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Altamura winery

Wine Tasting with Altamura’s Frank Altamura at Ciccio Yountville


This week, we’re back to Yountville’s Ciccio restaurant with proprietor and Altamura winemaker Frank Altamura. Spoiler Alert: you’ll hear a busy working kitchen in the background during this episode.

Their 400-acre Wooden Valley ranch produces an award-winning California Cabernet, in addition to the more unique Italian varietals Sangiovese, Negroamaro and Nebbiolo. The wines are all estate grown and pure 100% varietal. Wines are aged in one-year old French Oak, except for the Cabernet, which ages in new French Oak.

Wines We Taste:

2012  Altamura Sangiovese, Napa Valley. This is a deeper and richer expression of this Italian grape, more commonly seen in Chianti. Frank explains that it’s due in part to the growing conditions of sunny and often very warm Napa Valley, in addition to his aging protocol. Read more on the wine and specific growing conditions.

2009 Altamura Negroamaro Napa Valley. This wine has big bright cherry on the palate and a nice hit of black pepper on the finish.  The grape originates in the Puglia region of Italy, where Frank’s family is from. The wine has deep color and rustic character. It combines perfume with an earthy bitterness and spicy element. The barrel again rounds off the finish, making it smooth.

2012 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.  This award-winner gets regular mentions in the media. The property where this fruit grows has elevations of 700 to 1000 feet along with soil that’s similar to the Rutherford Bench and the mountainous regions of Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill and Mount Veeder. The vines, which were planted in 1986, are dry-farmed and vertically trellised.

All these grapes and most of the ingredients on the Ciccio menu are grown at the Altamura’s Wooden Valley ranch, which is just about 12 miles east of Napa. It’s a gorgeous property where tastings are by appointment only. Of course, you can taste all of the wines during a casual dinner at Ciccio, as well.

Please Listen to Past Episodes and Subscribe

You can check out the past few episodes but if you SUBSCRIBE , you’ll receive each new episode right to your device, whichever one you listen to your podcasts on.  Share episodes across social media channels, as well, to let others discover our wine conversations. A few of the most recent include:

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Kerrin Laz on Collectible Napa Valley Cabernet at K. Laz Wine Collections

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Catch you next time.

Italian Varietals in Napa with Proprietor Frank Altamura at Ciccio


Napa’s Italian Wines at Ciccio

Ciccio, the casual trattoria, is widely regarded as one of the tastiest and approachable (read “affordable”!) eateries in Yountville.  The produce comes right from the Altamura family farm, prepared by Executive Chef Polly Lappetito. It’s a must stop during a wine visit to the Napa Valley.

Did you know that it’s also the only tasting room in town for Altamura Wines? Tune in to hear Frank Altamura, owner of Altamura Vineyards and Winery and Ciccio along with his wife Karen and two kids Frank Jr. and Giancarlo.  Hear him discuss his motivation and passion for growing Negroamaro, Nebiolo and Sangiovese at the ranch up in Wooden Valley. Of course, his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shines, as well.  Follow Ciccio updates to stay on top of the ever changing menu, as well. Continue reading