FAMILY WINE…IN THE TRUEST SENSE
Nicola's Redmark is named in honor of Nicola Metrione, and the "red mark" comes from the way he marked his tools. Nicola came to America from Italy with the dream of someday owning enough land to grow fruit trees, vegetables and a vineyard. He worked hard as a laborer, but sticking to "the old country" tradition, he still found time to buy grapes and make wine every year for family and friends. Hard times prevented Nicola from ever fully realizing his dream of land and vineyards, but he left a rich and colorful legacy, including the tradition of good food and wine on the family dining table. Today, the family still has some tools with his signature bright red paint-marks that signaled to the world, "Mine." Our wine carries Nicola's name and his red mark in honor of his memory. We hope it becomes a regular at your table—where friends and family gather to create lasting memories of your own.
FROM NAPLES TO THE BRONX
Nicola was born and raised in the rural farmlands outside Naples, Italy in the late 1800's. As a young man, America beckoned and in 1891, like many other Europeans, he sailed to New York to pursue the opportunities this country offered. He went to work as a laborer, and initially took up residence in Little Italy.
Back in the "old country," a vivacious young girl named Christina Merola embarked on her own migration to America from, coincidentally, the same area near Naples. Ultimately, with the help of Christina's sisters and other newly arrived friends and relatives, Nicola and Christina met, courted and were married 1902. The newlyweds moved to a small apartment in the Bronx, near the zoo. Nicola continued working as a laborer, riding the trains into the city each day. And quite often during the week, Christina would ride those same trains, just to bring Nicola a hot lunch.
OLD FASHIONED PHILOSOPHY
Nicola's down-to-earth ways supplied the guiding philosophy in developing the family of Redmark wines. The tradition of family and friends with good food and wine on the table was simply a part of everyday life. And while Nicola made very fine traditional wines, he was unpretentious about it. Words like "Terroir" or "Malolactic Fermentation" never crossed his mind, much less passed his lips. He made good wine for real people… his friends, his neighbors and himself. The Nicola family enjoyed his wine with traditional Neapolitan food -- bracciole, pastas, soups and stews. And when the table was cleared, Nicola would often dunk fruit, like a slice of ripe peach, into his tumbler of wine as the after-meal conversation continued. Yes, you can dunk fruit in this wine. Try it – you'll find it quite tasty.
Following the lead of Italian friends and relatives, Nicola and Christina packed up their possessions and children, and moved from the Bronx to Los Angeles in the early 1920's. Over time, Nicola prospered moderately in various businesses. And while he was never able to afford the large vineyard property he'd dreamed of, his suburban home afforded enough space for him to continue his life-long love of gardening – some wine-grapes, vegetables, citrus, fig trees and other fruits. He continued using his garden tools with the famous 'red mark' on them, and he continued to be vital and active well into old age. In fact, Nicola was nearly 100 years old when, one summer day, he was on the roof of his house, fixing a broken tile! Finally, he climbed down, went into the house to cool off, sat in his favorite chair…and died.