a wonderful Ottella Italian wine luncheon at the restaurant
Il Fiorista in New York City to have a better appreciation of these outstanding wines from
the Lugana region of Northern Italy. Mariano
Sansone, Wine Consultant at Vias Imports, Ltd. gave an interesting presentation on the history of Ottella
founded in 1905 and the four wines that paired exceptionally well with Chef
Rae Kramer's exciting cuisine. Mangia bene et saluti!
The name of
the restaurant, Il Fiorista, translates from Italian to English as "The Florist,"
which is aptly appropriate with its proximity to the Garden District of New
York City. This charming, light-filled restaurant has a floral focus that is
apparent from Chef Rae Kramer's menus to the exquisite floral arrangements
placed throughout the restaurant. Il Fiorista also has a floral boutique and is
an education center with floral workshops.
I had a
wonderful and very educational luncheon at Il Fiorista on Thursday, December 8,
2022, where I learned about the award-winning Ottella wines from Lugana, Italy.
While I am well-acquainted with Italian wines from other regions, I really did
not know about wines from Lugana and was intrigued to learn more.
1905, the Montresor family continues the Ottella tradition and legacy as fourth-generation
wine makers. The 90-hectare estate in Lugana is located "between the
municipalities of Peschiera del Garda, Pozzlengo, Lonato, Desenzano and
Sirmione in an area with notable white clay and is bordered by the morainic
"theatre" and Lake Garda." These factors contribute to its microclimate, to the
soil which has white clay that is of morainic origin, sedentary rock,
limestone, is rich in mineral salts, and is sandier in hillier elevations.
Another factor is the Turbiana (also known as Trebbiano di Lugana) grape used
in the creation of their wines.
Portfolio includes Icon Wines: Molceo Lugana Riserva and Camposireso:
Cru: Le Creete Lugana DOC; Best Sellers: Lugana DOC,
Roses, and Gemei; Unconventional: Back to Silence Lugana
DOC; Metodo Classico: Blanc de Blancs Brut, Roses Brut;
and Last But Not Least: Prima Luce LGT.
Wine Luncheon at Il Fiorista Menu
wine luncheon, Ottella presented four of their wines representing the various
styles in their portfolio.
Le Creete Lugana
Lugana Riserva 2020
Silence Lugana DOC 2021
luncheon began with a glass of the Lugana DOC 2021 to welcome guests.
This was a lovely aperitif wine with 12.5% alcohol. Mineral driven without any
oak aging, this wine was light straw colored with elegant pear, mineral,
limestone, and citrus notes.
wine, Le Creete Lugana DOC 2021, was deeper in color. Again, all
stainless-steel aging, no oak aging, deeper layers of flavors on this wine,
elegantly structured with hints of citrus, with 13% alcohol. This is a wine
that while drinkable now, can easily age for 5-6 years.
Le Creete Lugana
DOC 2021 was well paired with the first course
which included: Burrata delicata squash, Seckel pear, spruce, concord grape,
puffed sorghum; Spicy trout tartare, Calabrian chili, mustard seed, labneh,
horseradish; and Roasted carrot, lemon fritti, oil-cured olive, labneh, carrot
top, urfa, sumac. The pairings really showed the versatility of the wine
with the ability to complement various types of food.
wine, Molceo Lugana Riserva 2020, had partial malolactic fermentation,
with 18 months on the lees, mostly in steel and the rest in barrels and
barriques to provide more "shoulder" and character. This wine paired nicely with
the chicken, fish, and the crispy potatoes. This wine can last for 5-10 years.
wine presented was a new to market wine, Back to Silence Lugana DOC 2021,
which had a richer, deeper color with hints of orange due to more skin contact
with maceration on the skins for at least 20-30 days and fermentation in
amphorae, with layers of citrus and smoky flavors on the palate. For this wine,
they bunch selected and handpicked the grapes with a late harvest in October. Back
to Silence DOC 2021 paired nicely with the second course as well with the
Dessert pairing of Chocolate semifreddo, prickly pear mousse, fennel, pollen;
and Fruit salad.
luncheon at Il Fiorista provided the perfect opportunity to learn more about
these very tasty wines from the award-winning winery, Ottella. After my
"Ottella wine education," these wines will be a welcome addition to my wine
Chef Rae Kramer
Menu by Chef Rae Kramer
delicata squash, Seckel pear, spruce, concord grape,
tartare, Calabrian chili, mustard seed, labneh, horseradish
carrot, lemon fritti, oil-cured olive, labneh, carrot top, urfa, sumac
Valley trout, shaved fennel + roasted fennel with shiso, salsa verde, smoked
almonds, ajo blanco
chicken: red onion, sundried tomato, preserved lemon, sumac
potato, pickled shallot, buttermilk vinaigrette
semifreddo, prickly pear mousse, fennel, pollen
time, mangia bene e saluti!
information on Ottella wines, please visit the website: www.Ottella.it/en
Francesco e Michele Montresor
Benedetto di Lugana
Peschiera del Garda (VR), Italia
Hours: Dinner: Tuesday through Thursday from
5:00 pm until 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm, for
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, and for Happy Hour: Tuesday
through Saturday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on
information on the restaurant, to make a reservation, or learn more about their
floral boutique or classes or please visit the website: www.ilfioristanyc.com.
Read Chefs' Recipes section for the interview with Chef Rae Kramer and who graciously provides her recipes for Hibiscus Carmelized Onions to temp your palate for your next sandwich.
17 West 26th
Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York 10010
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