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After 4 months of transit, crazy port strikes, back and forth emails, headaches, rerouting through Seattle and shipping it back to SF in a refrigerated truck with extra charges…….the exciting Gaglioppos of AVita are finally here in SF.

Francesco de Franco, ex architect that “abandoned the cement business” and moved back to Calabria to take care of his family vineyards, is the most exciting up and coming producer in Ciro’. For the last 20 years, we have been exposed to very conventional and largely produced cheap Gaglioppos and to Riservas cut with Cabernet Sauvignon. But things have now changed and AVita now leads a small group of vignerons that want to make better wines in a more natural way.

AVita’s mission is to redefine Gaglioppo and give a new identity to this tiny appellation. The focus is on quality and not quantity. No chemicals are used in the vineyards and at the winery. Only sulphur and copper are used when necessary. Fermentation starts spontaneously and the elevage is usually in steel or in large used barrels. Little sulphur is used and wines are minimally filtered.

On many occasions, many of my SF buyers have mistaken these wines for Barolo. The nuances can truly be sensual and complex. The palate is also intense with a good amount of alcohol and tense tannins. The finish is always long. Francesco is truly mastering Gaglioppo and vintage after vintage, the wines just keep on getting better.

If you would like to pick up some at our warehouse, please email me at

CIRO’ ROSSO CLASSICO 2011 – $17 btl + taxes

CIRO’ ROSSO CLASSICO RISERVA 2010 – $26 btl + taxes

Thank You,


Francesco and Laura have also become very good friends. This is a recent meal we had at Nonna’s house in Tramonti on the Amalfi Coast. Nonna’s food and AVita wines go very well together.

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