Viola Wine Cellars 2014 Barbera d’Alder

A little bit of Italy, here in Oregon

Assagio. Portlanders remember it as a cozy neighborhood trattoria with a fantastic wine list. And no wonder, given the commitment to great wine that owner/chef Darryl Joannides brought to the task.

His love of Italian food was matched only by his love of Italian wine.

Fast forward a few years: After putting Assagio in the rear view mirror, Darryl dedicated himself to wine. He interned at a Sonoma winery, and later, with celebrated Oregon winemaker Andrew Rich at the birth of the Carlton Winemakers Studio. After discovering the great diversity of Oregon wine, he opened the Cork Bottle Shop in northeast Portland.

But the winemaking bug had bit, and Darryl combined his two loves – Italy and Oregon.

Inspired by Italy, his latest venture – Viola Wine Cellars – is about wine crafted in the Italian style using Northwest ingredients.

Starting with just four varietals, Viola is now up to fifteen, constantly experimenting to find the varietals that make great Oregon “Italians”!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Viola Wine Cellars, Portland, Oregon
2014 Barbera d’Alder

Barbera is a classic Italian wine, behind only Sangiovese and Montepulciano in production. With bright fruit and freshness, it’s a classic backyard red in summertime and a perfect pair for steaks and pizzas in colder months.

In California, the Barbera vines run wild, producing such immense quantities of fruit that it’s often a staple of mass-produced “jug” wine you’ll find on the bottom shelf at the grocery store. But in the cooler climate of the Northwest (much like Piedmont), Barbera struggles, imparting strong berry flavors, deep color, and intense aromas.

For winemaker Darryl Joannides, Barbera is the wine that inspired the launch of Viola Wine Cellars. His approach is the same as the one pursued by the northern Piedmontese winemakers — using stainless steel (not oak) to produce a bright, cherry, high-acid wine.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2015, Great for the Holidays Columbia Valley | Barbera

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