Thank you DaVinci Wine: of COURSE I WILL COME TO ITALY!!
Today DaVinci wine announced the four winners of their Storyteller Contest; winners will travel to Vinci, Italy, for a week in July to absorb every last detail of Vinci: the people, culture and [wine] cooperative---and to sip countless drops of DaVinci wines. I am humbled, in awe and BEYOND TALK that I have been CHOSEN TO GO TO VINCI, ITALY---courtesy of DaVinci Wines.
Please go and say thank you to DaVinci wines on my behalf: LIKE THEM on Facebook, VISIT their SITE, and be ready to follow my blogging, tweeting, facebook, flickr and all manner of storytelling while traveling in Tuscany on behalf of DaVinci Wines THIS July 9 - July 15.
Ack! I am so jazzed.
Here is the quick scoop, in case this is the first you are hearing of this: DaVinci wines invited people to apply to be a DaVinci Storyteller, offering a unique lens to learn then share about Vinci including the people, culture, cuisine and their world-class wines and vines. I applied in the 'Culinary Arts' category. There were numerous categories including Visual Arts, Literary Arts and Documentation. I am honored to have been selected in this food-centric category---and look forward to getting to know the other three storytellers with unique lenses within art, literature and wine!
You may or may not know my background, so let me give you a quick synopsis and then tell you how I plan to engage this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And please do chime in: I would love to meet you, chat, get your feedback, answer questions and snap photos per your request. This may be my first-hand experience: but you are invited to enjoy it right along with me!
A tiny background:
I am a writer, chef/instructor, urban farmer (recently) and food blogger (this blog Talk of Tomatoes is 5 years and running). I went to culinary school at the Seattle Art Institute, am a cooking instructor at Blue Ribbon Cooking School and teach private cooking classes on my ['open while under construction'] urban farm. I sometimes cook at a nearby neighborhood restaurant.
I think my Twitter profile says it best: [Janelle is] known to wield knives, pitchforks and the occasional martini.
My family (Italian American husband James, sons Anthony, 15 and Caleb, 14) has a nose for adventure and a 'make it count' mentality. That said, a few years ago we sold our Seattle home and cars and went abroad for a year (documented on our site family frolics); we cycled from Amsterdam (I have dutch farming roots!) to Paris and lived in Florence, Italy, where my sons played soccer and went to an Italian school.
We returned home summer of 2010, bought a fixer home near Gasworks Park in Seattle (lower Wallingford) and literally have a tractor on the premises as we begin laying groundwork for our urban farm. So far our 'farm' includes a war against hoards of bamboo, some glorious large garden boxes, 7 small chickens and plum, cherry and bay trees. And yes: I planted a noteworthy amount of tomatoes.
As for this trip: I am thrilled to travel to Vinci in the northern quadrant of Tuscany. I am especially jazzed to meet winemakers, chefs and vintners---and to cook and eat Italian food. A dream vacation for me includes food, meeting farmers/chefs and dining in locally inspired, authentic restaurants. This trip to Vinci makes me swoon! I will take piles of photos, talk about the wine and food, embrace the city of Vinci, and put my hands in the dirt. After the trip I will share more, including wine-tasting notes and wine-inspired recipes (think: Tuscan chocolate cake with Chianti sauce). So join me, stay tuned and let's talk talk talk about all sorts of frolics, finds and food!