When I met David de Lancelotti at his lovely home in Santa Ana, he had just returned the night before from a visit to Europe. He treated us to cheese from France and wine from Italy while telling us the story of his passion project, Formaglini Vineyards. He describes the venture as a project to connect four or five generations together and “to give my family a sense of where they came from and what we’re about.” Family is indeed a key element. He dedicates his wines to his father’s mother whose maiden name was Formaglini. His La Quercia vineyard pays homage to the small village just outside Bologna, Italy where his grandmother spent time. He’s proud that his young sons know how to pour wine properly. He still has a day job in telecommunications and spends about seven out of eight weeks on the road. He visits Italy two to three times a year.
He’s so keen on producing only the finest that he dumped two of ten barrels from the 2014 vintage because they didn’t meet his strict standards. When asked if he wanted to sell the juice to someone else, he insisted it simply be dumped out. He’s proud of the 2014 vintage and calls it clean with fruit shining through it. The wine will be bottled in June and released between mid-September and early October. He also produces a blend called Insieme, Italian for together. He says it’s the only Pinot Noir/Lagrein blend he’s aware of.
Each vintage he releases sees more neutral wood. Each bottle is numbered by hand. His wines are available at Wine Exchange and at small artisanal restaurants that are wine-driven and that share his philosophies. On a beautiful spring afternoon, we tasted David’s exquisite Formaglini wines and enjoyed Porchetta sandwiches lovingly made by his wife Anya. His brother Bobby described the work he is doing with Lifewater, a project dedicated to teaching people in developing countries how to ensure their drinking water is free from disease.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.