Falling for Falistra

BY Margot Mazur  @solomargot

BY Margot Mazur


Podere Il Saliceto Falistra

I like knowing that I’m drinking wine made by interesting people. Wine is a product, after all, and someone makes it. Those people, just like any other person who makes any other product, have personalities. Just as it makes me not want to consume a product made by someone who goes against my values or is just not a great human, it makes my heart jump for joy knowing I’m drinking wine made by a person I admire. I like to think that a producer’s personality makes it into the wine, as a part of the terroir almost, and I believe that even more so with Falistra.

Podere Il Saliceto’s Gian Paolo Isabella may be more known in different communities for his Muay Thai skills than his wine. He lives in Modena, home of Parmesan, balsamic vinegar, and the incredible grapes of Lambrusco. There are six varieties of Lambrusco—Lambrusco di Sorbara is the most well known in Modena, and the one used for Isabella’s Falistra, which he turns into a rosé. Each Lambrusco variety has its own characteristics—Lambrusco di Sorbara gives a racy acid to a wine, and elevates Falistra. It gives it some bounce, some life, some fun.

Lambrusco grapes are secret grapes to me—they don’t scream for attention. They’re not international varieties. In fact, they’re not grown outside of Italy, except for a tiny grouping in Argentina. Lambrusco has endemic place in the region of Emiliga-Romagna, making it all the more special and unique in the world of wine.

Lambrusco may be known in the United States for super sweet red wines, but much of Lambrusco is quite dry. It can be a still red wine, a rose, or a sparkling wine—which is what we know it for the most. We can expect most Lambruso to be a darker shade of red, but Falistra defies expectations. It’s a sparkling rose that makes you say “Lambrusco?”. It’s strawberries, cherries, herbs, it somehow manages to still be earthy. It’s Lambrusco, all right—it’s unique. It’s a wine that you can drink with literally anything. It’s bright, it’s exciting, and most of all it’s fun.

Drink this lambo at a BBQ with some grilled peppers while it’s still hot out. It’ll surprise you!

Oh Cecilia, You're Breaking My Heart.

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot

BY: Margot Mazur


About this wine:

  • 60% Syrah, 40% Sauvignon Blanc

  • 30 year old vines

  • Suncrest Vineyard, Penn Valley, CA

  • Foot stomped grapes

  • Aged in oak for 8 months

Frenchtown Farms ‘Cecilia’ Rose

Gosh, wine can be so much fun. Certain wines can sometimes create such a feeling of joy and wonder in me, like a kid running up to an ocean wave. Some wines you just have to, have to, show your friends—they make you giddy. Frenchtown Farms’ ‘Cecilia’ is just that. I took ‘Cecilia’ to a friend’s dinner party the other night, and was thrilled to pour it for folks who I was sure would also think it was just about the coolest thing in the world. (Shout out to Kelcey’s amazing potatoes).

‘Cecilia’ is a co-ferment of Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Usually, if there is more than one grape varietal in a wine, winemakers will harvest them separately, then put them in their own separate fermentation vessels—be that oak or stainless steel or what-have-you—then, either allow them to age separately before blending, or blend and allow them to age blended. ‘Cecilia’, however, is co-fermented, which means that the Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc ferment together in the same vessel. This is rarely done, and brings out a ton of flavor in wine that you don’t usually get. The way two grapes co-ferment can be unpredictable, and for me, Frenchtown Farms really knocked it out of the park. The two grapes speak to one another in such a way that makes you think the wine is a single varietal. It’s harmonious, balanced.

The mix is 60% Syrah and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, which gives the wine a beautiful blush rose color. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, and ages in oak for 8 months before bottling. This wine is as fresh as they get—floral with so much beautiful and bright berry flavor. It’s got some texture to it, and just begs you to put it in your bike basket, skip out on work, and head to a picnic. This wine is the beginning of Spring and you’re feeling the floral breeze, surrounded by blossoms and flowers, and you’re thinking—dang. Summer’s almost here.

Drink this with laughter! It’s a great pairing.