2 young girls in an old man’s game: winemaking

Foods & Drinks

  • Author Vincenzo Schiano
  • Published August 12, 2022
  • Word count 919

My name is Vincenzo, and I grew up in the small southern Italian town of Monte di Procida in the Provence of Naples. I’m the GM of the authentic Italian restaurant Limoncello Baltimore and I consult with many establishments in the DMV an DC area on Italian wine.

If you know me, then you know that I am very passionate about wine but even more so about bringing to the states the bits and pieces of my Italian culture so that I can share it with everyone. Authenticity is the driver of my mission and anything or everything that i do keeps exactly that in mind. Being from Monte di Procida, I can’t embark on my journey without tweaking my eye at some of the most incredible campanian wine producers. A few, are @mastroberardinowinery @quintodecimo @cantine_marisa_cuomo just to name a few, but the list could really go on, a lot. Today I was guest at my personal favorite producer and arguably one of Italy’s (campania for sure) best producers @vini_dambra_ischia, based in the island of Ischia, in my personal opinion.

My visit was incredible from start to finish. I was immediately greeted by 4th generation @marinadambra daughter of Andrea D’ambra (3rd generation). I was honored with the opportunity to visit the entire establishment from the cantinas to the museum. During the visit I got the chance to meet and exchange views and opinions with Andrea D’Ambra. One of the most interesting wine conversations I’ve had in a while. After the visit of the cantina, Marina took me to visit the famous frassitelli estate (it’s quiet challenging reaching it along the topside of the mountain epomeo).

One word: AMAZING.

It’s the most beautiful estate I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen many. Even if you don’t like wine the sole possibility to be able to actually stand there is breathtaking. The estate itself is completely terraced along the mountain side. It overlooks the Mediterranean and will make you fall in love with both the sea and the island. From this estate the incredible biancolella grapes are harvested that make the incredible “Frassitelli” bottle. Overall an incredible white bottle that can compete with the best of the best. The estate is all hand harvested do to the extreme conditions on the mountain terrace. All the grapes are hand selected and put into little cases that are then brought up the mountain using a small rudimental but incredibly effective monorail tractor used specifically to carry the grape baskets up the mountain. The harvest is incredibly labor intensive and exhausting, but in the end it only adds to the love that’s put into making the frassitelli! I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to meet Giuseppe who curates the international relationships and Sara, marina’s sister and also vinter/winemaker for the cantina just like her dad Andrea. I’m sure though that after this experience, sooner rather than later I’ll get a chance to meet them both.

During the entire visit we got the chance to talk extensively about the newest creation in the D’ambra family which is “Le Ninfe”. Marina told me it’s the first project exclusively of the 4th generation of the family, hence herself and her sister. She described it almost as a bet and I can easily see where they’re coming from. You can almost look at it as “two young girls in an old man’s game” that are trying to prove themselves. The result: an incredible white wine with a provocative name and gorgeous stilo graphic label. Its a white blend masterfully curated of falanghina, Greco, trebbiano and Malvasia. Personally I’ve been describing it @limoncellobmore as a super white. The bouchet is just phenomenal. The body, the structure, the finish are all mesmerizing. What’s even more mesmerizing is how it appeals to many die hard variatal drinkers, especially new world sav blanc drinkers and Chardonnay drinkers. I know, it doesn’t make any sense. But then again it does, because that’s what this white really achieves.

The story behind it, in my opinion, just adds to the taste. I’d tell you more about the wine and the story, but I’d be doing you a disservice by taking away the wow factor from that first smell and sip. As for the story, if you’re ever in the Baltimore area, stop in and grab a glass and ask me why this story is incredible.

The way I see it these girls aren’t competing in an old man’s game anymore, because they knocked it out of the park. It’s the old man’s world that has to now catch-up to this wonderful masterpiece of wine called “le ninfe”.

As the GM of Limoncello Baltimore I have the incredible opportunity of tasting and carrying some of Italy’s best wines.

Obviously we carry all these incredible bottles from Casa D’Ambra there. But it’s not just about the restaurant. It’s more than that. Much more. Like I said I want to share these bits and pieces of my culture and my home with my new home in the states. I want to be able to share this culture and the story of the D’ambra family for example, with anyone who wishes to learn more about our culture and obviously great wine!

Grab a glass and enjoy!

#SALUTE

My name is Vincenzo schiano and I’m the GM at the authentic Italian restaurant Limoncello Baltimore.

I’m son of a wine producer and I love wine. It’s my passion to learn more everyday and share my knowledge as much as I can. I consult on Italian wine in the dmv/dc area.

My email is enzo.schiano84@gmail.com

Www.limoncellobaltimore.com

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