Bringing Italy to the Pacific Northwest

Bringing Italy to the Pacific Northwest

Bringing Italy to the Pacific Northwest

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Gino Cuneo likes to say that “You can’t put in the bottle what isn’t in the soil and fruit”. A Pacific Northwest winemaker and owner of Cuneo Cellars in Walla Walla, Cuneo has been growing Italian wine grape varietals in the warm climate regions of Washington and Oregon. Cuneo explains why he ended up locating in Walla Walla.

CUNEO: After 30 years on the other side of the mountains trying to figure out how do we get to a place where the skies are high and dry we finally made it. Walla Walla is just fabulous - so wine oriented, and it allows us to do our direct to consumer approach.

The soil in the region also has a lot to do with it.

CUNEO: It’s the opportunity to try to see how Italian varietals such as Barbera, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo do and perform in the unique soils of Washington. Some of these varietals have been tried and been in use in small amounts but we’re taking a completely different approach in trying to mimic if you will the growing conditions, the way they’re grown in their native soils. So we’re not trying to be Italy, we’re trying to see how, you know, just as a Cabernet performs differently in Washington as it does in California as it does in Bordeaux. It’s very exciting because it’s fairly new ground quite frankly.

Tomorrow Cuneo will talk about introducing consumers to their Italian style wines in their new tasting room in downtown Walla Walla, and their unique Appassimento wines.

That’s Washington Ag Today.

I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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