food blend easily with quality wines on the list. Following the death of the charismatic founder, Antonio Carluccio, his spirit lives on in style and philosophy. Nick Breeze talks to Head of International Operations (especially where wine is concerned!), Mike Stocks about wine-list tips, food matching and the great man of "mof mof":

 

Winemaker and owner Nicola D’Auria greeted us at the entrance of this fascinating cantina. The winery and cellars have been designed by Rocco valentini in the shape of a vertical barrel in order to immerse the tasters senses in wine.

 

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