Bon Voyage – Arrivederci

Posted by David Bowles on Thursday, August 29, 2013

You can’t make a lot of money on a 50-seat restaurant.

But you can live darn well!


To demonstrate this fact we leave soon for Italy and France where we plan to do some serious poolside contemplation between trips to historic wineries and inspiring restaurants. We have selected representative wines from each of the wineries we will be visiting. Janet has designed a menu consisting of small plates that pair showcase these fabulous wines. 

One seldom gets the opportunity to taste wines of this caliber. And we have never heard of a restaurant providing sample pours of $100 wines. But we want to share our adventure… and maybe gloat just a little. ;-)

The folks at Fontanafredda have graciously offered us lunch, a tour and a night’s lodging at the estate. Well… okay. In 1858, Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, purchased the Fontanafredda hunting estate for the home of his mistress (and later wife), Rosa Vercellana. They produced a son, Count Emanuele Alberto di Mirafiori, who created the winery at Fontanafredda and made its first Barolo in 1878. The 2007 Serralunga d’Alba Barolo captures the essence of  the essence of the Nebbiolo grape.

We’re guessing that we’ll be staying in one of the smaller rooms, as the king’s bed-chamber is probably in pretty high demand. But we’ll get by.

The Vietti legacy is one of innovation and creativity.  Alfredo Currado took over as winemaker in 1960 after the death of his father-in-law, Mario Vietti . He immediately began innovating. In 1961 Vietti was the first winery in the region to make a single-vineyard Barolo. In 1967, Alfredo Currado revived the white variety Arneis from obscurity and near-extinction (a few farmers were blending it with other varieties). Alfredo’s son, Luca, has been a driving force at Vietti since 1990 and there are some great family stories that showcase how this father-son team applied their willful natures to working together. Alfredo died in 2010 and Luca now oversees Vietti’s extensive vineyard plantings as well as handling the winemaking. Luca’s wife Elena works at the marketing and public relations in this family business. Luca hasn’t been to Portland for a while now and we are looking forward to meeting the family.

There’s more! We’ll be tasting the 2010 “Les Racine” Gigondas from Domaine les Pallières. We plan this trip around Janet’s birthday – something about taking a girl out for dinner in France makes her not feel so bad about how hard she works – and we plan to head down to Cassis and Bandol to enjoy some Mediterranean sunshine and cuisine for her birthday. Therefor we are showcasing a lovely, classic rosé from Domaine du Gros ‘Noré and we are looking forward to introducing you to a stunning blanc from Clos Sainte Magdeleine. Domaine de Durban is said to be one of the most beautiful properties in Provence… and that takes some doing. We have decided to sample you on Durban’s dessert wine, a lovely 2010 Muscat de Beaumesele de Venise. Maybe with a little cheese?

Book your table now!

Categories: Restaurant News, Wine

Leave a Reply

Please complete this simple math problem (also known as a captcha)
before submitting your comment : *