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Winemaker Interview: Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards and Winery

Winemaker Interview: Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards and Winery

In the fall of 2012, as the bounty of harvest was coming to an end, we had the opportunity to meet winemaker Scot Covington at the beautiful Trione Winery. Trione Vineyards and Winery sits in the heart of Alexander Valley, just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. For more than 35 years the Trione family has been involved in Sonoma vineyards and winemaking. We were lucky enough to be on site during the Trione staff harvest party, complete with grilled wild duck, compliments of Mark Trione’s hunting skills. Scot’s excitement over the 2012 wines was contageous. The barrel and tank tastings showed exceptional promise.

In 2005, when the Trione family decided to venture back into winemaking, it was Covington they tapped to design and build the winemaking facility. He is a warm and friendly person dedicated to the winemaking arts. As you will read, Covington was well traveled before Trione, though now he seems to have, paraphrasing Jimmy Buffett, "found a life that suits his style."

Bacchus & Beery: Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

Scot Covington: Well, that is a good question. Some days it’s Brad Pitt, some days George Clooney some days Archie Bunker… more often than not I see my father. I see his eyes, ears, laugh lines. I wish my father was still around to taste the wines that I am making now. He was a big fan of mine as I was of him and I see him often in the mirror especially now that I am a father. The mirror gives perspective.

B&B: Tell us about your background?

SC: My background is in a word varied. I began my college years thinking I was going to study chemistry or biology. I was taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College when I stumbled upon an elective course in viticulture/enology. I took the first course and was hooked. The director of the ag department, Rich Thomas, was very influential in my decision of which school to attend. He said, "If you want to be a doctor go to UC Davis, if you want to make wine go to CSU Fresno." I went to Fresno. While working on my degree, I met Terry Adams of Sonoma-Cutrer and did a harvest internship with him. After graduation, Terry gave me my first winery job as the lab assistant. I worked for five years with Terry Adams and Bill Bonnetti at Sonoma-Cutrer becoming lab director.

Working with only chardonnay for five years was great but I wanted to expand my responsibilities and creative expressions with other wines. So in 1995, I became the enologist at Marimar Torres Estate making pinot noir and chardonnay. In early 1997, having the bug to travel, I worked at a winery called Vergelegen in Somerset West, South Africa. The climate, the people, the wines were all fantastic and the experience really expanded my knowledge of the greater global wine world. Upon returning to California in the late summer of 1997, a friend told me that Gallo-Sonoma was looking for an experimental winemaker. I jumped at the idea of being an experimental winemaker and spent the next five years at Gallo-Sonoma. During my time at Gallo-Sonoma I was able to travel to Australia where I worked the harvest at Rosemount in the Hunter Valley and Yalumba in the Barossa. In 2001, I returned to Adelaide to work with the students at the Adelaide University.

In the spring of 2001, I met Merry Edwards, who is a pioneer in Russian River Valley pinot noirs, who was working with Bob Pellegrini at the time. They were looking for someone to be the winemaker and to oversee construction of the yet to be built Pellegrini Winery. I did not hesitate at the opportunity when Merry asked if I knew of anyone who might be interested and started working with Bob that summer. Fast-forward to 2005, when a friend called to say they had heard that the Trione family was thinking of getting back into the winery business. I met with the Triones and they talked of the plans that they had and their commitment to quality and I knew at the first meeting that I wanted to be part of their dream and have not looked back.

B&B: What role did wine play in your family and upbringing?

SC: In my early years wine played a rather small role. I remember my parents having the occasional bottle of cold duck or hearty burgundy at the table but my father preferred beer. It wasn’t until I was college age that I finally discovered the world of wine and started down the path of discovery on my own. My mother would tell stories of my grandfather having a barrel of wine in the tank house in which he would go out to each evening and get a glass. I was too young to remember him but I do remember the stories.

Click here to learn more about Scot Covington's winemaker influences, the future of Trione Wines, and life away from the winery.

— Roger and Donna Beery, Bacchus and Beery Wine Blog


Winemaker Interview: Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards and Winery - Recipes

The Kincade Fire may be fully contained in a few days, authorities reported Monday in Sonoma County. As of 7 p.m. Monday, the fire had burned nearly 77,760 acres and was 82 percent contained.

With the fire nearly contained, the Sonoma County Sheriff&rsquos Office announced a little after 3 p.m. Monday that it had lifted all remaining evacuation warnings. As many as 180,000 residents were evacuated during the fire which started Oct. 23.

Earlier in the day, Sheriff Mark Essick said in a video posted on Facebook that road checkpoints would be removed by Monday afternoon.

&ldquoThe real work begins now,&rdquo Essick also said.

Three hundred and seventy four buildings were lost, including 174 home, he noted. Still, Essick expressed pride in his department and in Sonoma County, saying the residents listened to evacuation orders.

&ldquoWe had no fatalities. It allowed us to get firefighters into neighborhoods and really help save the towns of Windsor and Healdsburg,&rdquo Essick said.

In the meantime, expect to see plenty of utility trucks along Chalk Hill Road Route 128 and other roadways.
About 400 power poles have to be replaced, PG&E spokeswoman Megan McFarland said Monday.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, 900 customers remain without power in the Kincade Fire zone footprint, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. About 1,400 customers lost power because of the fire, according to the utility. There are no estimates as to when power will be fully restored.

About 92 percent of the harvest was in when the fire broke. It is now by and large completed.

&ldquoAt this point we are mostly through harvest. There may be a few vineyards out there, but some won&rsquot be picked due to the fires and others wrapped up where it made sense over the weekend,&rdquo Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, said Monday.

Munselle Vineyards thanked the public for the calls, texts and emails in a Facebook message and announced its offices re-opened Monday.

Winemaker Scot Covington at Trione Vineyards and Winery in Alexander Valley said in a separate Facebook message that the last zinfandel was brought in Sunday from Flat Ridge Ranch outside the fire zone. The winery also has harvested about 3 tons of estate Petite Syrah still out during the fire. &ldquoIt looks good,&rdquo Covington said.

All Jackson Family Wines&rsquo tasting rooms in Sonoma County are open, according to the company. Vérité is by appointment only but accepting reservations, Jackson Family Wines spokeswoman Kristen Reitzell said Monday. Ongoing construction at the winery is set to resume.

The Spire Collection at Field Stone Vineyard sustained damage to the winery and barn. However, its tasting room in Calistoga remains open and accepts appointment, Reitzell said. &ldquoAt present, I cannot speak to plans regarding damaged property,&rdquo she also said.

Fundraisers are in the works. Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation is raising money for the vineyard workers and employees affected by the fire.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau has set up a gofundme account to help ranchers and farmers displaced by the fire. American AgCredit has set up a matching program of up to $25,000. As of Monday afternoon, $11,595 have been raised.


Napa Valley Vineyard Owner Al Frediani Dies at 96

Al Frediani was known for his love for his old vines, his meticulous farming and his sharp sense of humor. Born on his family's Napa Valley farm, he spent his life working on the property. Frediani died Oct. 18, 2018, a month shy of his 97th birthday.

The 20-acre Frediani vineyard, tucked away in the northeast corner of the valley on a quiet road near Calistoga, is planted to prized Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Valdiguié (a French variety locally dubbed "Napa Gamay") and Petite Sirah, which Frediani called by its old winegrowers' nickname, "Petty Sarah." Producers including Relic, Conn Creek and Stags' Leap Winery have purchased his grapes. The nearest neighbor is the famed Eisele Vineyard, which was purchased in July 2013 by the owners of Bordeaux first-growth Château Latour.

"Al was in love with his vines and loved spending time in the vineyard," Relic winemaker Mike Hirby told Wine Spectator. "He farmed the old way, which meant dry-farming and organic farming of the simplest kind. He let the vines do the rest, which is what it is all about."

Frediani's father bought and planted the site after emigrating from Italy in the early 1900s. Frediani was born there Nov. 23, 1921, and was raised on the land, helping his father in the vineyards as a child and then returning to the property after serving in the Army during World War II. Since then, not much has changed in the way the land has been farmed, except that tractors have replaced horses, much to Frediani's dismay.

Hirby says Frediani liked to talk about those horses. "He got his first tractor in 1953, and how he missed working the horses, although they kicked him and ran away often. He was a gentle spirit with a lot of heart and a great sense of humor, always happy."

Frediani did not irrigate and he didn't believe in spraying pesticides in his vineyard. If he saw a weed, he would simply pull it out with his bare hands. Even when his age slowed him down, he continued to do as much in the vineyard as possible, with help from his son Steve, who lives in his own house on the property.

Winemaker Jeff Cohn says he will remember Frediani as a "true character." Cohn said, "The first time I met him was in the front of his home. He was skinning a jackrabbit to use [as bait] to attract the yellow jackets [away] from his house. It was a good-sized knife."

"Grape sampling with Al was always interesting," added Cohn. Frediani had an old Coke can with the top cut off. "He would take a bunch of berries, crush them up [in the can] and use an old refractometer to see the Brix. I have a feeling this refractometer had not been calibrated since John F. Kennedy was in office. It used to amuse me, how close his numbers were to what I would get at the lab."

The vineyard's old, gnarled vines were scattered among piles of wood, old cars, washboards and buckets of walnuts from a handful of trees Frediani planted years ago. "That was a mistake," Frediani told Wine Spectator about the walnuts in an interview in 2014. "They don't pay much."

Frediani's hard work and commitment to his vineyard was as legendary as his grapes. "I feel so lucky to have been able to work with him over the last decade," said Hirby. "He taught me so much about what is important in vineyard work, wine, and in life."

Frediani is survived by six children, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Stay on top of important wine stories with Wine Spectator's free Breaking News Alerts.


Winemaker Interview: Scot Covington – Trione Vineyards and Winery

In the fall of 2012, as the bounty of harvest was coming to an end, we had the opportunity to meet winemaker Scot Covington at the beautiful Trione Winery. Trione Vineyards and Winery sits in the heart of Alexander Valley, just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. For over 35 years the Trione family has been involved in Sonoma vineyards and winemaking . We were lucky enough to be on site during the Trione staff harvest party, complete with grilled wild duck, compliments of Mark Trione’s hunting skills. Scot’s excitement over the 2012 wines was contageous. The barrel and tank tastings showed exceptional promise.

In 2005, when the Trione family decided to venture back into winemaking, it was Scot they tapped to design and build the winemaking facility. He is a warm and friendly person dedicated to the winemaking arts. As you will read, Scot was well traveled before Trione, though now he seems to have, paraphrasing Jimmy Buffett, “found a life that suits his style.”

B&B: who do you see when you look in the mirror?

SC: Well, that is a good question. Some days it’s Brad Pitt, some days George Clooney some days Archie Bunker…more often than not I see my Father. I see his eyes, ears laugh lines. I wish my Father was still around to taste the wines that I am making now. He was a big fan of mine as I was of him and I see him often in the mirror especially now that I am a father. The mirror gives perspective.

B&B: Tell us about your background?

SC: My background is in a word varied. I began my college years thinking I was going to study chemistry or biology. I was taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College when I stumbled upon an elective course in Viticulture/Enology. I took the first course and was hooked. The Director of the Ag Department, Rich Thomas, was very influential in my decision of which school to attend. He said, “If you want to be a Doctor go to UC Davis, if you want to make wine go to CSU Fresno.” I went to Fresno. While working on my degree, I met Terry Adams of Sonoma-Cutrer and did a harvest internship with him. After graduation, Terry gave me my first winery job as the lab assistant. I worked for five years with Terry Adams and Bill Bonnetti at Sonoma-Cutrer becoming Lab Director.

Working with only Chardonnay for five years was great but I wanted to expand my responsibilities and creative expressions with other wines. So in 1995, I became the enologist at Marimar Torres Estate making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In early 1997, having the bug to travel, I worked at a winery called Vergelegen in Somerset West, South Africa. The climate, the people, the wines were all fantastic and the experience really expanded my knowledge of the greater global wine world. Upon returning to California in the late summer of 1997, a friend told me that Gallo-Sonoma was looking for an experimental winemaker. I jumped at the idea of being an experimental winemaker and spent the next five years at Gallo-Sonoma. During my time at Gallo-Sonoma I was able to travel to Australia where I worked the harvest at Rosemount in the Hunter Valley and Yalumba in the Barossa. In 2001, I returned to Adelaide to work with the students at the Adelaide University.

In the spring of 2001, I met Merry Edwards, who is a pioneer in Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, who was working with Bob Pellegrini at the time. They were looking for someone to be the winemaker and to oversee construction of the yet to be built Pellegrini Winery. I did not hesitate at the opportunity when Merry asked if I knew of anyone who might be interested and started working with Bob that summer. Fast forward to 2005, when a friend called to say they had heard that the Trione family was thinking of getting back into the winery business. I met with the Trione’s and they talked of the plans that they had and their commitment to quality and I knew at the first meeting that I wanted to be part of their dream and have not looked back.

B&B: What role did wine play in your family and upbringing?

SC: In my early years wine played a rather small role. I remember my parents having the occasional bottle of cold duck or hearty burgundy at the table but my father preferred beer. It wasn’t until I was college age that I finally discovered the world of wine and started down the path of discovery on my own. My mother would tell stories of my grandfather having a barrel of wine in the tank house in which he would go out to each evening and get a glass. I was too young to remember him but I do remember the stories.

B&B: How did your interest in winemaking begin?

SC: As I said previously it was during my first college days. It sounds cliché but it was a girl. She was interested in wine and we began to share different bottles over lunch. My first favorite was a Sonoma County Gewürztraminer. Not only was it impressive to say, the wines were easy to appreciate, floral, spicy, sweet, delicious and so perfect on a warm summer day. As it turned out I fell out of love with the girl and in love with the wine and that relationship continues to this day.

B&B: You have had the chance to work with some renowned winemakers, who has been the most influential on you as a winemaker and or person?

SC: “Like a dwarf on the shoulders of giants” to use a quote from John of Salisbury, that is how I feel. I have worked with many great winemakers and I have gained knowledge both personally and professionally from each one. The person that has had the most influence on me and my winemaking has been my friend and mentor Merry Edwards. The attention to detail that she takes in her winemaking is unparalleled. She is tireless in her pursuit of perfection but at the same time she is always looking at the big picture. I think from her I have learned that if you really take care of the small details the big ones will follow suit.

B&B: How would you describe your winemaking philosophy and why is it important to you?

SC: It is guided by Nature. What I mean by that is that the hand of the winemaker is light but instinctively direct. I think that the best quote about the philosophy of wine is the one from Hippocrates that says “Life so short the craft so long to learn”. I am not sure about the Latin translation. Winemaking is like many other crafts in that the more experience you have the greater the ability you have to create. It is important because it is tied to the quality of life. Never trust a skinny chef or a young pilot.

B&B: What should we expect from the wines you make at Trione?

SC: An expression of quality that does not vary from vintage to vintage. I mean the wines will vary but the level of quality will be consistent. I also want the wines to be true to the variety and display a sense of place. The Pinot Noir should be recognizable as Russian River Valley, the Sauvignon Blanc the same, the Alexander Valley Cab should say Alexander Valley. If you get to know our wines you will get to know the appellations.

B&B: What makes Trione Winery a special place for you?

SC: The winery is my creative center. I mean it is a place that I draw creativity from. I love the fact that I work for a great family and that they allowed me to create the space that I think works best for me and the wines. I love coming to work. That is a very powerful statement, I am not sure who gets the credit for saying it but the statement is true. Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. It is great place to be and the only way that true creativity can flourish.

B&B: While many winemakers use open-top fermentation for Pinot Noir, you also use them for Cabernet Sauvignon. What effect does this have on the finished wine?

SC: Oxygen plays a huge part in the health and viability of yeast. I think that open top fermentations allow for the continual exchange of C02 and Oxygen during fermentation. This gas exchange during fermentation helps with yeast health as well as allowing for other oxygen catalyzed reactions to happen more readily. Fermentations seem to complete without problems and I believe that this helps with color stability and tannin/mouth feel development.

B&B: At Trione you make a number of wine varieties from Pinot Noir and Cabernet to Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. What is your favorite grape to work with and why?

SC: My first response would be Pinot Noir because of the challenge that the variety possesses in style development and in the reputation that the variety has as being challenging. After a little thought though I would honestly say that currently it is Sauvignon Blanc. I love the fresh crispness of the fruit and the way the wine can be shaped and molded into the finished wine. I think that crafting a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc is very rewarding. It is such a great wine paired with a variety of foods or just simply enjoyed by the glass. The aroma and flavors that evolve from the glass as the wine warms up is ever changing and almost endless in description.

B&B: What can a visitor expect from their experience at Trione Winery?

SC: The visitor whether it is their first or one of many visits can expect warm hospitality, a welcoming invitation to get to know the wines, the winemaking, the family and the history that goes into every bottle of Trione wine. We are a family business and the visitor will leave the winery knowing that their enjoyment is paramount at Trione. We want the customer to tell us they love the wine not the other way around.

B&B: What can we expect from our wines and Trione Winery over the next few years?

SC: I hope what can be expected is consistent quality wines with the ability to enjoy the evolution of the wines that only time can develop. I also will continue to not only make the wines that we currently produce but also to make other wines as the season may dictate. I have made late harvest Sauvignon Blanc when the conditions were right. I have made late harvest Zinfandel and Zinfandel Port in the past. I have also made Rose’ of Pinot Noir for the last two seasons. I am always trying new things and expanding what we can bring to the wine consumer. I am planning on do some sparkling wines in the coming years, a Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Noir. The creative spectrum is endless as long as our customers are enjoying the products of our labor.

B&B: Tell us a bit about your life away from the winery?

SC: Away from the winery is mainly my family and home life. My wife Allison and I have a not quite two year old son named Davis. He is the main focus away from the winery. He has kept us very busy since his arrival in 2011. He is our only child so life has changed for us in the last two years. Allison and I both enjoy cooking, wine (of course) and gardening. For both of us most of our family is close by so we see a lot of aunts/uncles/cousins/Grandmas during the time away from work. It is time we both enjoy and cherish.

Q: Is there anything else you would like us to know about yourself or Trione Wines?

A: Only that I love what I do and I hope that it shows in the wines. For me wine is my life, I cannot imagine doing or making anything else. It truly is a blessing and a joy to come to the winery every day. In Vino Veritas


Trione Vineyards & Winery

Last year when the 2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair honored the Trione family with the esteemed Methuselah Award for their lifetime contribution to the Sonoma County Wine Industry, the timing couldn&rsquot have been better. The year 2015 also marked the Triones&rsquo 40th anniversary as farmers and managers of some of Sonoma County&rsquos finest vineyards, their 10th year making wine under their own label, and the anniversary of the stunning Old Stone Building that houses their hospitality center. Through the decades, three generations&mdashHenry Trione, sons Mark and Vic, and Mark&rsquos daughter Denise&mdashhave developed an outstanding reputation for producing premium grapes and outstanding wines.

As owners of five ranches and cultivators of close to 700 vineyard acres in the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and Sonoma Coast, the Triones strive to bring in quality fruit and craft small lots of premium wines.Their winemaker, Scot Covington, believes that handwork is paramount. From vine to bottle, a gentle, hands-on approach is applied. This technique is duly appreciated with each release, and the wines win many awards. One case in point: the 2014 Trione Sauvignon Blanc received the Sweepstakes Award for Best White Wine at the 2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair and was awarded 91 points by Wine Enthusiast. Earlier this year, the winery released its first Sparkling wine: a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Trione&rsquos state-of-the-art winemaking facility and tasting room was built alongside Sonoma County&rsquos historic Old Stone Building, dating back to 1908. The storied building, care-fully erected to be earthquake proof, features the area&rsquos first concrete floor and magnificent Douglas fir beams. The Trione family treasure their local history, and they were able to retain the original bond number, 350, once given to their winery&rsquos predecessor, Nervo Winery.

Besides exploring this impressive building, guests are encouraged to relax and unwind at the bocce courts and attend the winery&rsquos outstanding food and wine events.


Trione Vineyard and Winery

Caterina and Vittorio Trione didn’t plan to inspire decades of winemaking when they immigrated to California from the Piedmont area of Italy. Instead, they started a bakery in Fortuna and made wine in their basement for their personal use. It was the Prohibition era, and regulations allowed making wine for household use if it wasn’t offered for sale.

It seems that winemaking runs in the family. Caterina and Vittorio’s son, the late Henry F. Trione, was a first-generation American and self-made man who became one of Sonoma County’s lions of the financial industry before making his name in the wine world with Trione Vineyards and Winery. He passed away just a few years ago, but the Trione family continues his legacy, and the winery is still 100 percent family owned.

Henry’s sons Mark and Victor are President and Vice-President, respectively, granddaughter Denise manages the winery, grandson Henry heads up the winery sales, and Denise’s husband Kris is the vineyard manager. According to Grandson Henry, Winemaker Scot Covington “might as well be family,” since he’s been making wine with them since the family established Trione Vineyards and Winery in 2005.

The family owns and cultivates over 650 vineyard acres on five ranches in Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and Sonoma Coast. Yet, they select just three percent of the fruit produced from their vineyards and craft small lots that express the highest level of quality for each variety. The five ranches noted in the winery’s tagline refer to the River Road Ranch, Flatridge Ranch, Geyserville Ranch, Cloverdale Ranch, and Home Ranch.

The River Road Ranch in the Russian River Valley has well-drained soils that are perfect for growing world-class Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. The Flatridge Ranch, which sits at an elevation of 1,100 feet in the Sonoma Coast AVA, is where the family grows fruit for their Zinfandel.

Three of the ranches are in Alexander Valley: Geyserville Ranch is where the grapes for the family’s Merlot, Zinfandel, and Primitivo wines are grown, and the Cloverdale Ranch sits along the western flank of the Mayacamas Mountains with its vineyards of Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

It’s the Home Ranch in Alexander Valley that is the public face of Trione Vineyards and Winery. It houses the winery and the Old Stone Building, which was restored from its original state in 1908. It now serves as the winery’s venue for both casual and formal food and wine events, from intimate picnics to large-scale weddings.

The winery offers wine tastings with farm-to-table picnic-style lunches set amongst the Alexander Valley vineyards or around the winery’s onsite bocce ball court. Its picturesque location among the vineyards combined with the rustic elegance of the Old Stone Building makes it a highly sought-after wedding location. The beautifully landscaped grounds and a rustic wooden arch provide a dreamy backdrop for a chic outdoor vineyard wedding, and the spectacular Douglas Fir wood beams strung with lights over adorned tables create an ideal indoor setting for a wedding celebration or reception.


Alessandro Cellai, "Rock Star Winemaker"

First, let me say that I hope Alessandro is not shining me on! He is mighty charming and could do some shining with ease but he seems like a real and nice guy. And I could see he was visibly taken aback when I gave him my business card. He says his mother's name is the same as mine, Trippi. She was from the Tuscan village of Civitella Della Chiana in Arezzo. "It is not a common name and I have only heard it around the Florence area." How cool is that?

Are we cousins, I ask with great hope? Alessandro says, "Probably, up the line somewhere." That works! A world class winemaker for a cousin, even if it is several generations back in the old country and a little light on connectivity, is good enough for me. Alessandro says he will send me something that his mother signed. WOW! I am all over town today telling everyone about my cousin. But enough about my excellent adventure. Back to Alessandro.

I was determined to make sure that I got to the bottom of this "Rock Star" designation. What's that all about? Turns out Alessandro was chosen by Decanter Magazine as the Best Winemaker Under 40 in the World! The WORLD I say. Read: "Rock Star." Yeah, that's my cousin!

But do you believe it? The RockStar thing, I ask? Alessandro hesitates a bit. Ok, I say, put another way then, can you name a better winemaker? "No." He believes it. And well he should. After tasting the wine, I know I do!

Alessandro says he entered the wine world through his uncle. A Catholic priest at a church in Tuscany, Alessandro's uncle made the sacramental wine with Sangiovese grapes he planted and farmed on the church property. A not so little divine intervention! And from there, the wine gene took over.

Alessandro has two children. His son, Lorenzo is 18 and studying economics. His daughter, Barbara is 16 and, Alessandro hopes, his winemaking successor. Barbara is already studying viticulture and is hands on at the winery.

Do women in wine have a tough time in Italy? Do you have any concerns about your daughter pursuing a career in winemaking? Alessandro says "No." He does not see discrimination against women in the wine industry. "Women have always been winemakers in Italy." About this time, I am wondering why I am not in Tuscany! I have the Mary Tyler Moore boxed set of 7 seasons. I can go anywhere now.

Now the important stuff. Favorite actor? "Bruce Willis." So I guess "Die hard" is your favorite movie? Alessandro says, without a hint of equivocation, "Si. All of them."

Actress? "Julia Roberts." Movie? "All of them. Any of them. I like Pretty Woman but, really, all of them." It is clear that Alessandro really, really, really likes Julia Roberts!

And if you are kicking back to watch a Julia Roberts movie, what wine in today's lineup that included Grillo, Frappato, Nero d'Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon, and his most awesome dessert wine, do you pour. "Nero d'Avola." That might have been my favorite too.

Vineyard Dog? "Si, due cani." Alessandro has two Black Labs named Tom and Jerry.

Finally, what music did he want us to play for the tasting? "I like music from the 60s and 70s but if I have to pick just one, The Beatles."

I write this through the haze of wondering why I am not in Firenze. My cousin is a rock star winemaker! And a real nice guy.


About Bacchus and Beery Wine Blog

Don’t be confused by the wine blog title Bacchus and Beery. This is a wine blog about wine, love, fun and food as represented by the Roman God of Wine, Bacchus who also was said to inspire joy and ecstasy. Our last name just happens to be Beery and the wine blog is about our family’s love affair with wine.

We started our love affair with wine back in college. Granted, like many with limited resources in the ‘70’s, we cut our teeth on Liebframilch and Mateus Rose. It was imported we were classy. In the early 80’s we made several trips to the California wine country from our home in Austin, Texas and began hanging out with local restaurant owners and wine reps. Fortunately, with expanded resources and the help of our new friends, we were able to expand our palates.

Wine has always played an important role in our lives. It gave us a shared passion, helped us to make lifelong friends and has become something we now share with our college aged children. We never told them specifically to find a major in which wine was important, we just started them young with a wine cellar at home and trips to local wine bars.

Our oldest, Conch, is an aspiring winemaker in Sonoma County with a Viticulture and Enology degree from Texas Tech University. Whitney received her hospitality degree from Texas Tech and is a hospitality manager at a famed Sonoma County winery. Together in 2014 we launched J. Cage Cellars, boutique winery in Sonoma County.


Watch the video: Virtual Wine u0026 Food Affair 1 of 3 (January 2022).