Taste Arcari + Danesi at “one of the best Italian wine shops in the world” (according to Slowine)

In a recent post on the Slow Food blog, Fabio Giavedoni, co-editor of the Slowine guide to the wines of Italy and one of the foremost experts on Italian wines today, called Chambers Street Wines in lower Manhattan “one of the best Italian wine shops in the world.”

Fabio based his praise, he wrote, “not on the quantity or pedigree of the wines offered” by the shop but rather on “the depth and knowledge with which each single bottle and each single producer have been chosen.”

Owner Jamie Wolff “is a great Italian wine world connoisseur… and he travels to our country two to three times a year to visit the wineries that he wants to work with. He speaks Italian well: He learned it directly from grape growers.”

One of those wineries is Arcari + Danesi and our blog master Jeremy will be pouring it tomorrow, Friday, April 21, from 5-7 p.m. at a free tasting there. We hope you can join him.

Arcari + Danesi Tasting
with Italian wine blogger
Jeremy Parzen
Friday, April 21
5-7 p.m.

no reservation required

Chambers Street Wines
148 Chambers St.
New York NY 10007
(212) 227-1434
Google map

Taste with our US blog master Jeremy Parzen April 21 in New York!

Jeremy Parzen, our U.S. blog master (below), will be pouring our wines on Friday, April 21, 5-7 p.m. at Chambers Street Wines in Lower Manhattan.

No reservation required…

Arcari & Danesi Tasting
with Italian wine blogger
Jeremy Parzen
Friday, April 21
5-7 p.m.

no reservation required

Chambers Street Wines
148 Chambers St.
New York NY 10007
(212) 227-1434
Google map

Scenes from California and Texas 2017

Last month, Giovanni visited Southern California and Southeast and Central Texas where he showed Arcari + Danesi and SoloUva wines. Here are some scenes from his trip…

The weather in La Jolla “by the sea” was beautiful. That’s the famous Scripps Children’s Pool.

Our friends at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego hosted a wonderful event for us. It was the kick-off of our new North American campaign. That’s the awesome “Jaynes Burger.” The food is so spot-on at Jaynes…

We caught a couple of great sets that night after the event, including the Reverend Shawn Amos (above) and Grey Boy Allstars (also amazing).

The excellent Los Angeles wine shop Lou now carries SoloUva! Great shop, great folks… Lou’s e-letter is a must read (sign up on his landing page)…

Then it was off to Texas where Arcari + Danesi and SoloUva are now imported and distributed by Rootstock. That’s founder and owner Ian McCaffery (left) at a tasting at Bufalina, Austin’s coolest pizzeria (awesome wine list, too).

Great meal and great wine list also at Lenoir, one of Austin’s most innovative and creative kitchens. Super cool vibe and awesome wine list.

No trip to Austin is complete without some serious ‘cue at Stiles Switch (our favorite).

And of course, no trip to Texas is complete without a little bit of honky tonking. That’s the Dale Watson at the Broken Spoke, one of the last classic Texan dance halls.

The SoloUva project has challenged the Franciacorta status quo

best-mexican-restaurant-houstonAbove: three of my closest friends and some of the most talented winemakers I know, from left, Andrea Rudelli, Nico Danesi, and Giovanni Arcari. Photo taken in Houston at La Mexicana.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my cherished friendship with winemakers Giovanni Arcari and Nico Danesi and my new partnership with the Arcari + Danesi winery and the SoloUva (Just Grapes) project. But Giovanni and Nico are just two of Franciacorta’s Three Musketeers: the other is another good friend, winemaker Andrea Rudelli (who shares my passion for guitar playing and rock music).

While Giovanni and Nico manage their group’s vineyard on Montorfano (Mt. Orfano) in the southern edge of the Franciacorta appellation, Andrea oversees the group’s vineyard in Adro township, smack-dab in the center, just below Lake Iseo, the appellation’s defining geographical feature.

While fruit from the Montorfano vineyard is used to produce the Arcari + Danesi line, Andrea’s Chardonnay vines, which are more than 30 years old, are employed in the production of the group’s SoloUva label. The Arcari + Danesi wines are the group’s higher tier, while SoloUva, made from 100 percent Chardonnay, is made in a fresh and approachable style. All the wines are produced today using the SoloUva method, whereby no cane (or beet) sugar is used to provoke the second fermentation or to top the wines off at disgorgement (the dosage). Instead, reserved grape must is used. Hence, the name SoloUva or “just grapes.”

When I call the trio the Three Musketeers of Franciacorta, the metaphor is by no means facile or gratuitous. Together, the three winemakers have bucked the Franciacorta system. And they’ve ruffled more than one feather in the process. They developed the SoloUva method themselves and they were the first in the appellation to make wines using this process. But they also gave birth to the “grower Franciacorta” movement: not only did they encourage other small estates to stop selling their grapes to the négociant houses in Franciacorta when they initially launched their consulting business over a decade ago, but they also led the way by example when they started bottling their own “estate-grown” fruit.

Franciacorta is an appellation shaped primarily by large wineries, owned by a handful of powerful families. For many of those families, grape growing and winemaking aren’t the primary sources of their income. Industry is. Together, Andrea, Giovanni, and Nico have led the new wave of young Franciacorta producers who grow, bottle, and market their wines themselves — as their primary income stream.

That’s not to say that the big wineries don’t make fantastic wine. Many of them do. (Pour me a drink and I’ll tell you my favorites.) But like Dumas’ Musketeers, the SoloUva team has challenged the monarchic status quo. And Giovanni, through his excellent blog, Terra Uomo Cielo (Earth, [Hu]man, Sky), has shed light on the way the current appellation system favors the big gals and — how can I say this gently? — hinders the smaller potatoes.

So if these guys really are the Three Musketeers of Franciacorta, does that make me d’Artagnan? Sorry, Giovanni. I know you wanted to be d’Artagnan. But remember: united, the four of us will face l’Éminence rouge!

Jeremy Parzen
US Ambassador for SoloUva

If you’re in Southern California this weekend, come taste with me and Giovanni in San Diego on Saturday (details below). And I have great news to share with my fellow Texans: the group will soon have a Texas importer and Giovanni and I will be showing the wines in Austin and Houston next week. Just let me know if you’d like to taste with us.

SoloUva tasting with
winemaker Giovanni Arcari
(and me)
Saturday, February 25
4:00-6:00 p.m.
@ Jaynes Gastropub (San Diego)
$25 per person
includes light bites by Jaynes

Jaynes Gastropub
4677 30th St.
San Diego CA 92116
(619) 563-1011
Google map

Registration not required but please shoot me an RSVP email
to let me know that you are coming so that we can get a headcount.

Taste SoloUva in San Diego with Giovanni and Jeremy February 25 (event details)

jeremy-parzen-giovanni-arcari

Due to forces beyond our control, we had to cancel the Sunday, February 26 event in Los Angeles.

But the February 25 event in San Diego is DEFINITELY on. Here are the details. We hope to see you there!

SoloUva tasting with
winemaker Giovanni Arcari
and Italian wine blogger Jeremy Parzen
Saturday, February 25
4:00-6:00 p.m.
$25 per person
includes light bites by Jaynes

Jaynes Gastropub
4677 30th St.
San Diego CA 92116
(619) 563-1011
Google map

Registration not required but please shoot Jeremy an RSVP email
to let him know that you are coming so that we can get a headcount.