Above: Fabrizio Iuli’s wines are the centerpiece of the new book I’m repping in California.
Tracie and I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce our newest venture: Do Bianchi Natural Italian wholesale and retail wine sales in my home state of California.
The idea for the new business was actually born many moons ago.
After I became an adjunct instructor at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Roero, Piedmont in 2016, I began making a yearly pilgrimage to the Iuli farm in nearby Monferrato. Years earlier in New York, our mutual friend (and one of my best friends) Franciacorta winemaker Giovanni Arcari had introduced me to Summer Wolff, Fabrizio Iuli’s life and business partner. And so it was only natural that I would occasionally find myself at their dinner table.
To call it a mere “dinner table” is a misnomer: their home is more like a between-the-wars salon where Italian winemakers and intellectuals gather for passionate confabulationes and tastings.
Last year, while we were all locked down on both sides of the Atlantic, Summer reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to represent her new Connecticut-based importing company Hootananny in California.
Not only did I grow up and go to school there. I also ran a wine program in Los Angeles for eight years. And before 2020, I spent three years working as a senior editor for the Slow Wine guide to California. We agreed it was an organic (excuse the pun) fit.
But more than anything else, it just felt “right.” I have always loved Fabrizio’s wines and the whole spirit and ethos that surround their farm and their way of life.
Of course, Iuli is just one of the farms in Summer’s superb book. You can browse her entire portfolio here.
Other personal highlights include Arcari + Danesi (my friend Giovanni and Nico’s winery in Franciacorta), Le Due Terre in Friuli (an icon), Aurora in the Marches (a favorite of mine), Vignale di Cecilia (by my friend Paolo Brunello, an Euganean estate you need to know), and many other family-run farms that align with the natural wine movement. And there’s more to come.
Currently, I don’t have a ton of wine available in California but I am doing tasting appointments and dropping off samples next week in San Diego and Los Angeles. In May, I’ll be visiting the Bay Area and northern California wine country.
Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to taste with me or receive samples. And in a few months, I’ll begin doing retail offerings as well (similar to my wine club from many years ago).
Above: my new logo! “Do Bianchi” (pronounced DOH BEE’AHN-kee) means “two white wines” in Venetian dialect. I used it as a pseudonym many years ago, inspired by the legend that Mark Twain’s name meant “two whiskeys.” If you walk into a tavern in Venice (or nearly anywhere in Veneto) and ask for “do bianchi,” the barkeep will pour you two glasses of white wine.
Thanks for your support and solidarity. The new project is not the only big news from the Parzen family this season and it’s not the only way we are supporting our family. After nearly 10 years as a stay-at-home mom who ran a custom cookie business from our home and sold skincare products, Tracie (left, in her official photo!) is now back to work full-time as a realtor. She’s working for one of Houston’s old line firms, Greenwood King (see her page on their site here). She’s already made a big sale and has her first listing after just a month. It’s fantastic and she is amazing. Moving to Houston? Tracie’s the realtor you need to know! And I have some more super big news that I won’t be able to share until early June. It’s Houston-centric and I know it’s going to be really exciting. Stay tuned and thanks for being here.