Last fall Tony Coturri was scheduled for a winemaker tasting at minimo, but had to cancel when the heat spike precipitated an unusually early start to harvest. Later in the season the NorCal fires struck, coming dangerously close to Tony’s property on Sonoma Mountain and forcing him to evacuate. I had the opportunity to see Tony after the fires when he invited a group to his home to bottle magnums of his “Gateway’ wine. The air was still tainted with smoke, and the pockets of destruction around Sonoma Mountain and Glen Ellen were hard to fathom. But Tony’s hospitality and optimism--and the beauty of his wines and winemaking--were heartwarming. Tony has lived on Sonoma Mountain for nearly 40 years, and he takes the long view.
If you ask Tony “why make natural wine?” he’ll just tell you that’s how his family always did it. In 1901 his grandfather Enrico immigrated to San Francisco, where he worked as a cooper. He taught the traditional winemaking techniques of his Italian village to his son Harry “Red”, who in turn taught them to his sons Phil and Tony. Red & sons founded Coturri Winery in 1979. Bucking all trends of the times, the Coturris have always farmed their Sonoma Mountain property with no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. (Tony now sources from an organic vineyard in Mendocino, too.) Their winemaking sees no cultured yeast, no additives, no SO2 at any stage, and employs only neutral wood vessels for aging wines.
Tony will be in town this weekend for Brumaire, a natural wine event at Starline Social Club. That event is completely sold out, but we’ve invited Tony to pour his wines at minimo on Saturday! We’ll have a flight of his wines available all day, with Tony at the shop from 3 to 6pm. Come meet Tony, hear about his history in natural winemaking, and taste some delicious, soulful wines.
Saturday, March 10th, 12:00-7:00pm
Tony Coturri will be present 3:00-6:00pm
Flight of 3 wines $15
As always, featured bottles will be for sale at 10% off to tasting participants, during the event only.