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About the size of Indiana, bordered only by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is one of the oldest independent countries in the world. Even their unique winemaking traditions date back to the Roman period.
While there is a presence of mass wine production in Portugal today, the Portuguese wine culture that we want to share with you is made up of families; families who make small quantities of high quality wine at extremely reasonable prices. The families we know and represent care about indigenous grape varieties, care about connection to terroir and community, care about enjoying their wines with food, and care about sharing their experiences with the people they love.
Portugal is a beautiful country, but our favorite part of being here is the easy going pace of life. Here, the long, leisurely Saturday lunch is practically an institution, and more than anything we want to share this piece of culture with you. Like the land they're born from, Portuguese wines are not to be missed on your journeys.
HERDADE DO SOBROSO
"One of our favorite restaurants in Evora is called Taberna Tipica Quarta Feira. Operated by Ze Dias for almost thirty years, his signature style was to serve you what he wanted - no menu and no choices, including wine. He was wildly successful. In 2018, as Ze slowly transitioned away from the day to day running of the restaurant, his son Joao, Johnny as we like to call him, was gifted the restaurant. One of Johnny’s very first changes to the restaurant was to increase the wine selection. He was friends with Filipe of Herdade do Sobroso, so the expansion of around 5 new family owned wineries to the wine list included Sobroso.
I think the first wine of Filipe’s we tried was the Cellar Selection Rosé. What a wine. Everything Filipe did, particularly his mid tier and higher end wines, felt different from the other wines coming out of the Alentejo. I find the Sobroso wines to have a depth many of the wines in this price category don’t possess. We eventually began a partnership and Tinto is now lucky to be the only U.S. retailer of Sobroso wines."
-Importer of Herdade do Sobroso wines, Nina
To be in Italy is to be swathed in architecture, artwork, history, and an endless satiation of food and wine. Truly overwhelming, utterly exhausting, Italy is a sensory overload; a fight to stay afloat in an ocean of culture that surrounds you. But if you find yourself drowning in the waves of cultural intake, just reach out your hand, because in it someone will place a glass of wine; a life ring.
Italy’s prominence in the wine world is unmatched. The world’s largest wine producer is not only home to some of the most talked about wines in the world, but is home to over 400 unique indigenous grape varietals. In comparison, France, the world’s second largest wine producer, offers 50. The Italian wines we offer run the scope from the more well known styles of Chianti and Brunello, to some of these lesser known indigenous varietals like Marzemino and Gropello.
All of our Italian selections are small production and showcase the Italy that we have grown to love. From world famous to off the beaten path, each wine we offer is unique, steeped in history, and evocative of the land and culture it came from.
"I hope that the memory of visiting I Sodi for the first time and meeting Andrea Cassini, his father Franco, and his father’s twin brother Danillo never fades from my memory.
A blustery day, we quickly retreated inside where a fire that had been started well before dawn was down to a bed of hot embers. Above the embers half of a Cinghiale (wild boar) turned slowly on a large spit, golden and crisp, oozing a drip or two of rendered fat onto the coals. The first chianti was opened, then one or two older vintages, then a riserva or two, each wine somehow more amazing than the last. As the final bottle was poured, a 1999 Riserva covered in dust, we sat silently together savoring the wine and our thoughts. Non ci sono parole, there are no words, nothing more could be said.
Now, as the twin brother's get into their late 80’s I still look forward to the chance to visit and share more stories and bottles with the Cassini’s. Danillo says that at the end of the day if his hands are dirty, then it was a good day. The Cassinis are Chianti...classic, sturdy and getting better every year. They and their wines are indistinguishable."
- Importer of I Sodi wines, Paul Turina.
Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the world, with the largest amount of land area dedicated to vineyards. Still, Spanish wines tend to fly under the radar. From great value wines to collectible wines, from delicate whites to big, bold reds, Spain offers a bit of everything.
It would be a mistake to pigeonhole Spain into one category of wine, or one description of culture. Spain isn’t just one thing; there are so many different regional cultures, so many different microclimates and so many different styles of wine you do not want to miss. From drinking Alvarinho on a sailboat in the coastal Northwest, to having suckling pig with Verdejo in Rueda and slow cooked lamb with Tempranillo in Rioja, Spain is beautiful in its diversity of culture and style.
Through wines made by small producers in unique climates, and the stories we have to share about them, we aim to connect people to the many diverse cultures Spanish wines are born from.
MIGUEL ARROYO IZQUIERDO
“I was first introduced to Miguel Arroyo through the Andreas sisters, Ruth and Ana who own and operate Alegra, another Verdejo producer in Rueda. Other than the help he gets from Ruth and Ana in both domestic and international sales, Miguel is truly a one man show, and the wines he makes, unique standouts among Verdejo, are truly worth his efforts.
A lot of Rueda producers make commercial wines, blended with Viura and Sauvignon Blanc, and often made using laboratory yeasts. Tasting Miguel’s wines is a completely different experience. Miguel’s wines are made with 100% Verdejo, his vines are a century old, his soil is ideal for Verdejo vines, and he has designed his vineyards in such a way that an entire vineyard can be harvested in a single day - at the exact peak moment of harvest. All of this care and concentration creates wines that are precise, interesting, and evocative of the person and the land they came from.”
- Importer of Miguel's wines, Ben Martin