Italian wine comes to Healdsburg. Ciao Bruto!

It almost felt surreal.

As I drove past tasting rooms for some of the most famous California wineries, posh hotels, and randy restaurants I can’t afford, I made my way to an oasis of Italian wine that has just opened in one of the luxury epicenters of American wine country.

Ciao Bruto!, just recently opened by the Idlewild winery’s Thomas DiBiase, is Healdsburg first bona fide wine shop. Yes, it’s first!

As Thomas pointed out when I visited with him the other day, even though there are countless marquee tasting rooms in the town, there had never been genuine retail outfit there.

But what seemed even more surreal was that the newly stocked shelves are lined with Italian (and French) wines.

I don’t know about you but I had never seen anything like that in Sonoma or Napa Counties. Plenty of wine, yes. But almost exclusively Californian.

What’s even more exciting about Thomas’ new shop is that he is also importing all kinds of great food products from Europe as well.

I was traveling light but man, I had my eye on his selection of olive oil-cured tunas.

This blogger is not the only one exited by the prospect of being able to source European foods and wines in wine country.

Esther Mobley, who rarely writes about EU wine, has already penned a feature story about this literally ground-breaking operation for the Chronicle.

There are so many amazing new places opening right now in wine country. Ciao Bruto! (I love the name, btw) is just one of them.

I can’t wait to get back there with Tracie in August.

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