Wineries of the Month

Garofoli Winery

Garofoli Winery
The history of the Garofolis is a story of people and of a family that has been identified with winemaking for five generations. The same philosophy has always guided them: a constant updating of production techniques while respecting traditional and historic winemaking methods; attention to the evolution of the market and its requirements along with loyalty to the values of the special characteristics that the traditions of the territory have transmitted. Garofoli produces its wine in two locations. The winery at Serra de’ Conti, located in the classic production zone of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi wine, vinifies the Verdicchio grapes using the most modern techniques. The vineyards owned by the company are located on estates that cover a total area of about 50 hectares (123.5 acres). They are situated in the communities of Montecarotto (at Cupo delle Lame), Ancona (at Paterno and Piancarda) and Castelfidardo (at Acquaviva).

La Valentina Winery
La Valentina Farm was born on the hills overlooking Spoltore, which is near Pescara in Central Italy, in 1990. The owners, Sabatino, Roberto e Andrea Di Properzio, have been running the company since putting their development project into action in 1994. There is little intervention as possible in the natural processes, adhering to the concept that high-quality D.O.C. wine “has the mark of the vine on its grapes.”

La Valentina owns and rents a total of 30 hectares of vineyards at 200 to 300 meters altitude in the rolling Abruzzo hills, just inland from the port of Pescara on the Adriatic coast. The area benefits from a special microclimate, taking advantage of cool breezes from the mountains and the maritime winds from the Adriatic. The vineyards are impeccable, on clay and gravel soil, they are managed like a well-kept market garden. Yields are low and harvesting by hand carries on until late October achieving optimum ripeness. The results are remarkable with intense rich red wines that have oceans of fruit, bright rich black fruit flavors, as well as enough spice to add both elegance and depth.


Wineries of the Month

Petroni Vineyards

Petroni Vineyards
Lorenzo Petroni’s dream was to be the first California vintner to grow the prized Sangiovese Grosso clone from his native Tuscany in Sonoma soil. He sensed that California could produce stunning results with Italian varieties, similar to the new world successes accomplished with the Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He happened on a 37 acre estate with an old double wide just below Monte Rosso Vineyard. Lorenzo and his wife Maria Elena purchased the parcel the very next day, in the spring of 1992. Our winery sits on ‘Poggio alla Pietra’ or ‘land of rocks’ under the family home, sequestered in the vast cellar nestled in the hillside. A true mark of what a boutique winery entails; it is a converted garage housing a dozen tanks that, year after year, craft traditional wine unique to the Sonoma Valley.

Azari Vineyards
Azari Vineyards was founded by Kamal and Parichehr Azari in 2000. Azari Vineyards has been on a mission to produce the highest quality wines in Sonoma County. The Azari family has planted their own vineyards and built their own facilities because they wanted everything to match their vision. They specialize in small lots of wine. Azari Vineyards is a small family owned hill-side estate in the Petaluma Gap producing unfiltered Pinot Noir and Syrah from concentrated fruit off of the vines on property. Azari Vineyards is located in Sonoma County is the second most popular wine district in California. It contains broad flat fields, gently rolling hills and parts of the adjacent Pacific Coast. On the east, Sonoma County wine region borders Napa Valley along the Mayacamas Range.

ITALIAN Wines of the Month


2016 Garofoli Rosato Komaros
This wine is a mineral-driven rosé from 100% Montepulciano. It is clean and pleasing, with hints of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, followed by aromas of peach, plum and cyclamen. It has a crisp attack of red fruit and boysenberry, balanced by alcohol. It boasts a very persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and peach. Pairs with fish and imposing dishes, and regional cuisine like vincisgrassi and timballi. Alcohol 13.5%.

2015 Garofoli Monte Reale IGT
Simply uncork a bottle of 100% Sangiovese to feel the ripe cherries, blackberries and a touch of vanilla, which perfumes the environment – harmoniously side by side, without one wanting to compete for attention. Its tannins are fine and delicate, but with nice body. It goes perfectly with salami, ham and sausages. Alcohol 12.5%.


2014 Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi Classico Superiore
This zesty 100% Verdicchio is a straightforward white wine offering aromas of Spanish broom, acacia flower, beeswax, citrus and a whiff of honey that seem to float out of the glass. While the the elegant, linear palate offers green pear, grapefruit, lemon zest, almond and mineral framed in racy acidity. You will also experience hits of s golden delicious apple and citrus and a pleasant note of bitter almond backs up the finish. Pairs with light pasta dishes, lean fish, appetizers, snacks and vegetarian dishes. Alcohol 13%.

2012 Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Spelt
This wine is 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo showing intense red, with purple shadows in the glass. It boasts inviting aromas of wild rose, violet, crisp red fruits (red currant, wild strawberry), graphite and licorice. The taste shows density and persistence, with refined tannins that make a voluptuous and savory profile. It has long finish with great freshness and mineral extension. Pair with roast, grilled meat, T-bone steak and first courses with meat ragout. Alcohol 14%.

2014 Garofoli Piancarda
This 100% Montepulciano has a complex, full, intense, and persistent bouquet with rich scents of ripe fruit such as plumbs, cherries, and jams. On the palate, it boasts a very dry, sapid, and soft taste of red fruit. Elegant and pleasant tannins finish off this very well balanced wine. It should be drank sooner rather than later. It pairs perfectly with roasted meats, aged cheeses, and game. Alcohol 13.5% to 14%.


2012 La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Binomio
This wine is also 100% Montepuciano from the Binomio clone and has a dense and intense ruby red color with a purple viscous rim. It fills the nose with ripe blackberry,wild strawberry, and a variety of spices. This wine is powerful and expansiveon the palate, with ripe tannins and great balance. It finishes with a very round and fresh ending that is long-lasting, with aromatic persistence. It pairs with Pecora alla Callara, Oven-baked or grilled meat and matured cheese. Alcohol 15%.

2011 Garofoli Grosso Agontano Cornero Riserva
Another 100% Montepulciano wine. It has an intense ruby red color with slight garnet. It has a complex bouquet of ripe red fruit, with prevalence of cherry scents fused withdelicate spiciness and vanilla tones. The flavor is sapid, soft, warm, and velvety. It features appealing sensations of jam and licorice root. The finish is both bold and persistent. Pairs with beef, poultry, pasta, and veal. Alcohol 15%.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Le Marche

Le Marche is a remote area between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains, a quiet region, whose inhabitants drink more wine per capita and live longer than other Italians. The Castelli di Jesi DOC zone in the hills west of Ancona is the home of Verdicchio, which many now consider central Italy’s best wine for fish. Verddicchio di Matalica is grown at a high altitudes and can have intense flavors. The red wines of Le Marche are based mainly on Sangiovese or Montepulciano, the most important Rosso Piceno, is mostly Sangiovese. Rosso Conero is based on Montepulciano.

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month


2014 Corkscrew Luma-Blanc
This is a dinner-friendly 100 % Riesling that shows subtle scents of Asian pear, baked apple, lemon, dried peach and kiwi, with hints of coconut, vanilla and sandalwood in the background. In the mouth it is medium to light in body, yet gently palatecoating and fully dry, with flavors that elegantly mirror the aromas. The finish is lingering, with dried peach and a hint of sandalwood. Pairs with most seafood. Alcohol 12.2%.

2013 Corkscrew Luma-Rouge
Boasting 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier, it is black ruby in color. It produces earthy, smoky aromas and processes a mediumfull body. This wine boasts bod, warming flavors of mulberries, cocoa, and forestfloor finish with soft to medium tannins and moderate oak. Pair with roasted meats, pasta, and game dishes. Alcohol 13.7%.


2014 Petroni Vineyards Estate Chardonnay
This 100% Chardonnay is pale straw color with green and gold accents. The nose of this wine exhibits aromas of stone fruit; especially peach, fig butterscotch, and toasted spices. Broad, rich and elegant fruit flavors glide across the palate with complex flavors that mirror the aromatics. This wine medium-full bodies and processes a lingering fresh and citrusy finish. Alcohol 14.5%

2012 Petroni Vineyards Syrah
This wine is a typical deep, dark 100 % Syrah with a purple crimson edge. It is generously aromatic including dark cherries, blackberry, licorice, spice, and violets. It produces a great depth of weight and intensity on the palate. The fruit is complemented with savory and spice notes. Balanced and complex, the wine lingers on the palate to the finish. Alcohol 15%.

2013 Petroni Vineyards Rosso Di Sonoma
At 51% Syrah, 42% Sangiovese, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is aromatic and opulent with sweet ripe berry fruit, vanilla, cedar, spice, and floral notes. The palate is evenly textured and rich based, around a core of solid fruit such as blackberry, cassis, and red cherry. Additional flavors of mocha, vanilla, and spices bring some complexity to the fruit forward style of this wine. Fine tannins and lively acidity keep the finish fresh and flavors lingering. Alcohol 14.5%.


2010 Petroni Vineyards Sangiovese
This 100% Sangiovese is brick red in color. Primary fruit aromas like red cherry and immersed in a savory and complex bouquet of leather, cigar box, orange peel, and earthen notes. Similarly the palate is laden with savory and classic Brunello style fruit of red cherry, sour cherry, and plum. The initially smooth, rich and evenly textured wine evolves through to a strong finish with ample, dry, fine tannin to ensure long life. Alcohol 15.5%.

2012 Petroni Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and deep, crimson to ruby red in hue. It is richly aromatic with dark brambly fruit. This wine is very deep and brooding with black currant, berry fruit, chocolate, anise and olive, which makes it simultaneously fruity and savory. The palate has a creamy texture, densely flavored in a seamless palate. It is well rounded with firm, ripe tannins presenting itself at the finish. Sweet black currant turns into dark chocolate as the wine glides through with palate with classy French oak carrying

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month


Russians planted the first vineyards after establishing a colony at Fort Ross on the Pacific in 1812. In 1824 while he built the Mission in the Town of Sonoma, Father José Altimira planted grapevines to provide sacramental wine for religious services and for the table. Sonoma County is large and boasts a huge diversity of vines and wine styles because micro climates, soils, and topography are infinite Some of these micro climates are hospitable to grapes that require warmer temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon and associated Bordeaux varieties or Zinfandel and other Mediterranean grapes. The County also offers cooler areas where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and additional white varieties thrive. Marine fog, breezes, and cool nights prolong ripening to produce complex flavors. Sonoma County so far includes 16 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) recognized by the Federal government. AVAs include Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.


By Robin Obert

Leek & Goat Cheese Curd Salad

Leeks 4 ea
Arugula 8 oz
Cherry tomatoes 2 C
White wine vinegar 2 T
Olive oil ¼ C
Whole grain mustard 2 T
Panko bread crumbs ¼ C
Flat leaf parsley 2 T
Thyme 1 t
Goat cheese curds 4 oz

Blanch leeks (approximately 90 seconds), drain, rinse in cold water, pat dry and set aside.

Lightly toast the bread crumbs with the thyme until golden brown.

Emulsify vinaigrette by slowly adding oil to the vinegar & mustard mixture, lightly season with salt & pepper.

Grill the leeks (or pan sear) until slightly charred. Grilling would be the preferred method as you want that deep charred flavor in the end. Once charred, toss the leeks in the vinaigrette.

Place leek mixture on top of the arugula. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over the salads & top with the crumbled goat cheese finish by sprinkling the bread crumbs to finish. Serves 4.