I had the privilege of joining Scotto Cellars for a winery dinner during this years Wine Bloggers Conference. I say privilege for this reason: During WBC’s – local wineries go to big lengths and dollars to ensure that wine writers/bloggers are treated to an exceptional wine country dinner experience and each one has a story, history, family and wine behind it that they want you to end up loving as much as they do.
Scotto Cellars is rich in family history and rich with family values. The family has been making wine for at least 5 generations and since the 1980’s they have found a calling with each generation putting themselves into many avenues of the wine business. Scotto Cellars is only one part of the Scotto family list of wine industry accomplishments – Scotto Cellars in particular was launched by Anthony Scotto III in 2004. Now they are an enriched part of Lodi wine country, doubling their capacity with the creation of the Scottos Family Winery in 2009, leading up to the newest addition of their tasting room in downtown Lodi that was just getting ready to open it’s doors the week after hundreds of wine bloggers left town. This is where I take you on my privileged journey of wonderful wines and a feast fit for a king!
Scotto Cellars launched their wine blogger evening of entertainment with a visit to Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyards where we were poured a glass of newly released Scotto Cellars 2015 Dry Sangiovese Rose. Made with Lodi grapes, this Rose was deliciously dry and crisp with acidity and it really hit the spot on the 100* afternoon in the vineyard! After the vineyard visit, we were transported to the new tasting room downtown. Beautifully modern and spacious. I could see myself tasting wine and cider here often. We were graciously greeted by the family and staff of Scotto Cellars right when we walked through the door. It was perfected, down home Lodi hospitality.
The room was set with a beautiful dinner table and a wine counter spread of appetizers. Glasses of Pinot Grigio and chilled cider were offered up as we made our way through the delicious morsels of Blue Cheese Stuff Figs; procutio & cheese platters as well as many other Antipasti. What I loved most about this “cocktail time” before dinner was the presence of all of the Scotto family, literally making the rounds and making themselves available to sit, drink, eat and talk with each one of us. I had an intimate and amazing talk with Anthony Scotto III while sipping wine and enjoying appetizers. He shared some of his family history, talked about the excitement of this particular evening, shared where he & his family live and asked me all about my blog, the conference and how I got involved in wine, as well as what I do full time as a career and where I live and etc. I’ve done interviews of winemakers, I’ve been involved in many tastings and stories with wine families – never have I just sat and shared a glass of wine with one who made you feel like you were friends before we met and your longtime neighbor next door that you actually like! 🙂 It was truly a joy and something I will always remember.
Dinner commenced and we were treated to some amazing courses. Chef Warren K. Ito knocked it out of the park with incredible recipes full of fresh ingredients; pairing the dishes with Scotto Cellars wines’ that were simply spot on and all the while using a small wine tasting room kitchen. Professional through and through. (The wait staff was fabulous as well) The menu was co-created by Natalie Scotto. She had decided that to truly represent the family you have to show both sides of their heritage: Mexico and Italy. Therefore bringing you “Mexital Fusion Cuisine”. The evening was also centered around a special wine release – Masthead Sangiovese. (I will go into further details about this wine on another post.)
We dined, we drank, we laughed and we laughed some more. It was an unbelievable dinner experience and one THIS blogger will not soon forget.
The Scotto family and team were an exceptional group of people I met while being treated to a bounty of delicious food and wonderful wines. It is true that wine and food are enriched to new levels when shared by wonderful friends. My evening with the Scotto Cellars family and my fellow wine bloggers was an evening enriched beyond compare.
Thank You Scotto Cellars. It’s true, I ended up loving all of it, as much as you do.