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Tom Hyland: Piemonte's Ambassador

Morgan Shepard

Villa Graziella sits down with author & journalist Tom Hyland to congratulate him as Piemonte’s Ambassador for the region’s wine. Piemonte wine prides itself from the region of Piedmont—located at the base of the Alps in northern Italy, it is best known for the sparkling Asti, noble Barbera, Barolo, Barbaresco varietals & delicious Gavi white wine. Want to learn more

Tom Hyland on Organic Wines

Morgan Shepard

Want to know how organic wine differs from the “other” stuff? Esteemed wine educator & writer Tom Hyland, sits down with Villa Graziella artisan crafted wines made with organic grapes, to discuss his findings! Tom’s wisdom offers valuable insight into the process of organic winemaking. Be sure to check it out! 

Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Morgan Shepard

Are you getting ready for the big game and looking for a healthier alternative to some game day bites? These Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are a delicious meat alternative that is sure to make a touchdown this Sunday! High in Vitamin C, these cauliflower bites are a great healthy alternative to Buffalo wings. Serve as an appetizer with carrot sticks and your favorite ranch dressing. Visit Villa Gabriella for the full recipe

What to enjoy with your sriracha cauliflower bites? Villa Graziella Toscano IGT Trebbiano white wine fruit flavors pair with spicy sriracha heat for a perfect combination. 

Time To Toast

Morgan Shepard

This holiday season consider something different from your usual cellar picks. Leave your comfort zone when choosing wine as a gift, for a family gathering or casual get together. Remember it does not need to be expensive to be delicious. Be thoughtful; understand your guest or recipient’s taste preferences or favorite cuisine. Here are three wines worth giving and serving. 

For the white (i.e. Chardonnay) wine drinker, try Viognier. Originally a French grape varietal, it is now grown from California to Virginia to Argentina. Voignier is well suited to festive foods; crab legs, shrimp cocktail, lobster tail also as a single sipper. 

For the lover of luxury but with a thin wallet, think sparkling Italian Prosecco. Bright, clean and crisp, made from Glera grapes with secondary fermentation. Unlike bubbly from the designated French Champagne region and in bottle secondary fermentation, Prosecco’s fermentation is in large steel tanks. Effervescent and lighter tasting than French Champagne, it pairs perfectly with smoked salmon appetizers or on its’ own for midnight toasting.   

For the unconventional, “Orange” wine.  Made in California, Italy and the former Yugoslavian Republic now Slovenia. Orange wines are the result of skin fermented white grapes for an extended period; 2 weeks to 9 months. Butterscotch colored to bright copper, usually full bodied with a unique aroma and cider like vibrancy, orange wines are good “go-between” wines, lighter than red, fuller bodied than white. Rich holiday dishes like rack of lamb, beef tenderloin and smoked pork loin marry well with the acidic & tannic structure of orange wines.

Need help choosing? Consult your local wine merchant for their recommendations.


Review from Tom Hyland

Morgan Shepard

Wine educator and accomplished author, Tom Hyland, was kind enough to taste and write about our Villa Graziella Riserva and Rosso Toscano. Stay tuned for an upcoming conversation with Tom regarding wines and food of Piomonte and his latest book. Read the full review here

Chicken & Bruschetta Pasta

Morgan Shepard


We’re celebrating International Pasta Day with our healthy & delicious chicken pasta using both our Villa Gabriella Organic organic, extra virgin olive oil & organic 8 year aged balsamic vinegar di Modena. We’re enjoying it with our Villa Graziella artisan crafted Rosso Toscano IGT red wine, made with organic grapes. Bright fruity notes pair perfectly with zesty Roma tomatoes & protein rich chicken breast. Buon appetito! Visit Villa Gabriella for the full recipe

Wines: Drink to Your Health

Morgan Shepard

The desire to eat and drink healthily continues to gain momentum. This includes interest in natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. But how is one different from the other? Read our latest article in Chicago Woman Magazine here

Summertime Wine & Food Pairing

Morgan Shepard

Summertime dishes can vary in taste and texture, but whether you're eating fried chicken or grilled salmon, there's a wine that pairs perfectly with it. Check out our latest article for Chicago Woman Magazine here

National Pizza Month

Morgan Shepard

Deep dish, thin crust, pan, stuffed or square, did you know pizza did not originate from Naples as the legend goes? Historic records from the town of Gaeta, in Lazio Italy indicate the earliest mention of pizza appeared in a rental agreement in AD 997. The Dark Ages document stated tenants were to include 12 pizzas as part of their rent payment on both Christmas & Easter for land where a mill was built.   

What to enjoy with your pizza? Like a marriage made in heaven, pizza & wine are the perfect match! Villa Graziella artisan crafted wine made with organic grapes 2015 Rosso Toscano bright acidity marries well with the rich cheese & ripe tomato sauce for a delicious dinner!

Tried, Tasted & True! At Villa Gabriella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature. While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Gabriella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think.

We welcome your comments & feedback!

Chicago Collective

Morgan Shepard

An evening to remember! The recent launch party of The Chicago Collective featured great music, delicious appetizers & Villa Graziella artisan crafted wine made with organic grapes along with tasty tidbits made with Villa Gabriella Organic 8 year aged balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil.

Lincoln Park Wine Festival

Morgan Shepard

Vinous lovers from as far as California attended the recent Lincoln Park Wine Fest in Chicago to sip Australian Shiraz, swirl Spanish Rioja & swig German Riesling to live music. The 2 day event featured 80+ varietals while Villa Graziella was proud to be the only brand pouring artisan crafted wine made from organic grapes.

1 on 1 with Wine & Noelle

Morgan Shepard

At Villa Graziella we love to learn from our fans & friends; their thoughts on wine, food pairing & more. Our “1 on 1 With Wine” conversations are with passionate home cooks & professional chefs alike. They inspire us with their quest for healthy, delicious food paired with wonderful wine. We recently sat down with the very talented fashion stylist Noelle where she shared her ideas on sustainability & why she chooses organic wine. 

Spring in Montespertoli!

John Quattrocchi

Spring comes into full swing at the end of March, beginning of April in Montespertoli,Tuscany where the grape vines begin to sprout, olive trees are pruned, pots of lemon trees move outdoors & lilies flower. Even when overcast, the countryside's gentle hills form a patchwork quilt of grassy hues, mossy shades & deep forest green.  As the days get longer, the hills transform to a lush carpet of vegetation right up to the September vendemmia (harvest). We had the recent pleasure of spending time in Montespertoli with our talented partners Luca & Paolo tasting Villa Graziella organic varietals, looking over the cover crops planted between the vines & strolling along the olive groves. 

Vinitaly - Another Love Story in Verona

Morgan Shepard

We recently attended the 49th edition of Vinitaly in Verona, Italy & experienced yet again Italy’s diverse & unique role as a true “wine & food nation”. Over 300+ wine appellations, 400+ grape varieties were available for tasting by 4,000+ exhibitors from Italy’s 21 regions.  Obviously wine is big business for the country as the industry registered 14 billion Euros in revenue in 2014 alone.  

Vinitaly was the perfect showcase for newbie’s like us; it was well designed, organized & professional. Over 2 days, we navigated from 1 region to the next; from Piemonte to Puglia with stops in Emilia Romagna, Toscana & Sardegna.  Our adventure included seminars on artisanal wines, agronomic practices & sustainability, tastings of aged cheeses, hand crafted chocolates & organic olive oils.  

As important as business, sales & net shipments are for the exhibitors, the winemakers & producers we met with were eager to share their individual stories; their unique history, their viticulture & innovation in viniculture techniques. What impressed us most was not only genuine passion & pride, but a sincere respect for their vineyard & a true love of their land-expressed in every glass of wine we tasted.  We can’t wait to go back next April!

The Noble, Global Grape

Morgan Shepard

World renowned wine critic, educator & journalist Jancis Robinson OBE MW, was our guide for at The recent World of Pinot Noir at the Bacara resort in Santa Barbara, California. Attendees learned why this fascinating grape is truly a global citizen & admired by wine lovers throughout the world. The seminar included esteemed winemakers & their distinctive varietals from Weingut Fred Loimer-Austria, 50th Parallel Estate- Canada and our favorite!, Kingston Family Wines-Chile, Burnt Cottage Vineyard-New Zealand & Storm Wines-South Africa. Their energy & passion were contagious as each winemaker presented several selections while educating on regional terroirs & vintages. 

Alexandrine Roy from Domaine Marc Roy France was the featured Burgundy producer. A fourth-generation winegrower, she follows the noble tradition started by her great grandfather Marc overseeing the viticulture & viniculture at her family’s 4 hectare estate. Attendees enjoyed four distinctive cuvées from the prestigious Gevrey-Chambertin region in France followed by a delicious tasting lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean created by Chef Martin Fonseca.

Saturday evening honored Jim Clendenen at the Rock Stars of Pinot Noir 15th anniversary celebration.  Considered the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat winery, admired by winemakers and wine lovers, Jim is recognized across the globe for his classically styled wines of vision & balance. Since 1982 Jim has highlighted Burgundian varietals sourcing wines from exceptional quality vineyards of California’s Central Coast to produce artisan, small lot & truly memorable wines.