Lets face it. Bullshit sells. Im talking about the stories marketers tell us to get us to buy stuff.
Chances are that pricey skin moisturizer redolent of wild lavender with the French name was actually fabrique aux Etats-Unis. In Cleveland, no less.
Tales told about wines and the folks who make them often are especially refined excrement.
Which is why it was such a nice surprise when I recently tried Foppiano Vineyards very good and blessedly b.s.-free wines.
Like a lot of Californias pioneering wineries, Foppiano was started by immigrants in this case, Giovanni Foppiano, who was little more than a kid when in 1896 he left Genoa, Italy, bound for California with a bad case of gold rush fever. When prospecting didnt pan out, Giovanni bought a vineyard in Healdsburg and started making wines.
Over the years, control of the 160-acre winery changed hands but stayed in the family. Year in, year out, the winery produced solid but not stellar juice, along with some fine petite syrah.
Meanwhile, neighboring Russian River Valley wineries stepped up their game, making better wines and more money. Which is why several years ago patriarch Louis J. Foppiano, who turns 100 this month, decided that if the winery was going to survive let alone prosper theyd need help from outside the family.
On a recent evening, I joined Foppianos new president, Todd Arterburn, for a tasting of the winerys newest vintages in Tampa. Todd may come from the marketing side of the industry, but is happiest among wine geeks.