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Italian Wines to Sip This Summer

2014 Fossaluzza Wines Pinot Grigio, $12.00 Buy

At Well Produced Wines, we are committed to bringing you wines that are top quality for their category and for what they represent. The Fossaluzza Pinot Grigio is a clean, fresh, straightforward and enjoyable white wine, most likely best enjoyed between mid-spring and mid-fall, before the temperature drops below 50 degrees. It’s a white wine typical of the Veneto region, where Pinot Grigio grows supreme, but with stylistic uniqueness.

As history would tell the story, this area of Northeastern Italy was under foreign domination from the French in the nineteenth century, and- before I make your eyes glaze over I will get to the point and say- it was at this time that Pinot Gris was introduced to the region. Yes, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape, simply expressing themselves differently in the different regions (e.g. climate differences, soil differences, and vinicultural techniques). It was during this time that Giuseppe Fossaluzza started cultivating grapes for production purposes.

Bringing that history and all the wisdom that comes with it forward to 2015, we have the opportunity to make this delightful white wine available to you, your family, and your friends, to be enjoyed. Sample a bottle as part of our summer curated sets or order a case to make it your new house white!

2013 Poderi dal Nespoli Nespolino Bianco Trebbiano e Chardonnay, $12.00 – This wine definitely launches the summer season with a palette of apple and light citrus, and a crisp, dry body.

Poderi del Nespoli is a family business established in the DOC region of Emilia-Romagna, just inland of the Romagna Riviera. The Ravaioli family has continued to guide the vineyards and the business through the generations, since 1929, emerging in the twenty-first century with a handful of excellent wines. Family members hold the key roles for the winery.

The blending of Trebbiano and Chardonnay is a modern invention. The Trebbiano grape is a traditional grape of the Romagna region, and can vary in quality depending on production methods. The Italian law that regulates which grapes can be grown and used for production purposes changed in 2000-2001 (approximately), opening the door for growers to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. I imagine for the Ravaioli family this new opportunity to blend Chardonnay with the familial Trebbiano grape meant they could add more vibrancy and structure, while still maintaining the character that we are all seeking in Italian wines. The result is delightful!

For maximum enjoyment I would serve this wine deeply chilled in the warm glow of good company. Add an artichoke and green olive pizza topped with a salty cheese (Israeli feta or haloumi), or a spaghettini tossed with a Margherita sauce, or any pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic and seasonal green, yellow, or red vegetables prepared with generous amounts of fresh herbs. Magnificent!

2014 Poderi dal Nespoli Il Prugneto Pagadebit, $18.00 – The Pagadebit, also from Poderi dal Nespoli, is a blend of 90% Bombino bianco (look for more on this grape varietal in the future) and 10% Sauvignon blanc, which definitely adds to the herbaceous citrus notes. With 12.5% alcohol by vol, the nature of this sweet summer sipper shines through with no interference from heat or wood.

You can start serving the Pagadebit at brunch with omelets, frittatas, or quiche dishes, and continue to serve throughout the day with orzo, potato, or rice salads. Summer risottos and even shellfish paellas are excellent pairings, or any cold water fish, such as Halibut. For me, I will be enjoying it al fresco with a selection of Italian cheeses, seasonal figs, berries, and bread from a local bakery.

2013 La Piuma Pecorino Terre di Chieti IGT, $14.00 – The Terre de Chieti is made from the grape varietal Pecorino, which is a regional grape specific to the Marche region of Abruzzo, located on the East coast of Italy.

It seems the Pecorino grape, which shares a name with the delicious sheep’s milk cheese from the same region, may or may not be related. How the grape got its name is not truly known, but rumors of sheep snacking on the fruit seems to be a favorite story. Chieti has a hilly landscape and a clayey and calcareous (calcite) soil type.

Janis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine features one sentence on Pecorino, saying “Marches vine specialty of Italy’s East coast making ever-decreasing quantities of firm, characterful white wine.” Perhaps the varietal may be limited, but what the Martini family has to offer us as consumers is outstanding!

La Piuma labels this wine as IGT certified (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), indicating that this is a wine produced from grapes unique to their specific region (in this case, the Chieti region of Abruzzo). The Terre de Chieti is produced from grapes harvested from estate-owned vineyards. It is a family owned operation that values and employs eco-conscious practices. La Piuma is one of many wines produced by the Martini family, and is produced with an intention of being a remarkable and enjoyable value-wine. One taste and you will feel like you are in the warm embrace of Abruzzo- I can’t wait to visit!

You can order these wonderful summer whites as a collection or independently. We will will have our Summer Italian Adventure curated set up in our Well Produced Online Retail store, where special pricing and case discounts will apply. More information on our producers, regions, and varietals will be posted as our virtual summer Italian journey continues!

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Aidan O'Leary

As the Well Produced food contributor, she tries to focus on seasonal dishes that span the entire spectrum from clean eating to comfort food. She loves peonies, ponies, and paper (of the hand made variety).
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