ITALIAN

Wineries of the Month

Vivaldi Winery

Vivaldi Winery
Vivaldi is an innovative and modern project, born to produce and distribute exclusive wines of a unique territory. An area whose wine vocation has always been an expression of culture and tradition, the result of honest work of people: a collaboration between man and territory built over hundreds of years of selection, care and attention. Valpolicella, but not only: the Verona and Veneto area has a thousand facets, a thousand scents, a thousand stories to tell. Vivaldi brings the voice of these wines wherever there is a moment to celebrate, for a great occasion or for a small daily pleasure, with a selection of bottles cured in every detail, from the vineyard to the shelf and finally on your tables.

With decades of wine making, wine growing, and wine production experience, Mianmichele Giacopuzzi, President, and Carlo Callari, Winemaker, put their knowledge and passion into every bottle produced at Vivaldi.

Bertani Winery
Founded in 1857 by brothers Glovan Battista and Gaetano Bertani, Bertani’s impact on Veneto wine making, particularly in Amarone production, is so considerable that ‘Bertani’ and ‘Amarone’ are nearly synonymous. Their 150+ year history is dotted with groundbreaking initiatives and royal accreditation. While respectful of their past, Bertani strives towards innovation, using progressive techniques and equipment allied with extensive experience and a deeply felt respect for tradition to provide wines of uncompromising quality.

Vivaldi is an innovative and modern project, born to produce and distribute exclusive wines of a unique territory. An area whose wine vocation has always been an expression of culture and tradition, the result of honest work of people: a collaboration between man and territory built over hundreds of years of selection, care and attention. Valpolicella, but not only: the Verona and Veneto area has a thousand facets, a thousand scents, a thousand stories to tell. Vivaldi brings the voice of these wines wherever there is a moment to celebrate, for a great occasion or for a small daily pleasure, with a selection of bottles cured in every detail, from the vineyard to the shelf and finally on your tables.

With decades of wine making, wine growing, and wine production experience, Mianmichele Giacopuzzi, President, and Carlo Callari, Winemaker, put their knowledge and passion into every bottle produced at Vivaldi.

Bertani Winery
Founded in 1857 by brothers Glovan Battista and Gaetano Bertani, Bertani’s impact on Veneto wine making, particularly in Amarone production, is so considerable that ‘Bertani’ and ‘Amarone’ are nearly synonymous. Their 150+ year history is dotted with groundbreaking initiatives and royal accreditation. While respectful of their past, Bertani strives towards innovation, using progressive techniques and equipment allied with extensive experience and a deeply felt respect for tradition to provide wines of uncompromising quality.

 


CALIFORNIAN

Wineries of the Month

Stonehedge Winery

Stonehedge Winery
In 1992, the Shahabi Brothers began producing wines in the small town of St. Helena, situated in the heart of Napa Valley. The Shahabis selected Napa Valley with the strong belief that the rich and diverse terrain of Napa Valley combined with the ever beaming and warm California sunshine would produce exceptional wines, hardly matched anywhere else in the world. From the very beginning, the Shahabis made the gentle care of the grapes from vine to bottle priority one. This care and dedication has pushed the small family operated Stonehedge to the forefront of California winemaking and a recognized name for exceptional quality.

Since its first release in the early 90’s, Stonehedge has quickly become synonymous with quality. Results speak for themselves. Since its debut, Stonehedge sales now span the globe, from the entire United States to Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

Haven Winery
Havens Winery was founded in 1984, capitalizing on the richly diversified Napa Valley microclimates, and utilizing traditional methods, to produce Merlot, Syrah, and Bourriquot, a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend modeled after Chateau Cheval Blanc. Smith-Anderson Wine group, with 30 years’ experience producing quality wines, acquired Haven in 2010, introducing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to the repertoire. The classical label remains the same, as does the exceptional quality of these wines.

Don Baker brings a wide range of experience to his role as senior winemaker for Stonehedge Winery. Over the past three decades Don has done it all – cellar work, winemaking, winery design and construction oversight, marketing and international business relations. His portfolio includes positions with Joseph Phelps, William Hill, Merryvale, and Kendall-Jackson’s Vina Calina venture in Chile. Don believes that the winemaker’s role is to bring what nature created in the vineyard into the bottle and onto the table with as little interference as possible. He sums up his philosophy in these words, “Let the fruit show the way.”

 


ITALIAN Wines of the Month

VenetoARTISAN SERIES

2014 Cantina Vivallis Cabernet DOC
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of dark, red fruit, leather. Full-bodied, complex. Flavors of black cherry, plum, blueberry, also the palate will experience a warm spice, vanilla, and black pepper on the tongue. Good tannin structure. Solid acidity. Pair with fatty proteins such as burgers, brats, strong-flavored cheeses, sausage dishes, or lamb.

2013 Cantina Vivallis Chardonnay DOC
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol 12.5%
Fruity nose, pleasantly intense and persistent. Dry, lusciously crisp palate, good body and personality. Elegance and freshness are the outstanding qualities of the high-class wine. Pair with shellfish, grilled fish or chicken. Perfect for a light pasta dish or a creamy vegetable soup.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2016 Contucci Rosso di Montepulciano
80% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% canaiolo Nero, 5% Colorino
Alcohol 13.5%
Very pleasing on the nose with hints of red, dark fruits, forest floor, and blackcurrant. Fruity on the tongue. Very structured with a surprisingly softer finish. Pairs nicely with lamb, venison, well-aged cheeses, or beef.

2016 Bertani Ripasso
85% Corvina Veronese, 10% Merlot, 5% Rondinella
Alcohol 14%
Intense purple-red color with purplish highlights. Very clean and intense aroma of ripe red fruit with hints of dark fruit, blackrurrant, and ripe cherry. Velvety, well balanced, full and round while maintaining a lively and intense grip. Pair with a hearty pasta or rice dish, grilled or roasted meat, and medium-matured cheeses.

2018 St. Pauls Pino Grigio
100% Pinot Grigio
Alcohol 13.5%
Very elegant wine. Light, fruity and floral aromas. Very fresh on the palate with fruity flavors and underlying floral notes. Soft finish. Serve with white fish, mild cheeses, a fresh salad or shell fish.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2013 Bertani Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG
100% Sangiovese
Alcohol 14%
Light garnet with very bright orange-ruby highlights. It is a Brunello of old. An elegant subtle, soft wine with great volume, but unmistakable lightness. The tannins are velvety. On the nose, notes of fresh cherries, violets and candied fruit are dominant. Pairs wonderfully with medium-aged cheeses, wild game, or pasta is a rich, red sauce.

2014 Bertani Amarone
80% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella
Alcohol 15%
Intense red color with purplish highlights. On the nose, marked and intense aromas of very ripe cherries, sour cherries, fruits of the forest, spicy and nutty notes typical of the Valpantena. Good follow-through of red fruits on the palate, with supple tannins to give depth. Pair with rich dishes, spicy red sauce pasta dishes, beef, and well-aged cheeses.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Veneto

Venezia, a city built into the sea, is haunted by the princes and poets of its past and by centuries of tourists. The cities of Padova, Vicenza, and Verona, originally frontier posts on the Roman trade route between Venezia and Genova, grew into Renaissance splendor. Nature exhibits its own marvels, the Dolomite Mountains in the north, the Euganean hills in the south, vast Lake Garda in the east, and to the west, the Adriatic with its beaches and ports. Today, Veneto is a thriving agricultural center, ranking first with classified DOC wines. There are three areas of premium production: the western province of Verona, the central hills, and the eastern plains. Verona is the leader in classified DOC wines, especially Soave, Bardolino, and Valpolicella, a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. When young, Valpolicella is a fruity red, but when the grapes are partly dried, they become Amarone, one of Italy’s most noble wines. Bardolino is made from the same grapes but is a lighter version. The central hills produce Soave, Tocai, the Pinots, Merlot, Cabernet, and sparkling Prosecco. The eastern plains have been dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc for decades.


 

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month

NapaARTISAN SERIES

2016 Stonehedge California Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon, 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Verdot
Alcohol: 12.5%
Brimming with rich flavors of cassis and black currants with subdued swirls of mocha berry and vanilla. The flavors include plums, black cherries, and vanilla oak. This wine is well balanced, elegant and medium bodied. 91 Points California State Fair Wine Competition 2018, Best Of Class. Pair with Salmon, lentil stew, or well-aged cheeses.

2016 Stonehedge California Reserve Chardonnay
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14.5%
Rich core of pineapple-pear notes with slight, buttery hints of tasty vanilla oak supported by just the right touch of acidity. Boldly rich, yet refreshingly crisp and clean. It is the classic Chardonnay that is right for all occasions. Pair with mild cheeses, white fish, or a light pasta dish.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2015 Havens Winery Bourriquot Red Wine Napa Valley
Alcohol 14.5%
Aromas of “Rutherford Dust” are followed with black cherry and blackberries that are integrated with subtle hints of vanilla and toasted oak. The flavors follow the aromas with black fruit and well-balanced oak tannins, and a lush, rich mouth-feel. All these components lead to a long, satisfying finish that lingers on the palate, inviting another taste.

2014 Havens Winery Napa Valley Merlot
100% Merlot
Alcohol 14.5%
“Dense purple color and beautiful black cherry and blacker fruits, with hints of delicate chocolate and coffee bean. It is fullbodied, opulent, and certainly about as good as Merlot in Napa can be. This luscious, sexy style of wine is totally charming. Drink it over the next decade or more.” 92 Points-Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, December 29, 2016 Pair with a rich, red pasta dish, barbeque ribs, and aged cheeses.

2016 Havens Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol 14.5%
Aromas of apples, pears, melons, and toasty oak with hints of vanilla place this wine in a class of its own. The rich, lush fruit flavors are balanced by mouth-watering acidity, and the complex tannins from barrel fermentation lead to a very satisfying finish. Pair with appetizers, whitefish, or a Cobb Salad.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2010 39 North Petite Sirah
100% Petite Sirah
Alcohol 15.2%
The deep dark color of this wine leads to a strong and powerful rich blueberry and black cherry aromas, supported by hints of spicy oak. The flavors are of intense fruit, a lightly structured palate with a lingering vanilla-oak aftertaste. Pair with short ribs, vegetable stew, or a juicy hamburger.

2010 39 North Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol 13.2%
Bright red fruit aromas are supported by cassis, vanilla, and wood notes, followed by rich full fruit and smooth oak flavors. The wine has an excellent mouthfeel and a long rich satisfying finish. Pair with beef stew, filet mignon, lamb shanks, or portabella mushrooms.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

Napa

Napa Valley is the heart of California’s wine industry, its vine-covered valley floor and rolling hills the destination for millions of visitors each year. The Valley is home to 43,000 acres of vines, over 400 wineries, and many renowned restaurants. George Calvert Yount, arriving in 1831, planted the first grapes. Notable early but still existing stone wineries, developed between 1859 and 1882, including Charles Krug, Christian Brothers, Beringer, Chateau Montelena, and Beaulieu. Formerly a sanatorium, Inglenook winery began production in 1880. San Franciscans provided a huge market for Napa wines, which were easily transported across the San Francisco Bay. But Prohibition, enacted in 1920, closed most of them, except the few that provided sacramental wine for churches. The Valley didn’t begin recovery until Robert Mondavi built his large winery in 1966. Today, the Napa Valley has 16 American Viticultural Areas. The umbrella appellation Napa Valley, specializes in Bordeaux grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Cooler Los Carneros, stretching into Sonoma County, is ideal for the grapes of Burgundy, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But other grape varieties, such as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Italian Sangiovese are planted in Napa County.


 

DINNER WITH DEBRA

By Debra Williams

Shrimp & Spaghetti Skillet

Quick and Easy dinner from Taste of Home Recipes

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14 ½ oz. can chicken broth
1 14 oz. can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 can 6 ½ oz. chopped clams, drained
4 oz. thin spaghetti, broken in half
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. salt
½ lb. peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
Grated lemon zest

In large skillet, combine the first 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir over medium heat until spaghetti is tender, 12-15 minutes. Add shrimp and parsley; heat through. Sprinkle servings with lemon zest. Serve with a light dinner salad with an olive oil and balsamic dressing. I recommend a balsamic fresh off the vines from a vineyard that specializes in its balsamic vinaigrettes. Nothing beats the flavor.

For Desert, it is pear season. Slice a few fresh pears and serve with the following yummy dip.

8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
½ tsp. almond extract
6 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Combine the cream cheese and extract, sprinkle with the almonds. Enjoy!