Ortica Wine List Education Project. Entry 002: Anthill Farms Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir


The concept of the wine is a no-bullshit approach to making good, connected wine that expresses the land and weather of specific vineyard sites around the Northern California coast.anthill-ant-white

Anthill farms is the project of three winemakers, Anthony Filiberti, Webster Marquez and David Low, who all met while working together at Williams Selyem. After the end of the 2003 Vintage the three took a trip around the Willamette Valley, where the idea for Anthill Farms was born. The name derived from either friends watching them all work together making the wine or the image of the many tiny parcels of land all coming together linking product to place. Not really sure exactly, but this is what I have read.

p-2224-anthill-farms_1The concept of the wine is a no-bullshit approach to making good, connected wine that expresses the land and weather of specific vineyard sites around the Northern California coast. Having personal relationships with vineyards like Campbell Ranch, Demuth, Tina Marie, Peters and so on, these wines show remarkable personality with each iteration. The whole idea here is tamper free terroir. Their limited use of new oak shows that they are not just after pleasing the masses, they actually want to do the grape justice.  To be certain, the exemption of fining and filtering proves they really want the wine to show its true colors.

This particular bottle is the second vintage of its kind and is sourced sonoma-coastfrom two points in the vast Sonoma Coast appellation. The upper edge of the Petaluma Gap and the north end near the sea. The ripening conditions, given the coastal proximity leave the grapes on the vine until late October. With that you’re seeing the grapes really struggle to ripen,  giving the wine a tense, but welcoming quality. Popping with bitter blood orange and raspberry underneath an elegant floral bouquet. It sits on the palate long after you take your first sip, leading you down a rabbit hole of visceral and tactile sensations not soon forgotten.

Currently distributed in the Western United States by Revel Wine.

Pizzeria Ortica Wine List Education Project. Entry 001: Kellerei Bozen Huck Am Bach


Commence Pizzeria Ortica Wine List Education Project.  Entry 001: Cantina Bolzano (Kellerei Bozen) Huck Am Bach (German: By the Riverside).

Italy can be tricky,  but when you get to Alto Adige, (German: Südtirol, meaning BolzanoVineyardsSouth Tyrol) you might really be scratching your head. It’s not all that bad once it’s really explained, but figuring it all out can be pretty daunting. So I’ll do my best to shed a little light on the subject and hope to gain more insight myself. The region is primarily German speaking due to its Austro-Hungarian roots. Although geographically Italian, the street signs, wine labels and everything else are printed in both Italian and German. So with that….
Kellerei Bozen, or Cantina Bolzano. Kellerei and Cantina effectively mean the same thing; “winery or cellar”. Bozen and Bolzano also are the same name. Now, the history behind this producer has an interesting combination of culture as well. Two of the oldest co-ops, Cantina Gries and Santa Magdalena merged to create this fantastic house in 2001. With over 200 farmers growing for Santa Magdalena alone this house has a clear advantage over the quality of its product. Selectively sourcing fruit and paying farmers above the average has really shown up in the glass. Al this is managed by a gentleman named Klaus Sparer who has been with the winery since he was 16 years old.Villnoess

The wine is primarily made from Schiava, aka Vernatsch, aka Trollinger. A lovely varietal of light body and huge aromatics. More noticeably responsible for one of the most genius crossings on the planet, Kerner.  A touch of Lagrien is blended In as well to round out the depth of the wine, another very popular varitelal grown in the area. With Bolzano being one of the hotter villages in all of Italy the fruit here gets super ripe. Not to mention the ideal aspect and incline of the vineyards here sit up some 200+ meters above sea level giving it a much cooler over all temperature and dramatic dinural swings from night to day ranging up to 20°C lending a generous hang time for the grapes or longer ripening period all the way up to mid October when it’s harvested.


Alto Adige

All this leads to, in my mind a very under appreciated and very impressive display of nature and talent working beautifully together.
Notes of almond blossom, rhubarb, marzipan and overt bing cherry jump right up into your olfactory. On the palate the acidity takes a surprisingly subtle back seat to the big fruit and mild tannin stricture being shown. Subtle hints of tobacco and venison are hardly worth mentioning but, they’re there if you look for them. Quite in line with the mild oak regimen, aged up to 3 months in 7hl barrels before bottling.
It drinks like it wants to be chilled down and, really, not thought about too deeply, but it does so in a way that evokes elegance and poise.
An obvious local favorite and everyday drinker. Traditionally paired with anything smoked, mainly prosciutto (speck) and really, anything  “gamey” or in hard cheese form. All I want is charcuterie.
Currently imported to the western USA by David from A.I. No not David from that Steven Spielberg movie but David Weitzenhoffer from Acid inc. aka A.I. Selections