Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi
By no means newcomers, Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi of Paso Robles nevertheless don’t get enough acclaim for their work — both with Giornata, their Italian-grape label; and Broadside, their inexpensive line of Central Coast wines that might represent the best value proposition in California.
“I was told for a very long time that I’d never do anything interesting with Italian varietals in California,” says Brian. But the couple — he the winemaker, she the viticulturist, both trained at Fresno State — loved the Nebbiolo grape too much to give up on it. They’ve now found a range of sites around Paso Robles with compelling versions of Aglianico, Sangiovese, and, especially, Nebbiolo. Giornata’s structured, acid-driven wines belie the assumption that Paso is too hot to grow these grapes. Besides, the Terrizzis say, their vineyards’ soil has a lot in common with that of Chianti.
The Giornata wines are at the highest quality tier of Italian-style wines in this state. But the Terrizzis decided to tackle a very different challenge, too: “We have so many great, under-$15 wines from Spain, Argentina,” says Stephanie, “but it’s hard to find that in California.” Hence Broadside, a 30,000case operation that they first launched with Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars. (The Terrizzis bought him out two years ago.) Stylistically accessible and priced below $30, the Broadside bottlings outshine many wines double their price.
More than anything, the Terrizzis believe in Paso. Stephanie is an outspoken advocate for improving environmental standards there. “I just want Paso to do better,” says Brian. “I think Paso could be the best viticultural region in the whole state.”
Wines to try: The Terrizzis’ portfolio is an embarrassment of riches. Look for Broadside’s superb Chardonnays (the 2014 “Wild Ferment,” $18, tropical and full of brûléed pineapple; the 2013 White Hawk Vineyard, $30, rich, mineral and saline) and Cabernets (the blue-fruited, dense 2014 Paso
Robles, $18; the mouthfilling, firm 2013 Margarita Vineyard, $25). From Giornata, there’s a succulent, peachy 2015 Fiano ($25), a taut, lifted 2015
Barbera ($25), and a leafy, cigar-inflected 2013 Nebbiolo from Luna Matta ($45), bright with cherry and chewy with tannins.