Italian grape varieties are clearly no stranger to California soils. Their range and rate of success here, however, is still a story unfolding. Sangiovese is an obvious choice for the climate and soils and has more than proved itself as one of the world’s great grape varieties. It is a wonder that there remains very little of it here, comparatively speaking, and that only a small number of those who make domestic Sangiovese are able to replicate the grape’s distinct and versatile characteristics. 

Montepulciano, Italy’s second most widely planted red grape, is an even bigger rarity here in the US, a befuddling fact at best. It seems to suit California on every level – a vigorous variety that can withstand high heats and retain natural acidity. It can also make a range of wines from dynamic rose, to balances and food friendly, to a big ageble powerhouse. 

Speaking of a powerhouse in the ageability category, what about the royalty of Nebbiolo? California has the fortune to be able to experiment with many grapes, but historically lays its bets on some of the world’s most renowned. So where, oh where, are the growers and producers that are bold enough to take on this Italian icon? 

We present one sample each of these three Italian grape varieties that showcase very talented winemaking, from risk takers that righteously respect the roots from whence these flavors originated.

– Kevin Wardell, November, 2021


We apologize for the lack of imagery in this publication. Please download a PDF of the tasting notes here.