Rosa is a textured rosé blend of two and a half barrels from the Allegre Vineyard in the middle of the Hood River Valley and Sangiovese. 2019 proved to be a cooler year and its vineyard told me it was ready to make a beautiful rose. I put all my eggs in one basket and went for it. Some of the grapes were pressed immediately, some were pressed after four days on the skins, and the Sangiovese was sangneé from the Cento Per Cento. I blended them back together to find the balance of acid and structure. Good for a summer lunch al fresco.
Buona Notte is very much a family endeavor. The team consists of my father and business partner, Jeff Markel. Emily Skawinski assists with the Marketing and Design; and my mother, Peggy Markel (if I don't add her she'll be mad). Last but not least, there’s myself, Winemaker, Graham Markel.
From an early age I learned how to cook at my mother's Tuscan culinary school from some of the best chefs in Italy. At 21 I got my first cooking job at The Kitchen back in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado. I moved over to bartending after a year and began learning about wine and cocktails. This is where the idea of crafting my own beverages was sparked.
Living at Hiyu Wine Farm in Hood River opened my eyes to the many winemaking possibilities that there were on offer in the Gorge. There are so many microclimates creating different opportunities to explore fun, exciting varieties. Gewurztraminer from the bluffs on Underwood, Mencia from Mosier, and of course the Sangiovese from east of The Dalles resonated the most.
Many people say that if you squint hard enough, the rolling hills of The Dalles look somewhat like the hills of Chianti. It reminded me of some wild hybrid of the American West and Tuscany; two places near and dear to my heart. The opportunity was too excellent to pass up. It was time for me to make my wine.
Here in the snow-capped volcanoes, rolling hills, and big rivers of the Pacific Northwest, we have found gastronomic poetry. Oregon has a deep food and wine tradition, driven by the unique culinary culture of Portland and the world famous wines of the Willamette Valley. It’s the Buona Notte mission to add to that lineage.
The Buona Notte team hopes our wines bring you as much joy as the journey to creating them has brought us.