Italy Goes West @ Solano Cellars April 19th
Solano Cellars
Friday, April 19th from 5-8pm
Americans love Italy - the food, the language, a cheeky patio spritz on a sunny day, and of course, the wines produced from every corner of its diverse landscape. Yet American wine has long favored French varietals in its most prestigious growing regions. After all, what would Napa be without Cabernet Sauvignon? Or the Russian River without Pinot and Chardonnay? But as fruit has grown increasingly expensive in places like Napa & Sonoma, enterprising winemakers are looking beyond those well-established regions and varieties, to the more underrepresented and off the beaten path. And as it turns out, Italian varieties thrive in California terroir just as much as their French counterparts do.
The shift in California viticulture towards Italian varieties shouldn't be surprising. California, like Italy, is a series of microclimates and soil composition; so why should each unique growing region be expected to focus on cultivating the same grapes? (Hint: they shouldn't!) Winemakers like Sam Bilbro of Idlewild recognized that the high elevation and gravelly soils of Fox Hill Vineyard in Mendocino made it well suited to Piemontese varieties like Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Cortese; Birdhorse's Corinne Rich & Katie Rouse saw the same potential elsewhere in Mendocino, where clay rich soils draw out perfect yellow-fruited ripeness from Arneis; Ryan and Megan Glaab of Ryme Winery saw the cool, foggy Las Brisas vineyard and had visions of Vermentino from the Ligurian coast; they found Siletto Vineyard in San Benito and dreamed of Umbria Sagrantino; and Matthew Rorick, owner/winemaker at Forlorn Hope and one of the country's most creative wine-minds in the country, recognized that the dry heat of Calaveras County mimicked that of Alba, and planted small parcels of Barbera to prove that theory.
On Friday, Chris Deitch of Revel wines will be behind the bar to pour through a flight of those 6 wines, our favorite California-made expressions of these classic Italian varieties.
$25 for the flight of 6 ($15 club)
*No reservations necessary
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