The Wine Dudes recently had the opportunity to talk with Santa Ana resident, David de Lancellotti, a very animated and passionate wine grower. He told us of how, on a 2006 trip to the Willamette Valley to visit his brother Paul’s de Lancellotti Family Vineyards, he’d spied an abandoned Christmas tree farm for sale in the Chehalem Mountains. It was adjacent to the well-known Calkins Lane Vineyard owned by Adelsheim Vineyard, and seemed like a perfect site for growing pinot noir. For David, it was an opportunity for his own family project, and he planted his first three acres of vines there in 2007.
For his winery, David chose the name Formaglini, the maiden name of his paternal grandmother from La Quercia, Italy—a small village south of Bologna. La Quercia translates to oak in Italian, and the oak is native to the area. So it was only natural for David to create a winery logo containing an oak tree leaf that would honor his family tradition and Italian roots.
Although David is a professed lover and collector of Italian wines, he finds pinot noir to be extremely enticing. “I always look for a wine that balances minerality with tannins, acidity, and texture,” he says. “Oregon was an easy call because it is a region where I can make this type of wine that I love in a world-class wine region.” In mid-2014, he released his inaugural 100 cases of pinot noir, which I’ll tell you more about in my Friday Must-Try post.
When it comes to wine, David has not shed his Italian roots completely. He has also planted Lagrein (“lah-GRAH’EEN), the Italian red grape variety native to the valleys of South Tyrol in northern Italy. Only tiny amounts of this variety have been planted in the Umpqua Valley region of Oregon, so this remains an intriguing, and potentially costly experiment.
Visit the informative website at formaglinivineyards.com for more information on David, his family’s history, his vineyard, and his future plans to modestly increase production. And look for my notes on his pinot noir tomorrow.