Indigenous varieties from Northern Italy

This week, we’re excited to introduce three diverse wines from three regions in Northern Italy. Each wine is made from 100% indigenous varieties, and perfect to be enjoyed during these warm summer months.

All three wines will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you are interested in tasting the featured wines and wish to arrange a meeting, please email or call 718 902-1140.

Our full portfolio and pricing is available at

Friulano 2007 Ronco dei Tassi

Ronco dei Tassi owner and winemaker Fabio Coser may have won Gambero Rosso’s “White Wine of the Year” in 2005 for his blend “Fosarin”, but he also makes award-winning mono-varietal or single-grape wines. Using the Tocai Friulano grape found in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and neighboring Slovenia, this wine is a classic expression of both the variety and the Collio appellation.

After Hungary’s accession to the E.U., in 2007 European law stated that Tocai Friulano exported from Italy be renamed, in order to protect the Hungarian Tokaji. Some Italian Tocai producers have been reluctant to accept this new ruling, and there is still no official verdict on what the appellation should now be called. Ronco dei Tassi seems more concerned with continuing the job of winemaking, and its 2007 Tocai is known simply as “Friulano”.

Pelaverga Basadone 2007 Castello di Verduno

Used in blended wines since the 18th Century, and bottled as a single-grape wine since the 1920s, Verduno Pelaverga finally achieved DOC status in 1995. Today the appellation is one of Italy’s smallest: the wine is made from the rare pelaverga piccolo variety, found exclusively in the piemontese hamlet of Verduno, in the Barolo zone.

The wine’s label depicts one of the many poppy flowers which bloom among Castello di Verduno‘s Pelaverga vines. Local’s believe both the flower and the grape possess aphrodisiacal properties, hence the name Basadone or baciadonne in Italian, the “lady kisser.” Fruity, spicy and aromatic, the medium-bodied Pelaverga Basadone 2006 is excellent paired with lighter dishes.

Schiava Bischofsleiten 2007 Castel Sallegg

In the village of Caldaro it is custom to have your first slightly chilled glass of Schiava at noon (Pinot Bianco is appropriate before noon). Schiava is perhaps the grape most associated with red wine production in Alto Adige. While Schiava was by far the most widely planted variety in Alto Adige for many years, it was often seen as only having local interest (with the only major exports going to Germany). As international varieties entered the scene, many Schiava vineyards were ripped up to make space for the more “exportable” varieties.

The Lago di Caldaro DOC is a small zone on the western side of Lake Caldaro, recognized as the premier Schiava site in Alto Adige. The Castel Sallegg vineyard was originally planted by the Bishop of Trento, hence the name Bischofsleiten, or “Bishop’s Slope”.

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