On the plane on my way back from Italy — a fantastic trip. I have many, many thanks to give to all the people who were incredibly supportive of Able Grape while I was there! After a couple of sleepless nights, I managed to give my first-ever presentation in Italian without too much stammering, thanks in large part to the help and encouragement of Maurizio Gily. I finally had the pleasure of meeting some of the fine Italian journalists whose blogs I’ve been reading: Franco Ziliani, Elisabetta Tosi, and Giampiero Nadali. A number of producers were kind enough to spend time with me at their aziende and assuage my curiosity, and MW-student thirst for examples, about many things: Chiara and Alberto Coffele, Graziano Prà, Franco and Luciano Piona at Cavalchina, Francesco Iacono at Fratelli Muratori (Villa Crespia), Giampaolo Turra at Cavalleri, Giovanni and Elena Rava at La Casaccia, Jeffrey Chilcott at Marchesi di Gresy, and Giovanna, Italo, and Davide at Cascina delle Rose. My thanks to them all. I even — gasp! — got some tasting in (yes, that was me with the wine glass). I’ll try to post some fun notes in the coming days.
On the home front, I wanted to give a quick update on what’s coming up for Able Grape. Updates have been slow this month, because the new database is getting so huge it’s stretching my infrastructure. We’ve got all kinds of new content, and just need to work through some kinks when I get back to finish the build process. My goal at the moment is a twice-monthly update, with minor features and improvements on more like a weekly basis. Most good content changes much much more slowly than this, but it does mean that you won’t find the very most recent news — yet. Eventually, as we streamline our software, we’ll do daily updates.
Also on the horizon are full translations of the UI into several languages. I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in Italian users due to kind articles in MilleVigne, VinoPigro, and elsewhere, and a dramatic increase in Spanish users from postings on Verema — hang on, help is on the way!
Naturally, lots of other features and improvements are on their way as well. As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments! You can leave them here in the blog, or send them directly to me (see the address in my profile).