During a short stint from January 23rd to 25th, I had the opportunity to once again attend Millésime Bio, an annual organic wine exposition in Montpellier, France.
Our South End Wine Buyer, Julie Cappellano, and Cambridge Wine Buyer, Gemma Iannoni, have put together their top picks for bubbly to help folks celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year! Their selections subscribe to our philosophy that supports small, artisanal growers that set out to make authentic, terroir-driven wines using a combination of sustainable, organic, or biodynamic viticultural practices.
The cheese counter at Formaggio Kitchen is pasted with articles, vintage cheese labels, stickers, helpful tips and lovely old pictures from our early days in business. All are interesting to peruse, but one sticker in particular always resonates with me as I pass it daily – a small, hardly noticeable, green sticker right at the entrance to the counter. It reads, “No Farms, No Food.” This statement may seem obvious, but in a time where triple-washed, packaged, pre-cut and peeled vegetables are the norm, it is difficult to remember that everything we eat was grown by farmers in wide spaces, deep in the dirt. By maintaining close relationships with the farmers that produce our food, the gap from field to consumer is ultimately closed and enormous benefits are immediately apparent. Not only is it now possible to know the exact date of harvest, but we can discuss the pest management techniques used on the farm, inquire about the diet of livestock and poultry, and even know the farmer’s most recommended crop of the week. With this in mind, Formaggio Kitchen aims to be an equally transparent connection between our customers and farmers. We are happy to talk at length about the practices of each farm and alert customers as to when we receive produce from each grower. Recommending the perfect fruit or vegetable comes naturally when we are so highly tuned into what is happening on the fields! In that spirit, here is an in-depth look at some of our favorite farms and growers in the New England area.
If you are familiar with our wine philosophy, you will know how important natural, traditional farming is to us. In general, we have found that those winemakers who have a closer relationship to their land translate their terroir most authentically. Giovanna and Stefano are pioneers in their growing community, not only for their organic farming but also their commitment to tradition in both the vineyard and wine cellar.