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Andy's Journal Entry #3

Wednesday, 05 June 2024 08:22 Abruzzo...

    The drive from Puglia to Abruzzo was lovely. It was incredible to watch the landscape change as we headed North. The flat, yellow/brown landscape gave way to lush, green hills with the Adriatic Sea set dramatically out the right side of our bus.
       We journeyed to the seaside town of Pescara, where La Valentina is located. To say the vineyard was different from Li Veli’s is an understatement. La Valentina is set atop a hill with a grand view of Abruzzo’s mountains, hills and valleys. The landscape was gorgeous and green and seemed completely covered by grapevines, the mountains in the background were topped with snow. Abruzzo has some decent skiing, apparently.
       La Valentina does not produce your usual Trebbiano and Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. Sabatino, the owner, told us that he wants his wines to be of exceptional quality and unique! His wines were certainly far from the usual plonk I often expect from this area, they were lovely, powerful wines that reminded me of the wines from the Northern Rhone Valley. The Trebbianos he makes were crisp and mineral driven, with a white peach fragrance that reminded me of good Viognier. The Montepulcianos, were deeply pigmented and tannic. 
      He showed us a few very expensive Montepulcianos which aren’t imported into the US yet, that were extremely tannic and powerful, reminding me of good, Northern Rhone Syrah. One, a 2017 vintage, pulled the moisture out of my mouth and tugged at my teeth. It was as unforgiving as a young Cote Rotie, but I could tell it would be a showstopper in another 10 years or so. My suspicions were confirmed at dinner a few hours later when they opened up a 2009 vintage of the same wine, it showed layers of dried black cherry, tobacco and a slight smokiness reminiscent of bacon fat.
        Overall, the wines here were not inexpensive, but they showed me the potential that fine wines from Abruzzo can have.
      After a little sleep and a quick walk to the Adriatic, we set off to Marche to see one of my favorite wineries, Garofoli. I have excitedly sold these wines for more than a decade and I have been so excited to see this vineyard. I’m so excited to see what adventures await me there.

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The Cellar Club

Tuesday, 04 June 2024 09:19
"The Cellar Club"

Showstopper wines for your cellar at a great price! Join our Cellar Club.
Let us select for you a remarkable, curated selection of wines. 
Whether you are seeking to cellar wines for decades or just a short while,
we’ll offer you wines that will improve as they age over your desired time.

We can offer you the most desired wines on the planet including Gaja,
Rousseau, Domaine Romanée Conti, Dominus and more. And, after extensive research, we can also offer you remarkable comparable wines at a fraction
of the price that will refine with a little bottle age.

Metro is an excellent way to discover outstanding wines and build your cellar collection. We can select one or more wines for you whenever you want to expand your collection. Or you can join our Cellar Club to receive two bottles every quarter. Wines you will be proud to place in your cellar. And all at pricing you will like.

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Call John at (828) 200-6504! 

The Secrets of Sancerre

Monday, 03 June 2024 12:55
News Release: Monday, June 3rd, 2024
About: "The Secrets of Sancerre"
Join us on Tuesday, June 25th from 5:30 to 6:30, for "The Secrets of Sancerre" with Steve Hedburg. This is a seated class of only 20 participants. Event is $50. Please reserve your seat NOW by calling (828) 575-9525 or online at
Sancerre has become the internationally preferred white wine. That's a fact. But what do we really know about Sancerre? We know Sancerre is a regional wine from the Loire Valley of France. We know Sancerre is most always made from Sauvignon Blanc. And we know Sancerre is light, dry, highly acidic and textured from Sancerre’s chalky soils. But after that.....
"With increased global popularity comes increased pricing and, sadly, imposters," says John Kerr, co-owner of Metro Wines. "When purchasing Sancerre, you need to make educated, smart and discerning decisions."

In 1985, Steve Hedburg, together with Brad Johnson, put together a group to buy a very early Tryon Distribution. And since that time, Steve Hedburg has been learning about and exploring Sancerre!
Steve will walk us through Traditional Sauvignon Blanc, "Caillottes," and single vineyard, high altitude Sauvignon Blanc known as the unofficial Grand Cru of Sancerre.
Take advantage of Steve Hedburg's nearly 40 years of study! Don't fall in the trap of thinking you know. Know!
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
(828) 575-9525

Andy's Journal Entry #2

Monday, 03 June 2024 08:50
Dinner at Livelli
"After getting what seemed to be an excessive amount of sleep, nearly 7 hours, we headed to Masseria Liveli to taste their wines.
The group I’m with is exceptional, wine professionals from all across the country; many wine reps who sell the wines from this importer, but also sommeliers and wine buyers from retail establishments and restaurants. Everyone is extremely knowledgeable and wickedly funny, it’s an honor to be along with them. There is a summer camp-like vibe to the group, I’ve started calling our trip “Sommercamp” and that term seems to have stuck with my companions.
Masseria Liveli was an incredible experience. The oppressive heat of Puglia was alleviated here, as there was a strong breeze coming off of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the vineyards are located almost equidistant between the two, which kept this area cool and pleasant. You can smell the ocean in the breeze.
Walking through the vineyards, I was surprised to see large chunks of white limestone and ancient seashells mixed in with the reddish dirt. It reminded me of photos I’ve seen from Burgundy.

After touring the vineyard, we walked into the Masseria, an ancient Puglian word for farm, the building made from white stones, the same limestone found in the vineyard. We were escorted into a white stone room with lovely medieval style vaulted ceilings for the tasting. The wines were exceptional from start to finish, showing lovely balance between fruit and acidity. All of the wines displayed a chalky minerality, an effect of the limestone in the subsoil of this area, as well as a slight sea-breeze like salinity. They were fruit forward, as expected, but the acidity, minerality and an almost savory quality from the sea salt kept them so balanced. I was impressed.
We left Liveli, almost reluctantly, to continue our trip up the “boot.” Next for us, a five hour drive up the Adriatic Road to Abruzzo, where we will be dining at La Valentina this evening. I’m excited to see Abruzzo, a place I have read about for so long, but have never seen. Ciao a tutti!"
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Wine investing has garnered attention as a wise investment due to its unique blend of stability, diversification, and historical performance. Unlike traditional financial assets, fine wine is a tangible asset that can provide a hedge against market volatility. Its value is less correlated with stock markets, making it an attractive option during economic downturns. 

Andy in Limestone in Italy!

Sunday, 02 June 2024 17:02

Livelli Winery: Photos by Andy Hale!

Sunday, 02 June 2024 12:37

Andy Lands in Brindisi, Italy

Sunday, 02 June 2024 10:16
Sunday, June 2nd
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"After 28 hours of travel, I have finally landed in Brindisi, Puglia, the "heel of Italy's boot. The landscape here is dry and tan with the occasional green shrubs dotting the tan scrub brush. Is is very hot and flat. The cities I pass look more like the Middle East than what I expected Italy to look like. I'm heading to the hotel for a quick shower and to change out of the clothes I have been wearing since yesterday morning, then we are off to a winery, Livelli, for dinner. I'm in Primitivo and Negroamaro country and I can't wait to see what the winery has in store for us."