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November 16, 2006

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Nancy Bentley

Hmmm... are they bonded? Or is it just an amateur operation? They're not listed on the Ohio Grape Industries website as a bonded winery. Are they growing their grapes? Or just buying frozen juice trucked in from CA or NY? The last thing Ohio needs is another "American" wine label. Sangiovese would be quite difficult to grow in this climate. As an estate winery, we have experimented with many varieties, and the Italian varieties are either not winter hardy or ripen too early. As the proud winner of a Double Gold medal for our estate grown 2004 Cabernet Franc (only two vinifera wines received this in a 695 medal field for the American Wine Society competition), we seriously try to encourage estate wineries that grow their own fruit, and preferably vinifera, not hybrids. Ohio wine: It's not your grandma's Catawba any more! "All fine wine should have a sense of place."

Nancy Bentley

OK OK. Maybe I was a little harsh. If they're having fun and care, wonderful! There's always a bond among fellow winemakers and winegrowers.

Nancy Bentley

PS. Can relate to the skydiving thing! One of my life's highlights. Went out at 9500 feet, in Oregon, about 15 seconds of free-fall. When you land, the adrenalin rush is so huge, they call it "perma-grin". You can't stop smiling.

Mike Duffy

Well, the one time I tried to go skydiving, my wife went and I chickened out. She loved it though, and the perma-grin experience applied to her as well.

As far as being too harsh, I don't think Via Vecchia is trying to be an estate winery like Kinkead. Seems like a bunch of guys/people having fun with making wine, which is perfectly legit (as long as we can each have our own opinion about what they, or any winery, produce).

Thanks for stopping by, Nancy!

Anton at Via Vecchia

Nancy, thank you for your honest comments. We reserve judgement on your perspective of vinifera versus hybrids (we have our opinions too). For the record, we are most definitely bonded (our insurer is The Hartford) and we do NOT make our wine from juice concentrate (please read our blog where you'll learn of the trials and tribulations we endured navigating the bureaucracy of both state and federal requirements, and the passion we hold dear on making the genuine article from real grape – with no added yeasts, sugars, preservatives or other chemicals or finings). Are we amateurs? I guess that depends on your definition of what an expert is. In general, we try not to be too self-indulgent in our view of ourselves, but I can tell you, however, that our processes do benefit from generations of family wine making experience in Tuscany, and that what we make comes from the heart and like Thomas Jefferson, we believe that "good wine is a necessity of life".

Mike Duffy

So, Anton: what's the Via Vecchia story? Why a blog and not a Web site? What's your goal for the winery? I'd love to know more!

Vin Cache

I think blogs are replacing the traditional web sites--more interactive.

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