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World of Pinot Noir 2017

Morgan Shepard

Winemakers, experts & novices alike, recently gathered to celebrate the noble & unique Pinot Noir grape at the 17th edition of The World of Pinot Noir along California’s central coast.

Old & new world varietals from Australia, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain & the U.S. were shared over discussions on vintage, terroir & winemaking styles. The Burgundy lunch, rosé brunch, sparkling wine seminar, cheese, pâté & Pinot Noir pairing classes were all thoroughly enjoyed. Not to be missed was the annual Grand Tasting Pinot Noir by the Sea & Silent Auction supporting California oenology education including the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation.

Where to Buy Tom Hyland's Book

Morgan Shepard

Be sure to add this to your reading list! Wine author & educator, Tom Hyland’s new book “The Wines and Foods of Piemonte” is a wonderful resource to discover the wonderful wine and food of Italy's Piedmont region. Watch now and find out where to pick up your copy. Grazie!

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.