The last few days in Italy have been a mixture of ridiculously warm (it was shirt-sleeves, sitting-outdoors-for-lunch weather in Siena on Monday) and very rainy – a mark of the year here which has been exceptionally wet. “Terribile,” for wine growers, as everyone has been saying. I arrived in Chianti Classico on Saturday for three days of tasting and talks with Telegraph readers who had booked on one of our wine-tasting holidays, then took myself off to Montalcino for a couple of days visiting wine producers on my own before meeting up with David Gleave at Liberty Wines for what feels like a Grand Tour of all his Tuscan wine makers from Bolgheri by the coast to Selvapiana up near Florence.
A bit of business: the winner of the How to Drink giveaway is Simon Heape. In an uncharacteristic wave of efficiency I actually managed to post both copies of the book off to him before setting out for Italy.
And here are some Montalcino pictures.