Provisions is honored to host a very special tasting event: Nick Mucci of Mucci Imports will be bringing six Italian winemakers to share their wines and wisdom with our shop. Mucci has an awesome group of small and characterful wineries they work with, and these six will be no exception.
For the next five weeks, we'll be telling you a little more about each one of these producers in our newsletter. Enjoy getting to know them a little, and be there on March 31 for the tasting of a lifetime!
1. Negro Lorenzo
Daniele Ferrero, the winemaker's right-hand man, will be joining us to represent this tiny Italian winery from the Roero, just north of the famous wine regions of Alba, Barolo, and Barbaresco. Daniele and Lorenzo are joined only by Lorenzo's sister and mother ("La Nanda") in the small family business.
The winery has been in the Negro family for generations, and until very recently the winemakers literally hitched the wine to a wagon to bring to local markets — it wasn't until 2006 that Lorenzo even started bottling! Negro Lorenzo's Nebbiolo is said to rival the famous iterations across the river in Barolo and Barbaresco. One stand-out factor is the soil composition -- 70% sand — which yields a softer, more approachable expression of Barbera, Dolcetto, and Nebbiolo.
2, Rocco di Carpeneto
Our second highlight for the Italy Invades Provisions! event features husband-and-wife Paolo Baretta and Lidia Carbonetti, the owners of Rocco di Carpento winery in Ovada in Southern Piedmont. Ovada is known for its alluvial and silty soils as well as its clear maritime influence. Their first vintage was 2012 (and Lidia received her masters in winemaking just a few years later!) and ever since the winery has been certified organic. All the wines ferment on native yeasts and are unfiltered and un-manipulated -- the purest expression of the region. They've even planted a local varietal called Albarossa, which is a cross between the Italian Barbera and a very old French variety called Chatus.
3. La Tollara
Positioned in the hills of Piacenza in Prosciutto and Parmigiano country, La Tollara sits on six hectares and is owned and run by the three Bolzoni sisters. Federica primarily handles the wine-making and Mariolina, who will be joining us for this event, takes care of the commercial side of things.
The sisters had the idea to start the winery in the early 2000s, learning everything from scratch, including which vines to plant and where. Out of this greenness came one of their most innovative and risky ideas: creating an "Amarone-style" Bonarda. The Bolzonis have continued innovating ever since, always with a focus on the land and creating a happy and healthy ecosystem.
Owners (and husband and wife) Fabio Bottonelli and Donatella Agostini are the only two employees of Manaresi winery — Donatella is the boss and winemaker and Fabio does a lot of work in the vineyards and plays cellar assistant to his wife. The winery is located in Zola Predosa, right outside the city of Bologna — you can actually see the city from parts of the vineyard.
The property on which the vineyard sits was originally owned by Donatella's grandfather, a famous Bolognese artist. The vineyards were first planted in 1988 and by 2006 Donatella had taken full ownership. She and Fabio planted more vineyards in 2008 and by the next year had bottled their first "experimental vintage." Their focus is mainly on a local grape varietal called Pignoletto, which is Bologna's only native white varietal. It yields lightly sparkling wines that pair marvelously with the region's famous charcuterie.
5. La Sabbiona
About an hour east of Bologna is the town of Faenza, which sits about 40 minutes from the coast. It's the home of La Sabbiona winery, owned by Mauro Altini and his parents, who run the B&B and restaurant on the property. The winery sits under the famous tower of Oriolo, a landmark which grants views into Tuscany and the hills of Faenza.
When Mauro's parents purchased the property in the '60s, there was already an existing vineyard there, and they utilized it to make wines to sell in their restaurant. When Mauro took over he explored local varietals like Centesimino and Famoso, which were grown by only a handful of producers. In fact, Mauro discovered some of the last remaining vines of Famoso growing in the hills and was one of the first producers to replant this historic varietal in his vineyards. And today he bottles the only sparkling version of this aromatic and expressive white.