The debut of Aquilini Red Mountain Wines.
We start with Harry Hertscheg Executive Director of the 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival.
Harry brings the first of two updates on this years event. (Feb 23- March 3)
Barry Olivier – President/Brands Aquilini Wines
Backbreaking days laying bricks and hauling mortar up rickety scaffolds; young Luigi Aquilini knew he had to find a better means of supporting his family. In 1957, Luigi left his hometown of Brescia, Italy and travelled to North America seeking a new life.
Through strong relationships, saving his wages, and a legendary work ethic, the bricklayer struggled up the ladder – wooden and corporate – doing whatever it took to provide for his wife and three young sons. As his children came of age Luigi brought Francesco, Roberto, and Paolo into his now-thriving construction company.
For three decades they grew the business as a family; diversifying from building skyscrapers, to farming blueberries, to purchasing NHL Hockey Team, the Vancouver Canucks in 2006.
For these four entrepreneurs, fine wine was a lifelong passion and a natural unity of the pillars on which they’d built their empire: construction, farming, and entertainment
Francesco Aquilini sought out Barry Olivier, a fine wine importer notorious for scouting up-and-coming producers.
Francesco and his brothers had trusted Olivier to build their own cellars for years, and now they recruited him for the ultimate task: create the World’s Next Great Wine.
The opportunity suddenly emerged in November 2013 with the most high-stakes land auction in Washington Wine History.
670 acres of completely unplanted former Government Land on Red Mountain was on the block, and competition was fierce.
Over 40 wineries from across America came to Washington looking for a piece of the Mountain.
Though this was the last virgin acreage on Red Mountain, to acquire and develop that much vineyard all at once was risky.
Luigi and his sons made the call. The Aquilinis outbid the room for the entire 670 acres.
In just 24 hours, the family had become the largest landowner in the AVA.
An overnight turn that left the Pacific Northwest wine community wondering “Who is Aquilini”?
Philippe Melka joined as Consulting Winemaker. Heralded as one of the most influential wine consultants in the world. Bordeaux-born, Melka apprenticed at Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Petrus, then crossed the Atlantic to electrify the Napa Valley, working with icons like Quintessa, Bryant, Fairchild and Hundred Acre.
Aquilini Wines are headed to the Vancouver Wine Festival to introduce themselves to Canada.
They’ll be pouring
Aquilini Horse Heaven Hills Syrah Rose 2017
Aquilini Red Mountain’s Grand Vin is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Second Wine, Aquilini Red Mountain Family Blend,. The Family Blend is constructed of varying levels of Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot and occasionally Petit Verdot.
Here’s a first taste with Barry Olivier.
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON
Vancouver Wine Festival
BC showcases at Wine fest
BC Sommeliers speak out
Okanagan Falls wineries pour new releases