Assagio—Portlanders remember it as a cozy neighborhood trattoria with a fantastic wine list. And no wonder, given the commitment to great wine that owner-chef Darryl Joannides brought to the task. His love of Italian food was matched only by his love of Italian wine.
Fast forward a few years, and after putting Assagio in the rearview mirror, Joannides dedicated himself to wine. He interned at a Sonoma winery, and later, with celebrated Oregon winemaker Andrew Rich at the birth of the Carlton Winemakers Studio. After discovering the great diversity of Oregon wine, he opened the Cork Bottle Shop in northeast Portland.
But the winemaking bug had bit, and Joannides combined his two loves—Italy and Oregon. His latest venture, Viola Wine Cellars, is about wine crafted in the Italian style using Northwest ingredients.
Starting with just four varietals, Viola is now up to fifteen, constantly experimenting to find the varietals that make great Oregon “Italians.”
The 1859 Wine Club will feature Viola Wine Cellars’ Bianco D’Allegre in its January shipment.