About     FAQ     Contact      Advertise With Us      Press   

Empson USA Introduces Italian Wines to the American Market

Empson USA is a family owned business that searches Italy for wines that will entice the American palate. Neil and Maria Empson began the company in 1971 after visiting many Italian producers. Today, their daughter Tara continues to lead the company looking for excellent Italian wines that we may enjoy. Last week we met Tara in Washington DC during Empson’s Barolo Brunello Barbaresco Tour in Washington DC.

Tara with her family’s Cignale wine

There are some similarities between the Empsons and Kathy and me. We decided over a decade ago that if we were going to write about wine, we should be making wine at wineries as well as at home. Neil and Maria had a similar thought. If they were going to export Italian wines to the United States, they should own a vineyard and make wine in Italy. Cignale was started by the Empsons in 1981; they decided that they wanted to craft their own Super Tuscan. I had the opportunity to taste this wine and hear Tara talk about the wild boars that plague Italian vineyards in Toscana. 

Tara explained that the wine bottle label shows a sketched drawing of a wild boar. Her mother drew the boar. The Empson’s first harvest was in 1983 and the entire harvest was wiped out by wild boars. When Kathy and I visited Italy in the autumn of 2007 we learned about wild boars. I also enjoyed eating boar especially paired with wines made from Sangiovese. At the time boar was readily available on restaurant menus and at the Coop grocery store. The word “cignale” means boar. It seems fitting that an image of a boar is on their wine’s label.

Cignale has 3.5 hectares (7.5 acres) of vineyards. The vineyards are located in Greve in Chianti in the Florence Province. Vines are planted on a hillside at an elevation between 1320 feet to 1740 feet. The vineyard soil is composed of schist.

I tasted the Cignale Colle Della Toscana Centrale IGT. The blend was mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Merlot. The wine had extended maceration on the skins for three weeks. The wine aged in oak barrels for a minimum of 20 months then had six months of additional aging in bottles. The wine had a translucent ruby color. The aroma reminded me of a black fruit salad. The taste offered cassis, blackberries and leather. The medium/full bodied wine had medium/bold tannins. The finish was a nice blend of fruit and oak influences.

Empson USA has many clients. It is unique that the family has their own vineyard and is producing a wine.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

info@winetrailtraveler.com            Sitemap                      Privacy Policy

Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2006-2013