May 25 Wine Dinner will feature Italian Small Vineyards

On May 29, join us for an evening of Italian food and wine at Coho Restaurant. We've been proud to showcase the wines of the Small Vineyards portfolio for the past ten years. These are wines made by small family producers. Every bottle of Small Vineyards wine bears a gold seal, signifying that the wine is hand-harvested, earth-friendly, and from a family-owned estate. By importing wines from small estates, we are helping to protect and preserve unique grape varietals, local winemaking styles, and a special way of life. Chef Ryan and Tim's Mediterranean-inspired menu paired with their food-friendly wines are the recipe for a memorable evening. Dinner is $60 and the optional wine pairing $35.


Antonio Sanguineti was born in Milan in 1965 and moved to live in the family winery in Tuscany at the age of 16. He trained professionally in the family business where he worked until 1991. In 1989, however, he also began to produce some wines outside the family business with other producer friends and today he produces grapes and wines in different areas of Tuscany. In 2001 he founded Small Vineyards (now a division of August Wine Group) together with his American partners in Seattle. Antonio's primary goal is to produce perfect grapes. "It is very difficult to produce bad wine from good grapes," he says. Regarding his Nessun Dorma : The first harvest was in 2002, not easy harvest at all. The meaning of Nessun Dorma is “nobody sleeps” ...and I was not having a lot of good nights of sleep in 2002! Nessun Dorma is an aria from Puccini's La Turandot. The first time I heard it I was with my father and I was probably 8; this brunette lady was playing the cello and she has so much energy! That’s why I decided to put on the label the face of the player, the cello, and a glass of red wine. It is also a great memory of an amazing moment I had with my father who loved music, art, and history very much -- three things that he was able to transmit to me and that today are a fundamental part of who I am. The wine is made with three grapes: Sangiovese from the Chianti vineyard that is close to Firenze and Syrah and Merlot from the Tuscan coast. Sangiovese is fermented in concrete vats with 20% of the grapes applying the Governo alla Chiantigiana type of fermentation. Merlot and Syrah are fermented in wood, malolactic fermentation in wood, and aged in new wood for about 8/10 months. It's then bottled and kept for 5 or 6 months in bottle before the release onto the market. The proximity of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the sheltering effect of the Colline Metallifere, and the diurnal temperature variation contribute to the ideal climate for grape-growing and the combination of this with the very iron-y type of limestone and sandstone soil with dry farming creates the “perfect storm” for the success of these grapes in this area. 50% Sangiovese 30% Merlot 20% Syrah Regarding his Chianti : Chianti is of course a wine, but it is also a specific region in Tuscany. Traditionally, Chianti was a pretty big blend of several type of grapes but after many years several grapes disappeared. Baron Bettino Ricasoli (later prime minister of the Kingdom of Italy) created the Chianti recipe of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 15% Malvasia bianca in the middle of the 19th century. During the 1970s, producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti. In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. I still use four grapes from the original formula: Sangiovese, Canaiolo (plays a supporting role to Sangiovese, adding fruitiness and softening tannins without detracting from the wine's aromas), Colorino (known for its deep, dark coloring and used primarily as a coloring agent in the Chianti blend), Ciliegiolo (named after the Italian for "cherry" and a component of the traditional blend of Chianti). I use the Governo alla Toscana type of fermentation onto concrete vats. The process of the Governo alla Toscana is a winemaking technique reportedly invented in Tuscany in the 14th century to help complete fermentation and stabilize the wine. The technique involves saving a batch of harvested grapes and allowing them to partially dry. If fermentation of the main batch starts to slow or appears to be nearing stuck fermentation, the half-dried grapes are added to the must which then gives the yeast cells a new source of sugar to enliven the batch. From there, the must can be fermented dry or stopped with the wine having a higher level of residual sugar. 75% Sangiovese 10% Colorino 10% Canaiolo 5% Ciliegiolo
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