“Rustic”. Throughout the development and evolution of Montoliva Vineyard & Winery, this is a term I have heard often to describe my wines. It is not a term of endearment in California, although I suspect that as the terms “natural” and “authentic” slowly become meaningless clichés in the wine world, you will start to hear this term more often in a positive note. Back in the early 2000s I would cringe when critics would use “rustic” to describe my wines, however I’ve come around to embrace it. And if your focus is southern Italian varietals, and rustic is your watchword, well, you have to grow Nero d’Avola. Nero d’Avola is the most widely grown grape in Sicily, and has a reputation for being “rustic” in nature. We planted Nero over at the Wabash Avenue Vineyard in 2015. This is our first wine from those plants, and I have to say, I think Nero d’Avola likes it in Chicago Park. Deep, dark, rich fruit combined with a noteworthy earthy mid-palate, finishing fairly dry. Only 139 cases produced.
Silver Medal ~ 2022 Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition