Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

This blog is dedicated to learning Italian La Dolce Vita, that is, fashion, food and wine! We will focus on the words and phrases you need to get by in Italy. We will learn by translating facebook posts from some of our favorite winemakers including Gaetana Jacono Gola of Valle dell'Acate and Giampaolo Tabarrini, "Menu Italian" from Ristorante...

This blog is dedicated to learning Italian La Dolce Vita, that is, fashion, food and wine! We will focus on the words and phrases you need to get by in Italy. We will learn by translating facebook posts from some of our favorite winemakers including Gaetana Jacono Gola of Valle dell'Acate and Giampaolo Tabarrini, "Menu Italian" from Ristorante Trippi in Valtellina as well as text from the winery websites for some of the many Italian Wines on the shelves @MetroWines. Andiamo! (let's go!)


La Due Arbie

Bertoldo, Medici, Chianti !

Image result for le due arbie 2016 chianti superiore

La Due Arbie is  a blend of 80%Sangiovese and 20%Merlot.
2016 was the 300th Anniversary of the most famous Italian Wine in the World,
from the ancient recipe by Barone Bettino Ricasoli (1716).

Chianti Superiore Le Due Arbie by Dievole has fresh
and fruit forward with tannins that are youthful yet harmonious and rounded.
An elegant wine, with a long finish pairing easily with foods.

The Dievole estate has a long standing history in Tuscany,
dating back as far as 1090. Dievole does not use herbicides and pesticides, they swapped the use of cultured yeasts for wild, and they replaced international varietals with indigenous varieties. The result is is varietal purity and authenticity.

$18.94 in New York. $16.00 @MetroWines!

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Dionysus is Bacchus. Bacchus is Dionysus.

Dionysus is Bacchus. Bacchus is Dionysus.

Image result for dionysus


(although the Greek depiction is a little more stately, same god!)

The intersection of Greek snd Roman Cultures is ancient
AND alive and well in Asheville.
Ciao Asheville hosts a fundraiser for UNCA Celebration of Dionysus
on Tuesday, December 3rd from 5:30 to 7pm at Golden Fleece!
$35 for appetizers that span the cultures with Greek and Italian Wines.
Reserve by Calling (828) 575-9525 or online:

Meanwhile, revisit the pleasure principle and indulge
in "How to Be an Epicurean"
By Catherine Wilson. Reviewed by Wall Street Journal here:

Image result for how to be an epicurean wilson


Book at Malaprops here:

Your Read it With Wine @MetroWines!
*** Agyros Santorini 2017 ***
100% Assyrtiko, Stainless steel fermentation, volcanic and sandy soil.

Image result for argyros santorini assyrtiko 2016

Founded in 1903, Argyros Estate is on the island of Santorini,
famed for its spiraling vines and white washed churches. Yiannis Argyros, 3rd generation owner of the estate took over in 1974 and today,
Matthew Argyros the 4th generation of family winemakers continues
his father's legacy using traditional techniques

The estate vineyards are primarily in Episkopi and Pyrgos,
prime locations for Assyrtiko. The ungrafted vines range in age
from 30 to over 150 years, and are trained into basket-shaped bowls,
a traditional technique called "kouloura". 
The soil of Santorini is naturally immune to Phylloxera and other vineyard pests, reducing the need for synthetic herbicides & pesticides.
Estate Argyros practices sustainable viticulture, using composted grape must
as fertilizer, and plowing the vineyards with mules.

Assyrtiko is known for its high natural acidity.
This wine is true to character, with flavors of citrus, lemongrass and stone.
It is medium-bodied and elegant with great finesse.

$29.99 at and, you guessed it, unavailable. $29.99 at Vivino

$28 @MetroWines

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"Bread and Tulips" Film Discussion


News Release: Saturday, October 5th, 2019

About: Bread and Tulips Film Discussion
Please join us for a discussion of the Italian Classic film, "Bread and Tulips" on Sunday, October 27th from 1 to 4pm @MetroWines. Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator Robert Formento will lead the discussion.
"Bread and Tulips" Synopsis: Silvio Soldino directs this gentle comedy about a housewife who temporarily flees from the grinding tedium of her household duties and drifts into a world of amicable weirdos. When Rosalba (Licia Maglietta) is accidentally forgotten by her tour bus at a roadside restaurant, she does not wait there as instructed. She decides to hitchhike home, but on a whim, she ends up in Venice instead. Quietly exhilarated at the prospect of being alone for a spell, she checks into an inn run by a kindly yet eccentric Icelander (Bruno Ganz). Her plans to return the next day are thwarted when she misses her train and does not have enough money to buy another ticket. Soon she is gainfully employed at a flower shop run by an irascible old anarchist. Though her teenaged sons do not seem all that bothered by their mom's absence, Rosalba's husband grows increasing agitated at the interruption in his routine, so he hires a bumbling detective to track her down.
The event, sponsored by Ciao Asheville, and popcorn is "on the house."  $7 for a glass of Red or White Italian Wine.
Please reserve your seat by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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La Valentina Tasting

*** Friday ***
Friday, October 4th from 5 to 6:30 @Metrowines
Hosted ny Andrea di Properzio

Image result for fattoria la valentina
About our Host: Andrea di Properzio was born and raised in Pescara (Abruzzo). He is a Graduate in Business Administration from University of Bologna and University of Virginia Darden School of Business. A former management consultant, Investment Banker and working within the family’s business since 2002. Andrea, along with his brothers Sabatino and Roberto, Co-own Fattoria La Valentina. The winery was founded in 1990 in Spoltore, a village nestled amongst Pescara Hills on the central coast of the Adriatic. Today, La Valentina is a member of Grand Cru D’Italia and is regarded by Italian and international critics as one of the best cellars in Abruzzo.
Presented and Hosted by Ciao Asheville!

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Pasta Making Class

Pasta Making Class
Believe it. We're Doing it!
with Roberto Stragiotti @MetroWines
Sunday, October 20th, 1-3pm

$25 includes ingredients, glass of wine and instruction!

*** TICKETS ***
Class is Limited to 15 Students

Follow All Things Italian at Ciao Asheville

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Fundraiser for Dionysus!


Tickets HERE!
News Release:  Wednesday, September 25th, 2019
About: Fundraiser for UNCA Celebration of Dionysus.
Join us on December 3rd from 5:30 to 7pm for a unique cocktail party at Golden Fleece. Ciao Asheville hosts a fundraiser for UNCA Celebration of Dionysus, heralding the arrival of spring.
Dionysus in Ancient Greece, Bacchus in Rome, is the god of fruitfulness and vegetation, wine, theater and joy!
"Greeks and Italians share more historical and cultural connections, some conflicting, than just Dionysus and Bacchus," says Gina Trippi of Ciao Asheville. "This is an opportunity to taste Mediterranean food and wine, learn about the links and raise funding for a very special event." 
Each year UNCA Department of Classics translates a Greek play and performs the play for the public. The play this season, Antigone, written by Sophocles on or before 441BC, will be performed on April 21st. Directed and performed by UNCA undergraduates, the play offers interesting dance work and presents themes that are relevant even today. 
"In Sophocles’Antigone, the oppositions are clear: young versus old. woman versus man. family versus state," says Sophie Mills, PhD, Professor of Classics at UNCA. "But right versus wrong is not quite so clear. How far would you go to save your family?" 
Chef George Delidimos of Golden Fleece will prepare appetizers that represent both the culinary traditions of Greece and Italy paired with wines, in consultation with MetroWines, from both countries.
Professor Sophie Mills will offer a brief presentation on the connections between the two countries from the Greek perspective and Dr. Valeria Tezzon of Ciao Asheville will speak to the Italian view.
The cost for the evening is $35. You can reserve a seat at this celebration of the two cultures by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Contact for Ciso Asheville: Gail Ramperssud
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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"Buona Sera" an Italian Cocktail Party

(historic Sky Club)

News Release: Monday, September 16th, 2019
About: Italian Cocktail Party
Please join us for "Buona Sera" at The Sky Club on Wednesday, November 6th from 5:30 to 7pm. Hosted by Kelly Hull for Ciao Asheville, the event includes high end Italian wines paired with appetizers selected by Chef Marcus Day formerly of Jargon and The Vue at Grove Park INN.
Guests will include Marla Hardee Milling, author of "Legends, Secrets and Mysteries of Asheville" and Andy Hale of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines.
Wines will include 2017 Girolamo Russo Nerina Etna Bianco from Sicily, 2016 Dessimis Pinot Grigio, an "orange wine" served to great accolades at ChowChow, 2010 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino that received 93 points from Wine Spectator and 94 Points from Robert Parker, and 2014 Luigi Einaudi Barolo!
The Sky Club has a long history and remains the subject of speculation at cocktail parties! Starting as a restaurant and dance club operated by German-Americans Gus and Emma Adler atop Beaucatcher Mountain called The Old Heidelberg Supper Club. Opened in the late 1930s, the club changed its name in 1942 in response to anti-German sentiment. 
After Gus' death in a fire in 1952, Emma continued the club, hosting celebrities such as Grace Kelly and Robert Mitchum, in town to make movies. "Buncombe County did not allow sales of liquor," historian Sharon Fahrer writes. Sky Club patrons "would bring their own bottles ... They were also charged a dollar for a bucket of ice." The Sky Club "was known for ... strip steaks and shrimp cocktail," as well as for views, Rick McDaniel writes in his book "Asheville Food." 
In 1957, Castle in the Sky purchased The Sky Club from Emma Adler for $65,000, with much more later spent on renovations. The corporate treasurer was Fred Seely Jr., E.W. Grove's grandson. The president, William Conrad of New Jersey, revived the panoramic third floor dinner-and-dance hall as The Satellite Club. The Sky Club was later sold and converted to condos. 
"Join us as we bring an Italian touch to The Sky Club!" says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "The history continues." 
$35 for the evening. Tickets for "Buona Sera" can be reserved by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here: Space is limited to 20 guests so please reserve early!
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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Bicycle Thieves

Ciao Asheville Presents a Discussion of "Bicycle Thieves" lead by our Film Coordinator Robert Formento.

Sunday, September 29th from 1 to 4pm @MetroWines

Event and Popcorn on the house. $7 for a glass of italian Red or White Wine! Summary from Robert:

Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di Biciclette)

Our next film discussion, Bicycle Thieves (released in 1948), tells the story of Antonio Ricci, a long unemployed man in postwar Italy who finally finds employment putting up cinema posters around Rome. But, the job requires him to have a bicycle. His wife Maria pawns all her dowry bed linens to redeem their already pawned bicycle. Antonio’s elation quickly turns to despair when it is stolen on his first day of work. Antonio and his son Bruno desperately search the city to find the bicycle which is so important to their family’s day to day survival. Although the story could not be more simple, it draws you emotionally into the conditions of the poor and lower working class and their daily despair and in this case, the relationship of the father and son as they search for the bicycle, the family’s lifeline.


Bicycle Thieves is one of the best examples of a filmmaking movement called Italian Neorealism. The genre only lasted from 1943 to about 1951, but had a major impact on film makers throughout the world. In fact, Roger Ebert quotes Martin Scorsese as saying that the films of this era were some of the greatest influences on his work.


These Italian neorealistic films were a dramatic change from the “happy”, romantic, Hollywood type films of Mussolini’s rein which were highly censored and did not at all represent the true conditions in Italy at the time. The neorealistic films were shot in the run down parts of the city or countryside, employed mostly amateurs and dramatically showed the conditions of the poor and lower working class. This new film genre would show the “new reality” of Italian life.


Among its many awards, in 1949, Bicycle Thieves was voted by the Academy Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States.

Run time 90 minutes.


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Pasta Making Class

Tickets HERE!

News Release: Friday, September 6th, 2019

About: Learn to Make Pasta!
Join us on Sunday, October 20th from 1 to 3pm @MetroWines for Ciao Asheville's first cooking class. Ciao Asheville presents Chef and Sommelier Roberto Stragiotti who will teach us to make pasta and a simple red sauce from scratch.
$25 for this "hands on" class that includes all your materials and a glass of  Italian Wine. "Students will learn the techniques of making dough and rolling!," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Pasta is just the beginning!"
Class is limited to 15 students. To reserve your seat, please call (828) 575-9525 or online:
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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La Segreta from Planeta

    50% Grecanico 30% Chardonnay 10%Viognier 10% Fiano

Vibrant and aromatic with notes of citrus fruits, lychee, pineapple and peach complemented by hints of minerals, herbs and mint. Full and dry, smooth with balancing acidity and a long, minty finish. 

La Segreta takes its name from the woods which surround our vineyard at Ulmo. This young fresh wine principally produced from Grecanico grapes gains personality and style with the addition of some international variety grapes. All grapes are knowledgeably cultivated in the vineyards owned by Planeta.

La Segreta is a versatile companion for everyday drinking and appropriate for many different occasions. It is the perfect approach to Sicilian wine, with its excellent relationship between quality and price, guaranteedby the Planeta family’s patient input, from vine to wine


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Etna Rosso

New York Times talking a summery, grilled event in Sicily.
"batch of arancini, made with saffron and sushi rice and packed with as much mozzarella as the baseball sized mounds could hold."

"This wine is our take on the Nerello Mascalese from young vineyards. There are terraces, surrounded by chestnut and downy oak groves, a typical biodiversity that gives the wines their personality. Soft tannins, good drinkability and freshness. Aged in large oak barrels, an ideal and non-invasive wood for Nerello Mascalese."  Red wine grown on a volcano in Sicily! 100% Nerello Mascalese tastes volcanic in its minerality and vivacity. Pinot like in body, but full of  pure aromas and flavors of cranberry, licorice, olive with some grippy tannins.
92 Points from James Suckling
Limited distribution. On the shelf @MetroWines, $19.99

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Italian Classes Canceled




Bad, Sad News. Dr. Tezzon has been assigned another class at UNCA which will conflict with our program so we must, for now, cancel the program.


But nothing stops us from try to learn on our own. we Will have 12 extraordinary lessons on our Learning Italain Blog by Michael Scardaville. Get with it!

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Fattoria La Valentina Tasting

Image result for fattoria la valentinaNews Release: Thursday, August 22, 2019

About:  Fattoria La Valentina Wine Tasting@MetroWines>


Join us Friday, October 4th from 5 to 6:30 for a tasting of wines from Fattoria La Valentina, Abruzzo, presented by Ciao Asheville and hosted by La Valentina Owner Andrea di Properzio. 

"This is a unique opportunity to taste and learn about extraordinarily well made Italian wines," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines, "and to practice your language skills with Andrea!"

The event is "on the house" with featured wines offered at event pricing.

About our Host:

Andrea di Properzio was born and raised in Pescara (Abruzzo). He is a Graduate in Business Administration from University of Bologna and University of Virginia Darden School of Business. A former management consultant, Investment Banker and working within the family’s business since 2002. Andrea, along with his brothers Sabatino and Roberto, Co-own Fattoria La Valentina. The winery was founded in 1990 in Spoltore, a village nestled amongst Pescara hills on the central coast of the Adriatic. Today, La Valentina is a member of Grand Cru D’Italia and is largely awarded from Italian and international critics as one of the best cellars in Abruzzo.

About Fattoria La Valentina

La Valentina Farm was born on the hills overlooking Spoltore, which is near Pescara in Central Italy, in 1990. The owners, Sabatino, Roberto and Andrea Di Properzio and in operations since 1994.After the first few years studying the Santa Teresa vineyard, their vigorous efforts to improve quality and achieve recognition for the high-quality wines from the Abruzzo became the principal goal of the company. La Valentina learned to understand the land more fully by respecting and tending it. Each year, the vines have been successively healthier and the wines of more authentic quality. Moved by the conviction that improvement comes only through respect for natural equilibriums, year after year, La Valentina has shunned the use of chemicals and over reliance on technology. 
By ensuring that the land remains highly fertile and keeping the plants healthy, they are able to fight off parasites and disease on their own and express themselves. In this way they can produce the healthiest possible grapes of the absolute highest quality.
Our wines are natural products of our terroir – our unique combination of terrain and soil, which we try to convey to every bottle and which is the secret of our original taste. The local micro-climate and the land itself, to which our vines are bound and so well-adapted, give rise to wines of a unique, distinctive character. Convinced that a fine wine is born from the sum of so many small details, our objective must not only be to always produce fine wine, but also to make sure that our wines are always authentic.
Today La Valentina adheres completely to the principles of sustainable development and considers sustainability and respect for the environment as commercial necessities. Employee training permits all our work and associated tasks to be carried out responsibly as far as the environment is concerned and there is also continuous monitoring of the principles of sustainable development. The company policy remains to pursue the greatest possible social and environmental awareness.
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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Learn Italian the Low Pressure Way!

*** Italian Language Classes ***
Presented by Ciao Asheville
Hosted by Dr. Valeria Tezzon

*** Low Pressure ***
Learn through subjects like shopping, travel, art, etc.

Details and Seat Reservation here:

Image result for famous spanish painting francesco hayez
Let's get started!
This is "The Kiss" translate: il Bacio
by Italian Artist Francesco Hayez

Tickets HERE!


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Franco Serra @MetroWines

*** AND This (also) Just IN ***
Franco Serra Wine Tasting
Hosted by Antonio Sperone

LIVE from Italy!

Monday, September 30th from 5 to 6:30
"on the house" @ and ONLY @MetroWines

Image result for franco serra barbera
Sponsored by Ciao Asheville
(Added Benefit: Practice your Italian!)

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Italian White from Kermit Lynch

Corte Gardoni Custoza Bardino 2017
Kermit Lynch Import, $16.99

Image result for corte gardoni custoza 2017

When looking for everyday whites, many automatically pick up old reliables like Chablis, Mâcon, or Sancerre. But with yields down in Burgundy and prices for good Sancerre creeping up, why not experience new flavors?

       Corte Gardoni, the Veneto farm run by the Piccoli Family since 1600s, is just south of Lake Garda. Gianni Piccoli is something of a local legend. Having resisted the wave of globalization that saw native grape varieties uprooted in favor of international ones, this man is a hero! And he has efused to raise his prices over the years, allowing Kermit Lynch to continue offering his wines at affordable prices.

      Piccoli’s Custoza is incredibly complete with spring-fresh bouquet, complex flavors, good body, pleasant acidity, and a stimulating finish. Garganega is prominent, blended with other local grapes to complete your new experience. 

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Italy: Books and Wine!

From the "Ciao Asheville"
Book Review Department:

Image result for braudel out of italy

Order the book from Malaprops:

Make it Real with Locorosso 2017, Fabrizio Pratesi

Image result for locorosso 2017 pratesi

Wine Spectator: 91 Points, $17.99
“Leads off with an intense graphite aroma and flavors of cherry, currant and mineral. Fresh, fruity and saturated on the long,
firm finish. Drink now through 2024.”

This wine is produced by Fabrizio Pratesi in the LoLocco estate,
owned by his family since 1875. Locorosso is made with hand-harvested
90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet. This fragrant wine offers
flavors of strawberry, cherry and black currant with a wisp of chocolate.
Ample bodied wine, soft on palate with plushy tannins. Long finish. 

Summer Pasta Salad Recipes

Image result for greyhound spaghetti

*** And Don't Forget ***
Italy in America!

Donati Family Wine Tasting with Adam Chesia
Presented by Ciao Asheville
** Thursday, August 22nd from 5-6:30 @MetroWines **

Follow all Ciao Asheville events HERE:

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Italian Language Classes: Low Pressure

Italian Language Classes
(the easy and interesting way!)
Presented by Ciao Asheville

and Hosted by Dr. Valeria Tezzon
starting September 26th and then 10 Thursday classes.

Image result for italian movies eating dinner
Everything You Need to Know to Get By in Italy!

As this Italian Language class is one of the very few in Asheville
and class size is limited to insure meaningful participation,
there is a very HIGH SELL OUT Risk.
To encourage that all students progress at the same level,
You must purchase the entire series. You will LOVE it!
Go here to reserve your seat:

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Vajra Rose'

 (or, in this case, Rosato)
Rosabella 2018 from G.D. Vajra
100% Nebbiolo

Image result for gd vajra rose 2018
In the glass, Rosabella is a delicate and translucent wine, with a pale rose hue
in the glass. On the nose, floral, rich, with rose petals, raspberry, fresh strawberry and strawberry blossoms, cherry stone and a very distinctive signature of Nebbiolo. On the palate, it discloses a lovely balance and texture, with aromatics of oriental citrus, strawberry, raspberry, orange blossoms and a hint of incense.
It finishes long, soft and fruity.

Under Internet Pricing at $17.99

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Franco Serra Wine Tasting

News Release:  August 6th, 2019

About: Franco Serra Wine Tasting @MetroWines
Please join us on Monday, September 30th from 5 to 6:30pm for a tasting of Franco Serra Wines "on the house" @MetroWines sponsored by "Ciao Asheville," your Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville.
The event will be hosted by Antonio Sperone, the producer of Franco Serra Wines, who joins us for the event from Italy!
"If you shop @MetroWines, you know Franco Serra Wines, especially the Barbera, the Barbaresco, all of them!" says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Franco Serra offers excellent quality for the price."
As always, wines poured will be offered at an event price. And Antonio would be delighted to sign your bottle!
About Antonio Sperone:

Antonio Sperone is the son of Giacomo Sperone, founder of the Giacomo Sperone Company. Founded in 1960, the Giacomo Sperone company is one of the most relevant producers of Vermouth and sparkling wines in Italy. Antonio joined the family business in the seventies after obtaining a degree in chemistry.

In 1983 the family opened a second winery, Tenute Neirano (producer of the Franco Serra wines), in the Asti area. Tenute Neirano produces and bottles high quality wines from the Piedmont area. Antonio became CEO in 1995. Currently he is also the director of production of both Tenute Neirano and Giacomo Sperone companies. His daughter, Francesca and son, Andrea have since joined the family business.

About Franco Serra Winery:

Franco Serra is produced by the Sperone family who have been making affordable premium wines for four generations. In 1920, Antonio Sperone opened a small wine shop in Torino where he sold bulk wine directly to consumers. Unsatisfied with the quality and price of the local wine, Antonio started his own winery in Puglia where land was inexpensive and produced good wine.

He built a bottling facility in Torino and was soon able to offer his customers quality wines at prices everyone could afford. Sadly, it was destroyed when the city was bombed in WWII. The winery in Puglia survived the war and enabled Antonio’s grandson Giacomo to open a new facility near Milan where he produced vermouth, sparkling wines, spirits and fine wines. With the help of his sons Paolo and Antonio, the company grew quickly and achieved distribution throughout Italy and expanded into foreign markets.

In 1965, the family purchased 75 acres of prime vineyards in Piedmont and built a new winery in the small town of Mombaruzzo just outside Monferrato. Even as prices fetched for wines from this increasingly fashionable region continue to climb, the Sperone family proudly focuses on value.  Franco Serra provides everyone with the opportunity to drink thoughtfully crafted, distinctive wines from Italy’s most renowned region.

Contact for Ciao Asheville" Gail Rampersaud: 
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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