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Dear Jo ~ In Search of White Chianti & Books on Starting a Winery ~ Both Are Good Questions

[Today is the second of five days to register for holiday gifts from Wine-blog. Simply leave your name in the comments for a chance to win. Rules.]

QUESTION from Lauren:

Hi Jo, my boyfriend is a  wine lover and blogger and has mentioned to me on a few occasions about a white Chianti. Chianti is his favorite in a and I am looking to track down a bottle of the white for his birthday in the beginning of December. Could you help me figure this out? Ive been all over Google and can’t find mention of a white Chianti.


It was a new one on me, too. the more you know in this business, the more you know you don’t know. That said, this blog is the bomb for keeping me on my toes. I love researching, so it didn’t take too long to get to the bottom of it; although I did realize that the average consumer might not be aware that Chianti is a region, and getting to the bottom of the white grape varieties would get me a lot closer.

First, I looked up Chiati and found in Jancis Robinson (ed) “The Oxford Companion to Wine” Third Edition, page 162-163 Oxford University Press 2006: “Baron Bettino Ricasoli, the future Prime Minister in the Kingdom of Italy created the first known “Chianti recipe” in 1872, recommending 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca. Ah, ha… a white variety, that bianca. The grape varieties listed for malvasia bianca in the Epicurious wine dictionary include Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia di Schierano, Malvasia Negra, Malvasia Nera, Malvasia Nera di Brindisi and a number of other varieties.”

White Chianti… My blog has me learning something new every day. (Thanks, Jancis.)

QUESTION from Matt from the Wine ‘dUp Blog, following my Holiday books blog posting:

Great list of books Jo. I am a big fan of making honey wine at home myself. We have a batch of “money mead” brewing right now (maple syrup and honey).

I figure if anyone could help me with a question that’s been brewing in my mind it’s you- Is there a best resource for someone to research owning and running a winery? I’m not saying it’s something I plan on doing next year, but one of my life’s goals is to have a winery. Besides talking to winery owners themselves, I was hoping to find something written on how to prepare myself.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!


How’s this for easy: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Winery. I’ve found these guides to be invaluable for their content. Amazon: List Price: $18.95, Price:

FabJob ~ Become a Winery Owner $12.89

I think I should read one of these books, too; not because I’d like to start a winery, but just for the exercise and knowledge I could gain from the read. It’s not an area where I’ve been, because I don’t see that that’s where I’m going… But, you never know. I’ve had a glimmering dream of a barrel of Pinot being made for family enjoyment, and I do have a winemaking son-in-law.



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5 Responses to “Dear Jo ~ In Search of White Chianti & Books on Starting a Winery ~ Both Are Good Questions”

  1. I just had to report back on that book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Winery. It is fantastic! Honestly, the writers did an absolutely amazing job laying out so many different factors that one needs to consider when starting a winery. Many items they discuss that are absolutely crucial had never even come to my mind.

    I have completely re-worked my plan for how I will start my winery thanks to this book. I know it might sound a little overblown, but I really do think reading this book could be the difference maker in my wine making success. I look back now, just after reading the book, and think of how HUGE of mistakes I would have been making if I hadn’t read this book first and really thought about the consequences of each decision I make.

    It also walks you through, step-by-step, exactly what you need to do in order to figure out the financial aspects of starting a winery. There is no sugar-coating at all, just a no-nonsense explanation that is laid out very logically and easy to understand.

    Thanks again so much Jo!!

    The Wine’dUp

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Matthew, what a great story. Thanks so much for reporting back! Please keep me in your loop. It’s very exciting.

  3. Matt and Jo,

    Glad you found the book meets your needs.

    If you have any questions that the book doesn’t answer or brings up in your mind, please feel free to email me.

    Incidentally, I wrote the book with no other author. In fact, I was the perfect person to write the book, having gone off half-cocked and made many of the mistakes that I point out in the book.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Thomas, isn’t that always the way? I’ll send an E-mail to Matt, and let him know you caught up with us. He sent an E-mail to me to tell him that he LOVES your book. Meanwhile, let’s do an interview after the holidays, so we can add your book to my wine book list.

  5. Jo,

    I don’t post on every blog that I catch up to–it would interrupt the next book that I am supposed to be writing but have more fun procrastinating…

    still, I do check in on blogs from time to time–I suppose in a search to learn something new or, like most of us, something that validates my opinions ;).

    I’d love to do an interview. It would be fun to be on the interview side, as I am the one who needs to do interviews for books.

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