Wineries of the Month

La Cappuccina

La Cappuccina
Founded over a century ago, the Tessari family’s La Cappuccina estate is located in Costalunga di Monteforte d’Alpone, the heart of the Soave, in the province of Verona. The name of the estate comes from a small private 15th century chapel where the Capucin monks once celebrated religious services. At the present time, Sisto, Pietro and Elena Tessari along with their father Lorenzo, run the estate. All of the different phases of the production cycle, from the vineyard to the bottling line, are carried out in observance of the rules for biological cultivation, under the supervision of the (Mediterranean Institute of Certification. This type of viticulture forbids the use of chemical weed killers, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides in order to guarantee healthier, more natural products and a greater respect for the environment.

Cascina Val Del Prete
In 1977 Bartolomeo Roagna and his wife Carolina bought the farm “Val del Prete” where they had worked as sharecroppers. The first thing they did was replace some grain and fruit with vines. The grapes are planted on south facing slopes in a splendid natural amphitheater. Over the years they have increased the area under vine to 27 acres. Their son, Mario, has entered the family business and now takes care of the vineyards. Cascina Val del Prete continues to be well received due to Mario’s commitment to great wine.

The sinuous hills of the Langhe, an area some 50 miles south of Turin in the region of Piemonte, have been carpeted with vines for hundreds of years: dolcetto, barbera, and above all, nebbiolo. Here the hilltop town of Barolo gives its name to the most famous wines of Piemonte, and perhaps of Italy. Just outside the town of Barolo and right next to the famous Cannubi vineyard lies the historic cantina of Francesco Rinaldi & Figli, one of a handful of remaining traditional Barolo producers.


Winery of the Month

C.G. Di Arie Winery

C.G. Di Arie Winery
As an inventor and new food product developer, Chaim Gur-Arieh spent 35 years preparing himself for the role of winemaker at C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Chaim immigrated to Israel as a teenager. After completing his military service as an officer in a tank division, Chaim studied at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Soon after, Chaim moved to the United States to continue his education at the University of Illinois where he earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in Food Science with minors in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering. Chaim then joined the Quaker Oats company where he helped develop the breakfast Cereal Cap’n Crunch. He moved to California to become Director of New Products at Del Monte Corporation where he created an array of new products including “Pudding Cups”, “Gel Cups”, “Yogurt Cups”, etc. In 1974 Chaim married Elisheva and founded Food Development Corporation, where he developed numerous new products including Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Power Bars and Wine Coolers. In 1980, Chaim merged Food Development Corporation with California Brands Flavors, his newly created flavor company. Over the next 18 years Chaim transformed California Brands Flavors into a major West Coast flavor company. In 1998, Chaim and Elisheva sold their flavor company and went on to pursue their life-long dream of creating world class wines. In his new role as Winemaker, Chaim developed his innovative “Dual Compartment Submerged Cap Fermentation Tank” (patent pending) which he uses to craft his delicious red wines. Chaim’s wines are highly extracted, soft and elegant – a perfect match to fine cuisine.

In the year 2000, Chaim and Elisheva purchased a 209-acre parcel of land between the south and middle forks of the Cosumnes River in the Shenandoah Valley of the Sierra Foothills. High in the rolling hills at 1700 elevation, this region is graced with hot days, temperate nights, cool moderating breezes and excellent loam soils. Chaim knew that with proper attention to detail this rugged and untapped region would be capable of producing grapes that to yield superior Estate wines. As vineyard cultivation began, Chaim and Elisheva worked together co-designing their cutting-edge, 12,000 square foot winemaking facility.

ITALIAN Wines of the Month


La Cappuccina Soave’ 2014
The La Cappuccina Soave’ 2014 is bright straw yellow in color with aromas of floral perfumes and citrus fruits. This dry, wellstructured wine is very delicate and fruity with hints of tropical fruits and hawthorn with hints of citrus, green apple and dates that lead to a bitter almond taste on the finish. Great with seafood, pork, cheese and fruits. This wine is made from 100% Garganega. 12.0% Alcohol.

Cascina Val Del Prete
Barbera d’ Alba 2014
The 2014 Cascina Val Del Prete Barbera d’ Alba shows off layers of jammy dark fruit, spices, licorice, new leather and Pizza Crust. French oak gives the wine much of its shape and volume. This wine shows lovely balance and harmony along with a generous, inviting finish. It is made of 100% Barbera. Alcohol 13.5%.


Cascina Val Del Prete Roero Arneis 2014
The 2014 Cascina Val Del Prete Roero Arneis offers up a compelling array of smoke, mushroom, sage, dark cherries, spices and flowers in a rich, authoritative style. The wine possesses superb depth and richness with muscular tannins that build on the finish. This wine is made of 100% Nebbiolo. Alcohol 13.5%

La Cappuccina Madego 2013
This wine has an intense ruby color with purple high lights. On the nose, there are hints of oak that are very well integrated with the berry fruit notes. On the palate, black cherry, dirt and fig. This wine is dry, but very rounded. It has a spicy aftertaste and soft tannins that are perceptible without being aggressive. It is made of a grape blend containing 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 13%.

Rinaldi Dolcetto 2013
The Rinaldi Dolcetto 2013 is deep ruby red in color. Hints of floral perfumes, cherry, chocolate and plumb rest on the nose. Dark cherry pit, plum, tobacco, spice, licorice and leather notes all take shape as this mid-weight Dolcetto shows off its considerable personality. Slightly bitter notes linger on the finish. Nice with duck, dark chocolate and beef. This wine is made from 100% Dolcetto. Alcohol 13.0%.


Rinaldi Barolo 2012
The Rinaldi Barolo 2012 is ruby garnet red with slightly orange highlights. Hints of rose and violent fill the nose. This wine is dry, savory, and harmonic with notes of exotic spices, tangerine, crushed flowers and tobacco lead to a fresh and fruity finish and aftertaste. This wine is made of 100% Nebbiolo. Alchohol 14.0%. Decant for 1/2hr.

Rinaldi Barbaresco 2013
The Rinaldi Barbaresco 2013 has hints of cherry on the nose that leads to cherry, licorice, fig and spice on the palate. Strong fruitiness overtakes the senses of this full-bodied wine and the finish exhibits chewy tannins. Pair with vegetable pasta, veal and most meats. This wine is made of 100% Nebbiolo. Alcohol 14.0%. Could decant for ½ hr.

ITALIAN Region of the Month


Half of Piemonte, which means “foot of the mountain,” lies in the great arc of the Alps and the Apennines, from which the Po River flows east through its broad valley to the Adriatic. Bordering Switzerland and France, Piemonte was part of the Frenchspeaking principality of Savoy between the 11th and 18th Centuries. The ancient Liguri tribes first cultivated the wild vines of the Apennines and later learned wine making from the Greeks about 600 BC. In the 19th Century, the wines of Piemonte gained distinction when the Savoy and others began to use French methods. Piemonte has 58 DOC and DOCG zones, more than any other region. In the Langhe hills above the town of Alba are the vineyards of Barolo, one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, “the king of wines and the wine of kings,” although Barbaresco may be its equal, both wines made from the noble Nebbiolo vine. Barbera and Dolcetto are popular reds. Whites are equally prominent. Asti Spumante from Moscato d’Asti is the nation’s second DOCG in volume after Chianti. Among still whites, Gavi from the Cortese grape is highly regarded along with Arneis.

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month


The 2014 C.G. Di Arie Sauvignon Blanc
This wine is crisp, clean and exceptionally aromatic. It has distinctive tropical, peach aromas while adding delicious apple flavors on the palate. This wine has firm body with an unusually long finish. This well-balanced wine is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and the alcohol content is 13.3%.

The 2012 Di Arie Zinfandel
This wine is aged predominantly in French Oak and has strong varietal aromas of dark berries with hints of spice, which carries into the mid-palate. Flavor of black cherry and plumb hit the palate first and the long finish reveals more spice with hints of mocha and orange peel. This perfectly well-balanced wine is made of 95% Zinfandel and 5% Primitivo grapes. The alcohol content is 14.4% and only 896 cases are produced.


2015 Rose Di Arie
This wine has a strong structure, intense complexity, and a perfect balance. Expect flavors of apricot and pineapple with a crisp and clean lingering finish. This wine is perfect for enjoying solo or pair it with cheese and appetizers. It is made of 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Zinfandel, and 20% Tempranillo grapes. The alcohol content is 13.7% and only 275 cases are produced.

The 2010 C.G. Di Arie Petite Sirah
This wine is inky dark purple in color and the wine has a blueberry aroma with hints of smoke and baking spices. The wine has very concentrated flavors that carry to the finish, adding cocoa and coffee flavors. This is an elegant wine with lots of tannins, giving a firm structure with a perfect balance. This wine is made of 80% Petite Sirah and 20% Sirah grapes. The alcohol content is 14.5% and only 395 cases are produced.

The 2011 C.G. Di Arie Tempranillo
This wine is lush and beautifully textured. This wine has strong aromas of dark berries, vanilla, and leather which intensify on the palate. It has a dark ruby red color and is highly concentrated with dark berry flavors integrated with coffee, smoke, and tobacco. These flavors linger nicely to the finish. This wine is made of 80% Tempranillo, 8% Petite Sirah, 8% Primitivo, and 4% Syrah grapes. The alcohol content is 13.8% and 650 cases are produced.


2007 D’Arideaux Blend
While the opening of this wine has some Bordeaux characteristics, the mid-palate remains very mysterious with depth and complexity that carries through the finish. This wine has an inky red color and strong berry and mocha aromas that go all the way to the palate adding savory and smoky notes. The long finish is more of the same with added baking type spiciness and hints of licorice. This wine is made of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Syrah, and 28% Cabernet Franc grapes. The alcohol content is 14.5% and 342 cases are produced.

The 2012 C.G. Di Arie OnStage
This wine has a dark ruby color with strong aromas of black cherries and black currant, which carry to the mid-palate. You will notice raspberry and cherry flavors with hints of spice. The finish is long with a firm, but delightful grip of tannins. This blend is made of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Touriga Nacional, 7% Syrah, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Tempranillo, 1% Zinfandel, and 3% Primitivo grapes. The alcohol content is 14.3% and 238 cases are produced.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

El Dorado

In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill on the South Fork of the American River. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, El Dorado County became the destination for legions of people, who arrived to find their fortunes, many originally from Europe. Miners planted vineyards almost immediately, and by 1870, El Dorado County had about 2000 acres of vines. Zinfandel and Barbera were some of the earliest plantings and later Syrah. But the gold bust and finally Prohibition destroyed viticulture until a resurgence of interest in the late 1960s. With a huge array of microclimates, vineyards are planted at elevations between 1200 to 3500 feet with cooler areas at higher elevations and warmer ones in the valleys. Breezes floating down from the mountains provide the crucial cooling influence, extending the time that grapes can hang on the vine to develop flavor. Home to over 70 wineries, the main American Viticultural Area is El Dorado County, but part of the sub appellations, Fair Play and Shenandoah Valley cross over into the County. The Sierra Foothills AVA, one of the largest in California, includes all eight Foothill counties.


By Anna Maria Knapp

End of Summer Reverie

Humus drizzled with olive oil and served with wedges of pita bread, black
olives dressed with olive oil and oregano, watermelon cubes, feta cheese,
thinly sliced red onion salad, dressed with olive oil and chopped parsley

Main course
Mixed seafood grill, served with Italian potato salad with lemon zest,
chopped flat-leaf parsley, thinly sliced red onion, and capers, dressed with
olive oil

Greek salad with tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, cucumbers, thinly
sliced red onion, baby arugula, and feta cheese, dressed with oregano and
olive oil

Ricotta tart with fresh strawberries

Mixed Seafood Grill

Do we dare think of winter now as the end of fall approaches? Let’s not do
either. Even though this is quintessentially a summer meal, we can enjoy it
anytime. The following recipe was adapted from Saveur magazine.

(in any amount desired)
Tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined
Whole baby squid, cleaned, tentacles separated from bodies
Red mullet or any other firm white fish, cleaned
Olive oil
Dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemons, quartered

For one half hour, marinate shrimp, squid, and white fish in olive oil, seasoning
with dried oregano, salt and pepper. Heat grill to medium high. Then grill
seafood, turning as needed, approximately 3 minutes for squid, 5 minutes
for shrimp and 7 minutes for mullet. Transfer seafood to a large platter and
squeeze generous amounts of fresh lemon juice over fish. Garnish with lemon
wedges and parsley sprigs.