The grapes come from a steeply sloped Hillside Vineyard on the backside of The Dalles, Oregon. The deep alluvial soil lends itself to the fruit and dust of the wine. Picked around 22.5 Brix the wine is well balanced with a fresh acidity that makes ready to drink. The wine was aged in 228l and 300l barrels for 7 months and then blended together right before bottling. Goes well with thickly sliced cured meats possibly during a spring picnic or summer dinner party with good friends.
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.
This project is the fruit of a life full of travel and exploration by the Markel Family. I was lucky enough to explore the world with my mother, father, and sister from an early age. At five I was eating kangaroo in Australia's McLaren Vale, and at ten I was already drinking Campari and soda in the Florentine Palazzo’s. (What?.. we didn’t realize it had alcohol).
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.
I still love to cook, and I'm always looking to push the boundaries of creativity in the world of food and wine. It's been my pleasure to capture this time and place in the best bottle of wine I can make.
The Buona Notte team hopes our wines bring you as much joy as the journey to creating them has brought us.