“La famiglia e tutto.” (The family is everything.)
I’ve been writing this blog for a while now. While I do read the blogs that other people write, and enjoy them, there are now just too many to keep up with. But my focus here is to find wines that are good, versatile and most of all affordable. I can’t really talk about the upper reaches of expensive wines because I don’t drink them. And I don’t drink them frankly, because I can’t afford them. See, wine is one of the pleasures of life. Given to us, handed down through the ages, nurtured and perfected in almost every country in the world, it is one of life’s treasures. It is not meant to be a burden and that is why I always talk about your own personal comfort zone. A very expensive bottle has its own merits and rewards, but if you should buy one you have to be able to appreciate it. You have to be able to afford it. If not, you will be greatly disappointed and that should never be so. This wine is a perfect case in point. First, a little history.
It was back in 1908 that Giovanni Cielo purchased an estate in Veneto from where he could see the ancient castles of Romeo and Juliet. Such a romantic setting had to be perfect for producing wines, which can only feed passion. But Giovanni was a smart and aggressive man, and thanks to the presence of spring water on his land, he bred cattle, cultivated silkworms and produced some wine for the family and close friends. During World War II, his oldest son, Pietro maintained the property and began to build a network of distribution. He was a natural born salesman, eloquent, with a tongue of gold and with a good product behind him. Later, in the 1960’s the third generation took over with sons Giovanni, Renzo and Piergiorgio growing the business into more retail and expanding beyond the borders. Today, the fourth generation, Pierpaolo and Luca, manage the company, have expanded production and joined with more than 1,000 winegrowers between Vicenza and Verona forming the Cantine dei Colli Berici. These are men and women with a respect for the land and the tradition of wine production, dedicated to just that, a fine, world renowned product of which history can be proud.
Cielo Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie is but one of the wines from this region. Nestled in the northeastern part of the Italian boot, this region is one of the foremost producers of fine, distinct wines which reflect the tastes, the foods of the region. Pinot Grigio wine is a very important style here and is produced in quantity while living up to its DOC status, given only to the finest.
In the bottle, Cielo Pinot Grigio is the color of freshly dried straw with only a very slight greenish tint. That tint is kind of distinctive and actually a little misleading. It is the family’s best selling wine due not only to the taste and good marketing, but owing to its diversity. It is light and refreshing which, going back to the greenish tint, is a little surprising since you may expect it to be more tart, kind of like a green apple. Upon opening you do get just that essence, green apple and a slight earthiness. In the glass there is a hint of effervescence which fades to a beautiful shade which absorbs light. It is fresh tasting, again light and dry, slightly acidic with notes of pear and citrus. You immediately get the feeling that this is a drinking wine, best on its own, but also good with light appetizers like goat cheese, or with tomato based dishes like a mild marinara sauce.
This is exactly the type of wine that I look for. The bottle is attractive and the wine glistens inside. It just looks inviting. The family has a history behind it and to me, that is always a plus. Produced in a region known for wine, you can be sure that if it were not good it would not carry the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) designation, which means it is produced to a standard. It is value priced but tastes a lot more expensive. Tear off the price label and be sure that if you serve it to your most discerning guests they will be impressed.
This wine has a screw top
Alcohol – 12%
Price – about $10 for the 2018 vintage