The wine industry is one of risks and passion. If you decide to pursue a wine-related profession, one can safely assume that it will be a life of little monetary wealth, but a whole lot of doing what you love. Most people who get into wine have some sort of massive family or personal wealth supporting them while they get their footing. After all, the most famous quote in the wine industry is “How do you make a small fortune in wine? Start with a big one!”
Christian Vitone is a man with a passion. Having first been exposed to wine by his grandfather and then working for a time at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, he has caught the wine bug on a couple different occasions (and it’s the damnded thing to shake). I personally don’t run his financial affairs; however I’m not going to assume that he has a Mondavi-esque treasure trove supporting him. Rather, he has a life of hard work, an appreciation for what wine brings to an occasion and the love and understanding of a wife that has seen him do his absolute best to support their family and now wants him to pursue his passion, even after understanding the risks. Sometimes, this is the type of support that’s most important when trying to impart your passion into something that will be experienced by thousands of wine drinkers. In fact, it the Vitone Family’s passion that I tasted when I tried his wine, Verde Sole.
I’m going to be blunt with my appraisal, as I think it speaks to the quality of this wine. The first time I experienced the ’09 Verde Sole Zinfandel was at Napa East in Nashua, NH. My full tasting notes that I typed into my phone were as follows:
A very unique Zin that has nice, bright fruit, minimal oak presence, with a backbone of black pepper and hints of Asian spice. Not a typical Zin, a little thin throughout. – 86 pts
I’ve since had the chance to purchase a bottle and give it another shot. Instead of approaching it right away, I poured a glass and allowed it to breath for a half hour while I went out and grilled. Prior to eating, I took a few moments to take these notes:
Medium-full bodied with supple blue and black fruit, nice acid, minimal oak presence, with an invigorating backbone of black pepper, laced with Asian spice. Not weighty and a nice, even finish. – 89 pts
It was as if I tasted a different wine. In fairness, the temperature of the first glass was a bit cold and having it come from a wine preservation machine at a restaurant should have given me pause to slow down and let it warm up just a spell. Oh well, lesson learned!
Christian’s passion for wine, and his wife’s passion for him, comes out in this wine and it is genuinely transferred to us, the consumer. This is one to seek out and I look forward to hearing about your experiences.