Good news for cheap wine: New importer may bring back all of Falesco Vitiano wines to the U.S.
Italy’s Falesco Vitiano, one of the all-time great cheap wines, may soon be selling all of its labels in the U.S. I’m still waiting on official confirmation from the producer’s new importer, Trinchero Family Estates. But a Trichero spokeswoman said this week that the Falesco wines would be included, and it doesn’t make much sense to only add one of the three Vitiano wines.
Because that’s what happened in October, when then importer Winebow dropped the Vitiano white and rose. That was a shocking blow to those of us who care about cheap wine. The Vitiano had been in the $10 Hall of Fame since its inception, and the brand won the best cheap wine poll in 2013. The red, white, and rose are everything great cheap wine should be – in fact, what great wine at any price should be. That means varietally correct, terroir-driven, and interesting.
The Cotarella brothers, whose family-owned company makes Vitiano, are winemaking legends. One of the great moments in my wine writing career came in 2008, when I interviewed Riccardo Cotarella and we talked about the need for great cheap wine.
Apparently, the old importer didn’t see enough demand for the white and rose to make bringing them into the country worth the trouble. In addition, it didn’t seem that Winebow was importing newer vintages of the reds — most of what I could find was 2016 and 2015.
And, apparently, the producer disagreed. Though the winery didn’t respond to an email asking about the changes in October, it does seem that the switch to Trinchero could be tied into the cuts. This has been happening repeatedly over the past decade, with producers dropping their long-time importers. See this and this.
I’ll update this post with any developments.