What started out as a surf film turned into serendipity, friendship and a bottle of organic Tuscan wine. Jason Baffa is a traveling documentary film maker, and his subject is surfing. He and surfer Chris Del Moro traveled to Italy, where Del Moro spent his childhood. The documentary Bella Vita explores surfing on the Italian coast, as well as the beauty of Italian culture. As a part of the project they met and eventually became friends and then partners with Piergiorgio Castellani, a fifth generation winemaker in Tuscany. The wine became Ziobaffa.
Filming a scene on the vineyard during harvest led to a wine project tied to the film. This inspired a wine, crafted by Castellani, with a label designed by Del Moro and named after Jason Baffa, who became nicknamed Zio (Uncle) Baffa by the local Italian surfers. The wine is organic, and it’s production and bottling hit a lot of sustainability high notes. Crafted from biodynamic vineyards in a zero waste facility, the bottle even features environmentally friendly paper, ink and a twist off, Helix, eco-cork.
The wine itself is a blend of Sangiovese with a dab of Syrah. It’s hearty, fruit forward and typically bright. Thanks Sangiovese. Aromas of earth, cut strawberry and a hint of fennel. The palate is mid-weight with berries and cola notes, there’s a slight hint of black pepper and enough structure to carry the finish.
The Ziobaffa line also features a Prosecco and Pinot Grigio.
Pairing picks: For a wine that was inspired by a love of Italian culture it seems the no-brainer here is to pair it with some great Italian offerings. I’d recommend a hearty pasta with red sauce, maybe a bolognese or puttanesca. You would also find a match in a hearty stew or roast pork dish.