June 2024

June 2024

1. Azienda Agricola Gaudioso Zibibbo (shown below!)

We live for Sicilian wine! Azienda Agricola Gaudioso, located in Partanna, Sicily, is a family-run farm that embraces biodynamic farming methods to produce high-quality wines and olive oil. The Gaudioso family has deep roots in the region, with a rich heritage in farming and viticulture that spans generations. Their commitment to sustainable and natural agricultural practices ensures that their products are both environmentally friendly and of exceptional quality!

The farm cultivates a variety of grape varietals, including Catarratto, Pinot Grigio, Syrah, and Zibibbo. Each wine is crafted with meticulous care, using spontaneous fermentation and minimal intervention to preserve the natural flavors and characteristics of the grapes. 

In addition to their vineyards, Azienda Agricola Gaudioso also maintains the most adorable olive groves, producing extra virgin olive oil from the esteemed Nocellara del Belice cultivar, which has received DOP certification. The farm's holistic approach extends to their animal husbandry practices, ensuring cruelty-free and sustainable rearing of sheep. I want it all! 

The Gaudioso family is guided by a vision of clean, healthy agriculture that respects the fertility of the land and its ecosystems. With the support of their mentor, biologist and oenologist Michele Lorenzetti, they have fully embraced biodynamic principles, abolishing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in favor of natural cycles and preparations. The amount of labor it takes to guide these grapes toward success is unimaginable! 

This Zibibbo is our favorite wine they make! It's characterized by its golden yellow hue and aromatic complexity. This wine is produced with meticulous care using biodynamic farming methods, ensuring that it remains true to its natural origins. The Zibibbo grapes are hand-harvested and undergo spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel tanks without temperature control, allowing the true essence of the grape to shine through. The result is a wine that offers vibrant floral aromas, notes of citrus, and hints of exotic fruits, with a balanced acidity that makes it both refreshing and flavorful!

Zibibbo (also known as Muscat of Alexandria) originated in Egypt and spread throughout the Mediterranean, especially in Sicily. It is known for its aromatic profile and versatility. Serve this wine chilled and pair it with seafood dishes such as grilled shrimp, scallops, lemon & herb chicken, Greek salad, stuffed zucchini, bell peppers or roasted vegetables! Cheese pairings such as tangy goat cheese and ricotta with honey and nuts make for delightful combinations, highlighting the wine's aromatic profile. Cheers! 

  • Producer: Azienda Agricola Gaudioso
  • Region: Partanna, Sicily
  • Varieties: 100% Zibibbo
  • Alcohol: 12%

2. Kumusha “Wild Mutupo” Carignan (Limited Release!)

Tinashe Nyamudoka is the renowned winemaker from Zimbabwe who founded Kumusha Wines in South Africa. His journey into the wine industry is quite inspirational. He moved to South Africa in 2008 due to economic challenges in Zimbabwe and initially worked in various restaurant roles, eventually becoming a sommelier at prestigious establishments such as The Test Kitchen in Cape Town. Kumusha Wines, established in 2017, reflects Tinashe's roots and heritage, with "Kumusha" meaning "home" in Shona, the native language of Zimbabwe. Tinashe's wines are known for their unique blends and sustainable farming practices. The brand aims to make high-quality wines that are accessible and affordable, drawing on local flavors and his personal experiences to create wines that resonate with a broad audience.

Tinashe Nyamudoka recently released a new line of wines under the name "Wild Mutupo." This collection is a tribute to the rich cultural heritage and diverse wildlife of Africa. The term "Mutupo" means "totem" in Shona, which is significant in Zimbabwean culture. Each wine in this series is inspired by and named after various African totems, symbolizing different animals and their unique characteristics.

The Wild Mutupo range aims to capture the essence of these totems through carefully crafted wines that reflect both the flora and fauna of Africa, blending traditional winemaking techniques with local flavors and inspirations. This new line highlights Tinashe's commitment to sustainability and his passion for storytelling through wine, bringing a piece of African heritage to wine lovers around the world!

This Carignan is sooooooo inviting and palate-friendly. Juicy, with notes of cranberry, cherry and raspberry with hints of baking spice and black pepper and earth. So balanced and perfectly calibrated to be the kind of wine we love to drink! 

Tinashe Nyamudoka was featured in the award-winning documentary "Blind Ambition." This film chronicles the journey of Tinashe and three other Zimbabwean sommeliers as they compete in the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships in France. The documentary highlights their determination, passion for wine, and the challenges they faced as they stepped into the global wine stage, representing Zimbabwe for the first time.

"Blind Ambition" explores themes of resilience, cultural pride, and the transformative power of wine. The film has received positive reviews for its inspiring story and insightful portrayal of the sommeliers' journey. We highly recommend you check it out. We loved it! 
  • Producer: Kumusha Wines
  • Region: Slanghoek, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Varieties: 100% Carignan
  • Alcohol: 13%

3. Matic Kerner Skin Contact (shown below!)

Matic Wines, founded by Matija Žerjav (known as Matic), is a celebrated winery located in the Štajerska region of northeastern Slovenia, near the borders with Austria and Hungary. This winery is recognized for its commitment to organic and biodynamic viticulture, producing natural wines that express the unique terroir of the region.

Matija Žerjav, the third generation of winemakers in his family, took over the management of the winery at the young age of 24. His approach to winemaking is deeply rooted in traditional methods passed down from his grandfather, combined with a willingness to innovate and experiment. Matic is passionate about sustainable practices and natural winemaking, ensuring that his wines are free from chemicals and unnecessary additives.

The winery cultivates nine hectares of vineyards using organic and biodynamic methods. The region's "mountain wine zone" climate, characterized by a sharp contrast between warm days and cool nights, is ideal for growing high-quality grapes. The soil, rich in marl and limestone, forces the vines to dig deep for water, resulting in wines with pronounced minerality and acidity.

Matic firmly believes in working harmoniously with nature. His philosophy is that wines should be made naturally, without chemicals, ensuring that they can be enjoyed without fear of adverse effects. He aims to produce wines that reflect the energy and essence of the land, from the vineyard to the bottle.

His (very charming!) Kerner Skin Contact wine is a standout example of Matic's innovative approach to winemaking. 14-day skin contact which imparts a rich amber color and complexity of flavors. It's then aged in stainless steel, allowing the wine to retain its fresh and fruity character. Aromas of ripe pineapple, mango, and lychee, with evolving notes of smoke and earth as the wine aerate. On the palate, fresh and full-bodied with tropical fruit flavors and a balanced acidity, reflecting the mineral-rich terroir of Štajerska! Serve chilled and pair with a variety of dishes, including roasted chicken or turkey, grilled seafood, and hearty vegetarian dishes. Cheers! 

  • Producer: Matic Wines
  • Region: Štajerska (aka Styria), Slovenia
  • Varieties: 100% Kerner
  • Alcohol: 12.5%

4. Ercole "Barbera del Monferrato DOC" 1L (shown below!)

Ercole Winery, nestled in the rolling hills of Monferrato in the Piedmont region of Italy, is a beacon of quality and tradition in winemaking. This esteemed winery is dedicated to producing wines that reflect the rich viticultural heritage of Monferrato, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its diverse landscapes and ideal grape-growing climate. Ercole combines sustainable farming practices with both traditional and modern techniques, ensuring that each bottle captures the unique flavors and aromas of the region's varietals, including Barbera, Grignolino, and Cortese. Visitors to the winery are welcomed into a warm, inviting atmosphere where they can savor a range of exquisite wines while learning about the meticulous winemaking process and the storied history of the area. Deeply embedded in the local community, Ercole not only champions environmental stewardship but also celebrates the cultural legacy of Monferrato, making it a must-visit destination for any wine enthusiast.

Ercole is a collective effort led by a cooperative of local grape growers who are passionate about sustainable viticulture and traditional winemaking. This collaboration is supported by The Piedmont Guy, a U.S.-based importer focused on promoting the wines of the Piedmont region. The cooperative primarily works with old vines, some as old as 50 years, adhering to sustainable farming practices such as lotta integrata, which emphasizes minimal chemical use and organic methods. The wines are certified vegan, ensuring a natural and authentic product.

Ercole's Barbera del Monferrato offers a vibrant and engaging tasting experience, beginning with enticing aromas of sour cherry and raspberries! On the palate, this wine is dry and earthy, featuring mild flavors of red and black fruits that are complemented by its lively acidity. The wine's medium body provides a balanced structure, making it smooth and enjoyable to drink. Its vibrant character and refreshing finish make it an excellent representation of the Barbera grape, reflecting the unique terroir of the Monferrato region. This sustainably produced wine is not only high in quality but also offers remarkable value for wine enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of Piedmont​. Highly recommended!

  • Producer: Ercole
  • Region: Monferrato DOC, Piedmont, Italy
  • Varieties: 100% Barbera
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
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