tuscany

A Smooth Recession

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Sometimes a crash is not the same as a crush.

I recently spent time in the Chianti wine region of Tuscany. There I spoke with Nicolo Incisa; president of Sassicaia winery. In Italy; as in most countries, the down economy has hit business and industries hard. And while tourism to his country is down Incisa says his business is up.

“I think that during crisis this one, the people are more careful what they buy. They go for quality they don’t risk buying wine they don’t know.”

Incisa says his wine has developed a good reputation and people know what they are getting when they buy it. He says for this reason his business has grown for the past four years.

“Demand is growing which is a little surprising but we are very pleased.”  read more »

Beauty and the Beast

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The beauty of Italy is breathtaking. But a beast is devouring this country's spirit.

Today much of the Italian culture finds its outlet in the thousands of wineries that dot the landscape. Some of the world’s great wines are produced here; Borolo, Brunello, Chianti. And Sassacaica; wine from a family that raised horses for a living and made the drink for themselves.

After so many rave reviews they decided to take it public, now connoisseurs call it extraordinary. Their success is a testament to capitalism and private enterprise.

But now it seems Italy has lost its way. Debate rages between the socialist models where government takes care of workers from cradle to grave; and the conservative model, where private enterprise runs the economy.  read more »