Many of you know that Altamura winery is one the only winery in Wooden Valley located within the Napa Valley appellation. The winery was established back in 1985, by Frank and Karen Altamura, making a conscious decision of taking a hand approach to how they produced wines, where a natural production limit is established. My favorite is their Cabernet Sauvignon. Their exacting, no compromise policy in the vineyard, where they believe is where 90% of the wine is made is the secret to what you get in their bottles.
The owner Frank, knew winemaking was his calling, ever since he graduated from High School and began working with his cousin. But his formative years of becoming a great winemaker were further developed at Caymus, where he worked for five years. His passion for developing great grape varieties from Burger to Zinfardel, as well as refining concepts of soil and climatic effects, and every bottle of Altamura, is a reflection of Frank’s winemaking approach of quality over quantity. After 20 years, The Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese are raved about for their rich texture and intensity of the elements unique to each vineyard site.
If you are ever in this neighbourhood, a stop at their new restaurant aptly named “Ciccio,” which is term of endearment in Italian. For this is the terms you use to call a friend, your nephews,…because of the cuteness of their cuteness and the affection you feel towards them… Hey Ciccio. Much of that sentiment is reflected in this former Old Grocery store, where Frank Altamura would shop as a child. Now at Ciccio, you can pair Altamura wines with locally grown foods and veggies. The delicious menu and easy on the wallet pricing has kept this place packed from day one. The only downside of this place, is that they do not take reservations. But, then to further note of this family hospitality in nature, heaters were placed outside the porch to keep the crowd warm as they wait up to an hour for a table.
A must is their oven-fired pizzas with locally sourced ingredients some on the Altamura ranch. Chef Polly Lappetto will make you feel right at home. The details like the orange handles cutlery and touches of this colour throughout, shows that no detail is to small or left to chance in this cozy restaurant. A must from the bar is the Frank’s Negroni.
Coincidentally, while I was writing this blog…my doorbell rang, and what you know it was a courier delivering a package addressed to Cosimo Commisso from: Altamura Winery. Must be the Altamura Cabernet 2012, striking, elegant and refined, I had ordered a few weeks earlier. Cosimo Commisso signing off…as I have to go pair some really, special special wine… think ripe dense blackberry that is opulent, elegant and refined with some holestyle porchetta.