Via Vecchia Crafts Natural Artisan Wine in an Urban Setting
If you’re looking for locally made artisan wine without straying too far from Columbus, then Via Vecchia is the shortest travel distance between you and a bottle. Located at 485 South Front Street in the Brewery District, this building is just a block outside of Downtown Columbus. Within that building you’ll find both processing and aging operations as well as a unique events venue that hosts something different every week.
We spoke recently with Lindsay Everson, Marketing Manager at Via Vecchia Winery, to find out more about their operations. Our full Q&A can be found below:
Q: First, can you give us a bit of background on Via Vecchia?
A: Our Lead Vitner & Co-Creator, Paolo Rosi, uses ancestral techniques passed along by his Father who grew up in Tuscany, Italy; Making wine is part of family self-sufficiency, just as you would grow vegetables or raise livestock.
Via Vecchia initially began as a social activity between friends, providing opportunity to create natural wines without ‘cellar treatments’. This eventually became a business-from-a-basement when creators received their license in 2006. Until that point production was still personal. We sold our first bottle in 2008, which led into growth and a need for space. The current standing of the winery, 485 S. Front St. was made official in 2010 to satisfy our need, un-corking more opportunities than we would have ever imagined.
Q: What types of wines does Via Vecchia produce?
A: Trouve’ is a typical crowd favorite, which is our Cabernet Franc – Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot blend. An expected heavier Red Wine, that has unique robust earthy tones. However, our lightest Red, which is our Trovato a Sangivese – Pinot Noir blend, is exceptionally popular with guests of the winery. Many consumers are interested in the smoothness of this wine, with floral tones making it an enjoyable wine to sip during socializing. We find the common notion is that Red Wines are not known for their ability to be light or smooth, so having this blend on the table makes for a fantastic white wine alternative.
Q: With such an urban location, I imagine your grapes aren’t grown on site, correct?
A: We typically import whole grapes from Lodi, California. This year we decided to venture with Chilean Malbec grapes, making our first South American wine.
Q: What would you say is the most unique aspect about your process?
A: When creating our wine, we avoid lab-cultured yeasts and use the naturally-occurring yeasts that come on the skins. We do not use juices, artificial coloring or flavorings, and have no addition of preservatives or stabilizers, sugars or alcohol. We also rely on sedimentation to naturally clear our wine rather than using chemical fining agents or mechanical filtration. Each wine is aged for a minimum of two years in French Oak barrels, to avoid any wooden flavours as well.
Q: Via Vecchia has become a fairly popular event venue since opening. Can you tell us about the types of events you host there?
A: We are hosting over 70 weddings in 2013, with growing interest booking into 2015. We are happy to also host CityMusic Columbus and Music in the Round. Our doors have also been opened to various art gallery events as well as involvement with the artistically-interactive Kickin’It Crew.
A personal event that we host, our Annual Community CRUSH in October, is always a fun opportunity to thank our supporters, friends and family as well as getting them involved in wine production.
Q: Outside of the winery, where else can your wines be found for purchase?
A: Our wine is for sale at Whole Foods on both Lane Avenue and Sawmill Road. Celebrate Local at Easton also carries our wine, as well as Ale Wine and Spirits in Powell.
Q: Anything else we should know about Via Vecchia?
A: We cannot stress enough that our wines are unique in the respect that they are all natural and derived from a truly artisinal process. Above all, we care about what we provide to our consumers and are passionate about retaining transparency with this process, always encouraging community involvement.
More information can be found online at www.viavecchiawinery.com.
Photos by Walker Evans.
From July 8th to July 14th, Columbus Underground is Celebrating Wine Week, brought to you by Ohio Wines! Ohio has a long and proud agricultural history, and the wine industry is a significant part of it. Since the 1830s, vineyards have thrived from the Ohio River Valley to the Lake Erie islands. Ohio is now home to more than 160 wineries. Ohio winemakers and Ohio consumers have discovered the unique influence Ohio’s soils and climate have on the creation of fine wines.
We invite you to use “Ohio Wines Love at First Sip” at www.tasteohiowines.com to learn more about Ohio’s fruit of the vine. Whether it’s a local institution or a charming boutique winery, we think you’ll agree that Ohio wines are “Love at First Sip.”