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Domenico Winery
November 3, 2017 | Domenico Winery

Cal-Ital Wine 101

Italians were among the first to immigrate to California, and even more specifically to San Francisco. Along with their culture, food, and romantic language, Italians brought their knack for agriculture, which meant one especially great thing for California—Italian wine.

But where is all the Italian wine now? Once referred to as the “Cal-Ital” wine movement, Italian wine made in an American style, the production of Italian varietals slowed down once winemakers realized how difficult Italian grapes are to produce. Enter Domenico: our family-owned urban winery specializing in Cal-Italia winemaking.


There are many legends surrounding the origins of the illustrious Primitivo, such as its relation to Zinfandel, but one thing is for sure: it’s delicious. While Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically similar, they produce quite different wines. Estate grown and full-bodied, our California Primitivo is a complex, lush, and juicy varietal with the ability to be aged for years to come.


Barbera has long been considered the wine of the people, and is meant to be consumed young. While the Italian counterpart is grown in Mediterranean conditions, the warmer California sun makes for a fine wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and spice. Enjoy Barbera with rich or fatty foods, the perfect complement to the wine’s bright acidity!


The grape responsible for the more well-known wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is an especially difficult grape to grow—so much so, that there are only around 100 planted acres of it in California! Grown in California’s Nebbiolo hotspot, Amador County, our 100% Nebbiolo pairs with the heaviest of stews, pasta, or your Thanksgiving turkey.


Bright and fruit-forward, California Dolcetto is among the friendliest of food wines. Literally meaning “little sweet,” Dolcetto is recognizable by its low acidity and cheek-puckering tannin. Dolcetto is young and fun—the perfect bottle to open with friends!

Want more Italian varietals? Visit our San Carlos tasting room Saturdays and Sundays to taste what we have on deck. Cheers!



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