Italian Wines

Import Selection: Chianti, 1990. Melini Borghi D’Elsa

Founded in 1705, the Melini winery owns 225 acres of vine­yards in Tuscany, home to many of Italy’s finest red wines. Melini stands as one of the top four pro­ducers in the renowned Chianti re­gion there. This wine gets its name for the villages (borghi) along the River Elsa and comes from their modern facility… read more »

Import Selection: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 1989. Zonin

Founded in 1921, Zonin is Ita­ly’s largest privately-owned wine-making concern in operation to­day. Considering how far back many Italian wineries go, this makes the company a relative new­comer. In all fairness, it is impor­tant to state that prior to establish­ing the firm seventy years ago, the family had actually been active in the wine industry… read more »

Import Selection: Coltibuono Bianco, 1989. La Badia

Revelations never cease, it seems, when I investigate good Italian wines. While researching this article the translation of the name “Badia a Coltibuono” (some­thing I had been in mystery about for nearly ten years) like the an­swer to an ancient riddle, suddenly appeared: the “Abbey of the Good Harvest”. La Badia was built as a… read more »

This Free, 24 Hour Wine Fountain in Italy Is Too Good to Be True

When I heard about this, this morning… I thought I was dreaming or had been transported into an alternate universe. In the Abruzzo region near Rome, a fountain flowing with free red wine has been installed on the Cammino di San Tommaso route where thousands of traveling locals and tourists find their way from Rome to Ortona…. read more »

Import Selection: Chianti, 1988. Castello di Gabbiano

If, from all the pictures, car­toons, TV documentaries and books logged in your memory you were to imagine a medieval castle with jutting towers and classic parapets, you would be seeing Castello di Gabbiano (Castle of Gabbiano). According to archives, this romantic castle dates back to the twelfth century, rich with his­tory and family feuds… read more »

Import Selection: Salice Salentino, 1983, Dr. Taurino

The only good thing about in­flated California wine prices is that importers will search far and wide into territories they normally would not have, to discover good bargains. Salice Salentino lies almost at the very tip of Italy’s “high heel”; in the region of Apuglia (or just Puglia), known mainly for vast quantities of mediocre… read more »

Import Selection: Orvieto Classico, 1987, Bigi

Orvieto is a white wine from Italy that is named after a town. (Southeast of Florence and north of Rome). All wine called Orvieto must originate from grapes grown in a zone of vineyards of sixteen communes around the town, by specific area limitation according to the DOC regulations. (Denominaz­ione di Origine Controllata). Orvie­to wine… read more »

Import Selection: Orvieto Classico, 1987; Bigi

Orvieto is a white wine from Italy that is named after a town located southeast of Florence and north of Rome. All wine called Orvieto must originate from grapes grown in a zone of vineyards of sixteen communes around the town, by specific area limitation according to the DOC (Denominaz­ione di Origine Controllata) regulations …. read more »

Wine with Food: California Barbera| Pairing Tips

Wine with Food: California Barbera By Paul Kalemkiarian Sr. | April 1984 The next time you are planning Italian fare for your meal, consider this wine. It has a place in that context for many reasons. It is a pleasant departure from the tradi­tional Chianti that most everyone seems to reach for when Italian food… read more »

Chardonnay, 1983. Valenti | Vintage Wine History and Information

CHARDONNAY. 1983 – VALENTI by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | November 1984 The first time I had an Italian Chardonnay was about three years ago. It was at the Food and Wine Show in San Francisco. A huge delegation of Italian vintners were showing their wines to the trade. Offering a wine labeled Chardonnay was a departure from… read more »

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