Italy

  • Antinori

    Antinori is currently led by Marchese Piero Antinori, the latest of 26 generations to run the family business. In the latter half of the 20th Century Antinori has made a significant impact, both on the domestic scene and on the international market. They have been innovators in the development of Super-Tuscan blends and keen experimenters in the vineyard leading to expansion in ownership of vineyards and wine making facilities outside their homeland of Chianti Classico.

    Antinori own a large number of estates throughout Tuscany, of which the most significant is Tenuta Tignanello comprising two vineyards producing the jewels in the crown, Tignanello and Solaia.

    Other vineyards under their ownership include Prunotto in Piedmont, Montenisa in Franciacorta making the Traditional Method Sparkling, Pian delle Vigne from Brunello di Montalcino, Peppoli and Villa Antinori from Chianti Classico.

    Bisol Prosecco - Veneto

    Prosecco is the grape variety used to make Italy's most famous sparkling wine of the same name from the region of Veneto in the countrys North East and the Bisol family have been producing the regions finest for over 5 centuries. Today the vineyards of the Bisol family totals 125 hectares spread out over 35 plots immersed in the steep hills that lead from Valdobbiadene towards Conegliano, the most prestigious area of the appellation. The brand has garnered recognition for being one of the few companies directly managing the entire wine-making process from the initial careful choice of land right through to the final bottling process.

    Careful monitoring as well as constant and rigorous control of each stage is fundamental in reaching Bisol's high standards. Particular mention should be made of the 3 hectares possessed by the Bisol family on the Cartizze hill, with an altitude of 300 metres above sea level, it benefits from total exposition to sunlight as well as continuous ventilation that together with the sandy nature of the land makes it an area of rare value. The entire 106 hectares of the Cartizze hill are divided up between 140 owners and the value of the land has reached the dizzying heights of more than one million euro per hectare.

    Part of the fermentation process in prosecco occurs in tank rather than in the bottle, allowing the wine to be produced with greater speed, making these wines ready to consume young. Given these comparisons, it would seem that prosecco is inferior to champagne however this could not be further from the truth, it is merely a question of style. In general, Prosecco yields lower alcohol levels and is therefore food friendly while offering a delicious and affordable alternative to its Gallic counterpart.

    Carpineto - Chianti Classico

    Carpineto takes its name from the Greek - Carpos, meaning fruit. The modern day winery was founded in 1967 and ever since, the partnership between cofounders Giovanni Carlo Sacchet and Antonio Mario Zaccheo has developed an award winning, international reputation for consistently elegant wines with unmatched intensity and extract. The four Carpineto estates encompass 424 hectares of land spread among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations, stretching from the heart of the Chianti Classico region to their extensive Vino Nobile holdings in Montepulciano. Carpineto has garnered a strong global following fueled by their unique combination of traditional and innovative winemaking and it was the first Italian winery to receive the Robert Mondavi Trophy for excellence as well as being nominated Best Italian Wine Producer at the 34th International Wine and Spirits Competition.
  • Donnafugata - Sicily

    The name Donnafugata, translated as “woman in flight” refers to the history of Queen Maria Carolina, wife of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who in the early 1800s, fled Naples to escape Napoleons troops and sought refuge in the part of Sicily where the winery’s vineyards now stand. This event inspired the winery’s logo, the effigy of a woman’s windblown head which can be found on every bottle.

    Donnafugata was established in 1983 by Giacomo and Gabriella Rallo, both hailing from winemaking families going back several centuries. The Rallo's, with their deep insight and passion for the rich, wine growing history of Sicily, have been unyielding in their pursuit of excellence earning them an astounding 7 Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Awards.

    Gambero Rosso is a publication on Italian food and wine with a focus on promoting culinary and winemaking excellence throughout Italy. The Gambero Rosso established a rating guide whereby the ‘Tre Bicchieri’ or Three Glases is awarded to only the best wines of the vintage.

    Gaja - Piemonte, Tuscany, Bolgheri

    There is no mistaking a bottle of GAJA. With those instantly recognizable black and white labels, Gaja is the brand which put Barbaresco on the wine lover's radar and has winos digging deep into their pockets just to afford themselves a sip of one of the world’s most prestigious and fearlessly priced wines.

    Founded in 1859, today Gaja is run by its 4th generation, the charismatic and highly driven Angelo Gaja, along with his equally charming daughter, Gaia. With an unwavering belief, inherited from his father, that Barbaresco and its native Nebbiolo grape could make wines to rival the best in the world, in the 1960's, Angelo set about procuring the best vineyards in Barbaresco, known as Sori San Lorenzo, Sori Tildin and Costa Russi. Today, these wines sit at the apex of the Gaja stable and it is these cru which have become for many, that seminal wine which forever after, alters the way you think about wine.

    Not content to leave his mark in Piedmont alone, Angelo in recent years began to expand his empire to include estates in Tuscany; Ca Marcanda in the famous Bolgheri area and Pieve di Santa Restituta in Brunello di Montalcino.

    We are thrilled to be offering the complete range of Gaja from Piedmont and Tuscany including vertical vintages of all the top wines in addition to be being allocated a few very special half dozen mix wooden cases of Barbaresco from 1999, 2005 and 2006. Some items are available in half bottle as well as Magnum.

    "Robert Parker Jnr has called Angelo Gaja "Italy's most fascinating and revolutionary winemaker" and Wine Spectator has called his wines "perhaps the finest Italian wines ever made." Regardless of whether you lean towards the rustic traditionalism that still characterizes a good portion of Barbaresco and Brunello, or whether you prefer more modern stylings, it's hard not to like these wines, which show an extraordinary amount of finesse and character across the whole portfolio." Alder Yarrow, Vinography.com

    Garofoli - The Marche

    Casa Vinicola Gioacchino Garofoli is one of the oldest estates in The Marche, a region extending from the mountainous chain of the Apennines to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east; bordering Abruzzi, Latium, Tuscany, Umbria and Emilia Romagna. The Garofoli's began making wine in 1871 and remains today, one of the region's oldest wine growing families.

    The wine production is concentrated in the two areas with the oldest tradition and renown and it is these 2 wines in particular which have made the region famous. From the Castelli di Jesi comes the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC, a low yielding, crisp white variety unique to The Marche region and from a very small outcrop of land which plummets into the sea, known as the Monte Conero where the Garofoli produce tiny amounts of a special red made entirely from the Montelpulciano grape known as Agontano Rosso Conero DOC Riserva.
  • Mantellassi - Magliano in Toscana

    The Fattoria Mantellassi has a long and vivid winemaking history dating back to the 1800's when the Mantellassi family worked in the vineyards of the Magliano sub-region of Tuscany. It wasn't until the 1960's that the Fattoria or 'Farm' was able to acquire land and plant four hectares of their own vineyards which was gradually added to over the years until it reached its current vine holdings of 215 hectares. The vineyards, are situated amongst rolling hills on volcanic calcareous soil, planted predominantly to Sangiovese with additional red variety plantings of Alicante, Cabernet Sauvignon, Morellino, Merlot and Canaiolo Nero for the reds as well as Malvasia and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites.

    In 1978, Fattoria Mantellassi played a key role in obtaining DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) recognition for Morellino di Scansano wine which is the brands flagship and it is this unceasing pursuit of quality which has earned Mantellassi the reputation as one of the most prestigious producers in Magliano Toscana.

    Michele Chiarlo - Piedmont

    The wine producing firm of Michele Chiarlo was founded in 1956 by Michele Chiarlo who is now joined by his son Alberto in continuing the philosophy underpinning the quality driven wines. It was discovered during the 1980's, after experimentation in the vineyard, that an extraordinary increase in quality could be achieved by ensuring a very low yield per vine by thinning out the grape bunches or green harvesting. Michele Chiarlo were among the first producers in Piedmont to adopt and scrupulously follow these methods along harvest the grapes on the basis of phenolic ripeness or the changes in flavour and colour compounds as well as tannin. Michele Chiarlo is also credited with being one of the first producers to introduce malolactic fermentation to Italy, thereby achieving wines of greater stability, lower acidity and easier accessibility in their youth. The vineyard plantings include 60 hectares of the three classic Piedmont growing areas of Langhe where the great Barolo and Barbarescos are grown and made, Monferrato, home to Barbera d'Asti and Gavi and it is Michele Chiarlo's ceaseless innovation and rigorous standards which have made Michele Chiarlo a leading figure in the viticultural industry.

    Pighin - Friuli

    As a result of the second World War coupled with the unbeatable resolve of the Friulian people, the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giula was rebuilt from rubble into what it is today; one of Italy's most technically advanced and commercially savvy wine producing areas. One of the regions most well regarded producers of pure varietal, DOC Grave del Friuli wines is Pighin.

    Pighin's story begins in 1963 when the family purchased a 200 hectare estate in the Friuli Grave DOC area planted primarily to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Soon after, the estate underwent a radical facelift with the planting of new vines and the erection of a modern equipped winery and cellar at the same time acquiring another vineyard in the Collio DOC area. This move guaranteed the Pighin brand a product range which covers two of the most renowned areas of Friuli, the Friuli Grave DOC and the Collio DOC. Pighin vinifies only grapes coming from its own estates where yields are voluntarily restricted to 75% less than yields permitted under the DOC law so as to enhance varietal character and fruit concentration. The cellars are equipped with the most modern equipment and advanced technologies presently available where large areas are dedicated to stainless steel temperature controlled tanks, pneumatic presses and cap plunging fermenters to ensure allowing the resulting wines to retain freshness and acidity while also developing complexity.
  • Umberto Cesari - Emilia Romagna

    The Umberto Cesari winery sits in the picturesque hillsides of Emilia-Romagna and was founded in 1965 with the purchase of twenty hectares of prime vineyards. The Cesari family now owns 470 acres including the presitigious vineyards of Parolina, La Casetta, Laurento, Ca’Grande, and Macolina. All of the wines are Estate Grown and bottled at the state-of-the-art winery with special attention is given to clonal selection, trellising techniques and vineyard management. In its first years of existence, Umberto Cesari set itself a challenge and a dream to produce the highest quality Sangiovese possible which has been their goal and mission since 1965. The accolades received over more than 40 years have nourished the conviction that the path chosen was indeed the correct one and it is no wonder that Umberto Cesari is considered to be one the finest producers in the Emilian-Romagna region.

    Villa Girardi - Veneto-Treviso

    Villa Girard was established by the Tommasi family in 1986 in the historical Valpolicella wine region in the north west of Verona, famous for its densely layered Amarone and Recioto wines. The estate was named after the venetian villa which was erected on the land in the 1700’s, now home to a luxury hotel and spa overlooking the surrounding vineyards of Valpolicella. Since its inception, Villa Girardi has been specialising in the production of a high quality, dry white wine known as Soave DOC made from Garganega and Trebbiano grapes as well as the medium to full bodied red wines of Valpollicella Classico DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC and Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOC for which the region is so well known.

    The Recioto and Amarone wines are made from grapes which have been harvested and then left to dry on straw mats at room temperature over the course of several months followed by pressing and fermentation, creating a raisiny flavour in the finished wine. These wines are full bodied, high alcohol with generous, mouth filling flavours which can be aged for many years in the cellar. Traditionally, the sweet Recioto was the great wine and the Amarone was regarded as a mistake or 'a Recioto that had run away.' however the increase in popularity during the 1990's has brought Amarone wines back into favour.