Introduction to Italian Wines
In an area which is roughly 70% that of California, Italy is home to around 350 native grapes (more than any other country in the world) which are made into a wide variety of distinctive quality wines by close to 50,000 wine producers, most of whom are small, family run businesses. The mission of WineCountry.IT, LLC is to bring to the US products selected from among the best of these small estates, whose micro production is counted in thousands of bottles, rather than in millions of cases, as is the case with most of the wines distributed in the US by large importers.
The WineCountry.IT wine portfolio includes little known varieties such as Cannonau and Monica di Sardegna from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Refosco dal Peducolo Rosso and Verduzzo from the Alps of Friuli, as well as to boutique productions of better known varieties, such as Soave Classico and Prosecco from Veneto, or Super Tuscan, Sangiovese and Chianti from Tuscany.
The catalogue includes also some very fine interpretations of international wines grown in a particular terroir, such as prize winning Merlot from a special wine zone of Tuscany. Please note that because of the limited production, some wines are available only in limited quantities, thus they will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, and we must then wait for the next vintage.
To have some idea as to the acceptance and popularity of the lesser known Italian wines in the catalogue, you may want to read the articles about the Italian Flavor Forums. These are our invitation only trade show tastings organized by WineCountry.IT, LLC in San Francisco, California, for professional buyers and trade journalists, which include the scores and feedback provided by the show's guests. Other indications of the quality and acceptance by American palates of the wines offered by the club, may be found in the articles about the prizes won in recent years at California international wine competitions.
For pairing suggestions, please check out the recipes section of the web site, where I propose, with the help of my wife, Brigit Solé-March, easy-to-make, simple, healthful recipes which are invariably appreciated by our guests. In fact, the recipe project started because every time we have friends over we are asked for the recipe of what we have served for dinner. Since both Brigit and I cook using what we have in the house or what attracts us at the grocery store or market, we explain what we did but, of course, by the time our friends get home the information is forgotten.