There is a reason why Barbera is Piemonte’s most planted grape variety: its elevated acidity makes for the ultimate wine for the dinner table.
Planting on the alluvial jumble of clay and sandy loam of our Valladares Vineyard coaxes out the concentrated and complex aromatic qualities of Barbera — lots of rose, anise, cinnamon and cedar.
We release our estate Barbera on its own, as well as in the incomparable Altobasso.
Although its origin is often debated, Cannonau has been grown on the island of Sardegna for centuries. Known in Spain and France as Garnacha and Grenache, respectively, it is one of the world’s most planted grape varieties. Beloved for both aromatic intensity- balancing ripe red fruit with herbal and spice character as well as its ability to thrive in hot, dry conditions.
The Testa Family planted Cannonau in Calpella, Mendocino in the 1940s and have been lovingly (and organically) dry farming the vines since. The resulting wines, currently in transition to Biodynamic certification, are incredibly complex yet beautifully balanced.
Carignano is a grape with a lot of different names, Carignan in Southern France, Cariñena, Samso, Mollard and Mazuelo in different parts of Spain and Carignane in America. Even on the island of Sardegna where it has found a home in Italy, the grape goes by two names- Carignano and Bovale. Regardless of the name, we can always expect deep, dark wines with lively acidity and good grip. The greatest examples of the grape come from old bush vines, their age tempers the yield and concentrates flavors.
Luckily for us, the Testa family planted in Calpella Valley over 50 years ago. They grow it for us Biodynamically, and the wines not only get better with every vintage, but age beautifully.
Dolcetto originates in Dogliani, Piemonte and translates to ‘little sweet one’ which is alluding to the grapes’ relatively low acidity and tannin, especially when compared to neighboring heavy hitters, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Because of this lower acidity and tannin, Dolcetto has the ability to produce wines that are especially tasty even in their youth. Expect a food friendly, juicy wine with character.
We blend Dolcetto from two different growers — Herrick and Pratt — to make our delightful red Daily Drinker.
Fiano is an ancient varietal from Campania where it is treasured for making rich, full-bodied wines with a pronounced savory side, at best showing aromas of smoke, pine and hazelnut.
We have found the grape especially compelling when blended with Greco and aged on its skins.
Although probably best known for Greco di Tufo bottlings, Greco is planted throughout Campania where it is known to produce mineral-driven white wines with ample body and racy acidity.
We have found it a natural blending partner for Fiano on our Valladares Vineyard.
Malvasia is a name given to a group of often unrelated grape varieties grown throughout the Mediterranean. Legend has it that it may well have been the first grape domesticated by humans, back in the Fertile Crescent.
In our Valladares Vineyard, we have planted Malvasia Bianca di Piemonte, which was brought to Sonoma County by early Italian immigrants. While the grape has lost holdings in its native Piemonte, it has found a new home in California, where acreage is growing as winemakers are drawn to the intense tropical nose and richly textured wines the grape gives.
Originating in Abruzzo, along the sundrenched Adriatic coast, Montepulciano makes for deep wines with lots of juicy fruit character. Not to be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Sangiovese based wines from the Montepulciano commune of Tuscany.
At DaVero we grow Montepulciano to give dark fruit character to our Impossibile bottling, a unique (as in, never to be found in Italy) blend combining Montepulciano, Nebbiolo and Sagrantino.
Moscato or Muscat is a family of grapes with origins in Ancient Greece, which are now planted in nearly every wine producing country on earth. Widely beloved for their extraordinary floral and spice aromas and ability to make compelling wines in a variety of styles– still or bubbly; dry, off-dry and sometimes lusciously sweet versions made with botrytised grapes.
The Moscato planted in our Valladeres Vineyard is Moscato Giallo, or yellow muscat, coming from vines originally planted in Rauscedo, Italy.
The king of Piemonte, Nebbiolo is the legendary grape behind Barolo and Barbaresco, where it is beloved for producing powerful wines with earthy, leathery aromas and elevated acidity.
We have found its bright acidity to be an asset in our Impossibile field blend of Nebbiolo, Sagrantino and Montepulciano, planted on our Valladares Vineyard.
Pallagrello Bianco is an ancient grape indigenous to Campania. It has noble roots, having purportedly been a favorite of King Ferdinand IV. Over time the grape had fallen out of favor and was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in the 1990s. We tasted Massimo Alois’ at an Italian wine tasting and were blown away.
We asked for clippings to plant, and he obliged; making our Valladares Vineyard the first place in America to grow the storied varietal. We see so much promise in the varietal we have added more plantings at our Home Farm.
Grown in most corners of the wine world, Pinots are prized for elegant perfume and ability to express vineyard conditions — although they can be incredibly difficult to grow.
Perhaps moreso than any other varietal, the Pinot family’s DNA is highly susceptible to mutation. This has led to over 150 variants, spanning both whites and reds, so it’s important to be clear which family member it is!
In Italy, “Pinot Nero” has found some success in the Alto Adige, Fruili and Piemonte as well as in Lombardia where it is a major component of Franciacorta, Italy’s premier sparkling wine.
For us at DaVero, we have just a half acre planted on our Valladares Vineyard just behind the member lounge.
Primitivo is the Italian clone of the Croatian grape Crljenak Kaštelanski, known in California by its more easily pronounceable moniker, Zinfandel. Grown in Puglia, the sun-drenched heel of Italy’s boot, Primitivo has evolved to ripen earlier, which allows for a full expression of the grapes floral and peppery aromas in addition the ripe, juicy, fruit character for which it has long been prized.
We make vineyard-designate wines today from two wonderful growers, Treborce and Limit Down.
Sagrantino, indigenous to the tiny Montefalco commune of Umbria, where the grape nearly went extinct, before being resurrected in the 1960s by a group of local growers who believed in the potential of this bold and complex varietal. One glass of Paolo Bea’s Montefalco Sagrantino and Ridge was a believer too. It is the most tannic grape in the world and is capable of making powerful wines of incredible depth and finesse.
It is the reason why we make wine at DaVero.
Sangiovese, the jewel of Tuscany; the noble grape behind Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico. Sangiovese is as expressive of where it is grown as Pinot Noir in Burgundy. It is predisposed to showcase terroir — where the grapes were grown, how the vines were tended, how the juice fermented.
We have found, just as the Italians discovered centuries ago, Sangiovese is exceptionally elegant and balanced when planted on steep hill sides, like the slopes of Hawk Mountain Vineyard, on our home farm.
We’ve also learned (as have the Italians) that Sangiovese doesn’t like to be “wine-made.” It’s at its best when left pretty much alone in the winery, relying on the native yeasts to do the fermentation, and avoiding manipulation. What results is wine that is deeply expressive both of the site and the conditions of each vintage.
Vermentino grows all over the Mediterranean coast where it goes by a few different names- Rolle in Provence, Malvosie de Corse in Corsica, Pigato in Liguria, Favorita in Piemonte and most notably Vermentino in Sardinia, where it is awarded the islands only DOCG, Vermentino di Gallura.
Prized for making aromatic white wines which retain a lot of natural acidity in rather warm growing conditions, Vermentino has found a new home in the Cosumnes River Valley, just south of Sacramento. On the palate you should experience a crisp, complex wine with notes of ripe pear, citrus blossoms and a tell-tale (and delicious) green almond bitterness.