The Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest is not, nor does it try to be, an event for the average food and wine lover. This is where true connoisseurs come to play, where elite wine collectors gather to share their very specialized obsession with like-minded folks such as legendary sommeliers Rajat Parr and Larry Stone.
Jessel is a bit of a Renaissance woman, fitting for an artist who studied her craft in the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Italy. She is an acclaimed artist, the author of six books (a seventh to be released soon), an art and painting instructor, a songwriter, and an accomplished businesswoman.
“[Nerello Mascalese] is to Marcello Mastroianni as John Wayne is to Cabernet.” Alberto Graci, Graci Winery, Passopisciaro, Sicily. My mission is to explore the Etna DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) wine region and find out what is percolating on Mt. Etna, other than the still-active volcano.
In wine country, the gentle cadence of the seasons grows stronger with each stage; it begins softly in winter when the vines are clipped and bare, and steadily intensifies through the first signs of life at bud break, then becomes steady but more urgent during the slow pace of summer when gloriously green vineyards sway across the valley, marching in time toward the crescendo of harvest.