Well, I’m back from Veneto where a few of us visited Florian at his family estate. He very kindly showed us around, linking many of the buildings to the family’s history and the reason behind the property’s German name, despite being in Italy (his ancestor was German ambassador but to our knowledge had no particular liking for small, individually wrapped, chocolates).

Although feeling somewhat chilly we had a small tasting, in the winery, accompanied by some estate produced cold meats and the local speciality ‘drunken cheese’ – wonderful. His Rosato Spumante was gorgeous, as was the 2018 Pinot Grigio, which is full of character and showed the gulf in quality between artisan made Pinot and bland mass produced stuff, using bought in juice. This principal also showed through in his Prosecco which is refined and delicate

After a wonderful dinner and more tasting at Florian’s we retired for the night in anticipation of the day ahead in Venice and boy it didn’t disappoint. The last time I went to Rechsteiner the surrounding area was flooded so I couldn’t go to Venice and therefore hadn’t been for a few years.  However the view of the Grand Canal that greets you as you as you leave the station had lost none of its wow factor particularly if you are blessed, as we were, with sunshine.  We then took the Vaporetto to St. Mark’s Square, where the carnival was gearing up for its last night, and then to Harry’s Bar (yes a small ordinary glass tumbler of Bellini is 22 euros) and onto a fantastic restaurant with live music which was brilliant and I thank all of those present for buying myself and Florian lunch. Then the mist descended and a visit to the islands was not as we’d wanted but all part of the experience and finally onto Treviso for a late flight to a rainy Stansted.

All in all a great trip which I hope those customers present will long remember with affection as I will. There really is nothing quite like meeting the producer in situ and knowing the traceability