Biondivino’s ItaloFest (+ Spain & Sherry)

Posted August 25, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week

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Biondivino’s Ceri Smith, one of the original founders of SF Natural Wine Week, is hosting a fantastic tasting of Italian natural wines with a few Spanish and Sherry producers joining the lineup. This event will take place Wednesday August 25, from 5.30 to 9pm.

In Ceri’s own words:

what can i say but -wow- what a line up

we are so happy to be involved with a group of like-minded importers, restaurants & retailers in presenting and bringing these organic/biodynamic wines to the forefront of what is happening out there in the world of wine.

when, nowadays, around the world,  there is the clutter of wine built up upon the marketing gurus and trendy expensive “label” wines – these winemakers are showing the world the beauty and elegance of  “un-spoofalated” winemaking – sans the marketing masters and bulk consistancy, these are the gems in the raw.  in a way, they are the progressive future by returning back to the past — to the basics and ancient methods of wine-making.

they speak their own voice, of their land, of their grape.

i hope you will come with an open mind and fresh palate and taste the diversity and array of these exciting wines from across italy and spain

Join Arianna Occhipinti (she’s totally got this SF Natural Wine Week thing down) and her lovely Sicilian wines, as well as Keven Clancy of Farm Wine Imports, importer José Pastor and local wine guru JJ Clifton as they present a killer line up of wines. Featured producers: Occhipinti, Donati, Bera, Cascina degli Ulivi, Alberto Tedeschi, Saetti, Montesecondo, Poderi Sanguineto, Vinos Ambiz, Laureano Serres and Maestro Sierra.

1415 Green Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-673-2320


Flour + Water (plus) Unti Vineyards

Posted August 25, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week

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Equals a pretty damn great pizza and wine pairing, if you ask us.

Kevin Wardell, the wine maestro in the room full of pasta and pizza masters at Flour + Water, has invited Mick Unti from Dry Creek Valley’s Unti Vineyards to helm the bar and floor with him on Wednesday, August 25th. Unti specializes in Rhône varieties like grenache and syrah, California/Dry Creek heritage grapes like zinfandel and petite sirah, and, more recently, Italian imports barbera and montepulciano. In other words: bring on the pie!

This will be a fun tasting at a bustling Mission restaurant where reservations are usually pretty hard to come by. Our advice? Get there early.

Flour + Water

2401 Harrison Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-826-7000

Natural Wine from All Sides at A16 and SPQR

Posted August 24, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week

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Shelley Lindgren and Ehren Jennings and their James Beard nominated team of sommeliers have assembled and impressive line up of Italian wines to pour by the glass and guest winemakers from California for this year’s Natural Wine Week.

Over at SPQR in the Fillmore, expect to find a focus on the quirky, lovely orange wines from Italy’s northeastern province of Friuli as well as neighboring Slovenia. Think Gravner, Vodipivec, Movia and La Castellada and you’ve got the idea. Of course, that’s during dinner… Given SPQR’s awesome (and under-the-radar) weekend brunch, the question becomes which orange wine to pair with your breakfast carbonara?

1911 Fillmore Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-771-7779

And then at A16, expect to find the regular by-the-glass list to lean heavily on Italian natural wines. That focus is complemented by an ambitious calendar of nightly winemaker dinners featuring: Palmina (Monday, 8/23); Robert Sinskey (Tuesday, 8/24); Bonny Doon (Wednesday, 8/25); Unti Vineyards (Thursday, 8/26); Whetstone Wine Cellars (Friday, 8/27); Peay Vineyards (Saturday, 8/28); and Brown Estate (Sunday, 8/29). Each producer will be able to talk at length on the various natural, organic or biodynamic practices they employ, and what it means to work with these methods in California.


2355 Chestnut Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-771-2216

NOPA + Vouette & Sorbée = Hot Damn!

Posted August 24, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week


We mentioned this “event” before but it’s so cool (and, frankly, rare) that we’ve got to bring it up one more time.

Nopa will be pouring the astonishing Champagnes of Vouette & Sorbée by the glass all week. In the words of wine director Chris Deegan: “Bam!”

(For more about Vouette & Sorbée, check out Peter Liem’s contribution to last year’s 31 Days of Natural Wine.)

560 Divisadero
San Francisco
Tel: 415-864-8643

These highly original and striking wines are rarely, if ever, poured by the glass ANYWHERE. In fact, Nopa and Chris Deegan are the first to feature Vouette et Sorbée’s three Champagnes by-the-glass, together, all week long: Fidèle ($20/glass); Blanc de Argile ($22/glass); and Saignée de Sorbée ($24/glass). All wines will be served in Burgundy glasses; half glass pours will be $10, $11 and $12, respectively.

Gold star, Mr. Deegan, well done!

Oregon Night at Yield

Posted August 22, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week

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One of the pioneers of the growing Dogpatch food and wine scene is Yield Wine Bar. On Thursday, August 26th, Yield will feature a flight of wines from Cowhorn, a new biodynamic producer of Rhône varieties like grenache and roussanne in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon. To learn more about the farming and cellar practices at Cowhorn, check out their website here.

This will be one of the few opportunities to taste Oregon wines during Natural Wine Week, so be sure to check it out.

Yield Wine Bar
2490 3rd Street
San Francisco
tel: 415-401-8984
Hours: 4pm – Midnight

Natural Wine Week – The Official Poster!

Posted August 16, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week


Download away!

Natural Wine Resources: Saignée Edition

Posted August 13, 2010 by wolfgang
Categories: Natural Wine Week

Tags: , ,

We here at SF Natural Wine Week HQ spend a lot of time online where, it seems, the people who love natural wine – be they winemakers, consumers, importers, retailers, sommeliers, whatever – gather to swap tasting experiences, visits to wineries or debate the philosophy behind natural wine.

(Is “natural wine” even an appropriate term here? Take a little trip down the bloggy rabbit hole and decide for yourself.)

One place that’s quickly become a hub in the natural wine online world is Saignee, a blog authored by Cory Cartwright. No doubt the open, honest tone that Cory uses in his writing is what brings people back to the site (plus his liberal use of expletives, which we f***in’ love of course). But one feature in particular stands out – well, two, since it repeated this year: the series of guest-authored posts that Cory collected under the guise of 31 Days and 32 Days of Natural Wine. Call it the open-source alternative to the Wine Spectators of the world.

Here you’ll find a TON of information, recollections and debating points about natural wine to parse through. So, pop a bottle of Pinon’s petillant and kick it.