In “Meditation XVII" written by the English poet John Donne in 1624, he stated that ‘no man is an island’ which about three and a half centuries later was riff’d on by the Jefferson Airplane as ‘no man is an island - he’s a peninsula’.  

That catchy, stoned-out take on the original raises an interesting point about Uvaggio - while our inspiration is primarily Italian (a rather well known peninsula) there are a number of European antecedents, slightly further a field than Italy, connected to several of the wines we vinify.

 Our flagship wine is Vermentino - known as Vermentu on the island of Crosica and as Rolle on mainland France, in the regions of Languedoc and Provence.  It goes by a handful of synonyms in Italy, too, yet whatever it’s regional name - this medium bodied white possesses a delightful character and a lineage dating back to at least the 1500’s in the coastal areas of and around the Tyrrhenian Sea. 

Then there is Primitivo, our newest favorite, which is called Crljenak Kaštelanski in its native Croatia (can you say that three times, fast?).  Primitivo has a charming personality and being a variety that is readily adaptable to various sites and regions, it has acquired a footloose nature and become something of a viticultural world traveler.  

And what about that Hapsburg interloper, Moscato Giallo?  It is the same as Gelber Muskateller in Austria, Germany and Slovenia (when they generally drop the Gelber modifier).  This Muscat is subtly floral and beguiling, though with less of a fruit cocktail type expression, it delivers more citrus and stone fruit attributes than it does tropical flavors.      

The above three varieties do share a point of commonality - all grow successfully on the Italian peninsula.  In point of fact, at least two of three were introduced into Italy from parts east or north (and the jury is still deliberating on Vermentino).  Today we are growing them in California and doing so with aplomb, which raises an interesting point (and vexing one, too, at least from our perspective).  Why is a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Oakville not considered a lesser wine than a Bordeaux from Paulliac, axiomatically?  The same comparison applies to Pinot noir from the Russian River Valley, when compared to Nuits St. George.  Surely a fine wine is just that, no matter where it is grown.  Each region is unique and can impart a range of distinctive characters which the vine transmits to the grape and ultimately, these are revealed in the resultant wine.  When it comes to Vermentino, we feel California is every bit as compelling as Sardegna.

For us, the important factors are to remain open-minded, stay adventurous and always explore what is offered from various sectors of the wine producing world.  How much would you enjoy your new HDTV if the programming it received was limited to just the VHF band?  Thinking outside of the (cable) box and striving to broaden your bandwidth is what Uvaggio is all about!

*Or even a peninsula it would seem....