Argonaut Wine & Liquor

Attimo - An Urban Winery

What is your background?

We are all hospitality people at Attimo. Working in restaurants all of our professional lives all the way from bus boy to General Manager of high volume, fine dining establishments. Working as a wine buyer opened the world of vino to me and I never turned back. I had two goals in life, one was to open a restaurant by the age of 30 and the other was to move my family abroad by 40. I’ve always had a love for the Italian culture so I looked at Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Piedmont. Once we saw the Alps from a little town within the Barolo zone, Monforte d’Alba, we were hooked and moved.

Where did you study winemaking and did you have a mentor?

The first person I met while in Monforte was David Fletcher. He was speaking English in a grocery store and I didn’t know much Italian at the time so I had to meet him. As it turns out, David is the head winemaker at one of the largest and most respected producers in Piedmont. I staged (worked for free) for him learning all aspects of winery operations. I then branched out and met other amazing winemakers in the area and did the same with them. So much to learn-it would take more than a lifetime so continual education is incredibly important.

Are you involved in the vineyard where the grapes come from?

Yes, I own a small Vineyard on the top of Ginestra hill where I produce DOCG Barolo. A very small production and the first vintage will be the 2016 release. As for the Attimo wines in the market, we work very closely with grape growers and wine makers and select only the best to import.

How did you decide you wanted to open an Urban winery?

I wanted to recreate the Northern Italian culture here in America. Wines in Italy are just such a great value. The question was how do we get that kind of value here in America. The answer was to build a Italian winery here in Denver, import wine, perform secondary fermentation, blending and finishing in the facility. This allows us to do two things: Improve the quality of the wine along with bottle it here. This allows us to save the cost on shipping the weight of the glass bottle and pass that value on to the consumer. The result of this process is a line up of wines that over delivers for the price.

Is this a new idea shipping wine in bladders and finishing the wine here?

The idea of shipping wine in bulk and finishing at a facility is not new however, all Northern Italian wines has not been done, especially here in Denver. We have some great wine making neighbors here in Denver and it has been a great experience learning from them. The more people drinking wine, the better!

Are you looking to expand your products?

Always! We want too introduce indigenous grapes of Northern Italy to the Colorado market. We first brought in the local Piedmontese favorite, Dolcetto to the winery and the reception has been amazing. The success of the Dolcetto has sparked us to dive deeper into the grapes that people are less familiar with. We will always push the envelope on new products in the market. We feel incredibly fortunate to have the Denver market as our home team. Denver wine drinkers are educated and looking to try new and unknown varietals-so much fun!!

What do you find is the hardest part of this process?

The unknown. There are a lot of “curve balls” when importing from Europe. I guess the most unexpected problem was the introduction of our core line in the market. We were all ready to roll with the wines in December when the government shut down and we couldn’t get our labels approved-definitely something we couldn’t plan for. All of the hurdles are opportunities to learn and effectively, make us better. Nothing worth while is ever easy!

What is the address of the Urban Winery and what are the hours for the tasting room?

2246 Larimer St Denver, CO 80205

Sunday-Thursday: 2pm-9pm

Friday and Saturday: 2pm-10pm

List of Attimo Products Argonaut Carries can be found here.

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