If you live – or frequently dine – in New York City, there is a chance you have been to one of Joe Campanale’s restaurants. An accomplished Certified Sommelier – while working as a somm at Babbo, he was one of the youngest in the country – and restaurant operator with an impressive portfolio including L’Artusi, dell’anima, Anfora and Alta Linea, Campanale has long been an aficionado of Italian wines.
Now, he is showcasing his knowledge of and love for Italy’s winemaking culture with one of his own: Campanale founded Annona wines in 2013, and released the first vintage last year. The entire Annona wine collection is made from grapes that have been grown organically and picked by hand from two different sites: one in Loreto Aprutino, Abruzzo, the other in Paestum, Campania. They are bottled without filtration or added yeast, and showcase respect for the traditions of Italian winemaking practices.
Campanale himself spends a lot of time in Italy and works directly with the farmers and winemakers on every step of the process. For the Annona Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Campanale collaborates with winemaker Stefano Papetti Ceroni in Loreta Aprutino. This region of Italy sits halfway between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, giving way to an ideal combination of hillside vineyards and arable soils.
Meanwhile, in Paestrum – in Campania just south of the Amalfi Coast – Campanale works alongside acclaimed winemaker Bruno De Conciliis. The winds off the Tyrrhenian Sea and strict organic standard of the land on which the grapes are grown make the Annona
This is his passion, and the wines are damn good (and did we mention that the bottles are also beautiful?)
We recently got to join Campanale to sip on the the latest releases from the Annona portfolio.
When you think of rosé, it’s generally a super light, sometimes sweet variety that is reserved for summer sipping. Not the Annona Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. This wine has depth and flavor beyond that of your typical pink wine. “I love to drink rosé year round and when I drink rosé, I want it to be a complex, unique and high quality wine, just like when I’m drinking reds or white,” explains Campanale. “Unfortunately, complex rosés like this are not common in Italy.” Until now, with Annona’s Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, which Campanale describes as “earthy, complex and delicious.” We concur.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Modo Antico
We have long loved Montepulciano. It’s an easy wine to drink – especially with a nice Italian meal – and has a straightforward, easy flavor. The Annona Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Modo Antico from Loreta Apruntino “showcases the more serious, brooding side of Montepulciano,” says Campanale. It shows how Montepulciano can be expressive of the place it comes from. This wine offer considerable value given its quality and sophistication.”
This wine was so interesting, it’s kind of hard to describe. It left a pleasing aftertaste on the tongue and tasted rich yet soft. “If you have tasted Aglianico from the South of Italy before, the Annone Aglianico will surprise you in a wonderful way,” Campanale admits. “The difference is its floral aromatics and silky texture, not often experienced in this varietal.” Try this one, trust us. It’s an absolute treat.
Looking to check out Annona wines for yourself? Head to NYC spots including L’Artusi, Anfora, Alta Linea and dell’anima (natch) as well as Nomad, Frankie’, As 457, Daniel, Forgione, Piora and more. Or pick up a bottle at retails stores including. Vintry, MCF Rare Wine Co. and Sussex Wine & Spirits.
More info about the wines at www.annonawine.com
Connect socially: Instagram/Twitter: @annonawine
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