November 11 and November 12
Thursday, November 11, winemaker Cecilia Naldoni from Grifalco in the Monte Vulture region of Basilicata will be at Oliveto for a private winemaker dinner. Chef Paul Canales will prepare a four-course menu inspired by Basilicata and perfect for Aglianico pairings. Thursday’s dinner in the Siena room will allow for Cecilia to discuss her wines with a small group of guests. Please call (510) 547-5356 for pricing and reservations.
The following day, Friday November 12, Cecilia will be in the general dining room floating to chat tableside with interested guests who would like to know more about her wines, the region of Basilicata and her choice to migrate from Tuscany to the South of Italy. We will be serving our regular a la carte dinner menu and have a number of Grifalco wines available by the glass. Please call or reserve online.
Available wines include:
2006 Gricos, consisting of fruit from all four vineyards, half of the wine seeing slovenian oak, the other half in stainless steel. The grapes from each vineyard are always kept separate and blended at maturity.
2004 and 2007 Grifalco, uses grapes from each of the four growing sites, a fifth of the wine spends twelve months in tonneau and barrique, all spends four months in bottle before release.
2005 and 2007 Damaschito, the least produced style, 4000 bottles a year, this is a single vineyard aglianico, using grapes from their best vineyard. The vines in the maschito vineyard are all over 30 years old, grown at high altitude on a windy plateau of clay and volcanic soil.
2005 and 2006 Bosco del Falco, this wine is made from fruit hand-harvested from the oldest (thirty plus years) vines in each of the four vineyards. Like Gricos and Grifalco, the fruit from each site is kept separate, Cecilia’s husband Fabrizio does this to ensure that proper oak treatment is used for the particular characteristics of each site. Bosco del Falco is aged 18 months in large oak barrels (25-50 hectoliters) then spends a year in bottle.
Basilicata is one of Italy’s least known or visited regions, however it is not overlooked for lack of culture. Located at the instep of the boot, surrounded by Campania to the north, Puglia to the east, and Calabria to the southwest. The region has never been of notable wealth and the predominant source of income for Basilicata has always been agricultural production. Wheat is still grown over much of the region and eaten regularly. The best know and most enjoyed foods are based on those eaten by the peasant class. Common vegetables are broccoli rabe, bitter chicories, eggplant, and most of all peppers. Meat is mostly pork, including the cured sausages, sopressata and salsiccia. Lamb is also eaten, and many locals believe it is best served with the locally grown Aglianico. For a long time Aglianico produced in Basilicata was harsh and difficult to drink. It’s acids and tannins were too rough. Until recently, Aglianico was not seen as capable of greatness, often vines were torn out and replaced with wheat. Much has changed in the past 15 years, Aglianico is now somewhat well known and sought-after, but this shift is owed to winemakers like Fabrizio and Cecilia Piccin of Grifalco who saw the potential in Aglianico grown on Monte Vulture.