Monet Was a Day-drinker - Vintage Berkeley

Monet's Rossesse.

(The Greatest Italian Red 
You've Never Had?)

The Bridge: Monet's Second Favorite Thing in Dolceacqua

2020 Danila Pisano
Rossese di Dolceacqua

Our price: $28. Buy here.
(Very limited!)

Why? Because 1) One of the rarest of all Italian red wines (Rossese) is also among its most stunning; 2) we have the very-hard-to-get bottling made by its undisputed Queen, natural farmer Danila Pisano; 3) it makes Monet's beloved bridge merely the second best thing to have occurred in the town of Dolceacqua; 4) its medium-light weight class makes it the gorgeous Italian sub for your Pinot Noir or Cru Beaujolais; and 5) at under $30? It can be had for less than half of what a (merely middling) Barolo or Brunello would set you back


Come for the Bridge...
Stay for the Wine.

In 1883, Claude Monet visited the small Ligurian village of   Dolceacqua... and proceeded to lose his mind.

Some historians will argue that that's because he'd just spotted the famed Ponte Vecchio, the town's 15th century bridge, the architectural wonder he called a “jewel of lightness” and immediately commenced to painting.

Us? Call us revisionist historians, but we're pretty sure that's not how it went down! Listen up: Monet was known for his day-drinking; at home in France he drank Champagne while painting (he was known, oddly, for preferring to decant it). (Indeed: Joachim Pissaro, great-grandson of Monet's buddy Camille, wrote (in jest?) that his midday bottles might be the source of all that soft-focus impressionism!)

Our thought? He may have stopped for the bridge... but he stayed for the wine!

The terraced vineyards of Liguria, sea-spilling

It's no wonder why. In a country full of picturesque wine regions? Liguria's might be Italy's most dramatic. Right where the Maritime Alps jut into the sea, a sliver of coast connects Tuscany to Piedmont... and the wines here are as spectacular as the landscape.

"Um... if Ligurian wines are so great, why haven't I had them before?" Because there ain't much! Liguria produces less than half of a percent (!) of all of Italy’s wines... and the steep terraces that the vines cling to are now often forsaken by younger generations eager to leave agriculture. 

The king of Liguria's endangered grapes? Rossese. And the undisputed queen of (very hard-to-get) Rossese? Danila Pisano. Slightly inland from the coast, she's right in the hilly heart of Dolceacqua (the so-called "Grand Cru" of Rossese), where foothills of iron and limestone help to make one of the greatest and most mineral of all of Italian reds. 

Danila Pisano amidst her terraced Rossese vines

Danila farms some of the oldest Rossese vines known... with some of the terraces dating back almost to when Monet still walked (and drank) the earth! Her plots are high up, facing southwest on several plots, and Like most of the land owned by Apricalese, her terraces are steep and narrow, making mechanisation difficult, if not impossible. Her vineyards are worked by hand. Her wine has been described as having a fresh, light, crushed plum quality, with rustic and savoury notes.

Like all the greatest examples of Rossese, Danila's is savory, stunning and bright. Often described as coastal Italy's answer to Pinot or Gamay, it's, well, so much cooler than that! Medium-light in weight, it's shot through with both a seaspray-snapped minerality and tart red fruit. Think: plums, black cherries, savory herbs, sweet tobacco and spicy tomato leaf.

Unbelievably versatile on the table (low in tannins, with a brightness that invigorates the meal), Americans will drink this with roast chicken & mushroom risotti... but Ligurians will remind you that this goes with both the rabbit they get in the hills and the fish they pull up from the sea!

Get it while we've got it... because we ain't got much!

2020 Danila Pisano
Rossese di Dolceacqua

Our price: $28. Buy here.