Follow the Buyer! Bart Hopkins
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Bart's Bio

Buyer for: Austria, Burgundy, California - Cabernet, Pinot Noir & Zinfandel, Grappa, Italian Red Wine, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa

I sometimes shake my head in disbelief when I count the nearly four decades I’ve been selling wine. Much has changed since I began, and much of it for the better: there’s greater diversity of styles, and the availability of what’s out there is staggering. Yet even with over 35 years of experience, I still consider myself a student of the vine. Every year, every vintage opens up a new chapter to explore and discover. Not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new, either from grape growers, winemakers, my ultra-knowledgeable colleagues, or the savvy shoppers that visit our store.

Over the years, my interests in fitness and nutrition eventually have led me to organic viticulture and winemaking, while my spiritual side drew me to biodynamic farming. If eating well is part of your daily regimen, so too should be choosing wine. When I see people making wine a part of their healthy lifestyle, I feel great knowing that I’m taking part in something positive.

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This pure and lively red will transport you straight to Tuscany—and it’s delicious with summer picnic fare.

Bart's Pick:  Ampeleia Unlitro 2013


The Story
Why I Bought ThisFood Pairing

When Elisabetta Foradori took over her family’s Trentino estate, she began feeling a deep connection to the land and to nature. Disillusioned by modern agricultural methods, she quickly began converting her estate to biodynamic methods, which not only helped with her inward development but also allowed the grapes to beautifully express their native terroir. Elisabetta’s Teroldego, one of northern Italy’s best red wines, is a testament to her commitment in the vineyard.

Her latest endeavor brings her to a region in Tuscany with its own unique soils, microclimate and grapes. Ampeleia is located in the rugged hills of the Maremma, near the Tuscan coast. Much of the land had previously been used as fruit orchards and grazing, and was not treated with chemicals. Before planting any vines, Elisabetta took a step backwards to observe and “listen” to the land, creating a deep awareness of her sense of place. This brought about a harmony with nature that allowed her to express the beauty of the land in her wines.



The 2013 Unlitro is a blend of biodynamically grown Mediterranean grapes— Alicante (Grenache), Carignan and Alicante Bouschet—which are ideally suited to southern Tuscany. For me, this delicately pale wine is perfect for summer drinking, and the best way to enjoy it is slightly chilled. The flavors are pure and lively, with no oak to interfere with the myriad aromas of wild flowers, forest fruit, red berries, and subtle spices. There’s a lingering hint of sweetness and refreshing acidity on the finish that makes a happy impression on the palate. The Unlitro is not a wine of power or manipulated intensity; it has an unaggressive transparency that can only come from organic farming, ambient yeast fermentations and natural, non-manipulative winemaking.




I always think of a good food wine as one that can compliment a wide array of culinary choices. Yes, there are “steak wines” and “pasta wines” and “fish wines,” but a good food wine such as the Unlitro can work alongside trickier combinations, such as spicy ethnic foods or summer picnic offerings, like homemade coleslaw and old-fashioned potato salad with onions and mustard. Chill a liter bottle of Unlitro, and put it to the test. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised!







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Reg. $15.99

I’m clearly developing a taste for “natural” wines. Formulaic wines all start tasting the same, and wines made from cultured yeasts taste like whatever the winemaker wants the wine to taste like, kind of like an artificially-flavored wine. Wines ... more
Sku: P57453


Reg. $19.99

The 2013 Unlitro is a blend of biodynamically grown Mediterranean grapes— Alicante (Grenache), Carignan and Alicante Bouschet—which are ideally suited to southern Tuscany. For me, this delicately pale wine is perfect for summer drinking, and the ... more
Sku: P58857


Reg. $23.99

Biodynamically grown in Kathleen’s Vineyard, located in Redwood Valley. Rich and ripe fruit with a slight herb component. Finishes with soft, velvety tannins with a hint of anise and eucalyptus. Pair with rich beef, game or lamb dishes.... more
Sku: 040258


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