Lake Lanier Islands Blog

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This Sunday’s Wine Cruise: Rotta Winery and Mark Caporale

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Rotta Winery, founded in 1908, has an interesting history and one that Mark Caporale is happy to share with guests.

To longtime fans of this wine region, the name Rotta Winery might ring a few bells, but only if you were familiar with Paso Robles’ wines before the rest of the country barely knew where Paso was. In fact, you have to go back several decades to discover the beginnings of Rotta Winery, which was one of the first three wineries established in Paso Robles.

The original vineyard and winery were started in 1856 by a Frenchman named Adolph Siot, who later sold the successful enterprise to Joe Rotta in 1908. In the 1920s, Rotta then sold it to his brother Clement Rotta, who bonded the winery after Prohibition in the 1930s and forged the label into one best known for its hearty Zinfandels. Today, the Rotta label has been revived by one of Rotta’s grandsons, Michael Giubbini, who remembers long, happy days of working in the vineyard as a child when he visited his grandparents from his home in Menlo Park.

The Rotta label is focusing on red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and two new recently released varietals — Petite Verdot and Primitivo. All of the fruit for the label is sourced from local vineyards.

Mark Caporale, Giubbini’s partner, is a strong believer in the potential of the Paso area, and particularly the Templeton region where the Rotta family farmed. “Rotta wines reflect the high quality of our old vines and reflect the unique nature of our soils,” he said.

Rotta is just one of 10 wineries in California that sells Cabernet Franc as a stand alone varietal and is the only one that offers the wine from a “vineyard designation.” Its estate Zinfandel comes from the second oldest Zinfandel vineyard in California, while Rotta’s Black Monukka dessert wine is the only Black Monukka cream sherry produced in the U.S.

Rotta Winery Cruise Menu

Cold

Avocado Deviled Quail Eggs, Smoked Paprika & Point Reyes Blue Cheese
Duck Confit Spring rolls with crisp lettuce, mint and sweet chili sauce
Roti topped with Golden Lentil Puree, Sweet Peppadew and herbed yogurt
California Antipasto Display
Fresh Fruit & California Artisanal Cheeses

Hot

Sundried Tomato & Almond Quiche
Grilled Prawns with ginger, blood orange & Chili butter
Coffee Braised Short Rib Cheese Steak, pickled red onion, jack cheese on puff pastry

Dessert

Lemon Zinfandel Panna Cotta
Assortment of Petit fours, Macaroons, Pralines
Chocolate dipped Strawberries

Rotta Winery and Mark Caporale Quick Facts:

2006 Petite Verdot
2009 Primitivo
Muscat Canelli
un-oaked Chardonnay
and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Black Monukka