Monday, September 21, 2015

Italian Varietal Dolcetto returns to Montoliva, Nevada County of Sierra Foothills

Mark Henry is exuberant about his Dolcetto and looks forward to adding it to the 2015 vintage of Montoliva Wines. Located in Chicago Park, Nevada County, Mark started with 1.5 acres in 2000 with an esate vineyard dedicated to the varieties that would allow him to produce “Tuscan-Inspired Quality Wines”-- Sangiovese, Aglianico and Moscato.

Mark has been a champion of growing Italian varietals in this part of the Sierra Foothills. He was one of the first to plant two important varietals here: the much-lauded clones of Sangiovese that were introduced to the USA by Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo in 2001, and Aglianico, an important grape from southern Italy. These were wise choices, as Chicago Park is at 2200 feet elevation on the western slope of the Sierra Foothills, with warm summers, cool evenings and soils of decomposed granite. This is a perfect home for these Italian varieties.

Now, with the Dolcetto in his hands, he will be making a wine he’s not offered for more than 5 years. As you can see, he’s very happy about that!

Mark Henry and his Dolcetto !


The grapes come from the Musso Family Vineyard in Georgetown (located in the northeastern part of El Dorado County, Sierra Foothills).

Mark says, “This is probably the most celebrated Dolcetto vineyard in California. Ken Musso, who owns Due Vigne Winery, doesn't generally sell his Dolcetto but agreed to sell me a ton this year. The Dolcetto from this vineyard always comes out the vineyard looking kind of raggety, and always makes a wine that is stellar in its depth.

“Of all the grapes I work with, and all the wine I make, this is the one that scares me the most. The best I can do is not screw it up. (Oh, please God, don't let me screw this up!).”

I’m sure Mark will do a fine job with this wine, as he does with all his wines.

Montoliva Vineyard & Winery
15629 Mt Olive Road
Chicago Park, CA
     Tel 540 346 6577
     Tasting room open Saturdays and Sundays, noon- 5.   This is a winery that’s grown from a true garagiste winery to 1500 cases of 11 wines using primarily Italian varietals, since its inception in

(You can read more about this winery and meet the family at a special meal that photographer Johan Martin photographed for my forthcoming book...sign up to get updates/alert on publication date ...

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