natural wine we’re currently drinking | march 2024

Buona Notte Rosalba 2022

Grape: Pinot Grigio Region: Columbia Gorge, WA

Buona Notte is the brainchild of Graham Markel, whose family has a taste for adventure and a love for culinary exploration. Their family journey takes place all over the world. Young Markel’s early years included tasting kangaroo in Australia’s McLaren Vale at the tender age of five and sipping Campari and soda in Florentine palazzos at age ten (little did they know it had alcohol!). It’s no surprise that these globetrotting escapades laid the foundation for a lifelong passion for food and drink for Markel.

He was able to hone his cooking skills at his mother’s culinary school, where he had the privilege of learning from some of Italy’s finest chefs. Markel then continued his education which led them to a job at Antica Terra Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where he spent seven years under the guidance of notable figures like Maggie Harrison and Master Sommelier Nate Ready. Here, he imbibed the philosophy of winemaking and learned the importance of infusing every step of the process with beauty, no matter how demanding it may be.

But a pivotal moment arrived afterward when Markel lived at Hiyu Wine Farm in Hood River. This experience opened his eyes to the immense number of winemaking possibilities in the Columbia Gorge. The region’s diverse microclimates provided opportunities to experiment with many different grape varieties. In the picturesque Pacific Northwest, nestled among snow-capped volcanoes, rolling hills, and expansive rivers, Markel discovered gastronomic poetry. Oregon’s rich culinary culture and the world-famous wines of the Willamette Valley offered the perfect backdrop for the Buona Notte mission. Fun fact, Buona Notte translates to good night and the wine labels are representative of different sun placements and times of the day.

Despite his journey into natural winemaking, Markel’s passion for cooking has never waned. He continues to push the boundaries of creativity in the realms of both food and wine, striving to encapsulate the essence of their time and place in every bottle and every dish. The Buona Notte team’s ultimate hope is that their wines bring as much joy to you as the incredible journey behind each bottle has brought to them.

tastes like: full of character yet still approachable, notes of herbs, grapefruit & melon

drink me with: smoky + spicy shrimp + anchovy butter + fregola

grapes: pinot grigio

The Buona Notte Rosalba is a delightful and refreshing natty skin-contact Pinot Grigio. Organically farmed, this Pinot Grigio comes right from the cliffs surrounding Rock Steady Vineyard, where it sits at 1400 ft of elevation in the foothills of Washington’s Mt. Adams. This juice stays on the grape skins for an average of six days, which makes it generous in character with notes of herbs, grapefruit and melon. This bottle is best when served with umami flavors and tomato, like this Smoky + Spicy Shrimp with Anchovy Butter + Fregola recipe.