Uvaggio makes wine in California from grape varieties indigenous to Italy and the south of France.
Our theory is that if California has a climate which is great for growing Mediterranean varietals, why not take advantage of it? Since we have been on this path for a couple of decades now, we think we have found the right places, for growing these cultivar, primarily in Lodi So we urge you to discover this for yourself and try our wines.
Our expressions are steeped in California's traditions, with a nod towards Europe’s restraint, so you will our wines to be a contemporary synthesis of these two approaches. We produce white wines that are fresh, aromatic, dry and rarely exceed 12.5% alcohol. None of our barrel-aged reds are rarely exceed 14.5% alcohol. The only sweet wines we offer are purposely crafted to be sweet.
We are passionate about wine and food affinities, the magic that occurs when they resonant.
Owner: Jim Moore & Mel Knox
Winery Philosophy: Wine should be fun and part of your lifestyle.
Always expand your horizons by trying something different.
Wine is meant to be enjoyed with food and always complement a meal.
One should endeavor to seek value and never fall prey to hype and high prices.
If you like one of our wines, please try another, in a quest for enjoying something new.
In By 1979 Jim had joined the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville and spent two decadess at what was then perhaps California’s most renowned, if not iconic, winery. Working for such an innovative and dynamic winery lead by a truly inspirational founder, afforded many benefits. In conjunction with course work in winemaking and wine business at UC Davis, his efforts resulted in several career milestones. Among them, he envisioned and developed La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi in California, while helping to launch Luce and Lucente from Tuscany - a collaborative effort with the Frescobaldi family of Florence.
Some of his other accomplishments included developing two vineyard trial blocks to evaluate the performance of Italian and Rhône varieties. He also helped to develop the company’s Burgundian-inspired, Carneros appellation Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Jim reintroduced Zinfandel to the portfolio (from Napa Valley’s miniscule old vine sources) and totally revamped the style and packaging for Moscato d’Oro. His efforts earned many accolades, including three Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the Year, as well as a coveted “tre bicchiere” from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s pre-eminent wine guide. After being promoted to Assistant Winemaker, he was tasked with helping to elevate the quality of Mondavi’s entire Napa Valley portfolio and planned cellar renovations.
In 1998, Moore left Mondavi to develop l’Uvaggio di Giacomo, which translates as “the Blends of James” (or in other words “Jim’s Wine”) which he had begun with the 1997 vintage. He also served as the consulting winemaker for several new Napa Valley start-up ventures, along with helping revive the fortunes of a small, family winery in St Helena. Seeking a break from Napa Valley, in early 2003 he became Director of Winemaking for Bonny Doon Vineyard/Ca’ del Solo, only leaving to devote himself full time to revitalizing his Uvaggio project.
Today the Uvaggio label is a vinous statement four decades in the making. The diverse portfolio consists of a range of wines, though focuses on Vermentino and Primitivo. Emphasizing attributes like vibrant flavors, moderate pricing, lower levels of alcohol, and balanced expressions, these are wines crafted for food affinity and daily enjoyment, bringing an Italian sensibility to the American table. With a belief that wine’s primary role is to accompany a meal, the success of the Uvaggio rests on three important attributes - their accessibility, harmony and value.
Winery Production: 1,200 / 9L cases
Jim Moore is a graduate of UCLA and has traveled extensively in northern and central Italy and for several years worked side-by-side with winemakers in Tuscany. Valuable time was also spent during repeat visits to France’s Burgundy and Bordeaux regions. Jim resides in Napa, endeavoring to explore new vinous horizons daily.
Jim Moore’s creation and development of his own wine label - Uvaggio - is a gratifying personal achievement. His approach to winemaking seeks to optimize each vineyard’s potential by using rather basic and straightforward techniques to craft distinctive wines from lesser known grape varieties grown in the New World.
His winemaking style is as much Mediterranean as it is Californian Tasted blind, one might actually imagine they come from regions bounded by the Adriatic or Tyrrhenian Seas, not the Pacific Ocean. These are not typical wines from a typical winemaker. With a career spanning four decades and having vinified grapes from most of California’s diverse regions (and in several parts of Italy) and across a broad range of cultivars (everything from Arneis to Zinfandel), his winemaking experience is prodigious, differentiating the Uvaggio wines from California’s typical, Franco-centric offerings.
Jim’s interest in Italian grape varieties began long before Pinot Grigio became ubiquitous in the market. While working in restaurants during college, followed by managing a fine wine retailer, his exposure to a vast spectrum of the world of wine inspired taking up a career in winemaking.
Mel Knox’s insight, knowledge, curiosity, and connections were ultimately parlayed into a successful business importing and selling wine barrels. Taransaud and François Frères are among the French cooperages he helped establish as the go-to barrel manufacturers for winemakers in the USA. He has subsequently had wine cuvées (and children) named after him, and although presently immersed in a state of semi-retirement, he staves off senescence with his involvement in Uvaggio.