Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Morella Mezzogiorno Bianco 2015

  This is a winemaker who cares. The importer, who has met with Winemaker Lisa Gilbee on several occasions, said that when asked why she went biodynamic in her vineyards, Lisa said: "because my kids play in those vineyards!" The bottom line, as you can tell from that statement, is that this wine meets the highest standards of quality. And it shows in the glass, on the nose, on the palate and through to a long finish. We also offer Lisa's blend of Negroamaro and Primitivo @MetroWines. This is what wine should taste like! And that's just a fact.

From Jay Murray, Piedmont Wine Imports:

Who: Lisa Gilbee
Where: Manduria, Puglia
What grapes: Primitivo, Negroamaro, Fiano, small amounts of Petite Verdot, Cabernet, Malbec
Key fact: This biodynamic estate is farming very old bush vine Primitivo in an effort to preserve and grow interest in a disappearing form of local agriculture.

Lisa Gilbee has lived in Manduria for 12 years. She is Australian, married to an Italian. They have two young kids. She travels around the world making wine for other people, and also makes wine for a large Puglian winery. But Manduria is home, close to the seas, where they can make wine the way she wants.

Their logo is a picture of an owl statue made from local sandstone. They chose it because the owl observes, watches. It’s how Gilbee wants to farm. “We started by developing natural grasses in the vineyard, then we took out all the pesticides, and eventually got to just using copper and sulfur. Now we have moved to biodynamics.” Their methodology is slow, deliberate progress toward a lofty goal.

Traditionally in Manduria, wines were made really manually: foot stomping of grapes before fermentation, back-breaking pruning of low-trained bush vines, virtually no mechanization in most fields even until World War II. Poor sharecroppers farmed small parcels and could not afford the machinery, the feudal system funneled too much of their harvest into the pockets of local landed aristocracy.  Then, after World War II these old techniques of by-hand wine making virtually disappeared.  In the 20th century production shifted almost entirely to the Cantina Sociale: wine made with BIG equipment. Bulk wine shipped to pump up the alcohol by volume of thin northern Italian reds, and then headed to supermarket chains at bottom shelf prices. Today 90% of the area’s production goes to the Cantina Sociale.

“I’d rather we focus on being a small producer turning our own vineyard into wine,” Gilbee said.

Morella has non-nursery, antique clones in its 10 ha of bush vines. There’s lots of genetic diversity in Gilbee’s monopole because the parcel was planted over time by a variety of farmers. Bush vines like Lisa’s may yield 2 – 2 ½ tons per hectare, trellised conventional vines can produce three times that amount. So slowly the old bush vines are abandoned or removed and replaced with modern clones, in fields designed to work by machine. The fields become easier to work, bulk volume increases and maybe income increases, but the connection to a traditional type of Puglian viticulture disappears.

Lisa clearly likes it here. While she laments the lack of investment in truly studying and understanding Primitivo in the way, say, Barbera is analyzed in the north, she wants to stay, to protect these old vines.  They have an indomitable natural resource in Puglia. The region still makes more wine than all of Australia, and many fields of incredible century-old bush vines (and centuries old olive trees) still stand as mute guardians of the region’s real wealth and value.

The wines:

Morella’s wines are bottled without pumping and without filtration. They use a cement egg for some of the wines. The vessel keeps the lees constantly in movement, and is a hallmark gadget among biodynamic enthusiasts.

Mezzanotte rosso is a  mainly Primitivo blend. Small bits of Negroamaro, Malbec, Cabernet and Petite Verdot are co-fermented with the Primitivo. The wine has nice bones to it and merited several exclamatory emoticons in the margins of my tasting book. Malbec has been grown in Puglia for 100 years according to Gilbee. It was replanted post-Phylloxera because of interest from the Bordeaux wine market.

The estate’s Primitivo/Negroamaro blend was my personal favorite red on the day of my visit. These are the two main grapes of the Salento. Primitivo ripens at the end of August, while Negroamaro does not ripen until the end of September or early October. This wine is grown in terre rosse clay-rich soils, and came after a drought year.

Without a doubt we’ll one day bring Morella’s 80-year-old vine Primitivo to the States. It was lovely, with a shade more blue fruit in comparison to the Primitivo/Negroamaro blend. Full and round. Ditto for the Primitivo La Signora from a different clone that Gilbee also makes. I found the latter wine more aromatically interesting, with a hint of sweet raisiny fruit above all the brawny ripeness.

Of course all these wines taste amazing at lunch in the family’s home, sharing pasta and sauce made with spicy local peppers with Lisa’s husband and her kids, Matilda and Anton. The school-age duo eye me with suspicion, but I think they warmed up a little to the strange American dressed in too-warm clothes by the end of my stay. It was raining, and leaving the happy family to trek north was unappealing. Now that we see the Morella wines also taste great in the dining rooms of our North Carolina homes, I can begin to plan a repeat visit. Primitivo is so essentially Italian-American, great with the way we eat, our bold spectrum of sweet-spicy-hot-meaty flavors.

Morella “Mezzanotte” Primitivo Tarantino IGT  Biodynamic small farm Primitivo crafted by Lisa Gilbee. This is a blend of bush vine Primitivo with an average age of 40 years. It is located in Manduria about 3km from the Ionian sea. The soils are red sandy clay over limestone. The Primitivo is destemmed directly in small open fermenters. The fements are hand plunged and wine is pressed with the basket press and matured in old oak barrels. The wine is racked 2 or 3 times before bottling without filtration. Mezzanotte has a distinct ripe berry fruit nose with hints of blackberry and cherry and with wild herbs. The mouth is initially ripe fruit followed by a balanced fresh tannin finish.

Organic: Certified Biodynamic
Soil type: Red sandy clay over limestone
Elevation: 5 kl from the Ionian sea
Grapes: Blend of new plantings (2005) and 40 year old bush vine Primitivo
Method of fermentation: Destemmed directly into small open fermenters. Hand plunged in a basket press and matured in old oak barrels. Racked two to three times before bottled without filtering.

Morella “Mezzogiorno” Bianco Salento IGP 100% Fiano. 10-year-old vines, from cuttings brought to Puglia from Campania. Planted in Manduria, in red sandy clay over limestone soil, with a unusually large amount of quartz. Hand-picked into small baskets, then pressed whole-cluster in a vertical basket press. Fermented mostly in large oak barrels. Seven months of lees-stirring prior to a light filtration and bottling.

Organic:Certified Biodynamic
Soil type: Red sandy clay over limestone with lots of quartz particles
Grapes: Fiano
Method of fermentation: Handpicked and chilled overnight. Bunches pressed whole in basket press. Half fermented in large oak barrels and half in stainless steel. Stirred on the lees for seven months and lightly filtered before bottling.

Morella Negroamaro Salento IGT
This wine is a blend of 85% Primitivo and 15% Negroamaro, made from 40-year-old vines. Hand harvested in to small baskets and fermented at 28 degrees Celsius. Aged in Allier oak barrels for 12 months, and then an additional 8 months in bottle before release.

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Elicio 2016 @$9.99

From the south of the Rhone Valley, Elicio is a bright pink color in the glass presenting strawberry on the nose and a creamy palate of red fruit. Elicio cannot be beat for quality for price! from JP Bourgeois, Elicio is $9.99 @MetroWines.

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Ristorante Trippi Introduction

Gianluca vi invita a riscoprire gli ingredienti e le ricette preparate ‘come una volta’, attraverso una scrupolosa ricerca delle materie prime di qualità e dei migliori ingredienti di stagione


Gianluca invites you to rediscover the ingredients and recipes prepared 'as before', through meticulous search of quality raw materials and the best seasonal ingredients


Prenota subito il tuo pranzo o la tua cena al Ristorante Trippi


Book your lunch or dinner at the Ristorante Trippi

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I Cortacci Di Lamole


Lamole is a ragged valley of terraced vineyards, woods, and a sleepy hamlet of 35 habitants. It’s often called il tetto del Chianti, the rooftop of Chianti, for its altitude and removed position. Near Greve, it’s a favorite place of ours for a hike. No major roads run through the area, and even a shift in wind direction doesn’t bring road noise.

If you’ve become a disenchanted Chianti naysayer over the years, Sangiovese grown in Lamole’s high-altitude terroir may sweep you up and cause you to fall in love all over again. Taut fruit, complex minerality, and that classic leaping profumato Lamole nose of orange zest, flowers, and graphite – it’s a rather racy Chianti.

And if you want the raciest (umm…ok!) of the Lamole producers, head for the top of the valley where Le Masse di Lamole has some of Lamole’s highest vineyards around a medieval borgo. Sometimes I think owners Anna Maria and Giuliano worship Zeus, for their 100+ bush vines Sangiovese is electric. Or, as one of our wine friends said of the Le Masse’s wine,‘that stuff is like crack. Raciest of ’em all, crack like, lighting-Sangiovese! Yes, please!

A very humble cellar is cut out of a the medieval wall. Vinification is done in steel without temperature controls, then botti di castagno (Chestnut – not Slavonian oak) of 15 and 25 HL that don’t have a manufacturer’s name since they were made by local artisans over 100 years ago. These localbotti were scraped and restored by again in 2000.

There’s lots of local soil called Macigno del Chianti, which is compressed sandstone (arenaria in Ital.) with traces of Silicon. The soil has a soft gray color, the same soil tilled will turn a shining ochre No matter the color, this soil drains so well that when you walk in the vineyards after a rainstorm, you won’t see your footprints. If these sandstone soils once saved the vines from Phylloxera, nowadays it’s the high-altitude and aquifers that are helping with temperature increases from global warming.*

Lamole is a special area and there are few wines I wouldn’t want to drink there. But, I have to put an extra wink in for Le Masse. Maybe it’s just me and a perverse desire to swallow Sangiovese-lightning and live to tell about it. 
*Global warming continues to dramatically change what was once considered the prized growing areas. The nearby and famous Conca d’Oro of Panzano has to contend nowadays with too much sun, whereas Lamole, struggling with ripeness in some vintages in the past, is now producing excellent fruit more consistently thanks to warmer temperatures.

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The Wine Tasting in Milano

This is text from a wine tasting with the press and industry professionals hosted by Gaetana Jacono Gola.

Pranzo con la stampa per l'anteprima nuove annate.

Lunch with the press for the new vintages.

Sei forza della natura.

You are a force of nature.

apprezziano i nostri vini...

apprciate our wines

ai piedi

at the foot

Mi dici.

You tell me.



Ti vedo con vini.

I see you with wine.

colazione di primavera

a spring breakfast

Grazie a tutti i presente attorno al tavalo.

Thank you to all around the table.

scambio di idie.

exchange of ideas



per essere sempre con me

for always being with me

i complimento piu bello della giornata

the best compliment of the day

ci vediamo al...

I will see you at...

un felice incontro

a happy meeting

a presto

see you soon


I promise.

Oggi il sogno realizzato.

Today, the dream is realized.

l' aventura formidabile della sua...

the wonderful adventure of his...

ci raccontra al...

tell us about...

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Garofoli Kamaros 2016

The Marche is located in the central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west and Umbria to the southwest with Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea on the east. The Garofoli family has been producing wine since 1871 and is the oldest winery in the region. Maintaining the high standard of quality, the fifth generation of Garofoli took over wine production in September of 2005. 

Garofoli is a family business that has continued to grow with their winning combination of family tradition and innovation. Garofoli wines offer the kind of depth that presents as a crowd pleaser. Kòmaros Rose has been voted "best in country" more than once and is popular throughout Europe and has a place on the international wine map!

Pale pink color. Smells of red fruit and light spice. And on the palate you will find berries and raspberries blended harmoniously with the spicy undertones. 

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Aveniu Brands Tasting with Laurence Vuelta

News Release: Thursday, April 20, 2017
About: Aveniu Brands Tasting with Laurence Vuelta
Laurence Vuelta, a representative of Aveniu Brands will join us to pour a selection of his wines "on the taste" and "on the house" including Cordoniu!! on Thursday, May 4th from 5 to 6:30pm @MetroWines.
ABOUT AVENIU BRANDS:WE'RE NOT ABOUT LABELS. WE'RE ABOUT HERITAGE.—At Aveniu Brands, it is our mission to market and sell the highest-quality brands from the most important appellations around the world. We believe in representing brands that have an authentic sense of place behind their labels.
CODORNIU RAVENTÓS IS ONE OF THE OLDEST FAMILY COMPANIES IN THE BUSINESS TODAY.—Founded in 1551, and currently run by one of the 17th generation family members, Codorniu owns 11 wineries around the world, including the widely acclaimed Artesa winery in Napa Valley, California and the Bodega Septima winery in Mendoza, Argentina
More about Aveniu Brands: http://www.aveniubrands.com/

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Teutonic Wines Tasting


New Release: Thursday, April 20, 2017

About: Teutonic Wine Tasting with Owner @MetroWines
Barnaby Tuttle, Founder and Owner of Teutonic Wines, will present his German Style Rieslings and White Blends "on the taste" and "on the house" on Friday, May 5th from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
About Teutonic Wines:
It all started in 2002 when Barnaby was the wine buyer at Papa Haydn Restaurant in Portland’s southeast location. German wine importer Ewald Moseler, showed him 14 different Rieslings from Germany’s famed Mosel wine region. Barnaby bought all 14 and started one of the largest German wine lists in Portland. That same night he told his wife, Olga that he needed to learn how to make wines that are as expressive to terroir (expression of the place the grapes are grown) as these Rieslings.
We produced our first commercial vintage in 2008 which included our Estate Pinot Noir from the Alsea vineyard and Pinot Meunier made with fruit from a U-pick vineyard called Borgo Pass. From there, we increased our production by purchasing fruit from other vineyards around the Willamette Valley. We always look for colder sites, higher elevation and dry-farmed vines that are ideally 30 years or older. Today, Teutonic Wine Company produces roughly 6,000 cases of wine per year, all varieties that are typical to the Germany’s Mosel region. These include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chasselas, Gewürztramer, Silvaner, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Rosé and a variety of white blends. All the wines we make, with the exception of one blend, are single vineyard wines.
Because we love the wines from the Mosel Valley so much, we began traveling there every summer and met some local producers who make superb Rieslings. Barnaby, being tenacious as he is, asked many questions and was able to learn and emulate many of their techniques for making Riesling. Even though Oregon’s soil type(s) is nothing close to ones in the Mosel Valley, our wines are similar in style. When we pour our wines for our German winemaker friends, they nod their heads and smile. That right there tells us we’re doing something right!
We have a small but dedicated team at Teutonic. Alex Neely is our Assistant Winemaker who not only helps in the cellar, but also works the vineyards and the tasting room several days a week. Gus Wahlstrom has been with us for more than four years. He started out doing the over-night shift during harvest, pressing off one load of fruit after the other. Now he also works in the tasting room, winery and in the vineyards on a regular basis.
More about Teutonic Wines here: https://teutonicwines.com/

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Campi Nuovi Montecucco 2013

Imported by Integrity Wines in Atlanta, this all natural Montecucco Rosso is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

COLOUR: deep ruby red.
NOSE: intense wild cherry and ripe dark fruits.
TASTE: Soft entrance with well balanced tannins and typical balsamic notes.
FOOD PAIRINGS: Main courses quiches, white or red meat, medium seasoned cheese.

But what's Montecucco? A relatively obscure Tuscan DOC, Montecucco lies between the coastal area of Grosseto to the west and Montalcino on the east side. A visually beautiful region, living on a plain with olive groves and grain, the area is more rustic than Central Tuscan.

An authentic taste of Tuscany

Wine lovers who want a true taste of Tuscany should discover the little-known wines of Montecucco, urges Richard Baudains

Stand at the centre of the historic borgo which gives its name to the area, and on one side the horizon is defined by the massive outline of Monte Amiata. On the other, on a clear day with good eyesight and a little imagination, you can just make out the sea beyond the lines of rolling hills. In the morning, a warm breezefrom the coast rattles the windows; in the evening a stiff, cool wind, which comes down from the mountain, rustles the leaves in the vineyards. In all directions the eye is met by a patchwork of woodsolive groves,pasturesarable land and vineyards in a landscape of centuries-old biodiversity. Narrow, bumpy lanes link the villages in the sparsely populated countryside and medieval castles look down on the valleys from their strategic hill-tops. There are no major towns, no electricity pylonsno advertising hoardings, no arterial roads, no aircraft flying overhead. This is Montecucco, Tuscany’s last unexplored wine region. As a recent denomination, Montecucco is largely unknown outside an increasing circle of admiring critics and wine professionals. The historic Tuscan DOCs were created in the 1960s; the first DOCGs in the 1980s. Montecucco only formally came into being in 1998. At that time, the producers’ register contained a mere 10 or so names and the area had barely 100 hectares of vineyard.
In the past decade, Montecucco has grown at an extraordinary pace, not only in size but also in quality and ambition. Today there are almost 800 ha under vinearound 70 producers and an annual output of 1.8 million bottles. The wines are starting to be sold in international markets, but a wide range is not readily available outside the region – yet. Promotion of the wines is gearing up and we will certainly be seeing more of them in the future.

Regional styles

The Montecucco DOCG zone is located in the most northerly part of the province of Grosseto. To the south are the coastal hills of Morellino di Scansano, while to the north, across the river Orcia, lies Montalcino. Although the DOC takes in a vast area, most of the wine growing is concentrated in three of the seven comunes entitled to use the name Montecucco: Castel del Piano, Cinigiano and Seggiano. There are also smaller producers around the villages of Civitella Paganico and Campagnatico. Castel del Piano, on the lower slopes of Monte Amiata, has vineyards which stretch up to 450 metres above sea level, but the typical elevation for the DOCG goes from 300 metres to about 380 metres.
Soils around Cinigiano, at the heart of Montecucco, are generally lean, dry and stony, with large areas of fragmented sandstone similar to that found in Chianti. Moving south-west towards the ‘Montecucco is largely unknown outside an increasing circle of admiring critics and wine professionals… This is Tuscany’s last unexplored wine region’ coast they become finer, while closer to Monte Amiata, at Castel del Piano and Seggiano, volcanic soils predominate. In terms of climate, the latitude guarantees the sunshine of southern Tuscany, but the heat is mitigated by altitude and the alternating air currents, which encourage gradual ripening and preserve the aromas and good acidity. The conditions for wine growing are extraordinary, but history is made by people, and a crucial role in the development of the DOCG has been played by the dynamic local consorzio, which brings together a group of estate owners, from third or fourth generation smallholders to new boutique winery proprietors and major investors with vast managerial experience. Claudio Tipa belongs to the latter category. Towards the end of the 1990s, Tipa, a leading industrialist in hightech communications and security systems, decided it was time for a new challenge. He had an appointment to look over a castle with a view to buying into a wine production area in the southern Maremma. When the appointment fell through he asked the estate agent accompanying him if there was anything else going in the area. It transpired that there was a dilapidated place in the hills further north. The minute Claudio Tipa saw the medieval castle of Colle Massari, he knew he had to buy it, even though it came with only a single hectare of vineyard. The decision marked what he describes as ‘the most fantastic period of my life’. His first wine came out in 2002. In the 10 years since, Tipa, who is president of the consorzio, has transformed Colle Massari into a thriving 110 ha wine estate, which is one of the driving forces behind Montecuccco, not only in wine production but also in wider social and financial spheres. Then there are the historic figures of the area represented by farmers such as Riccardo Catocci, from Le Calle, who has always produced wine alongside the halfdozen other typical agricultural products on his organic farm. Or Leonardo Salustri, long-standing member of the consorzio, whose highly acclaimed old-vine selections have a cult following among Sangiovese lovers. Then there are newcomers, such as Simone Toninelli, at Amiata, who studied law then crossed over to agronomy and now makes a micro production of prize-winning wine from tiny plots among the highest in the DOCG. Another newcomer is Daniele Rosellini, former oenologist of the Chianti Classico consorzio, a winemaker and agronomist with a distinguished career in consultancy and estate management. He chose Montecucco for his own estate and winery because of the combination of soils and climate for growing Sangiovese – he called it ‘Campi Nuovi’ because he was planting on virgin soils.

Shared philosophies

Every producer has his own story, but they form a cohesive group, with many shared philosophies. A key example of this is the commitment to growing organically. A high proportion of the top producers in Montecucco practise organic or biodynamic viticulture. The climate and the natural balance of the ecosystem favour non-invasive approaches, as Claudio Tipa discovered. ‘It was easy to go organic when we started out, because everything here already was,’ he says. But this is not just about respecting the rural status quo. What the Italian call ‘bio’ is one of the cutting-edge research areas in viticulture. As Colle Massari agronomist Giuliano Guerrini points out, ‘organic growing isn’t a step into the past, it’s three steps into the future’. The other key area of consensus is in the approaches to vinification. Montecucco is an area of hand-crafted wines that aim for natural expressions of the grape variety and the terroir.‘In 2004, I fired my oenologist and threw out the barriques,’ says Leonardo Salustri, in a statement which encapsulates the thinking of many producers. Rather than rely on oenological wizardry, the emphasis is on low yields of perfectly ripe fruit and grape selection at the level of a top Bordeaux château. The leading estates, including the big ones such as ColleMassari, crush by hand, macerate and ferment their wines in conical wooden vats and age in medium-sized traditional barrels or possibly 500-litre tonneaux. Many, such as Daniele Rosellini, use indigenous yeastsThe result is wine of distinctive personality that begins at entry level with Montecucco Rosso, an often unoaked Sangiovese blend which may contain international grapes (small doses of Cabernet and Syrah work well), though many producers prefer to use local ones – ‘Ciliegiolo is our Merlot,’ says Stefano Alessandri of Tenuta Montecucco. Montecucco Rosso is deliciously fresh and grapey, with substance on the palate and huge drinkability. Straight Montecucco Sangiovese is the next step up, a drier and more intense wine which starts to drink at three to four years from the vintage. In theory, Montecucco Sangiovese may include smaller percentages of other varieties, but the most representative wines come from pure Sangiovese. At the top of the range are the Riservas, either Rosso or SangioveseThese are serious, full-bodied wines, which begin to show their best at around five to six years and are intended for the long haul. What all the wines share is great fruit definition, with intriguing wild herb nuances, perhaps reminiscent of thyme and rosemary, good acidity which gives freshness and energy, mature tannins and a tangy, mineral finish. This mineral quality carries over into the white Montecucco Vermentino, which represents around one-fifth of the total output and is gaining in popularity. Red wine, however, is the real theme at Montecucco and that comes down to Sangiovese. Firmer and more structured than the softer Morellino di Scansano to the south, but at the same time more supple than the neighbouring Brunello di Montalcino, Montecucco Sangiovese has a character all of its own. Much work has been done in the past decade, in collaboration with the Univesity of Pisa, to select indigenous Sangiovese rather than import standard clones, tracking down genetic material from ancient vineyards in the Maremma or reproducing old sub-varieties already in the local area. Montecucco Sangiovese has recently gained approval for upgrading to DOCG, the highest level in the Italian classification system. The production norms devised by the consorzio that come with the new status make a clear statement: they reduce the percentage of complementary grapes, they cut yields to the lowest levels of anywhere in Italy and increase the ageing period for the Riserva. The gauntlet is down. The challenge is to rival the very best – and all the signs are that Montecucco is up for it.


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Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese

From The Importer:

Alanera translates as "black wing," a reference to the raven, "corvo" in Italian, and an homage to the Valpolicella region's treasured indigenous grape, "Corvina".  Alanera is a seductive wine that derives extra richness from an innovative variation on the traditional appassimento method practiced throughout the zone.  50% of all the grapes harvested to produce this wine are partially dried for 45-60 days.  The classic Valpolicella varietals are dried in the main drying facility in Sant' Ambrogio where the Zenato family dry their Amarone grapes, while the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are dried at Zenato's Santa Cristina winery. The highly concentrated juice from these partially dried grapes adds an unusually complex spectrum of aromas and flavors to the blend.  12 months in barrel round out the tannin structure in this eminently drinkable red.

Tasting Notes

Brilliant ruby in color, Alanera delights the senses with a variety of aromas and flavors that include fresh and dried cherries and prunes, sweet spice, and hints of coffee and tobacco.  On the palate, Alanera is full-bodied with elegant and velvety tannins.  Vibrant acidity brings balance and freshness, and supports a long and harmonious finish.

Food Pairing

Pair Zenato's Alanera with medium-aged cheeses, cured meats, meaty fish such as sea bass fillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or with braised meats and stews. 

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The FACTS About Tasting Wine!

Learning about wine is a little bit like learning to swim. You just have to jump in! A wine education requires you to taste, taste, taste. That may sound like an easy and totally pleasurable assignment but mastering tasting is not so simple or equitable as you might think.

When it comes to taste, we are not all created equally! Research shows that individuals are born with varying amounts of fungiform papillae, those tiny sensors on your tongue commonly called taste buds, that enable you to experience flavors. And, accordingly, those with the most papillae are cable of the most intense taste sensations.

Researchers collate individuals into three categories: nontaster, medium tasters and supertasters. Studies show that about 25 percent of the population are nontasters and 25 percent are supertasters leaving the remaining 50 percent as medium tasters. Supertasters experience three times the sensation of bitterness, sweetness and spiciness over the nontaster.

But in learning how to taste, scientific research shows that the playing field is not level, women may have an advantage over men. Why? Simple. More taste buds.  Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, a professor at the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste, found that supertasting abilities are more common in women than men. Research shows that 34% of women are “supertasters” compared to just 22% of men.

If that’s true, then why are most sommeliers men? Robert Bath, a wine and beverage studies professor at Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, says while women outperform men in tasting tests and show better olfactory memory, overall, women still don’t seem confident about their skills. “Men use confidence in lieu of ability,” Bath says.

But what about Asheville?  Are the women better tasters? Are the men winning with confidence? Juniper Cooper, a wine sales representative for Mutual Distribution in Asheville, says While most of my early mentors were men, the Asheville wine & cocktail culture has a large & growing number of talented and confident women. When I am doing wine trainings/ tastings, I encourage each person to draw upon their personal lexicon of sense memory. I think it is important to validate individual exploration of wine and that through experience comes confidence.

All that said, is there any way to build confidence and improve ability to taste?  Indeed! “With practice, practice,” says Christie Dufault, associate professor of wine and beer studies at the Culinary Institute of America, “we see lots of improvement in everyone.”

But how do you practice tasting? Easy. Blind tasting. This does not mean you will be blindfolded but the bottle will be concealed in a blind tasting. With no information about the origin, varietal or price, you taste with no preconceived notions.

A good example of the principle is the fall out from the movie Sideways. The lead character, a self described wine snob played by Paul Giamatti, famously shouts “If anybody orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking Merlot!”  Since then, many consumers think they don’t or shouldn’t like Merlot. And maybe they really don’t. But maybe they do. Knowing the wine was Merlot would certainly influence their judgment.

Blind tasting forces you to concentrate on the color, aroma and the flavor. We offer the opportunity to learn about wine at The Blind Tasting League the first Wednesday of every month. Learn, leave with confidence and level the playing field!

 As seen in The Laurel of Asheville HERE! 

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WINEMAKING NOTES: This wine is a first for Peirano Estate Vineyards!! This collaboration between 4th generation winemaker Lance Randolph and his youngest daughter, 5th generation Alexis Randolph, is the best of “old-school winemaking” and “new-school winemaking!!” The results in this bottle, we think, accents the best of both generations of winemaking styles. The 2015 blend consists of Old Vine Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were HAND-PICKED into small bins for the most delicate handling of the fruit. Once we received the fruit at the winery, we keep each varietal separate though the entire fermentation and aging process. Fermented on its skins, with extended maceration to dryness, it was then pressed and aged in French and American oak barrels, of which 15% was new oak. We then make several blends and sample each one until we have found one that is greater than its parts.

TASTING NOTES: The wine exhibits a rich deep burgundy hue with a perfect clarity. The aromas are a compendium of opulent chocolate and cocoa, with black currants and plums. The palate explodes with rich mouthfilling blackberries, black currants, plums and dark fruit. The long, seductive finish is filled with hints of black licorice and has firm, round, yet supple mouthfilling tannins.

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WE lost a family member @MetroWines yesterday. Lou's buddy "Buddy" crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Lou and Buddy were together since Buddy was a puppy so this is really tough. And we all loved Buddy at the shop! So this is tough on all of us.

Buddy was a sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet man. So much we could say about companionship, friendship, family but the bottom line is that the world is just a little more empty without Buddy. Sweet man.

                                                                     Your Shop Dogs, Cate and Bandit

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Eudora Welty Onion Pie

     Eudora Welty's Birthday was yesterday, April 13th. Born in Jackson, Mississippi on April 13, 1909, eudor Welty died July 23, 2001. Clebrate the career of this amazing writer with one of her recipes and a bottle of our wine!

Onion Pie (Eudora Welty) “This is from a recipe Katherine Anne Porter gave me, which she got in France; these little pies are served hot at the wine festivals along with the bottle of wine.” —Eudora Welty

CRUST: Lump of butter size of an egg Rounded teaspoon lard Heaping teaspoon baking powder Salt Fairly heaping cup of flour (sift before measuring) Cold sweet milk 1 egg yolk (optional)

FILLING: 3 large Spanish onions 1 large Tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon flour Salt and pepper 2 eggs 1 cup whipping cream

CRUST: Work together the softened butter, lard, baking powder, salt, and flour. Add enough cold sweet milk to make good firm dough. Well-beaten yolk of an egg may be added, if desired. Line an 8-inch pie plate with rolled pastry.

FILLING: Shave onions fine; fry in butter to a nice brown, really brown and much reduced. Add flour. Stir well; salt and pepper to taste. Beat the eggs till pretty light; mix with cupful cream; fold them into the fried onions gently till perfectly mixed. Pour into crust and bake about 30 minutes or till brown and puffy at about 400 degrees F. Serve at once. Serves 4.

From Southern Sideboards © Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi 1978


We, @MetroWines, suggest you pair this recipe with a Pinot Noir from Alsace: Stoeffler Pinot Noir Tradition 2014 

Imported by Thomas Meunier Selections, Carrboro, NC


    Winery: Farmed organically since 1999 and Certified organic by Ecocert since 2002, the 37 acres of Vincent Stoeffler are located mostly in Barr, where the cellar is based, as well as in the Haut-Rhin between Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr. In the cellar Vincent is renown for its patience and focus on the Terroir expression. He practices slow fermentations in order to respect the fruit and use large old French oak vats for the ageing. Pinot Noir represents only 9% of the Alsatian vineyard, widely dominated by the 6 main white grapes. “It was once notably light but in an increasingly warm climate its color is darkening and it is taking on more weight” Biodynamic. Horse Plough.

    Tasting Notes: Pure, ripe and natural fruit aromas on the nose (dark cherries and berries) lead to a medium-bodied, fruit intense and elegant red cherry fruit palate structured by fine and fresh tannins plus well-integrated, sweeping acidity.


About the Author from The Eudora Welty Foundation

Prepared by Suzanne Marrs

Eudora Welty Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, Millsaps College

Born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, the daughter of Christian Webb Welty and Chestina Andrews Welty, Eudora Welty grew up in a close-knit and loving family. From her father she inherited a “love for all instruments that instruct and fascinate,” from her mother a passion for reading and for language. With her brothers, Edward Jefferson Welty and Walter Andrews Welty, she shared bonds of devotion, camaraderie, and humor. Nourished by such a background, Welty became perhaps the most distinguished graduate of the Jackson Public School system. She attended Davis Elementary School when Miss Lorena Duling was principal and graduated from Jackson’s Central High School in 1925. Her collegiate years were spent first at the Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus and then at the University of Wisconsin, where she received her bachelor’s degree. From Wisconsin, Welty went on to graduate study at the Columbia University School of Business.

After her college years, Welty worked at WJDX radio station, wrote society columns for the MemphisCommercial Appeal, and served as a Junior Publicity Agent for the Works Progress Administration. During these years, she took many photographs, and in 1936 and 1937 they were exhibited in New York; but they were not published as she had wished. Her first publication was instead a short story, “Death of a Traveling Salesman.” In 1936, the editor of Manuscript literary magazine called it “one of the best stories we have ever read.”

Her first book was published five years later. In A Curtain of Green, Welty included seventeen stories that move from the comic to the tragic, from realistic portraits to surrealistic ones, and that display a wry wit, the keen observation of detail, and a sure rendering of dialect. Here she at times translated into fiction memories of people and places she had earlier photographed, and the volume’s three stories focusing upon African American characters exemplify the empathy that was present in her photos. Toni Morrison has observed that Eudora Welty wrote “about black people in a way that few white men have ever been able to write. It’s not patronizing, not romanticizing — it’s the way they should be written about.”

In 1942, Welty followed with a very different book, a novella partaking of folklore, fairy tale, and Mississippi’s legendary history. A year after this novella appeared, Welty published a third book of fiction, stories that were collected as The Wide Net (1943) and that were fewer in number and more darkly lyrical than those in her first volume. Then came Delta Wedding, her first novel. Set in the Mississippi Delta of 1923, though published in 1946, the book was originally criticized as a nostalgic portrait of the plantation South, but critical opinion has since counteracted such views, seeing in the novel, to use Albert Devlin’s words, the “probing for a humane order.”

In Welty’s next book, the unity of the novel is missing but not wholly. The Golden Apples (1949) includes seven interlocking stories that trace life in the fictional Morgana, Mississippi, from the turn of the century until the late 1940s. When Welty began writing the stories, however, she had no idea that they would be connected. Midway through the composition process, she finally realized that she was writing about a common cast of characters, that the characters of one story seemed to be younger or older versions of the characters in other stories, and she decided to create a book that was neither novel nor story collection. It is perhaps the greatest triumph of her distinguished career, an unmatched example of the story cycle.

After the publication of this book, Welty traveled to Europe and drew upon her European experiences in two stories she would eventually group with “Circe,” a story narrated by the witch-goddess, and with four stories set in the American South. Though the interlocking nature of The Golden Apples is gone, a new theme emerges. Most of these stories investigate the ways individuals can live and create meaning for themselves without being rooted in time and place. Even before she pulled The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories (1955) together, she published The Ponder Heart (1954), an extended dramatic monologue delivered by Edna Earle, a character who truly is a character.

Welty had produced seven distinctive books in fourteen years, but that rate of production came to a startling halt. Personal tragedies forced her to put writing on the back burner for more than a decade. Then in 1970 she graced the publishing world with Losing Battles, a long novel narrated largely through the conversation of the aunts, uncles, and cousins attending a rambunctious 1930s family reunion. Two years later came a taut, spare novel set in the late 1960s and describing the experience of loss and grief which had so recently been her own. Welty would uncharacteristically incorporate a good bit of biographical detail in The Optimist’s Daughter, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.

Welty’s exploration of such different subjects and techniques involved, of course, more than art for art’s sake. In her essay, “Words into Fiction,” she describes fiction as “a personal act of vision.” She does not suggest that the artist’s vision conveys a truth which we must all accept. Instead, she suggests, the artist, must look squarely at the mysteries of human experiences without trying to resolve them. Eudora Welty’s ability to reveal rather than explain mystery is what first drew Richard Ford to her work. It drew Reynolds Price as well. Price, though, focuses not on the term mystery, but on the complexity of her vision. He writes that Eudora is not “the mild, sonorous, ‘affirmative’ kind of artist whom America loves to clasp to its bosom,” but is instead a writer with “a granite core in every tale: as complete and unassailable an image of human relations as any in our art, tragic of necessity but also comic.”

Welty’s achievements include more than her fiction. Her early photographs eventually appeared in book form: Her photograph book One Time, One Place was published in 1971, and more photographs have subsequently been published in books titled Photographs (1989), Country Churchyards (2000), and Eudora Welty as Photographer (2009). Her essays and book reviews were collected in the 1978 volume titled The Eye of the Story, and her autobiography One Writer’s Beginnings, published in 1984 by Harvard University Press, was a nationwide best seller. For a time during her last three decades, Welty periodically worked on fiction, but completed nothing to her own high standards, standards that made her a literary celebrity. She appeared on televised interviews, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor, served as the subject of a BBC documentary, and was chosen as the first living writer to be published in the Library of America series. After a short illness and as the result of cardio-pulmonary failure, Eudora Welty died on 23 July 2001, in Jackson, Mississippi, her lifelong home, where she is buried.

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Moreau-Naudet Petit Chablis 2014

100% Chardonnay. Organic. Imported by Thomas Meunier, Authentique Vin

   Winery Tasting Notes: A surprisingly fleshy Chardonnay yet showing a lot of mineral freshness. This would be a Village Chablis in any other cellar. Showing ripe lemon rind and pear, it finishes with a bright salty character.

   The village of “Chablis” located along the quiet “Serein” River, give its name to this appellation of origin, the northernmost wine district of Burgundy. The Chardonnay here is dry with a nice acidity and has an average less influence of oak, most of the wines being completely unoaked. The entire vineyard is planted on a unique soil of Kimmeridgian limestone, made of little oyster shells and fossils, giving to Chablis a salty and iodine minerality, heritage of the old ocean.

   Stéphane Moreau practice a “well thought” agriculture, in his own words, where no insecticide or herbicide are used. The soils are worked to push the roots deep and his close respect of the lunar calendar led him very close to Biodynamy. Looking for a full and complete maturity Stéphane is usually the last to harvest, and one of the few to opt exclusively for manual picking. The label picture a hand holding between two fingers a white grape representing his handcrafted work.

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Conn Valley Vineyards Tasting

News Release:  Thursday, April 13th, 2017

About: Conn Valley Tasting with Todd Anderson
Todd Anderson, owner of Conn Valley Vineyards, will join us @MetroWines on Friday, May 12th from 4 to 6:30pm for a tasting of his highly regarded wines from his winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley, California.
From Napa Valley Wine ProjectAnderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards is located a few miles in from Silverado Trail on several very windy narrow roads through rolling hills and countryside native vegetation. The terroir here is definitely not the flat valley floor vineyard land. There is no signage whatsoever until you reach the main winery gate. Todd Anderson & his father originally built this winery and vineyards from scratch – they planted all the grapes.  Todd was the winemaker for many years until the business became large enough so he hired an expert winemaker. The winery dates from the mid 1980’s with their first commercial vintage in 1987.
About Anderson Conn Valley: http://www.connvalleyvineyards.com/
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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SKYPE a WineMaker @MetroWines: Emmanuel Kemiji



News Release: Thursday, April 6th, 2017

About: "Skype a Winemaker Series" LIVE @MetroWines
Join The Asheville School of Wine as we SKYPE six winemakers, one each month starting in May.
On May 16th at 5:30 EST, Emmanuel Kemiji, Master Sommelier, Winemaker and Winery Owner, will join Andy Hale and The Asheville School of Wine LIVE by SKYPE @MetroWines. 
Emmanuel Kemiji will lead us through a tasting of wines from his Miura Vineyards in California (http://miuravineyards.com/) and Clos Pissarra (http://miuravineyards.com/clos-pisarra/) in Spain. 
Andy Hale will host the event asking Kemiji about every aspect of his winemaking. And Participants are encouraged to chat with Kemiji and join in the conversation!
The event is free but seating is limited so please call now to reserve your seat at (828) 575-9525. Plenty of free, close and easy parking.
Follow us on Facebook for late breaking developments: 
About Emmanuel Kemiji, MS

Born in the United States and raised in Spain and England of Greek Cypriot and Spanish parents, Kemiji is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. In addition to his Economics and Spanish Literature degrees, he studied Viticulture and Oenology, expanding his interest in wine.

Kemiji acted as Ritz-Carlton Director of Wine & Spirits from 1988 to 1999, first at Laguna Niguel and then at the renowned Dining Room in San Francisco. In 1989 Kemiji became the twelfth American to pass the Master Sommelier exam in London, England and one of the very few to pass on his first attempt. In the same year, he received the “Sommelier of the Year” award by the California Restaurant Writers Association. Kemiji was also chosen “Wine Director of the Year” in the Critics Choice Awards, and was honored in the August 1999 issue of San Francisco Magazine.

Seeking further challenges led Kemiji to form Miura Vineyards in 1995. Soon to follow were several projects in Spain – Arrels in 2003 and Clos Pissarra in 2005. He thus became the first sommelier to establish a commercial winery in the United States. The San Francisco Chronicle named Kemiji as one of the “10 Winemakers to Watch for 2000.”

In 2006, Kemiji received the Wine Industry Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League for exemplary commitment to community and charity. In the past he has also been a wine judge at the Los Angeles County Fair and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Contact for MetroWines:  Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Golden Fleece Wine Dinner: "Sustainable South America"


News Release: Friday, March 31st, 2017
About: Wine Dinner at Golden Fleece: "Sustainable South America"
Please join The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines for a wine pairing dinner at Golden Fleece on Tuesday, April 25th starting at 6pm featuring innovative dishes that reflect the South American culinary culture paired with traditional varietals from sustainable vineyards in South America.
$65 (tax and gratuity not included) for the event. Plenty of free parking close to the front door! Call Golden Fleece at (828) 424-7655for reservations.
Golden Fleece is an Open Table 2016 Diner's Choice Winner. Using only quality ingredients, Golden Fleece follows slow-cooking traditions that gently coax and develop flavors to their fullest potential.
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Domaine de Paris Rose' Provence

From Les Vins Breban, this lovely rose is a blend of 40% Grenach, 30% Syrah, 20% Cinsault and 10% Carignan.

This bright pink wine has a delicate, pleasant, fruity nose dominated by raspberry and wild strawberry notes.

Its taste is fresh, delicious, and well balanced.  Les Vins Breban is art IN the bottle and ON the bottle. "Provence" is in raised

glass around the rim. Treat yourself to summer or surprise a friend wiht a beautiful gift.

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Brianna Craig : Four Generations and One on the Way

When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the Federal Government instituted the Three-Tier System for alcohol. This mandated a “middle man” between the producers of beer, wine, and spirits and the retail establishments that sell them. In order for a bar, restaurant, or bottle shop to have alcohol available to its customers, they must have a state issued license to purchase their alcohol from a distributor. The motive was to prevent the violence and mayhem that existed during The Great Experiment’s era of bootleggers, speak easies, and Mafioso’s.  That same year, Robert Harold (RH) Barringer started a beer distribution company of the same name.

Like the rest of the beer industry, RH Barringer started off with only a few brands, predominantly Budweiser. As the industry diversified, so did RH Barringer. Today they offer the largest selection of North Carolina craft beer brands than any other distributor in the state, and at the helm of the Craft Beer Division is Robert Harold Barringer’s great-granddaughter, Brianna Craig. She represents the fourth generation of the family to take an active role in the company since its founding eighty-three years ago, and the first woman to take an interest in carrying on the RH Barringer legacy. Now that she’s expecting her first child - a daughter - she’s looking forward to raising the fifth generation to blossom in the growing craft beer industry, while she is still growing into the shoes that have been set out for her.

“Craft beer is what ultimately drew me to the company,” Brianna explains. “I pursued an accounting degree at NC State because I wasn’t sure if the company was going to be a good fit for me. At the time it was mostly domestic driven which consists of sales, loading trucks, deliveries and drivers which are more physically demanding and not as [mentally]challenging as I would have preferred. Craft presents challenges and opportunities to constantly learn, change, and grow and this ultimately drew [me] in. I started feeling like I had a field I could really contribute to.”

I think this is the first time I’ve heard anyone say something quite like this, and I wanted to know more about her take on craft beer being the catalyst for women entering the field. She continued, “I’ve never thought of beer as a ‘man’s industry.’ It’s not that women weren’t allowed in, rather it’s that women didn’t have an interest in beer before craft. Now we are seeing a shift in the demographics. Here at RH Barringer, we started out with just two women in our office. Now about half of our office staff is female, let alone our sales staff, which is about 30% female. Whereas before the craft movement, there just wasn’t a whole lot to tickle your fancy. It was a lot of the same styles with subtle differences. It was a dude’s drink, and women preferred wine. I think a lot of that has to do with how many styles of wine there are. That keeps it interesting. Now craft comes along, and there are a lot of styles of beer. All of a sudden beer is interesting to women the same way wine has been.”

Brianna, who is a Certified Cicerone, is excited to see the industry growing and changing in a way that continues to engage women across the three tiers of the beer industry. In this family run business, she has found a unique way to blend the roles of motherhood and Craft Beer Specialist.  “I get to be that woman at the beer festival that people look at and wonder, ‘Why is there a pregnant lady here?’ That’s when I get to explain that I’m here helping with the festival in a professional, educated capacity. I get to be the odd ball person that people notice because they aren’t used to seeing [other pregnant women] in that atmosphere. I think I can use that to let people know that there are more aspects of beer than just drinking it.”

So how does Brianna plan to balance her leadership role with RH Barringer and her leading role as mother to her protégé?

 “I like the idea of having her grow up here,” she explains, referring to the facility she and her family operate. “We did. We had our family Christmas gatherings here in the conference room. We hunted Easter eggs in people’s offices. We’d roll around the warehouse and get all freaked out when they’d close the door to the trailers on us. These are all fun memories to have, but I also want her to be more hands on and learning the processes of what’s going on around her. I just want to teach her as much as I can. I wish I had years more knowledge than I had starting out. I just want to give her all the opportunities. I’d like her to see all the positions from the brewing side to retail, so she can have a better idea of what she’s interested in and what she wants to do when she grows up. I want her to know that she can choose where she wants to go. I think by the time she grows up, this industry will be very different. More women are entering all the time. By the time she’s ready to start her career, she’ll fit right in.”

Brianna also has a lot of goals for her own course and the path of RH Barringer. In our brief conversation, it became clear that this family business hasn’t lost the family feel after eighty-three years and major growth. The company has grown to include four branch offices, each with its own warehouse space, plus a wine distributor. Brianna’s main goal is to continue building the family atmosphere of RH Barringer that extends to their staff and their local community. She is looking forward to continuing the work that RH Barringer has already set forth. The company is a community resource through offering Cicerone education and by hosting homebrew clubs and beer enthusiast groups in their state of the art homebrew kitchen. She’s also looking forward to strengthening her team by identifying each person’s strong suits and putting them in the right positions to showcase those strengths. “Every employee is like family. It’s our job to support them and make sure they have everything they need to be successful,” she finished.

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