Shanon, Kevin, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Cinzia Merli, the owner of Le Macchiole in Bolgheri, Tuscany for this week’s virtual winemaker dinner.

Cinzia, producer of some of Tuscany’s most highly rated and expensive wines, is a true Super Tuscan Super Hero.

In the late 1990s, her family owned a humble tavola calda, cafeteria-style restaurant in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. Like many Tuscan restaurateurs at the time, they made their own wine to sell to their guests. And when the Super Tuscan craze of that decade began to take shape, it was only natural that she and her husband would want to throw their hat into the ring. The couple bought land, planted vineyards, hired a top consulting enologist, and began making wine.

To their surprise, their first releases were met with critical and commercial success. The future looked bright.

But then tragedy struck: Cinzia’s still young husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her a single mother and signatory to the loans they had procured as they expanded their production.

In an era where male chauvinism still dominated the wine world, most of her neighbors expected her to close the winery.

Instead, she rolled up her sleeves and set out to build her brand in Italy and beyond. And the rest is history. Fast forward to 2022: Her current release Messorio, a 100 percent Merlot, received a whopping 96 points from Robert Parker and sells for around $250 a bottle (retail).

I first met Cinzia in 2007 when her star was ascendant. I visited her winery the following year. She is simply one of the loveliest persons I’ve ever met in the wine industry and her wines are phenomenal.

I want to let her tell the whole story on Thursday night. So I’ll stop here.

But I hope you can join us as we taste her Bolgheri Rosso (93 points Robert Parker), a blend of international grape varieties, including her celebrated Merlot. Along the way, we are going to talk about the macchia mediterranea, the “maquis” or shrubland biome that makes the wines of Le Macchiole (named after the macchia) so special.

If ever there were a virtual winemaker dinner not to miss, this is it, folks. I hope to see you there.

Thank you for your support. And thank you for loving Italian wines as much as we do!

Jeremy Parzen
wine director

Super Tuscan Super Hero
with Cinzia Merli
Le Macchiole

Thursday, February 24
7:30 p.m.
guests will be provided with a Zoom link

$119 per couple

Please email Jeremy to reserve
by clicking here.


Tuscan bread salad

Pappa la Pomodoro
Tuscan tomato and bread soup

Pappardelle al Ragù di Coniglio
Pappardelle with rabbit ragù

Le Macchiole 2019 Bolgheri Rosso
93 points Robert Parker

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