Mark Joyella is an Emmy-winning television reporter, media blogger, and film and video producer. Mark's covered stories across the country and around the world, and teaches news writing and reporting at mediabistro.com.
He recently launched a wine & travel site, where he and his wife travel around the world to discover the best wineries and food. Mark is Italian American and with his newly launched site Vinitrek, he's becoming more in touch with his cultural heritage.
The Gioiellas who arrived in the U.S. a few generations ago put down stakes in Connecticut, and then went about a fast and furious effort to fit right in, changing the spelling of our name to Joyella (my brother's since changed it back), and making English the language spoken at home. The result is that I've lived most of my life failing the three-step quiz Italians are always giving me:
1. Where are you from in Italy? (Well, it was never really discussed, and I'm not really sure.)
2. But you've been, right? (To Italy, hate to say it, but no, not yet.)
3. But at least you speak the language? (Er...not so much)
What my heritage has given me, for better or worse, is an ability to eat pasta, meats and cheese day after day without ever getting bored, and a profound passion for wine. Recently my wife and I stumbled over a few bottles of Sicilian summer wine at a Brooklyn wine shop that was affordable and utterly terrific.
Tiffanie and I are still newlyweds, having been married in March in Napa, California. We brought in a small group of family and friends, had an outdoor ceremony in an apple orchard with an amazing vineyard backdrop, and then got down to the business--Italian style--of celebrating with tons of good food and lots of great wine.
Our wedding sparked our interest in creating a place where people could go to plan trips to wine country: a place that would tell you about wineries, resorts, and, of course, restaurants. We've started shooting stories close to home, visiting the Hudson Valley north of New York, and Long Island's North Fork.
And yes, Italy is in the works, as is Oregon, New Zealand and beyond.
We're not wine snobs--not by a long shot. But we do love sitting down with friends and family, uncorking a bottle of wine and talking, talking, talking. That, it seems, is in the blood. Throw some bread, cheese and meat into the mix, and, well, you know what I'm talking about.
So with Vinitrek (http://www.vinitrek.com), we're off to the most beautiful parts of the world to try wine and explore for good food. I know--rough life. We probably won't get rich doing it, but with the wine and food, we'd be doing it anyway, you know? We'd love to have you come along for the trip.