Posted tagged ‘Meet the Winemaker’

Biondivino’s ItaloFest (+ Spain & Sherry)

August 25, 2010

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

August 25, 2010

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

August 24, 2010

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

Natural Process Alliance Gets The Freak On

August 13, 2010

Kevin Kelley is the happy mad scientist behind some of the most interesting natural wines coming out of California, including the Natural Process Alliance – or NPA as everyone calls it – an ongoing examination of the mysteries behind fermentation (the wine is bottled on demand from neutral barrels of still evolving juice; each bottling is completely different from the last). Oh, and it comes in a stainless steel canteen.

Kelley and crew will be making a few in-person appearances during SF Natural Wine Week, so make it a point to come out and meet him.

On Thursday, August 26, Kevin Kelley will join wine director Mauro Cirilli on the floor at Barbacco Eno Trattoria in downtown SF for an NPA-filled evening. Expect many klean kanteens to be drained at this event.

220 California Street
San Francisco

NPA Bonus Edition: You can catch Kelley and the NPA wines earlier in the evening at Arlequin Wine Merchant in Hayes Valley as part of a walk around tasting featuring many of the faces behind California’s growing natural wine movement.

Arlequin Wine Merchant
384 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Below is a recent video chat between Wine Library TV’s Gary Vaynerchuk and Hardy Wallace from the NPA (and the Dirty South wine blog). Hardy works with Kevin Kelley and here he talks a little about the NPA project, natural wine, and the importance of keeping the cellar restrooms clean. Oh, and he makes some bird noises too.

Hot Off the Wire: Sicilian Invasion at Terroir!

August 12, 2010

Well, okay, only one Sicilian, but definitely one of our favorite producers from that captivating island. Arianna Occhipinti (who will be at Farina Tuesday night) will post up at the bar at Terroir Thursday evening, August 26th. A flight of her wines will be featured and of course you’ll have the chance to meet and chat with Arianna.

No reservations required, so pop by Thursday night. Definitely not to be missed!

1116 Folsom Street
San Francisco
(415) 558-9946

Natural Wine Rocks (and Rockstars) in the Mission

August 11, 2010

Bar Bambino, Flour + Water, Heart, Farina, Bi-Rite Market, Foreign Cinema, Heirloom and Delfina represent the Mission District during this year’s Natural Wine Week, meaning that this compact, vibrant neighborhood might just boast the highest concentration of retail and restaurant sources for natural wine from August 23-29 in, well…, just about anyplace.

Two events, both sure to be a really good time, anchor the week’s activities in this part of town. First up Tuesday, August 24th from 5-10pm, Alex Finberg and the team at Farina are hosting Arianna Occhipinti for a dinner featuring her stellar Sicilian wines. So come on down to meet Arianna an learn what frapatto is all about. Regular reservations are being accepted, so please call ahead — this night will likely book up.

Farina Focaccia & Cucina Italiana
3560 18th Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-565-0360

And then on Friday, August 27 from 7-11pm, Jeff Segal and the gang at Heart host a natural wine party with djs, food pairings and plenty of natty wine juice. Oh, and puppets too. Full event flyer and info here.

1270 Valencia Street
San Francisco
Tel: 415-285-1200