“The Godfather,” parts I and II, were on TV again a few weeks ago. As usual, I ended up losing a few hours, because I can ‘t channel surf without getting engrossed again and again in it. I have seen the movies at least 150 times, in bits and pieces, but can never get enough.
The second Godfather, which chronicles the story of a young Vito Corleone coming to America and starting an olive oil importing business, is the greatest movie ever — a true, epic representation of the American dream. Even though it ends in a sordid affair of crime and murder, it is a testament to vision and risk-taking.
There is a venerable Italian company that is following the same path in the wine business. No crime or murder, but the same passion and commitment to excellence.
Colavita was originally a fine olive oil and pasta importer. Started in the charming hilltop village of Sant’elia a Pianisi, this family business has grown into a multinational behemoth. World renowned for fine olive oils and vinegars, it is beloved by millions. Now Colavita has taken the same family traditions of excellence and their years of family connections throughout Italy to create a line of great Italian wines. Colavita makes four traditional Italian varietals: pinto grigio, verdicchio, pinot noir and valpolicella ripasso.
Colavita has partnered with the Terlato Wine Group to bring these great wines to America. Terlato is an importer and producer of some of the greatest wines and wine values in the world. They deal only with quality and amazing wines. Some of the great wines in their portfolio include Chimney Rock, Rutherford Hill, Gaja and Santa Margherita, to name a few of the more than 90 wines they represent.
Colavita basically means a life lived well. The four wines they have created are a testament to this ethos.
The Colavita pinot grigio is a classic Italian pinot grigio. It is fermented in 100 percent stainless steel. The non-wood fermentation and aging allows the fresh flavor of this wine to jump out of the glass!
It is from the famed Veneto region, where some of the greatest pinot grigio comes from. The cooling ocean climates and rolling hills create an ideal climate for this grape to flourish. Pinot grigio is an awesome summer quaffer with a touch of sweetness that will please everyone in the group.
However if you want a white wine that really reminds you of Italy, try the verdicchio, which comes from the Marche province. The Apennines Mountains to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east surround it. This unique terroir gives this wine some amazing characteristics — light yellow-green color, crisp fruit aromas, and a little earthiness balanced by citrus notes. There is no other wine like this in the world.
Pinot noir is a grape that enraptures wine lovers. It is a grape that can create some of the greatest wines in the world. However, it is hard to find good affordable pinot noir. Winemakers know that it is a temperamental grape.
Cheap pinot noir is exactly what you pay for — flat, boring, thin wines. However, when you step up a little bit, pinot noir can be a joy! The Colavita pinot noir is unique in its fruit forward flavors; 100 percent stainless steel aging allows the soft flavors to come forward. Hints of blackberry and a velvety finish tease your palate.
The valpolicella is truly the treat of the entire portfolio. Just saying the wine is fun! Vahl-paw-lee-Chel-la. It rolls off your tongue like the wine floats over it.
This valpolicella is made in the ripasso method. Ripasso literally means repassed. The grape juice for this amazing wine comes from the same juices that create Italy’s most amazing wine — amarone. Amarone is always $40 to $100 a bottle. You can get a taste of the exquisite flavors for around $15 to $20, in the ripasso valpolicella.
The grapes for this wine are partially dried by laying out on the open plains of Italy. The sun slowly dries the grapes to a raisiny texture. This brings an amazing ripeness and intense flavor — truly unique. If you want to tantalize your taste buds, this well-balanced wine has great wild berries on the finish. I can’t emphasize enough how fun this wine is!
The Colavita family has a winner in these wines. Italy has made wines for thousands of years; they know what they are doing. Food and wine are an intricate part of the Italian lifestyle. They go hand in hand.
Enjoy in moderation and live a vita life! Cheers!