WHAT ARE WE DOING AND WHY?
Several decades and one career ago, we began a ceaseless inquiry into all things Italianate. Especially those things which embellish our Californian lifestyle and since we are part of the wine industry, it was only natural we embraced Italian grape varieties. We took care to truly understand the various means of vinification and aging that give our wines a more authentic expression. We believe the resulting food friendly wines defy the typical ‘over the top' Californian experience.
We are not attempting to duplicate what Italy has to offer. Rather, we are creating our own interpretation, to bridge the best of both worlds. We are honoring what Italy has done for centuries while bringing a modern product to American consumers. We strive to produce interesting and affordable wines for all occasions and something for virtually any food pairing.
We began producing the revered varieties of Italy's Piedmont region, Barbera and Nebbiolo, in 1997. Shortly thereafter, we added Sangiovese. We sourced our grapes throughout California, wherever they appeared to offer the highest potential for quality. Over the course of the last decade our portfolio has morphed and evolved, adapting to the realities of the market and optimizing new opportunities, wine trends and emerging consumer interests.
Today Uvaggio offers a range of fruity, expressive wines - white, pink and red – they are mostly dry though one is sweet. The historic origins for the grapes in our portfolio of cultivars range from Italy's extreme northeast adjacent to Austria, the northwest near France, to the coastal region around the Tyrrhenian Sea, down Italy's peninsula, right at the heel of its boot.
From the beginning, our process in deciding what wines to produce involved diverse factors and were driven by several overarching themes: sense of place, consistency of supply, food affinity and value proposition. We agreed on one crucial point: the target prices for our niche offerings would be $12-$20 per bottle. A lower price point is primarily the territory of mass produced and innocuous corporate wines, a higher one is a vastly overcrowded field of competitors and less tenable for the consumers we sought. We have arrived at an interesting middle ground – at an intersection of craft and commerce.
Vermentino - Our flagship wine comprises more than half of our production. As the largest producer of Vermentino in California, we are leading the way for this interesting and versatile wine to be better recognized and embraced as an alternative to the more ubiquitous California whites. If you like Pinot grigio or Sauvignon blanc, you definitely need to try Vermentino. It pairs with everything from antipasto, to fish, to pasta. And it is refreshing on its own during warm, sunny afternoons.
Moscato Giallo - This variety is relatively obscure even in Italy and is so uncommon in the U.S. that our government does not yet recognize it as a varietal. We produce both a dry and a sweet version of Moscato. The dry version, Secco, is a surprising take on what people might think of as a dessert wine. However, it will stand up to most meals one might prepare using chicken or pork. The sweet version, Dolce, is not sticky sweet like some Muscat-based wines, but elicits just the right hint of ripe fruit and honey.
Rosato – We barrel ferment this blend of two fruity grape varieties, Barbera and Primitivo, to craft a dry, crisp and bold pink wine. Pink wine? Yes. White zinfandel knock-off? Never. Rich, structured and with a vibrant hue that looks amazing on the table, our Rosato is best when accompanying a meal, rather than as an aperitivo.
Primitivo - This is a variant, as is California's own Zinfandel, of a grape originally from Croatia that was introduced to Italy several hundred years ago. We vinify it in a style that is light and floral, exhibiting a delicacy more akin to Pinot noir than to a jammy, powerful Zin. Having lower alcohol content, you can enjoy this wine throughout each of your courses, pairing with everything from pizza or pasta, to the darkest meats. And you still will have room for dessert (and Moscato Dolce).
Barbera – Anchoring our portfolio for thirteen vintages, we love Barbera in all of its various manifestations. We consider our version as an expressive and structured style, less thick and oak influenced than others we have tried from California (not that we are too biased). Barbera is our most robust wine but we maintain an Italianate focus on balance, expression of flavors and having an overall harmony instead of the higher alcohols and lower acids typically found in most ‘big' California red wines.