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Current topics, themes, musings and travel notes

April 14, 2022

Southern Italian Grapes in the New World

Here I am back in Italy ready to dive into some Easter pasticceria. (Wish I were in Napoli for some real pastiera napolitana, the most evocative sensory dessert of all time.)

I am excited because the first of my four columns on Italian grapes in California vineyards debuted this week at with “A Slice of Southern Italy in Paso Robles”.

This column focuses on two wine producing couples in Central California’s Paso Robles : Brian and Stephy Terrizzi of Giornata and Adrienne and Chris Ferrara of Clesi. I really think you’ll enjoy meeting them.

Adrienne and Chris Ferrara of Clesi

Adrienne and Chris Ferrara of Clesi

Over the next two months I’ll explore the fascinating boutique producers working with Italian varieties whom I met on my tour in California.

Italian varieties in California simply make sense — especially with climate change. Hardy Italian varieties can take heat, drought, and most everything you can throw at them and still express freshness (without the common California practice of acidifying wines).

While Cabernet and Chardonnay (and a few other French grapes) remain a juggernaut, I think a big part of the future of California wine will be Mediterranean.

A presto!