California wines are fantastic to discover, and learning about the unique histories of their wineries is intriguing. Ettore Wines from Mendocino is no exception to this rule. Ettore Wines have roots in Switzerland thanks to his owner and Italian winemaker, Ettore Biraghi who first started bussiness over there. So when Ettore first laid eyes on Mendocino, he knew it immediately to be the perfect terroir for producing pure, organic, and low-intervention fine wines.
The Story of Ettore Winery
The Story of Ettore started in 2008 when Ettore founded the Tenuta Agricola Luigina winery in Stabio, Switzerland. Since then, Ettore has managed 2.5 hectares of his Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, and Viognier vines. These varieties will come to inspire him as a vigneron and help to establish his voice as a winemaker of passion and his deep respect for nature, with each vintage unique from the last.
He released his first wine for Tenuta Agricola Luiginia in 2010, earning praise and awards from the world’s wine community. Then, in 2015, Ettore discovered the tiny town of Hopland in Mendocino’s Sanel Valley. In this warm, wild microclimate, Ettore was fascinated by the grapes’ ability to ripen. They produce expressive wine without any unnatural treatment, resulting in fine wines of outstanding quality.
Ettore primary winemaking operations are located in Switzerland, but he simultaneously brings his talents to California, realizing a dream of producing world-class fine wines in the Sanel Valley. In 2019, Ettore released his first organic and terroir-driven range of Chardonnay and Merlot wines from Mendocino. However, in 2020 Ettore’s full line of organic wines was released to American wine lovers for the first time. He has established a reputation as one of Northern California’s most dynamic, passionate vignerons.
Ettore Wines, The 2019 Vintage
I have never had a wine with Swiss influences. Hence, I was interested in trying the 2019 Ettore Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP:$ 52). This is a medium-bodied, dark ruby red to enjoy every winter evening. The Ettore Cabernet Sauvignon opens with black cherry and pomegranate bouquet with hints of coffee ground and pine resin. The mouthfeel is round, juicy, and mouthwatering. The flavor profile is black stone fruit and pomegranate, with a hint of graphite and notes of spices and oak. This Ettore Cabernet Sauvignon pairs wonderfully with a bolognese or marinated steak. The Ettore 2019 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant, festive sip.
For those who prefer things on the lighter side: the 2019 Ettore Pure Chardonnay (SRP: $ 29) is a new take on a classic chardonnay for all-year enjoyment. A deep golden yellow hue is the most notable trait of this refined wine. The 2019 Ettore Pure Chardonnay is a mellow wine pouring out butterscotch, toasted almond, and crème caramel flavors. This wine allows for a wide range of food pairings, from pork to vegetarian dishes.
Ettore’s wines are always-organic and have no sulfites added.