Eataly Boston’s Spring Festa on April 11th (notably a Wine Wednesday) featured 27 wines from seven different distributors stationed in their restaurant, La Piazza. Decorated with tablecloths, flowers, hand-crafted pots, and a curated collection of wines, each station served three to four wines from each distributor’s collection. To ensure they made their rounds, wine tasters carried a paper “passport” to stamp after visiting each station.

Wine was not the only option on the menu, however. Eataly Boston’s Spring Festa also included a small menu of spring-inspired bites that complimented the wines being served. The chef’s own assaggini menu included Italian favorites such as Bruschetta Con Piselli, Pesce Spada, Supplì Al Telefono, and Salsiccia.

Maddie Levy

Below is my personal ranking within each collection. (Spoiler alert: they were all pretty *majestic*.)

Though I really liked them all, my top choice from Giannoni Selections was number 1 on the list: Casebianche.

1. Casebianche, La Matta 2016, Fiano

Price: $24.80

Review: A sparkling fresh, floral biodynamic white wine with a taste of citrus. Considering its dry subtle sparkling makeup; it’s no coincidence that “La Matta” means “the crazy one” in Italian. This was the fan favorite from Giannoni Selections.

2. Caesbianche, Pashka 2016, Aglianico

Price: $24.80

Review: A zesty, frizzante (semi-sparkling wine) style biodynamic red wine with no sulfur added. Sulfites develop naturally as a by-product of fermentation, so given that, all wines have sulfites. More sulfites are often added by manufacturers as a preservative and to precent oxidation (discoloration). This wine was also unique in its properties which was a pleasant change from traditional vinos. 

3. Filippi, Soave "Castelcerino" 2016, Gargangea

Price: $16.80

Review: A light, crisp biodynamic blush wine with mountainous roots, made from Gargangea grapes. Often paired with shrimp or oysters, it was a very aromatic and refreshing selection from Venice.

4. Casebianche, Dellemore 2014, Aglianico Blend

Price: $19.80

Review: A refreshing biodynamic red wine made with Aglianico grapes -- the same grape as the Caesbianche, Pashka 2016 (#2). Franzia can’t compare to this smooth, refreshing selection

Folio Wine Imports

1. Bruno Giacosa, Roero Arneis 2015, Arneis

Price: $29.80

Review: A tropical and balanced white wine, made through a 15-20 day fermentation process. Thanks to its strong, earthy, mineral taste, you can drink this and feel as if you’re in the rocky environment of Piedmont that this wine originates from. This wine was a popular favorite from this selection.

2. Coppo, Costebianche Chardonnay 2014, Chardonnay

Price: $19.80

Review: A chardonnay that is light and vibrant without being too dry. This might have been the best chardonnay I’ve ever had. No offense, mom, but I definitely favor this over your signature chardonnay. (Did I just come up with a Mother’s Day gift idea?!)

3. Donnafugata, Sur Sur 2015, Grillo

Price: $18.80 

Review: A light, crisp, bubbly sustainable white wine made with Grillo Sicilian grapes. It takes on the body of pinot grigio and the flavor of sauvignon blanc, with a fresh tropical fruity taste and wildflower aroma. If you're looking for a peppy post-work drink to end your day, I've found it for you. 

4. Villa Sandi, II Fresco NV, Glera

Price: $15.80

Review: A light, sustainable prosecco from the Venetto and Marsala regions near Sicily. It has a tropical, fruity aroma and taste, with hints of ripe golden apple. I can imagine this sweet wine pairing well with traditional Italian desserts like gelato, but then again, what doesn't pair well with gelato?

Arborway Imports

1. II Monticello, “Groppolo” 2016, Vermentino

Price: $22.80

Review: A biodynamic white wine from Tuscany, with acidic bases and a lot of zest. It’s sweet with an acidic aftertaste, and a hint of salt.

2. II Monticello, “Rupestro” 2016, Vermentino, 60% Sangiovese; 40% Ciligeiolo/ Canaiolo

Price: $18.80

Review: A biodynamic, traditional blend of Sangiovese and Siligeilo lends itself to a smooth red wine with a dry finish and a ruby color. Made in close proximity to the Ligurian Sea, this wine absorbs fragrances of Mediterranean vegetation, including plum, raspberry, mulberry, wisteria, and arbutus (a typical plant of Ligurian woods). So basically, it was the wine equivalent of basking in the sun on the beaches of the Amalfi Coast.

3. Lecci e Brochhi, Chianti Classico 2015, 90% Sangiovese; 10% Canaiolo/ Colorino

Price: $21.80

Review: A dry, bitter blend made with organic practices. A rare, but very good find -- this wine is the vineyard’s third vintage and is only available in the states of NY and MA. You’ll be hard-pressed to find this wine, as a maximum of only 2,000 cases are produced per year. Fun fact: the packaging label on the bottles is a portrait that the winemaker’s daughter painted of him.

4. Lecci e Brocchi, Chianti Classico Riserva 2014

Price: $29.80

Review: This wine has the same blend as the above (60% Sangiovese / 10% Canaioli) that gives way to a dry but smooth and biodiverse red wine. The short spacing between the vines that grow the grapes of this wine lead to competition for natural resources, giving the grape more complexity. After the wine has been collected, it is stored in a neutral french oak barrel as to not detract from its natural flavor.

Vineyard Road

1. Ampeleia, Kepos 2015, Alicante

Price: $19.80

Review: A natural, biodynamic blend of three grapes from the Maremma region on the Tuscan coast. This wine is made by a very small wine producer with a unique style, sourced from vineyards closest to the sea, in Ampeleia di Sotto. It tastes earthy, as if you’re right there in the Mediterranean vineyard, which is partially what made it my number one pick of the Vineyard Road selections.

2. Venica & Venica; Sauvignon Ronco Cero 2016; Sauvignon

Price: $24.80

Review: A natural white from the northeastern region of Italy, this wine is a labor of love for the Venica family for three decades. The Venicas continue the same wine-making practices in their cellar by developing ways to simulate the senses to hone in on the wine's natural aromas and taste. This wine was a light, refreshing subtle frizzante that left you instantly wanting a second sip. Recommended pairings include pasta, clams, salami, frico (fried Montasio cheese), and grilled prawns.

3. Bellus, Scopello 2016

Price: $24.80

Review: A tingling, bright red wine made from Ferpatto grapes. Centuries ago, this wine was considered a luxury and used to be reserved for royalty. Thankfully, it’s now available to the general public today, because I would love a glass again.

4. Calabretto, Gaio Gaio 2016

Price: $19.80

Review: An uncertified biodynamic, dry red wine. Made from vineyards planted between 300 and 900 meters on the slopes of Mt. Etna, this wine has a distinct volcanic soil taste and a strong aftertaste that is bitter but tasty. To classify as a certified wine, it must qualify to meet standards in terms of quality, process, and biodynamic principles. 


1. Al di la del Fium “Fricando” 2016, Albaba

Price: $24.80

Review: A bubbly, vibrant blend that pairs well with sushi. This orange wine had a nice zesty kick to it. The color can be explained in comparison to making white wine, where skin is removed from the grapes before extracting juice. To make orange wines like this one, grape skins are initially left on. It’s a similar tactic to making rose, which gets its signature color by leaving red grape skin on for a period of time before filtering them out. This blend was a big hit, and not just because of the color, but for its flavorful, unique taste.

2. Elios Modus Bidenedi Nero d’Avola 2016, Nero

Price: $24.80

Review: A natural Southern Italian red wine from Terre Siciliane with a spicy, mineral impact and vibrant, juicy flavors of black cherry, chocolate, licorice, and plum. This unique blend was a crowd-pleaser. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the wine for you.

3. Cardeu/ Loi “Praja” Monica 2016, Monica

Price: $20.80

Review: "Praja" is the Sardinian word for the Italian "spiaggia", or "beach," which is one of the many places perfect for enjoying this organic wine with volcanic roots. It’s a light red wine that’s dry and earthy with a touch of fruit and bitterness. The volcanic, earthy taste is strong, but this smoky blend would also be great fit for a summer BBQ.

4. Corte Sant’Alda Valpolicella 2016, Corvina, Corvina Grossa, Rondinello, Molinara 

Price: $22.80

Review: A biodynamic Italian Valpolicella red wine with a fuller body and a ripe fruity taste. All grapes from this distributor have organic certification, and the vineyards have been managed on biodynamic agriculture principles, harvested entirely by hand in early October. Fermentation takes place is oak vats and is spontaneous (native yeasts); this process is described as rack and return, manual wine-crushing, malolactic fermentation. This wine remains in fermentation vats for a minimum of six months to ensure excellent complexity where spices and austerity prevail over fruit

Eataly Sommelier Favorites

1. COS, Rami 2016, Grecanico 50%; Insolia 50%

Price: $30.80

Review: A dry and full-bodied orange-colored sulfur-free biodynamic wine. The orange color is obtained by keeping the skins of the grapes in contact with the wine, which is different than the process for white wine where the skins are immediately separated. This wine was truly excellent.

2. Lamoresca, Vini Rosato

Price: $39.80

Review: A beautiful rosé wine from the heart of Sicily, made with Nero d’Avola, Frappato, and Grenache grapes that are planted using a vertical trellis system and bush-vine. This rosé had no residual sugar, which gave it a pleasingly dry taste. Most wines from Sicily typically come from southern regions of Vittoria or Mt. Etna, so this wine is unique in its origins from the small town of San Michele di Ganzaria, in the “Gigliotto” district. The agricultural farm’s name, “Lamoresca”, came after purchasing its first piece of land in 2000, with 46 ancient olive trees of the local “Moresca” variety.

3. Passopicaro

Price: $39.80

Review: A dry, biodynamic red wine from Sicily, made with Nerello Mascalese grapes, which thrive on Mt. Etna. Sicilian wines tend to be more fruity and vibrant; Etna wines, with the minerality from the volcanic soil and the Nerello Mascalese grapes, have more structure but still have the fruity aromas and taste that comes with Sicilian wine properties. This wine comes from a vineyard that digs trenches in between vines in the high elevations on the soil of active volcano, Mt. Etna. It’s similar to Pinot Noir, with a volcanic, earthy taste. 6 of the 8 wines from Franchetti are focused on Nerello Mascalese grapes.

Mucci Italian Imports

1. Casa de Baal, Aglianico di /baal 2012 from Aglianico

Price: $19.80

Review: a biodynamic white wine with a very sweet taste from Amalfi. This wine is made by a married couple who decided to leave their jobs in finance and open a vineyard in Campania (#goals), near Mt. Vesuvius, with all natural production. This team is also just released a new natural sparkling dry moscato available in stores this week. However, if you’re not one for dry white wines, then this is the wine for you!

2. Masseria Starnali, Maresa 2016

Price: $19.80

Review: A biodynamic white wine, made with ancient Italian Falanghina grapes via a unique process. 50% of the grape juice spends four days on the skin, and the other 50% is added after that. Thus, there is a more distinct taste and aftertaste with a slight pine scent and citrus-blossom aroma. It’s an unfiltered wine, with flavors similar to an orange Falanghina wine.

3. Gurreri, Frappato 2016, Frappato 100%

Price: $19.80

Review: An organic certified wine that was light and refreshing. Normally, Frappato is used to blend with other wines, but what makes this wine unique is that it consists of 100% Frappato, as opposed to a blend. Frappato only grows in Sicily, typically found in a blend called Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which is a blend of equal parts Frappato and Nero d'Avola (often called the most famous Sicilian grape).

4. Cantina Lilliu, Presciu 2013, Cannonau, Bovale, Syrah

Price: $19.80

Review: A natural, organic wine from a very small winery on the small island of Sardinia, made with all indigenous varietals, and no added sulfites, and Cannonau grapes , also known as Grenache . Sardinia is a Blue Zone, and Sardinians credit Sardinian wine for its high percentage of the population who lives over the age of 90.

Lena Young

Eataly Boston's Spring Festa was an awesome way to taste our way through Italy and simulate traveling through its different regions. I learned lots about biodynamic wine and the behind-the-scenes processes of making each bottle from local producers during this event. It was also *wicked* neat soaking in the history and fun facts while sipping authentic Italian wines and expanding our horizons. I’m traditionally a white wine kind of girl, but this event gave me a new appreciation for red wines.

Luckily these divine wine selections are high quality without costing an arm and a leg, and can be found in Eataly Boston’s wine shop at an affordable price. So you can purchase any of these bottles and drink as the Italians do, without the price of a plane ticket to Europe. Don’t be surprised if you run into me picking up Casebianche, La Matta; Casa de Baal; COS, Rami; or Al di la del Fium “Fricando” in Eataly's wine shop. Now that you're a #cultured wine connoisseur after reading this article, go forth and drink!

Grazie, Eataly! Ciao!