Ciliegiolo, a Slice of Italian Sunshine

Il Monticello ‘Serauolo’ Rosato di Ciliegiolo, Liguria, Italy

“Our promise to sustainable agriculture underpins every action we take in the vineyard. If it is not good for the land, and the grapes, not just now- but for the future- then we are not going to do it. For us there is no grey area.” This is the promise that brothers, Alessandro and Davide Neri, stand by when talking about their 12 hectares of vines nestled in the dramatic, unique micro-climate that is the hills of Liguria, northwest of Tuscany. They took over the vineyards  from their father, who started making wine as a hobby. Under the guidance of Piemontese enologist Claudio Icardi, the brothers converted the vineyards to organic and biodynamic farming, and the rest they say, is history.


The majority of the vineyards are planted to Vermentino for their flagship white wine,  “Groppolo”.  We are going to talk about their ‘Serasuolo’ Rosato, a play on words for a Sicilian red wine similarly named Cerasuolo, meaning “cherry-like”. Indeed, there are cherry notes here, but that’s just where this Rosato begins! Made of 100% Ciliegiolo (an Italian red grape who’s name also means cherry, and is said to be one of the parent grapes to Sangiovese) this Rosato bursts with summer aromas of red berries, blood orange, wild strawberry and spring rose petals. It’s juicy in the mouth with tongue-tingling acidity & minerals.  While this wine is perfect drunk all by itself, the excitement really is about just how GOOD this wine pairs with complementary foods. Fried smelts or frito misto come to mind, along with cracker-thin pizzas topped with peppery salami, or briny, marinated olives. Really, the reason to love this Rosato is not necessarily for the all listed above, but for it’s innate ability to transport you to the sunny, warm Italian countryside. A welcome distraction from the grey Spring skies and the worries we all share in these uncertain times. I can raise a glass (or two) to that!



Leah Mojer, Wine Manager

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