Proof of winemaking in Italy dates back to as far as 6,000 years ago, according to the Smithsonian, proving that the Italians truly have their fingers on the pulse regarding all things vino. From Arneis to Zibibbo, we grow a vast assortment of Italian grapes on vines that were planted back in 1969. During harvest, BOTTAIA even uses Italian equipment that de-stems right in the field. Yes, you might say that we have a true love affair with all things Italia.
Ready to learn a little Italian (varietals, that is)? Let’s take a look at our Cartuccia. Two red varietals complement each other in this phenomenal wine, which has become a fan favorite year after year. Cellared in oak, this blend of our estate Sangiovese and Barbera varietals form a delectable wine that represents the best of our vineyard.
Medium-bodied with aromas of dried cranberry and fennel, along with notes of cherry and cocoa, a bottle of Cartuccia could take you on a “trip” to Italy tonight. Paired with a salami and hard cheese charcuterie board, this bottle could very well be your virtual Alitalia boarding pass. Read on for a bit about the two Italian grapes that comprise Cartuccia.
Pronounced (SAN-jo-vay-zay), it’s the most planted, (and perhaps the most well-known) red wine grape in Italy. A fussy, thin-skinned grape, it’s used to produce Chianti wines, named after the Chianti region in central Tuscany. Prolific up and down the boot, these vines are grown predominantly in central Italy. Although Italy boasts 250,000 acres of Sangiovese, California, and Australia are keeping up, producing vibrant, expressive wines known for their spice and complexity.
A bit of a chameleon, wines made from Barbera fruit may be more savory or sweet, depending on where the grapes are grown. High in acid, tannin, with a medium body, Sangiovese can present earthy undertones, tea leaf notes, tart cherry, and tomato flavors. A fun fact: Latin enthusiasts will tell you that Sangiovese comes from sanguine Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter”. Now that’s some smarty-pants wine trivia for your next happy hour!
Known as the most widely grown red grape in Italy’s Piedmont region, Barbera is a flavor-packed, dark-skinned grape that produces juicy, rich wines that are high in acid and low in tannins. This highly pigmented grape lends a black, deep violet tone to the wine it produces. As of 2000, it was the third most-planted red grape in Italy, taking up 52,600 acres. Barbera can handle hot climates and isn’t fussy when it comes to soil—it’s a hearty vine that thrives in anything from limestone sand to calcareous clay.
This fruity, full-bodied beauty delivers notes of strawberry, violets, sour cherry, with herbaceous flavors. Barbera truly comes to life when paired with mushrooms, cooked dark leafy greens, truffles, and asparagus. Cheese aficionados will enjoy the thrill of Barbera coupled with Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Fourme d’Ambert, Stilton, Bleu d’Auvergne, and Cambozola.
Our winemaker takes these two Italian varietals and produces our Cartuccia. The 2017 vintage features grapes that remained in the field a bit longer, thanks to cooler temperatures that fall, allowing for full ripening. Pick up a bottle or two for your next pasta or charcuterie pairing; you won’t regret it.
Ready to visit us and flaunt your knowledge of Italian varietals? Make a tasting room reservation or inquire about our Bottaia Wine Club by calling (951) 365-3388. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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