My wife, Annie, met Brian Terrizzi of Giornata Wines at the Paso Robles Sports Club and we’re always looking for interesting people to feature on our blog. Brian is definitely interesting. He’s got his hands in many different things. He’s an idea guy and he’s clearly passionate about the projects he has going on.
We recently met up with him at another of his projects, ETTO Pastificio, in Tin City where he talked about his vision behind that prior to heading over to Giornata to taste and learn about orange wine.
Our plan is to do a series with Brian featuring his orange wines, which is what we’re doing in this first piece, ETTO will be the second and then his regular wine line up at Giornata will be number three.
Here’s what we tasted:
2018 Moscato Giallo
2018 Bianco Trebbiano/ Friulano
This was my first time tasting through an orange wine line up like this although I have tasted a handful or orange wines before. I’ll be honest, I was super intrigued and really enjoyed the wines. Definitely different than your standard wines but something quite interesting about them. I’m not going to get all descriptive about them since I don’t have much knowledge in this category but if you haven’t tried orange wine before, do it…more importantly, be sure to check out these wines from Giornata.
Now let’s learn a little about Brian and what this orange wine project is all about. Oh, and be sure to check out the beautiful label artwork in the slideshow below. All the art on this series was done by Anna Takahashi.
Matt: How long have you been making wine?
Brian: My first vintage was with Rosenblum in 2002 and then worked a harvest in Italy 2003. I did several shed winemaking experiments while in the Fresno State enology program. Our first commercial vintage with Giornata was the 2006 vintage.
Matt: When was Giornata established?
Matt: For those that don’t know, what is orange wine?
Brian: Orange wine is white wine produced like a red wine. Contact on the skins can be a few days up to several months. We tend to go longer on the skins. The color of the wine is more intense and can have more of an orange rather than yellow hue. The color actually tends to have more to do with the grape variety and the amount of oxidation for its orange-ness. We use clay amphora for these wines, but that’s not mandatory for the category.
Matt: What brought you to do this orange wine project?
Brian: At Giornata we’ve always used Italy as our model and as orange wine started to reemerge in Italy several years back we started buying and drinking them. We found the vines to be fascinating and very expressive.
Matt: Is this your first time making it?
Brian: We have actually been making these types of wines for seven years. When we started there was almost zero consumer interest, but now we sell them to a who’s who of trendy restaurants mostly in California. This style of wine is controversial and has lots of haters, but if you don’t like it don’t drink it. We enjoy the wines and now have a pretty intense following for them so that’s been fun to see.
Matt: How many did you make for this project and how many cases of each?
Brian: Our orange wines are part of a small six pack series called, “Fatto a Mano” (handmade). The total production of all six wines are less than four hundred cases. Some will be released to distribution and the rest will be available to our club members and the public while they last. The six pack includes an original piece of art from our designer, Anna Takahashi.
Matt: How can people taste or purchase these wines (by the bottle or in the set)?
Brian: Giornata is open for tasting by appointment in Tin City, Paso. We are tasting selected wines from the series with folks now, but the complete six pack release will be mid-July. We anticipate lots of interest and pretty robust sales when we release the whole set. There seems to be a growing body of consumers that are looking for different types of wine to experience. I liken it a little to the diversity happening lately with craft beer.
Thank you to Brian for doing this Q&A with us, much appreciated.