Montebruno Wine (Joe Pedicini)
Willamette & Columbia Gorge, Oregon
Montebruno was the maiden name of Joe Pedicini’s Southern Italian-born grandmother – the woman who taught him how to make wine. And his label, Montebruno wines, is deeply steeped in that old Italian family winemaking tradition, even if the Joe’s grapes are grown in Oregon.
Joe doesn’t own land; he works with a number of small sustainable, organic and biodynamic vineyards that plot their way through the Willamette valley east to Underwood Mountain and through the Columbia River Gorge. His is a region characterised by its wildly oscillating clutch of terroirs which, jumping between arid desert and alpine, are the key to his highly distinctive, single estate cuvees.
In Europe, buying in grapes may signal a lesser, less-terroir driven wine, and a driving commercial instinct. But in California and Oregon, where land is big bucks, largely the preserve of massive corporate wealth whose wines we don’t want to drink, it’s different. Certainly in the case of Joe, buying in is an index of a winemaker whose desire to make wine is such that the cost of land won’t stop them.
Joe started out working with exclusively with Pinot Noir but today also sources Gewurztraminer. We sell his single estate cuvee, 2014 Momtazi Vineyard and two blends – a Willamette Pinot and Columbia Gorge Gewurztraminer, from grapes sourced across his small family of vineyards, exclusively in keg. These are racy, lively, living wines that reframe our European preconceptions of what these grapes are. Purely organic fruit, unfined and unfiltered.