On Sunday nights 60 Minutes is usually on while we prepare dinner. For the most part, this is just habit. It’s Sunday night, 60 Minutes is on, it’s just what you do. Most of the stories stay in the background, but in early October, while going back and forth from the kitchen to the BBQ, I glanced at the TV across the room and paused, when I saw:
Where they in Napa? Nope. Turns out they were in Umbria and they were profiling the Antinori family who has been making wine for 600 years. I stayed standing in the kitchen and watched the rest of the faascinating (albeit fawning) profile with Morley Safer making the rough journey (you smell that? that’s sarcasm) from Tuscany to the Napa Valley, where the Antinori family has also been making wine for several years (just not 600), and recently purchased Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. The segment was beautiful, from the people in the vineyards to the stories of family, to the amazing Palazzo Antinori in Florence.
After watching, I went back to my steak, which unfortunately I had left on the grill a bit too long, and the segment slid to the back of my mind, until…..I saw ANOTHER fawning profile of the Antinoris, their wine and their life, this time in Portfolio Magazine. The focus of this article was the “Super Tuscans” specifically the Sassicaia, or “stony ground.”
So, first, please raise a glass to whomever is doing the PR for the Antinori’s, truly amazing work. Both segments highlighted how the history, the family, and hard work contributed to the greatness of their product and their brand.
So what’s the Sacramento Celebrity connection here? In the Portfolio article a reference is made to how most wine sellers in America didn’t know what to make of Italian wine that wasn’t Chianti, but there was one who took a chance:
Corti Brothers in Sacramento claims to be the first store in America to sell the groundbreaking wine. It went on the store’s shelves in the spring of 1972 for $6.98, which was more than any of the store’s other Italian wines. “It was very good wine,” says Darrell Corti, co-owner of the store. But at first it was “very difficult to sell.” Customers didn’t know what to make of the Sassicaia, since it was so different from any other Italian wine. Over the next few years, a cult-like following developed for the wine and collectors still prize this special bottling, not only because of its historical significance but for how it tastes. It’s “still tremendous. Out of this world,” says Esposito, who tastes the wine every few years. (He says it now sells for about $3,000 a bottle.)
Yes, our own Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers.