Yule Blog…

…and so will I…

I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.  I need help.  Professional help.

In the meantime, I thought I would do a final little blog post for the first year of PiemonteMio and Byrne Vini.  And what a year it’s been: what a time to be launching new ventures…Click on anything you see in yellow – you might like it, you may not, but you should try anything once.

2020 Review

Well, looking back for a moment (before we move on to positive things…) here’s what I got up to this year:

 

 

 

2021 in Prospect

Now, we come to the future!  And it’s certainly looking more hopeful for 2021, for both PiemonteMio and Byrne Vini.  At some point, distribution and administration of various vaccines for you-know-what will reach a tipping point, meaning we will be able to start travelling around again.

And I know that many of you have been missing Italy.

Travel & Leisure magazine certainly have…They have missed it so much that it is their 2021 Destination of the Year, and the December 2020 issue is a long love letter to the country.

Travel & Leisure’s December 2020 issue – it is what it says on the cover…

Now, I realise that you can’t cover everything in Italy, but I do have to say that they have been terribly remiss in neglecting Piemonte…Mind you, Rome doesn’t get a look-in, either.  Wine culture and oeno-tourism are hardly touched upon in the magazine, save in the section on Etna – and you should definitely visit, definitely check out Ben Spencer at Etna Wine School, and definitely buy his book, The New Wines of Mount Etna, if you are really into your wine (or if you’re not – this will get you into it…).

But I digress in plugging Sicily and Ben’s works.  Taking it from ‘…save in the section on Etna -‘ :

…which is a shame, given that Italy is usually the world’s largest wine producer.  The wines, perforce part of the overall cuisine of each region, are as varied in character and as great in quality as the food here.

As the magazine makes clear, Italy has a plethora of delights on offer – Puglia, Sicily, Umbria, Venice (to say nothing of Rome, the Italian lakes, Tuscany, Verona, Naples, anywhere you care to stick a pin in the map…).  Each region has its own character, culture, customs, cuisine: a trip around Italy is like visiting a host of different countries.  If the last of those ‘c’s – cuisine – is what is driving your trip to Italy, then nowhere offers as much as Piemonte.  The wines are the most interesting in the land (make the case for another region if you think you’re hard enough…) and the cuisine, courtesy of the Savoyard Empire, is a sublime blend of French and Italian.  The wines are easily accessible, the food wonderfully seasonal and crowned with the glorious White Truffle: there should be a proper Alba White Truffle Fair again in 2021, too…!

In addition to this, the Alps make for wonderful trips, both summer-time :

A wonderful summer-time (sort of) trip to the Alps…

and winter-time:

…and a wonderful winter-time trip to the Alps

Italy’s first capital city – Turin – is an under-rated, elegant masterpiece bursting with stuff to see and do, including the National Cinema Museum, housed in the improbable Mole Antonelliana, the National Automobile Museum, royal palaces :

The Royal Armoury at the Palazzo Reale, Turin, back in the day, when mingling was possible, even without a mask…

and the largest Egyptian museum outside Cairo:

Lots of big stuff from Egypt. The Museo Egizio also has masses of not-so-big stuff and even very small stuff, and is well worth a visit.

Then we’ve bally well got a bit of a claim to Lago Maggiore if you have to have your Italian Lakes fix; hilltop villages such as this;

La Morra, inspiration behind Iain’s beautiful print design for my first wine’s label

we’ve got castles coming out of our ears; and great internal and international travel links: a train to France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic or Slovakia anyone…?

It would be wonderful to see old friends and to make many new ones here next year – become a member of The Local Italy to keep up to date with all the latest news here and to find out what you’ll need to be able to visit Italy again.  And get in touch with me if you are going to be visiting, or if you are considering it, so that I can convince you that it is the best idea you ever had…

So what does 2021 hold for Byrne Vini?  

As you may or may not be aware – I would not want to presume prior perusal of my posts – despite the rather facetious recap of the year’s activities above, I did not do absolutely nothing this year (check out my prior posts if you really want to know what I have been up to!).  As well as trying to find people to visit Piemonte, I also founded Byrne Vini, my micro-sized wine venture, with a friend in the UK.  He had to come over to sign some paperwork in mid-March.  So that’s been as interesting as tourism this year…

However, I have had some interest in the wines (yes, plural!) from Britain.  It would be fantastic to start selling: as of even date, though, no-one is certain of how I will be able to do that into the UK market.  This is not because I am an incompetent, but because the rules will change from January 1st 2021 – or will they…? – and we don’t yet know how they will change.  Or, indeed, if they will change.  So, while the wine might be available, paperwork requirements are far from clear: it appears that we have reached an agreement for tariff-free trade between the EU and the UK (which we hadn’t – officially, at least – when I began writing this) but it remains to be seen what extra or new documents we will need.  At least now, this should become clear during 2021!

Right, so after that little preamble, the answer to the header question is: ‘Don’t know’…!  But if you’re lucky, and if you’re very good girls and boys, Santa might bring you some bottles of my wine for Christmas next year.  (Or sooner – I hope I can sell before that…)

Christmas Wishes!

So all that is left now is to wish all of you the very best of holiday seasons and a better year next than this.  Although it’s been said many times – many ways – Merry Christmas to You!  Stay safe and have as much fun as possible, wherever you are!

Have I overdone the effects on this photo, or just the tree?

And Greetings for the New Year!

I don’t think that I am saying anything controversial by stating that I am more than ready to bid farewell to 2020:

Have a great New Year and bring on 2021…