Bartalotti, winemaking is a family tradition that goes back centuries in Italy and continues today in the Napa Valley. The brothers saw wine on the table each day. Most of the wine was made by family and friends where good food and wine had always been a pleasant part of daily life.
In 1994 Chris went to Italy and worked in the family wine business. He studied age-old winemaking techniques. There was even a bit of the unexpected - carrying lugs of grapes on top of a Fiat through narrow hillside trails. Chris came home and, wanting to carry on the tradition, found a willing partner in his brother Gino.
Their initial progress was slow and deliberate. Chris and Gino had dozens of conversations building relationships with winemakers, grape growers, retailers, restaurateurs, suppliers, collectors, family and friends, each conversation yielding an insight. The overarching focus was to make a high quality wine that speaks of its origins, a wine with a sense of place - the Rutherford and Stags Leap Districts of Napa.
The first vintage in 1999 was a single barrel of wine, aged for 14 months, bottled and given to family and friends. Each successive vintage displayed more thought, effort and dedication in using classic winemaking techniques.
The inaugural release of the 2004 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, the sum of 10 years of hard work and pride in carrying on a family tradition, was released in June of 2008. The wine quickly sold out. The wines have been well received with several restaurant placements in the Bay Area including Prima Vini, Lark Creek Restaurant and Il Pavone in Walnut Creek. The wine is on the Captain's List at Delmonico's Steakhouse in the Venetian and at Charlie Palmer Steak in Las Vegas. Perhaps Mark Drazek of Sidebar Restaurant in Oakland says it best: "The Bartalotti wines go well beyond what you'd expect. Their wines are handmade, not homemade. They are beautifully crafted."
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