Going Back Home

April 1, 2008

It’s said that we can never go back home again. Actually…I think I remember the Moody Blues singing that in 1971.

I recently tasted a wine with a history that disproves both the lyrics of this British psychedelic group, as well as our old American adage.

Francesco Bellini was born in the province of Ascoli Piceno, the home to one of my favorite red wines in the Marches region: Rosso Piceno. It is made from Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes. Growing up, Bellini spent a good amount of time during the fall season helping his father and grandfather make wine that would be shared by his family and friends throughout the year.

Bellini immigrated to Canada at the age of 20. He went to college, achieved his Doctorate in Organic Chemistry, and has had a startling career in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

He and his wife, Marisa, bought some property in 2004 in Ascoli Piceno that contained vineyards and olive groves. He thought that he might enjoy returning home, reliving the customs and traditions of his family. He and his partner are now making wine under the Domodimonti label.

As recently as 6 months ago, I had never heard of Francesco Bellini or Domodimonti. However, after tasting two of his wines on various occasions in Toronto, Canada and Boston, Massachusetts, I soon realized that he is serious about making very high quality wine.

Both of the wines possess the appellation Marche Rosso (IGT), which allows Domodimonti’s winemaking staff to use grapes in addition to the Sangiovese and Montepulciano found in this area.

In addition to the above-mentioned grapes, they use Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to make a wine called Picens. It is a ruby-colored wine with soft tannins that would be a very versatile wine at the dinner table.

Montepulciano is blended with Merlot to make a wine called Il Messia. This wine is quite different than the Picens – a more robust wine that could actually improve with a few years of aging.

Domodimonti also produces their top wine called Solo Per Te and a yet-to-be-released 100% Sangiovese that will retail for less than $16.

I understand that at the present time these wines are available in Canada. They will also be available in the United States very soon, since the winery has just entered into a relationship with an American importer.

Hats off to Francesco Bellini for making some excellent wines…and for successfully returning home to relive the customs and traditions of his family!

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