A Maremma cowboy rides in Texas: Rocca di Frassinello’s Alessandro Cellai in Dallas


Above: Alessandro Cellai, winemaker at Rocca di Frassinello, and Paul DiCarlo at Jimmy’s Food Store in Dallas. Jimmy’s is one of the leading Italian food and wine stores in the country.

Jimmy’s Food Store
4901 Bryan St
Dallas TX 75206

Celebrity winemaker Alessandro Cellai (of Rocca di Frassinello and Castellare fame) recently visited Dallas where he visited with some of the city’s top restaurateurs and retailers. The winemaking facility at the historic Rocca di Frassinello estate was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and it is the first joint-venture between an Italian winery (Castellare) and French winery (Lafite).


Above: Cafè Cipriani’s owner Silvano Zanetti has been in the business for 50 years. He’s known as the “singing sommelier” for his impromptu opera performances on the floor of his restaurant.

Cafè Cipriani
220 Las Colinas Blvd E
Irving (Dallas) TX 75039

Rocca di Frassinello produces three blends: Poggio alla Guardia (Cabernet, Merlot, and Sangiovese), Le Sughere (Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot), and the winery’s flagship wine Rocca di Frassinello (Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot). Rocca di Frassinello 2005 was awarded 92 points by Robert Parker and was number 10 in his list of 30 “Tuscan gems.”


Above: As it turns out, Tuscany-born Adelmo Banchetti, owner and chef of Adelmo’s, and Alessandro are distant cousins. Adelmo is known as the “mayor of Dallas” when he attend Vinitaly. Back home, he is famous for his awesome osso buco (a great pairing for Alessandro’s wines).

4537 Cole Ave
Dallas TX 75205

Rocca di Frassinello uses a special clone of Sangiovese called Sangioveto (the ancient Tuscan name for Sangiovese), which was developed more than three decades ago in Chianti. It is smaller in size and is more concentrated and makes for wines richer in color and flavor.


Above: With the colorful Minin brothers, chefs Samuele and Germano, at Samson’s in McKinney.

6851 Virginia Pkwy
Mckinney (North Dallas) TX 75071

The grapes for Rocca di Frassinello are grown in a village called Giuncarico (in the township of Gavorrano) in the heart of the Maremma, the Tuscan coastline. The growing sites were chosen because galestro (Chianti’s unique schist-based soil) was discovered there.

There’s no better place for a Maremma wine than Texas: after all, the Tuscan cowboys of the Maremma feel right at home here!


One response to “A Maremma cowboy rides in Texas: Rocca di Frassinello’s Alessandro Cellai in Dallas

  1. Really enjoyed your visit, thanks for stopping by. We loved the wines and thanks for helping tell our story. We really appreciate it.

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