Montoliva Vineyards & Winery
Chicago Park Wine Society
A special release club, offering exclusive opportunities to sample and purchase pre-release and limited release wines.
Join the Club
Chicago Park Wine Society
You’ll get access to wines designed exclusively for Chicago Park Wine Society, plus:
- Receive sample shipments of two bottles of two wines
- 20% off ALL Montoliva Vineyard & Winery wine purchases (This means you are paying $13.50 for our multiple-award-winning Sierra Bella!)
- VIP Status for events and advance notice for harvest and winery activities
Shipping is free on orders of 6 bottles or more. Hint – top up your upcoming release by 2 bottles, and I’ll send it to you with no shipping charge.
- Cost per Shipment: $100.00 – 120.00
(not including sales tax or shipping)
- Number of Bottles per Shipment: 4
- Frequency of Shipments: 4-per-year scheduled for Feb, May, Aug & Nov.
About the Wine Society
About Our Wine & Production
Montoliva Vineyard & Winery is small. In fact, we are small by “Small” standards, most years producing less than 1,800 cases. And boy, do we love making wine from unusual, hard-to-get varietals. I’m talking Dolcetto, Aglianico, Teroldego, Negroamaro. Really obscure stuff. And we also produce a few proprietary blends that like our Due Baci, a Sangiovese/Aglianico blend and Sinistra blend. With most of these wines, the production is very limited, generally not much more than 100 cases. Most of these wines never see the light of day. They are essentially made for our wine club members.
Previous Club Releases
Still available for purchase
2019 Mark’s Magia
Next Release: 2020 Due Baci 2018 Nebbiolo
I am very particular about Due Baci. Italian for “Two Kisses”, I first made this blend (only about 5 cases of it) in 2008 from vintage 2006 estate grapes. The occasion was my wedding to my soul mate and muse, Julianne. Our guests liked it so much I decided to continue producing it. The last time I produced a Due Baci blend was from vintage 2018…like I said, I’m particular about it. This vintage is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Aglianico. I make this wine to be an interesting juxtaposition of bright, dry and lean, perfect for one of my favorite winter meals, which includes a spicy marinara sauce, gobs of Italian cheeses and some well seasoned chicken. Only 140 cases produced. Retail: $35/bottle, Chicago Park Wine Society Price: $28/bottle
As with many things related to Italian wine varietals, no one really knows how the Piedmonte grape Nebbiolo got its name. One theory is that it is related to a dense fog that is prevalent during fall harvest season in the Langhe region where much of Nebbiolo is grown (fog in Italian is “nebbia”). I prefer the idea that it comes from the Italian for “Nobile”, meaning Noble. Nebbiolo is a notoriously hard grape to grow well. That there are only 155 acres of it grown in California is testament that not too many vineyardists even try.
This vintage of Nebbiolo follows in the footsteps of our Cal State Fair “Best of Class” 2013 Nebbiolo. It is somewhat lighter in color than most California Nebbiolos, almost bordering on being “rose-ish”. As often happens with Nebbiolo, its light color is deceiving, this wine has the body, mouthfeel and complex flavor profile of a high-end Pinot Noir, only with more of what I’d refer to as “Christmas” spices like nutmeg and clove on the nose. Moderately dry in the finish, and noticeable bright cherry in the mid-palate. Additional note: It has always been my goal to grow all my own fruit here in Chicago Park. I’ll be the first to admit that it is taking me a lot longer to get there than I originally thought it would. Nebbiolo is not a varietal that I believe will do well here, so I haven’t planted it. As such, this is likely to be our final vintage of Nebbiolo. Retail: $35/bottle, Chicago Park Wine Society Price: $28/bottle
the Judgement of Chicago Park
Here at Montoliva Vineyard & Winery I have a fairly intense focus on Italian varietals, particularly central and southern Italian varietals. You can read more about why this is here. The varietals I work with are all Italian, my approach to winemaking approximates the central Italian winemaking style.
That being said, no Italian winemaker would ever mistake my wines for wines grown and produced in Italy. While the geology and climate here is similar, they are not exactly the same, and this is reflected in my wine. So, how exactly do my wines stack up against their Italian counterparts?
Most of you are familiar with the so-called Judgement of Paris that occurred in 1976, and was immortalized in the highly fictionalized movie “Bottle Shock”. Well, meet The Judgement of Chicago Park. Periodically I sit down with one of my wines, and one or more of their Italian counterparts. There is no pretense of impartiality. I make wines that I like, so there is an inherent bias. It is fun, nonetheless.