Apolloni Vineyards 2014 Sangiovese

A Tuscan sun in Oregon

You can take the boy out of Italy, but you can’t take Italy out of the boy. A first-generation American, Alfredo Apolloni spent his childhood summers on the vineyard in Italy that had been in his family for over 150 years.

With wine in his blood, Alfredo knew he wanted to raise his children on a vineyard. So, after traveling the world and building a successful engineering career, he and Laurine bought land in Forest Grove in 1999 and planted grapes.

Why Forest Grove? Because the climate reminded him of his family’s vineyard south of Venice, on the Adriatic Coast — and he wanted his kids to have similar experiences.

With a strong commitment to sustainability, the Apolloni estate is LIVE Certified, including a geothermal barrel cave built deep into a hillside.

Alfredo works with winemaker Kevin Green to produce wines in an Italian style, albeit with Northwest influences. On the estate, they grow Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay – and source bolder red wines from warmer, drier vineyards in the Columbia Valley that produce big Italian-style reds with character and heft.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Apolloni Vineyards, Forest Grove, Oregon
2014 Sangiovese

Sangiovese is, of course, a classic Italian varietal. First referenced in writings dating back to 1590, the name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, or “the blood of Jupiter”.

A grape that thrives under the hot Tuscan sun, it is typically found in the Rogue and Umpqua valleys in Oregon – as well as in the Yakima Valley up north. But back in 2007, Alfredo Apolloni couldn’t resist the challenge of planting Sangiovese in the cool Willamette Valley. It was a gamble that often doesn’t pay off, resulting in under-ripe fruit.

This wine comes from the 2014 harvest, an exceptionally hot year, so the grapes make for a lovely wine. As a Sangiovese, it’s light and bright with notes of cranberry and currant, with a hint of smoke and cedar to remind you of a wood-fired oven. Naturally, it’s best with pizza and pasta with tomato sauce!

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2018, Italy in Oregon Willamette Valley | Sangiovese

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