Meet Silvia Marinelli of Conti Sertoli Salis

April 27, 2010

This Thursday Vino is postponing its cocktail hour for one week only to welcome a very special guest. From 5:30pm join Conti Sertoli Salis‘ export manager Silvia Marinelli (below left with winemaker Barbara Tamburini at Vino last year) as she pours wines by this esteemed Lombardy producer.

The sub-alpine valley known as Valtellina has long drawn interest from wine drinkers; Leonardo da Vinci even spoke of its winemaking potential in his Codice Atlantico. Today, the Valtellina Superiore DOCG produces some of Lombardy’s most prestigious wines.

Located in the town of Tirano in the province of Sondrio, not far from the Swiss border, Conti Sertoli Salis is a noble family which has been bottling wine since 1869. Much of their wine is still vinified and aged in cellars beneath the Palazzo Salis, the family’s 17th century palace and one of Tirano’s most popular tourist attractions. Conti Sertoli Salis’ Nebbiolo-based wines are some of the best representations of Valtellina we’ve had the pleasure to taste. Of particular interest are Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo vinified white) and the award-winning Nebbiolo-Pinot Nero blend, Baccalitt.

with Silvia Marinelli
Thursday, April 29

For more information 212-725-6516 or email


Master Class with Mario Andrion

February 17, 2010

Join the Castello di Verduno winemaker next Tuesday

Vino’s Winter 2010 classes continue next Tuesday with a Master Class featuring a very special guest! Winemaker Mario Andrion of the acclaimed Barolo estate Castello di Verduno will be at Vino on February 23 to guide a tasting of his wines and to talk about his experiences as an enologist in one of the world’s most important appellations.

At 34 years old, Mario (above) represents a new generation of Langhe winemakers who resist the rigid traditional/modern categorization that has dogged Barolo and Barbaresco for decades. Like many of his contemporaries, he is willing to use advances in viticulture and vinification to produce wines that vibrantly express varietal character and reflect the top quality of the estate’s vineyard sites while requiring minimal technical intervention.

After obtaining a degree in enology and viticulture from the University of Turin, Mario spent a year in Oregon before landing a job at the Castello di Verduno in 2000. He assisted Castello co-owner Franco Bianco before taking over the cellar in 2005. Mario was awarded the Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso for his 2004 Barbaresco Rabaja.

Class participants will taste some of Castello di Verduno’s most representative wines, including Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Verduno Pelaverga, Barbaresco, Barbaresco Rabaja and Barolo Massara.

with Mario Andrion of Castello di Verduno

Tuesday, February 23

For more information and reservations please call 212-725-6516 or email

Wines of Tuscany: with special guests, next Wednesday

January 27, 2010

Vino’s Winter wine classes continue next Wednesday with a very special edition of Wines of Tuscany, presented in association with Vino 2010, and featuring honored guest representatives from two of our favorite Tuscan wineries: Giovanni Busi of Travignoli and Fabrizio Benedetti of Casa Emma.

Perhaps no region evokes the magic of Italy more than Tuscany: its rolling hills, picturesque towns and stunning artistic heritage have attracted visitors for centuries. So familiar is the region, that many wine enthusiasts are often lulled into feeling they know all their is to know about Tuscany’s equally popular and world famous wines. But as this exclusive tasting class will demonstrate, there’s much more to Tuscan wine than a straw flask on a checkered tablecloth.

Now you have a rare opportunity to learn more about the finer details of Tuscan wine production, directly from those who know it best. The Travignoli estate in Chianti Rufina has been in the Busi family since the 17th century. Current owner Giovanni Busi (right), himself a former president of the Chianti Rufina consortium, will reveal some of the secrets which go into producing a world class wine.

One of the top producers of Chianti Classico, Casa Emma is also a leader in wine marketing and international relations. Fabrizio Benedetti (left) oversees the business aspect of the winery, and will explain the steps Casa Emma has taken to adapt to an ever-expanding market.

Taste wines from both producers and more in what promises to be a very special occasion at Vino!

Wednesday, February 3

For more information and reservations please call 212-725-6516 or email

Organized by the Italian Trade Commission, Vino 2010 Italian Wine Week is the biggest Italian wine convention ever held outside of Italy, featuring events, panels and tastings throughout the city from February 2-6.

Foglia Tonda: Vino discovers a Tuscan rarity

January 22, 2010

Taste wines by Guido Gualandi at 20% off today!

At Vino we pride ourselves on bringing rare wines and lesser-known varieties to your attention. But sometimes, just when we think we’ve seen it all, a wine comes along that reminds us just how much there is still to discover. It’s certainly not everyday you come across a wine made from 100% Foglia Tonda, but then Tuscan producer Guido Gualandi (above) has never been much of a conformist. Renowned for his hands-on approach to every aspect of winemaking from vine to bottle, Guido’s championing of this ancient variety is completely in-keeping with his love of indigenous grapes.

Foglia Tonda is believed to be closely related to Sangiovese, yet both softer and less tannic, and therefore ready to drink much sooner. Named for the vines’ distinctive round leaves (foglia tonda means literally “round leaf”), the variety fell out of favor over the course of the last century, in part due to the boom in production and appreciation of Chianti.

Guido vinifies the wine in open-topped wooden fermentation tanks before aging it for ten months in oak casks of various size and age, which are rolled continuously to keep the lees moving. Produced from five-year old vines, this is only Guido’s second vintage of Foglia Tonda and the first to be made available in the United States.

Taste Foglia Tonda today and save 20%! Also, taste two consecutive vintages of Guido’s 100% Sangiovese, Gualandus!

Foglia Tonda 2007 Guido Gualandi
was $75, now $60

Sangiovese Gualandus 2006 Guido Gualandi
was $50, now $40

Sangiovese Gualandus 2005 Guido Gualandi
was $50, now $40

For more information please call 212-725-6516 or email

Barbera brace

January 15, 2010

Taste Barbera from Piedmont and Emilia and save a massive 30%!

Vino’s free tasting today features two of our favorite Barbera-based wines. Italy’s third most-planted grape (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano), the versatile Barbera variety plays a prominent role in the daily lives of Northern Italians through a diverse range of wines. In Piedmont it accounts for almost fifty percent of all grape vine plantings, while in Emilia-Romagna it is often blended with lighter varieties to create a softer wine. Today we feature wines from both regions now at a spectacular 30% off! Taste two age-worthy examples of Barbera at its very best, today from 5:30-7:30pm at Vino!

Barbera d’Alba Rocca delle Marasche 2004 Deltetto
was $52, now $36.40

Named after the “marasca” cherry which once grew on the site, the Rocca delle Marasche vineyard is found in a prime position in Castellinaldo (Cuneo), just a few kilometers north of Alba. Deltetto owner Antonio Deltetto (above) strictly limits his yields thus allowing remaining grapes to over-mature. The wine is then aged in new French oak barriques for 18 months, before spending a further six in the bottle. The resulting wine is a startlingly rich, international-style Barbera d’Alba, whose stellar 2004 vintage was a recipient of the Cinque Grappoli and Tre Bicchieri awards.

Barbera/Bonarda Macchiona 2003 La Stoppa
was $46, now $32.20

Since Elena Pantaleoni (left) took over as primary owner of the La Stoppa estate, the Emilian winery has become a leading player in Italy’s natural wine movement. The zesty Macchiona is a fifty-fifty blend of Barbera and Bonarda sourced from forty-year-old vines in the colli piacentini. “The wine is drinking very well already,” says winemaker Elena, “but this is a label that is really intended for extended aging.” We recently tasted some older vintages from her cellar and indeed this wine will only get better with time.

For more information please call 212-725-6516 or email

La Gazzella and Le Muraglie by Ezio Voyat at 20% off!

December 22, 2009

Vino’s holiday sale continues today as we feature the wines of legendary Valle d’Aosta producer Ezio Voyat. Though he made his living as an accountant for a casino, Ezio Voyat forged his legend as a producer of some of Italy’s most distinctive wines. His two Moscato, the dry La Gazzella, the red blend Le Muraglie and the sweet Ambrato are truly wines of place, slightly austere and aromatic with brisk acidity balancing concentration of flavor.

Like the mountains from which they come these wines can be imposing and difficult to attain but with time and effort their mysteries unfold and their charms become a warm embrace. Voyat made wine in Chambave, a hamlet in the Valle d’Aosta, his modest house and cellar within walking distance of his several acres of hillside vineyard. Ezio Voyat died in 2003 leaving his wife and daughter (above) to carry on his sizeable winemaking legacy.

La Gazzella 2005
was $38, now $30.40
Legendary winemaker Ezio Voyat named his sleek, elegant 100% Moscato after his daughter Marilena, Olympic sprinter and 1980s Italian track sensation, known by fans as the “Gazelle.” While most Italian Moscato is vinified as sweet wine, Voyat’s La Gazzella is a dry wine with uncommon depth and structure. The 2005 is crisp and fresh, with mineral complexity created in the vineyard by the cool nights of the Alpine summer (the cool evening breeze allows the berries to ripen slowly and thus the roots absorb more character from the limestone subsoil). The fruit for this unusual wine is sourced from the estate’s terraced vineyards in the province of Chambave in the Valle d’Aosta region, where French and Italian are spoken.

Rosso Le Muraglie 2006
was $43, now $34.40

The fruit for Voyat’s Le Muraglie (“The Walls”) Chambave Rosso is sourced from an ancient cloistered growing site (barely five acres) where the winemaker uses promiscuous growing techniques (allowing naturally occurring foliage to grow among the vines) and minimal intervention in the cellar to create a light, bright red wine with extraordinary depth and structure and lingering secondary and tertiary berry aromas and flavors. Made from Petit Rouge, smaller amounts of Dolcetto, and Gros Vien (a rare grape that grows exclusively in Valle d’Aosta), Voyat blends the wine to achieve a perfect balance of tannin, acidity, and alcohol. The resulting wine is elegantly powerful but retains a lightness that can only be attributed to the winemaker’s style and deft touch.

Ambrato Le Muraglie 2000
was $117, now $93.60

Ezio Voyat’s Ambrato Le Muraglie is a dried-grape wine made from estate-grown Moscato grapes. The name Ambrato or “ambered” comes from the wine’s rich color: cask aging and gentle oxidation give this dessert wine its unique mouthfeel and flavor. Ezio’s daughter, Marilena, told us that she recently opened bottles of the Ambrato from the 1950s: this dessert wine is ready to drink but also offers remarkable aging potential.

Remember, this 20% off sale is for one day only!

Please call 212-725-6516 or email for more details.

Let it snow! Save 20% on Lagrein, Schiava and other Alpine favorites!

December 21, 2009

Vino’s holiday sale continues this week as we feature the wines of sub-Alpine producer Castel Sallegg. Nestled between the majestic peaks of the Dolomite Alps, the area surrounding Lake Caldaro in the German-speaking region of Alto Adige is an optimum wine producing zone. Amidst this tranquil Alpine valley lie the vineyards of Castel Sallegg, a winery fortunate enough to possess some of the most desirable sites on the western slopes of the lake, and in the village of Caldaro.

Three varieties typically cultivated in the region, Schiava and Lagrein, and Moscato Giallo, benefit from Lake Caldaro’s unique climate, providing Castel Sallegg with what are arguably its most distinctive wines. Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero are grown on historic sites in the village center.

The Castel Sallegg, in addition to its winemaking reputation, boasts a history steeped in nobility. In 1851 the castle itself and its surrounding vineyard was bought by Archduke Rainer of Austria, Viceroy of Lombardy-Veneto. It was later inherited by the Counts von Kuenburg through Prince Henry of Campofranco. A keen sense of custodial responsibility and continuity are deeply rooted in the Von Kuenburg family, and today Georg von Kuenburg (above), together with enologist Matthias Hauser, ensures that quality and tradition continue to be maintained.

Pinot Bianco 2008
was $20, now $16

The sandy, pebbly lime subsoil in the slopes that surround Lake Caldaro are ideal for creating a fresh, mineral-driven, Pinot Bianco. The wine’s crisp, balanced acidity makes it a great food-friendly wine that pairs well with the often sharp flavors of the local cuisine.

Moscato Giallo 2008
was $21, now $16.80

Moscato Giallo is an aromatic grape considered indigenous to Trentino-Alto Adige. Its aromatic nose, pronounced deep golden color make it an excellent pairing for richer foods and is often paired with some of the region’s cow’s milk cheeses.

Lagrein Rosé 2008
was $20, now $16

The tannic Lagrein grapes give this wine complexity and structure while the enologist at Castel Sallegg ensures that the wine expresses the pillars of rosato: refreshing, easy-to-drink and adaptable. The wine is made from the same Lagrein grapes as those sourced for Count Kuenberg’s Lagrein Riserva.

Schiava Bischofsleiten 2008
was $20, now $16

A grape variety that has grown for generations on the steep slopes of sub-Alpine Alto Adige, Schiava produces a lightly-colored red wine that is a local favorite. Schiava finds its greatest expression on the western side of Lake Caldaro where, trained in the traditional pergola system, grapes can achieve maximum ripeness and attain the most unique reflection of their terroir. Bischofsleiten, or Bishop’s Slope, is a vineyard named for its founder, the Bishop of Trento, and is considered by many area producers to be the zone’s best site.

Pinot Nero 2005
was $24, now $19.20

Castel Sallegg’s vineyards lie on the slopes that rise up from the lake. In this alpine valley, temperature variation (warm days, cool evenings, essential for the thin-skinned Pinot Nero grape during ripening) and the absence of rot and mildew (thanks to the lake breeze) help to create wines that are fresh and well balanced. Castel Sallegg uses temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel and ages the wine in small and large casks to make a Pinot Nero with beautiful fruit flavors, bright acidity, and a clean finish.

Lagrein Riserva 2004
was $34, now 27.20

Believed by many to be a relative of Syrah, Lagrein is an indigenous red grape of Trentino-Alto Adige where high altitudes and excellent temperature variation around Lake Caldaro combine to create a rich red wine with peppery notes, excellent for the wintry dishes of this Alpine region. The grape growers at Castel Sallegg prefer clay and sandy subsoil for the cultivation of Lagrein: the drainage “stresses” the vines and forces their roots to grow deeper in search of life-giving water. The resulting wines are intensely colored and flavored and represent a unique local viticultural tradition.

Below are this week’s featured producers and tasting*. Remember, 20% sales are for one day only!

Tue 12/22: EZIO VOYAT

Please call 212-725-6516 or email for more details.