Wine By Appointment Meets The Slow Wine Movement
Back in March, Wine By Appointment attended the Slow Wine 2019 Tasting event at Pier 27 in San Francisco. It was a glorious opportunity to sample the amazing wines from a number of Italian regions, California, Oregon and Slovenia. With over fifteen Italian wine regions represented, I blissfully wandered aisle after aisle of winemakers featuring some of my favorite Italian varieties. Before I go further, maybe an explanation of what the Slow Wine Movement is, is in order.
The Slow Wine Movement actually grew out of the Slow Food movement, which was started by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1989. The Slow Food movement grew out of concern that food was becoming increasing over-processed and chemically enhanced. It’s credo of “good, clean and fair” model of food production sought to stave off the encroachment of fast and industrialized food. So, the Slow Food and, ,eventually, the Slow Wine Movement is a set of principles valuing not only the quality of the food product or wine, but how it is produced and its overall effect on the environment.
Essentially, the Slow Wine Movement is a new approach to how wine is critiqued and evaluated. Instead of the much maligned point system, the Slow Wine Movement monitors not only the wine quality, but adherence to terroir (or the place where the wine grapes are grown), value for money and pays close attention to the particular vineyard’s production methods. So, the Movement bestows a Snail insignia for wineries that produce high quality wines, originality, and response for the land and environment. A Bottle goes to wineries whose wines represent benchmarks in quality and a Coin is awarded to wineries that produce wine that are deemed to be of excellent value.
A few of the wineries represented at the event….
Cantine del Notaoi in the Basilicata region (near Rome) produces one of my favorite Italian wines, Aglianico Del Vulture and earned the Snail rating. The Snail denotes wineries that have high quality wines and produce them in a manner in keeping with the terroir or land. Noted as a certified organic, biodynamic wine producer, it produces 450,000 bottles on 99 acres (www.cantinedelnotaio.com)
Cantina Dell Volta hails from the Emilia-Romagna region, think Balsamic vinegar, and produces Lambrusco. This winery earned the Bottle rating, marking its’ wine as superior in quality. Lambrusco, for those not familiar with its taste profile, is a slightly frizzante (fizzy) red wine, typically sweet and served chilled. Certified as a organic producer, they make 120,000 bottles – 24.5 acres (www.cantinadellavolta.com)
Pian Delle Querci is located in Montalcino, in the Tuscany region of Italy, and, makes one of the most superb wines in the world, Brunello ( a clone of Sangiovese). This winery earned the Coin rating as the wines represent excellent value. It produces 55,0000 bottles – 21 acres. (www.piandellequerci.it)
Corzano e Paterno hails from Tuscany, in Chianti and produces the best know wine from that region, Chianti Sangiovese. This winery has earned the Snail rating producing 90,000 bottles – 54.5 acres.
G.D. Vajra located in Piedmont is one winery I want to visit. They make Barola, Dolcetto and Riesling (2 of my favorite types of Italian wine). The vineyard has earned the Snail rating. It produces 400,000 bottles – 209 acres.
Antiquum Winery located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon rated a Bottle insignia for outstanding wine quality. Producing 32,400 bottles of Oregon standards such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on 21 acres. (www.antiquumfarm.com)
Unti Vineyards in Healdsburg (our stomping grounds) earned the highest accolade, the Snail. They produce such Italian varieties such as Barbara, Montepulciano and Verminto; 100,000 bottles – 60 acres.
Robert Sinskey Vineyard (one of our favorites) from Napa, California was awarded the Bottle rating for benmarks in quality. Their Abraxas (white blend) , Marcien (red blend) and Pinot Noir wines were featured; production of 240,000 bottles – 178 acres.