Wineries of the Month

Cantele Winery

Cantele Winery
Giovanni Battista Cantele, grandfather to the current generation, founded Cantele Winery. During WWII, he moved from the Province of Venice to the Province of Bologna where he met and married Teresa Manara. They had two sons, Augusto and Domenico. After the war, Gianni as he was known, made a career in the wine business selling bulk wine. On one of his business trips from Imola to Lecce, Teresa accompanied him. She fell in love with Lecce in the Province of Puglia and wanted to move the family there. Gianni did a she requested even though it was unheard of to move from the prosperous North to the Agricultural South. Augusto wasn’t ready to go South and stayed in Bologna attending viticulture school there. He worked for a couple of wineries in the North and finally decided to join the family in the South. In 1979 Gianni, Augusto, and Domenico decided to start a new winery under the family name. Cantele was a bottler in the early years and then in the 1990’s began to acquire vineyards and making its own wines. Today, the Cantele family owns 50 hectares of vines and Gianni, Augusto’s son along with consultant Cataldo Ferrari make the wine and manage other vineyards.

Leone de Castris Winery
It was founded in 1665 by the Spanish Duke Oronzo, Earl of Lemos, in the Italian region of Puglia and has been exporting wine since the beginning of the 19th century. Located close to the winery is Leone de Castris’ high-end restaurant and hotel, Villa Donna Lisa, where they host travelers, foreign delegations and Italians wishing to visit the winery. For centuries, Leone de Castris has worked only in Puglia, producing only Apulian products. Some may view this as a limitation, but for Leone de Castris, it is a specialty to be proud of. Their mission is to make the highest quality products possible in the land where they were born and raised.

In 1991, the D’Agostino family merged with the local cooperative winery, creating Botromagno, the first successful example of a privately owned winery partnered with more than 100 local grape growers. The D’Agostino family has been able to foster a reliable and efficient synergy with the local farmers. Based on strict standards for quality grape growing, they have rapidly become one of the finest wineries in Puglia. Today they are the only producer of the flavorful and refreshing Gravina, which is considered by many to be one of the most exciting whites from Southern Italy.


Winery of the Month

IL Cuore

IL Cuore
IL Cuore means “The Heart” in Italian. “The Heart” is an original water color by Dan Rizzie and is featured on al IL Cuore labels. “The Heart” was selected to honor the Italian immigrants who planted vines in Mendocino County in the late nineteenth century. IL Cuore makes a variety of different wines as Mendocino County provides a broad range of climate and topography making it suitable to produce delicious Red and White wines. A hallmark of the IL Cuore style is the modest use of oak to create wines that focus on pure varietal character and fresh flavors. In 1989, IL Cuore produced just a few hundred cases of the first Cabernet Sauvignon. Since that time, they have observed that what many people look for in a wine is the fruit. While some wines emphasize the wood, earth, flint, or chalk elements, IL Cuore emphasizes the fruit. IL Cuore is one of several labels that the Dreyer Family Wine Company produces along with SeaBiscuit Ranch, Dreyer Sonoma, Compass, and Solitude.

Grand Napa Vineyards
Dedicated to the mission of bringing the true essence and character of California’s wines to the world, Grand Napa Vineyards produces approachable, full-bodied, well balanced wines. The varied micro-climate and soils produces a wide range of distinctive flavors. The winery is located in Napa, CA. It is there that Tom Rees, winemaker, persuades the true temperament and soul of the wines into reality and handcrafts wines that are delicious on their own or are perfect companions to food. Grand Napa Vineyards produces a multitude of single AVA Cabernet Sauvignon including fruit from Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain, Rutherford, Stag’s Leap, and Atlas Peak. Grand Napa Vineyards also produces some stunning red blends and Zinfandel, along with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sparkling wine.

ITALIAN Wines of the Month


Cantele Chardonnay 2015 IGT
is straw yellow with hints of green and 100% chardonnay. It is fermented in stainless steel and cooled to allow for natural fining. You will find notes of fresh citrus, lime, grapefruit, developing to hints of lime blossom. The palate finds citrus, grapefruit, and chamomile mirroring the nose. It pairs with seafood in general, mollusks, shellfish, vegetables, and soft cheeses. Alcohol 12-13%.

Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva 2013 DOC
is vibrant red but not too deep. Aromas of carmelized fruit and spices evolve into notes of blood orange, mint, tobacco, and tea leaves find the nose. The palate is rewarded with hints of baking spices, tobacco, and black tea. It is a well balanced, soft wine. It pairs with roast veal and beef, game, lamb, and ripe aged cheeses. Alcohol 13-14%.


Botromagno Gravina Bianco 2014 DOP
is 60% Greco and 40% Malvasia. Since 2013, these vineyards are certified organic. Gravina Bianco is currently only produced by Botromagno. One of Italy’s most ancient white wines, it has playful aromas of green apples, pears, white peaches, and apricots. The palate enjoys tangy acidity with a long harmonious finish with notes of apple, peach, and grapefruit. It pairs perfectly with oysters, calamari, sashimi, Asian citrus salads, and grilled seafood. Alcohol 13.0%.

Botromagno Primitivo Murgia Rosso 2014 IGP
is 100% Primitivo. Due to naturally low yields, Primitive requires special care. As if it isn’t difficult enough, Botromagno plants its Primitivo at higher elevations to accentuate the acidity and finesse of the grapes. It is brilliant ruby-red with aromas of black cherries and baking spices. The palate tingles with flavors of black cherries, tobacco, mint, and spice. It is a substantial red, smooth and velvety with a balanced acidity and a long pleasant finish. It pairs with BBQ, demi-glaces, orange glazed duck, and slow braised beef. Alcohol 14.0%.

Leone de Castris Maiana Salice Salentino Rosso 2015 DOC
is 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Salice Salentino is one of the oldest appellations in Italy. This Rosso is aged in five year old French Oak casks for six months. It is ruby-red with expressive notes of ripe plum mingled with blackberry jam and sweet spice. It full-bodied and robust. It pairs with roast game, beef, and hearty casseroles. Alcohol 13.0%.


Cantele Amativo 2013 IGT
comes from 60% Primitivo and 40% Negroamaro grapes. The Primitivo is harvested in early September while the Negroamaro is harvested in late September. It is aged in barriques for 12 months before bottling. It is ruby-red with complex structure. Aromas of rose and violet emerge followed by hints of wild fruit, dried fig, preserves, and vanilla. The palate is enticed by delicate progressions of fruit and spice. The extreme delicacy closes with persistent flavors in the finish. Pairs with well aged ripe cheeses, smoked and spicy cured meats, and intensely flavored meat dishes as complex as the wine itself. Alcohol 14-14.5%.

Leone de Castris Donna Lisa Salice Salentino Rosso Riserva 2005 DOC
is 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera. It is named after the Patriarch of the family, Donna Lisa which is also the name of the hotel and restaurant nearby. It is intensely ruby-red with layered aromas of blackberry jam, spice, vanilla, licorice, and toast. It is full-bodied flavorful and velvety with elegant fine grained tannins. It will pair well with roasted meats, game, and ripe pungent cheeses. Alcohol 13.6%

ITALIAN Region of the Month


Puglia is located in southeast Italy, the “heel” of the boot. Flanked by the Adriatic and Ionian seas, it’s a spectacularly fertile peninsula. Its Mediterranean climate is hot, with long sunny days cooled off by ocean breezes. The region has been inhabited for many centuries, making wines throughout. The Greeks, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Byzantines, Turks and Venetians all occupied the province at various stages from several centuries B.C. up until 1861, when it was officially recognized as part of Italy. Olive oil is its second largest industry, half of Italy’s production. Puglia produced tons of OK wine, but by the end of the 20th century, the wine drinking populous had become more interested in quality over quantity. The DOC laws put more restrictions on yield allowances and producers shifted to more focused wines and now produces excellent quality wines. The signature indigenous grapes of the region are the red Negroamaro and Primitivo, and the white Verdeca. Plantings of Negroamaro are far more widespread and account for nine DOCs including Salice Salentino and Brindisi….

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month


IL Cuore Chardonnay 2014
is 100% Chardonnay from fruit produced in the cool coastal region of Mendocino County. It is fresh, graceful, and cold fermented in small stainless and some neutral oak cooperages. You will find floral nuances on the nose while the palate will find hints of apple and pear. It pairs well with fish, shellfish, crab cakes, game birds, and vegetarian dishes. 1,896 cases produced. Alcohol 14.1%.

IL Cuore Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Syrah, and 8% Merlot. The bouquet shows some floral and dark berry notes. The palate finds ripe plum, black cherry, and berry along with plush tannins. It is aged in 60 gallon neutral oak barrels. It pairs with classic Italian dishes, grilled meats, salmon, tuna, aged cheeses and dark chocolate. 1,277 cases produced. Alcohol 14.1%.


Grand Napa Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Rutherford
is pale yellow and brilliantly clear. Vibrant aromas of mango, honeydew, and passion fruit find the nose. Flavors of grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, guava, lemongrass, and green apple find the palate with a clean and long finish. It is very elegant with fine tannins. It pairs with fish, fowl, and Spaghetti a la Carbonara. Alcohol 14.1%.

Grand Napa Vineyards Napa Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
is a classic Napa Cab. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Spring Mountain district. Whiffs of blackberry tobacco, supple leather, raspberry, cassis, and cracked pepper fill the nose. Tastes on the palate include grilled plum, black cherry, wild strawberry, baking spice, chocolate, espresso, and a hint of tobacco leaf. Grab your favorite steak, add green peppercorn butter and garlic rub, sear to perfection. Alcohol 14.5%.

Grand Napa Vineyards Proprietary Red Blend 2010

is 56% Sangiovese, 29% Zinfandel, and 15% Petite Syrah. The nose shows hints of blueberry, plum, and cherry. The palate will find black currant, red plum, and cranberry with ripe and rich tannins that extend throughout a sustained finish. It is almost European in style. It pairs with most grilled meats, pastas and mild cheeses. Alcohol 14.5%


Grand Napa Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Syrah. It is a dark ruby color with hints of rich cassis and mocha. The palate tastes blackberry, cassis, cherry cola, vanilla, oak, licorice, and eucalyptus. It exhibits excellent structure and length, and well-integrated tannins with a velvety finish. It will be excellent with a seared dry-aged steak. Decant an hour. Alcohol 14.5%.

Grand Napa Vineyards Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and is aged a year or two in 100% French Oak. It is a dark, muscular cab showing the magnificence of Spring Mountain. Youthful, but drinkable now, it will be epic in a decade. Aromas of blackberry, mineral, and earth followed by flavors of chocolate cassis, blackberry, graphite, rocky earth, and fresh blueberries. Pairs with the best beef and lamb dishes such as grilled skirt steak with Chimichurri. Decant for at least an hour. Alcohol 14.8%.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month


Created in 1850 at the time of California statehood, Mendocino County is located 90 miles north of San Francisco and is noted for its Pacific Ocean coastline, redwood forests, wine production, microbreweries, and liberal views on the use of cannibis. Nearly 25% of vineyards are cultivated organically. In 2004, residents voted to become the first GMO-free county in the United States, an initiative that was supported by the county’s largest wineries. The Mendocino Range segment essentially divides the region into two climatic spheres. The land to the west of the ranges, closest to the coast, has a maritime climate that includes cooling and rain influences from the Pacific Ocean. Among the wine regions in this cooler area are the AVAs Mendocino Ridge, Anderson Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. East of the ranges, the climate turns warmer around Ukiah and along the path of the Russian River. Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Cole Ranch, McDowell Valley, Covelo, Dos Rios AVAs and most of the large general Mendocino AVA are in this warmer area. The climatic and geographical diversity of Mendocino County allows the regio to produce a wide range of grape varieties.


By Tere Williams

Melon Soup
Turkey Spinach Apple Wrap
Chocolate Zucchini Cake With Greek Yogurt Honey Chocolate Ganache

Recipe – Turkey Spinach Apple Wrap

1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons honey mustard
2 whole-wheat lavash wraps or flour tortillas
2 cups (washed and dried) baby spinach leaves, loosely packed,
or 2 large leaves of a soft, leafy green lettuce
4 thin slices turkey breast (4 ounces)
1/4 Granny Smith apple, sliced paper-thin


  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard.
  2. Lay out both wraps. Spread the edges of each with the mayonnaise mixture.
  3. Leaving a margin free on the side closest to you, arrange a layer of greens on top of wraps.
  4. Top each layer with half the turkey.
  5. Evenly divide apple slices and lay lengthwise across turkey. Fold over the end of the wrap closest to you, then the two sides. Roll the wrap as tightly as possible toward the opposite side.
  6. Cover each wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, seam side down, up to 4 hours before serving.
  7. When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and cut each wrap in half, at an angle.

Recipe from American Institute for Cancer Research