Want to stand out above the madding crowd? Well, Astoria‘s 2014 Alìsia Pinot Grigio surely does. So much so that I see it as a great picnic decoration, after you’ve enjoyed the wine. Gather some asters, daisies, Queen Ann’s Lace, whatever; put them into the bottle, after everyone’s enjoyed the wine, and place it on table with a linen and lace table cloth. Ecco qua! (Italian for French violà). An instant added touch of a Monet garden, romance illusory aura for your date.

The Alìsia bottle is the one in the middle. These bottles are only 10 inches tall and more round than their typical 750 ml counter part neighbors. I love their marketing, as evidenced by this striped image below.

And the wine? Simply delicious. Once I finished loving the short, round bottle and tried the wine, I saw what a crowd pleaser this one is. Easy to enjoy, a bit more complex that you’d suspect with a 12.5 percent alcohol… Not usually complex at this alcohol level; however, some really delicious flavors burst through.

  • Day one ~ Delicious grapefruit harvested in March to April, versus when it’s ready to enjoy in January and February… a bit more sugar in the grapefruit in its presentation of tart citrus.
  • Day two ~ Apricot dominated.
  • Day three ~ Gone, simply gone.
  • This is one really delicious Pinot Grigio


Point of interest: Astoria is the largest private producer of Prosecco DOCG in Italy. Their wines are made in the heart of one of Italy’s most beautiful wine-growing regions, the Veneto. Takes my breath away just thinking about this region.

Digress: I once was having a dream. Three people, sitting in a t-shape. The the left was an old man, a translator was in the middle, and a child was to the right. The child was telling his story to the old man, the translator was doing his job. I woke right out of that dream and was freaked out. I understood every part of the dream, including the Italian. I DON’T speak Italian, or understand it. I’ve had deep feelings about having a past life in Venice. I can see myself calling across the water to a neighbor, with whom I shared a clothes line. Then the dream… When I asked Jose, “What do you think this means?” he said, “In a past life, you were Italian. Go back to sleep.”

So, knowing that Astoria Wines is only 50 miles north of Venice, I get a pit in my stomach… A really good pit in my stomach. I can feel it.

All Astoria Wines are produced and bottled at the Polegato family’s 250-acre, Val De Brun estate in Refrontolo. This is pivotal center of the DOCG zone of Conegliano – Valdobbiadene.

[All images (except the agritourism one) have been borrowed from the Astoria Website. This one, in particular, tells me that this is one place to visit that says, “You have arrived..”]

History of the first Polegato family winery to now

~ from their materials ~ 

Vinicola Polegato was established in the 1950s, followed by the founding of their current location, a few decades later. An eighteenth century family house is now Astoria’s headquarters and welcomes visitors from around the world. The fourth generation of Polegatos, led by Filippo, Carlotta, and Giorgia, add their own unique stamp to the luxurious style of Astoria.

Filippo Polegato, who began working with Astoria four years ago, is the brand’s current Sales Director. As a youth, he spent summers working the grounds of Astoria Vini, observing the vinification and production processes. This, in turn, inspired his post-high school travels to Australia and the United States, where he learned more about the wine business in foreign markets.

Astoria Wines prides itself on producing high-quality wines that bridge time-tested winemaking traditions with contemporary style and sophistication. Derived from the Greek word for “best,” Astoria Wines brings wine lovers in 95 countries, the best of the Veneto.

Suggested retail: A range of $10 to $12; and for the Prosecco, its $13 to $15. (Remember, with imported wines, you get a lot of wine for your money. Think Super Values.)