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.
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 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.
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!
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.
The World of Pinot Noir wine recently celebrated its’ 15th anniversary at the Bacara resort in Santa Barbara, California.
The weekend of full immersion Pinot Noir included the eagerly awaited Grand Tasting By The Sea with 225 wineries participating. A growing number are committed to minimal intervention & natural farming, Demeter bio-dynamic, certified organic or sustainable farming.
The tasting included the Silent Auction where Pinot savvy wine lovers bid on an array of large format bottles of Pinot Noir. A portion of the auction’s proceeds assists the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation supporting studies in Enology & Viticulture in California’s central coast universities. The endowment was created in memory of the late Michael Bonaccorsi, the twentieth American to be awarded a Master Sommelier Diploma. Inspired by Burgundy & the Rhône river valley, Michael was considered a truly gifted & exemplary winemaker. Together with his lovely & talented wife Jenne Lee, they founded the Bonaccorsi Wine Company premiering their first vintage in 1999. Today Jenne continues the tradition offering exceptional wines while striving to improve the standard of winemaking techniques & the quality of the best vineyards in the central coast of California. Stay tuned for more news from WOPN!!