Di Bruno Bros. Collabs With La Clarine Farm to Create a Limited Edition Wine!
On Tuesday, March 2, Di Bruno Bros. will release “Di Bruno & Friends Wine Collaboration #1,” their first exclusive and limited release wine. For this exciting new venture, Di Bruno Bros. staff, spearheaded by Sande Friedman, wine category manager and president of Philly Wine Cru, partnered with La Clarine Farm, a minimal-intervention farm in the Sierra Foothills in Somerset, CA. This special bottle is exclusively available at Di Bruno Bros. Bottle Shops and their forthcoming Wayne location. A blend of 50% Barbera and 50% Zinfandel grapes, the wine is $39.99, and the first in a series of wine-making collaborations from Di Bruno Bros. A very small amount – 51 cases – was produced, so supply is extremely limited.
“Hank is a good friend, and I’ve been a fan of his wine-making practices for years, stocking nearly all of his releases on the shelves at Di Bruno Bros.,” says Friedman, who joined Beckmeyer for La Clarine Farm’s grape harvest in fall 2019. “His wines have a similar ‘taste of place’ to our renowned cheese selection. Hank’s production is very small in terms of wine, and it is such a thrill to have been able to collaborate on an Italian-inspired savory red blend just to stock at our stores,” she adds.
Friedman and the Di Bruno Bros. team didn’t want to just stick their name on a finished product. They wanted to get their hands and, in this case their feet, dirty as well. During the 2019 harvest, Friedman, along with Beckmeyer and his assistant, handpicked one ton of Barbera grapes from the Suma Kaw vineyard in Placerville, CA, an organic-practicing vineyard from where many La Clarine Farm grapes are sourced. The Barbera was foot-crushed and whole cluster fermented with native yeasts, then pressed into tank after nine days. After several months of aging, Beckmeyer sent the fermented Barbera juice, along with a few other options for blending, for the Di Bruno team to taste and create their own desired cuvee. Gathered in Alimentari, Di Bruno Bros.’ Italian café & bar located upstairs at their Rittenhouse location with beakers and bottles laid out like a boozy laboratory, they landed on a blend of 50% Barbera and 50% early-picked Suma Kaw Zinfandel. Beckmeyer blended the cuvee back at La Clarine Farm in July of 2020, and the final wine was bottled, without fining or filtration, on August 8th, 2020 and left to rest for six additional months of bottle aging.
The team’s tasting notes call out dried dark red and blue fruits on the nose, accompanied by wild clove and sage, indicative of the Sierra terroir. Flavors of white peach and a touch of smoke meld beautifully with the initial aromas. This wine is savory and medium-bodied with great structure, acidity and soft tannins. This is purposely a “utility knife” red wine perfect for pairing with all styles and textures of different cheeses – an intentional nod to Di Bruno Bros. cheese shop roots.
From the Di Bruno Bros. cases, this wine would pair best with a soft Taleggio, or an earthy blue like Colston Bassett Stilton, a nice piece of Prosciutto Rotondo Dolce or Smoking Goose Soppressata. The rustic simplicity and soft tannins also make it great alongside pizza, a burger, BBQ, or simple roasted chicken.
“We’re immensely proud of this collaboration and the expertise of our team” says President Bill Mignucci, Jr., third-generation owner and grandson of founder Danny Di Bruno. “It’s always been our passion and purpose to bring great products from all over the world to our guests, and this wine will be no exception.” Guests may expect two future collaboration wines from Di Bruno Bros. with Wayvine of Nottingham, PA, and Maloof Wines of Forest Grove, OR. The local rosé and Oregon Pinot Gris will be available later in 2021.
This spring, Mignucci will debut an incredible new Di Bruno Bros. location in the heart of downtown Wayne (375 W. Lancaster Ave.). A convenient location for residents of nearby Devon and Berwyn as well, Wayne’s 8,000 square-foot energetic Italian culinary marketplace features delicious and eye-catching displays and interactive tasting stalls. Situated along Route 30 at the intersection of Conestoga & Eagle Roads and Lancaster Avenue, this will be the company’s sixth and most evolved location. It is their second to join the Main Line community, following their space in the Ardmore Farmers Market of Suburban Square, where they’ve been an anchor tenant since 2011.
The health and well-being of their guests and team members is the utmost importance to Di Bruno Bros. and like their other shops, the Wayne location will implement COVID-related safety measures in accordance with CDC guidelines. These will include rigorous sanitizing protocols conducted regularly throughout the day as well as offering self-checkout, contact-free ordering with curbside pick-up, and delivery through their shopping app.