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Wine Club: Indigenous Grapes from Campania!

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Wine Club time again! An ongoing theme of Wine Club is travel. We love picking places that produce great wine that would also be a blast to visit. This month’s selection certainly fits that bill!

Campania is a gorgeous region of southern Italy on the Mediterranean coast. The famous Amalfi coast beaches lay within it, as do hundreds of vineyards and wine producers. If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing region, check out this post we wrote about it.

For the wines this month, we chose a crisp, lively white with tropical fruit tones, and a rustic red made from an ancient indigenous grape. Campania wines tend to really show a sense of place, so we picked two terroir driven bottles.

For the white, we chose a wonderful example of the grape Falanghina. The warm days and cool nights of the region leave the wine with pronounced flavors and balancing acidity. The producer, La Capranera, takes its name from a type of goat that lives in the hills of the area. Once almost extinct, they are thriving now, much like Campania wines themselves!

For the red, we went with a 100% Casavecchia. This grape likely would have gone extinct were it not for a recent revived interest in indigenous grapes. The name Casavecchia literally means “old house.” Legend has it that it gets this name because someone found a lone vine of it growing in some Roman ruins, and that all the vines growing today are descended from that vine. King Ferdinand IV of the House of Bourbon in Naples apparently loved this grape. The painting of a dog on the label of this wine comes from a detail in a painting in his palace!

The grapes in this wine hail from the province of Caserta, at the foothills of Friento Mount. They grow at an altitude of 200 meters in clay and carbonic soils, and are hand picked in the first and second week of October. The wine itself has flavors and aromas of dried red cherries, plums, herbs and wild spices, with hints of licorice and black tea. Let breathe to allow the tannins to soften up. Serve with char-grilled pork chops and veggies.

The release party will take this Sunday, July 28th, starting at 2pm. See you then!

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Campania, an Italian Gem!

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Campania, located on the front of the “ankle” of Italy’s boot, boasts some of the most remarkable historic, ancient and modern attractions in all of Italy. From Naples to Pompeii, the Amalfi coast and some of the most fertile lands in Italy, you should definitely not skip it when you plan to visit Italy.

Campania has a long history. The Greeks, then the Etruscans, both settled the area. The first major city of the area, Capua, formed in the 5th century BC. Although the name Campania seems to come from the word “Campus,” Latin for field, it actually pre-dates the Romans. Perhaps they got the word for plain from the name? It remains to this day the best place to grow all sorts of Italian staples, from tomatoes to eggplants to, of course, grapes!

It became culturally Roman in the 4th century BC, eventually becoming first a colony, then an official region, of the empire. After the Romans, the Goths, Byzantines, and Lombards all conquered the region. In the 11th century, the Normans incorporated Campania into the kingdom of Sicily. It then became part of the Kingdom of Naples after the Wars of Sicilian Vespers against the French in 1282. It took until 1860 for it to be united with what we now think of as modern day Italy.

Today, the region thrives on agriculture, tourism, fishing, and modern industry. In fact, it is Italy’s southernmost area with an industrial center, mostly around Naples. Artisans throughout the region craft coral, pearls, tortoiseshell, leather, and lace into gorgeous works of art that make unforgettable souvenirs. And of course, Naples makes the world’s most famous pizzas!

Though the Amalfi coast is perhaps the most recognizable, and visited, attraction Campania has many other fantastic sites dot the land. Pompeii, of course, is a must see, as are other areas also buried by the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius (still an active volcano!). Non-roman architecture and still active towns offer nearly limitless sights and adventures all on their own! And that’s not even mentioning Campania’s amazing wines, revered throughout Italy.

To celebrate this gorgeous, historic, and welcoming place, we’ve highlighted two amazing wines in our Wine Club! When you make it to Campania, let us know, and we can help you set up some winery visits!

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Wine Club Release: Rosé All Day!!!

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It’s officially summer at Grand Cata! Our rosé table is in full force, the fridge is packed with every shade of beautiful pink juice there is, and the weather builds a thirst that can only be quenched by a freezing cold glass of rosé!

We take great pride in our role in bringing rosé into the spotlight by finding and promoting excellent bottles that change perceptions and taste amazing. We want you to feel confident that when you reach for a bottle of rosé in our shop, it’s something truly special, interesting, and fun.

In keeping with this, we’ve decided to focus on rosé for this month’s release. Both hail from South America - one from each coast, in fact. The first, a light salmon colored selection that is a textbook Provence-style. It’s light, citrusy, super fresh, and infinitely poundable. A true poolside wine, from the Atlantic coast in Uruguay, this wine comes from Grazón, a producer we can’t get enough of. Descorchados named this wine the best rosé in South America this year!

For the other, we travel to the Pacific coast in Chile. It comes from Erasmos, another producer we absolutely love, and the only one to have two wines featured in our wine club. It’s a more robust rosé, in both texture and color. This wine has striking flavors of young strawberries, summer flowers, and crunchy minerals. Drink it with grilled salmon, and thank us later!

We will release these two beauts this Sunday, starting at 2pm. We’ll have other rosés open to taste, and we’ll also have a seasonally appropriate cocktail on hand for you to taste. It promises to be a fun party! See you Sunday!

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