Simply Italian 2015 US Tour, continued

These are the people and brands that I found to be extremely engaging, soulful, and my pleasure to have met at the Simply Italian 2015 US Tour. Produced by the Italian Wine & Style Promotion company this past October, it was held in San Francisco’s opulent Fairmont Hotel.

All of the stops were pulled for this one. We were completely wowed, and it was time really well spent.



Many of the brands at this tasting were looking for an importer… I would recommend any of the following brands, because the people representing them were very kind and generous with their time. Plus, all of the wines were very delicious. An importer would have a great relationship with any of these companies listed.

Now, a bit about each one… The info is also taken from existing websites, with translation modifications made by yours truly.

And, one more thought: Each of these imported wines is very affordable, along with sustainability being much more revered outside of the US. When I buy foods from Europe, I’m not nearly as fussy or worried about chemicals and genetic modification. Europe pretty much honors past farming practices as present day ones.

PIEDMONTE & CO: Founded in 1981 by Eleonora Limonci, the winery passed into the hands of Giorgio Schön and Marina Orlandi Contucci more than ten years ago; since then they have completely transformed the company, by planting new vineyards, and renovating the structure and facilities of the cellars.

Colle Manora continues with a set of Italian values, recognized worldwide for this region… Making wines for quality, style, and passion. This staunch, historical territory teams its indigenous grapes with the aromatic fantasies of various international varieties. They produces wines with very specific characteristics: Italian style inspired by the creative drive of Mila Schön, the “Lady of Fashion.” Also, the owners’ passion for red racing cars is expressed in the label: a simple stroke of a red pen next to a cluster of grapes.

The property is located between the borroughs of Quargnento and Fubine, and it dominates the hill at the center of an amphitheater formed by vines. It’s bordered on the North and East by acacia, oak, and wild cherry trees. Twenty of its approximately 180 acres, are planted with grape vines that enjoy a very favorable microclimate.

Marina invited us to visit her, whenever we’re in Piedmont, and 2016 has to be the year for us. It’s just time to go to Europe. I loved her wines. They do speak to her commitment to make distinctive wines of great character. And this woman is about as passionate as they come…  I met Marina Orlandi Contucci from Colle Manora, at the luncheon (described earlier). She was across the table from Jose Diaz, Thea Dwell (Brix Chicks), and me… So we all had a great view of her; while she was also next to Catherine Fallis, the Grape Goddess. (As I said, a great view… Talk about two powerful women in one space and time.) Marina described her 2011 Colle Manora Barolo DOCG, Piergalardo, when it was presented with our lunch. (Superb!)

Hello, this is Piedmont calling, can you hear me now?

Ivana Pomposo, il Botolo, another fun find… And also ready to accept a visit from us. How can we not go to Piedmont?

The farm: 32 acres of vineyards are on the hills of Nizza Monferrato, in the heart of the quality wines being produced, which have given great prominence to Piedmont and Italy.

A family-owned company built by founder Robert de Silva, his love for Monferrato, its history, its culture, admiration for the endless succession of hills, joined his dream and his passion, in order to create excellent wines. il Botolo roduces wines exclusively from the best grapes of Piedmont:, Barbera, Moscato, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Cortese* and Brachetto.*

[*Two wines on my Wine Century Club list that I’ve yet to taste… Italy, here we come. And to think he said, there are “no indigenous grapes in Italy.” Some things are just so funny to remember.]

Hand harvesting brings in about one ton of grapes (as close as I can calculate from “1,000 quintals”), for a total production of about 8,333 cases of wine. The high quality of the wines demonstrates the care, passion for work, and the positive contributions of nature. The vineyards are grown on sunny slopes, with a precise orientation to the sun’s direction, which promotes much better ripening of the grapes. The wines express a variety of fruity flavors in the white wines, and velvety and elegant textures in the red ones.

Jobs, nature, and strengths of the production all correspond to the company’s attention toward an eco-friendly and environment respect for their property. Vitcultural aspects are directed by expert agronomist Piero Roseo, while enologist Lamberto Vallarino Gancia is their director of winemaking.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with these favorite wine brands, presented at the Simply Italian 2015 US Tour, in San Francisco.