Wine
BY THE BOTTLE
Piedmont, home to Conant’s signature Barolo
SC Wines
the Italian connection
If food brings us around a table, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Chef Scott Conant has introduced a collection of signature wines to achieve the same goal. They are Italian, of course, bold statements of great Italian varieties and winemaking styles. There is a pinot grigio named for his daughter Ayla, a Super Tuscan named for his daughter Karya, and Conant’s signature Barolo, Sprezza.
There’s another family connection. Chef Conant’s grandfather Lupo was a winemaker, and the wolf stamp on every bottle is an homage to both him and Conant’s wife, whose maiden name, Bozkurt, means “grey wolf” in Turkish.

Back to the Italian connection. We journey to the far southeastern part of Italy’s northeastern region, Isonzo del Friuli, for the pinot grigio, a fairly small DOC with the Isonzo River running through it. To its left are clay-rich soils; to its right, chalk layered with white gravel. Plenty of rainfall, warm daytime wind, and cool evening breezes makes this ideal grape-growing country.

Naturally, the Super Tuscan comes from Tuscany, specifically Sant’Angelo in Colle, a picturesque medieval village perched on a low hill in a subzone of the world famous Montalcino appellations. The elevation heightens growth and ripening with cool air in the summer months, and its proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea helps ventilate the vineyards and reduce mildew.

In the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, Barolo rules supreme. Here, mountains guard the region on every side except the east, where the Po river runs. These mountains and river create a lot of fog (nebbia), which allows the aptly named nebbiolo grape that Barolo is made from to ripen slowly and develop intense flavors.

Three distinctive wines, each a unique expression of Italian terroir and Chef Conant’s penchant for all things sprezzatura!

The bar at Mora Italian
Scan the wine list, and it becomes obvious that to complement Chef Conant’s soulful yet refined cooking, the selections are Italian inspired. General Manager Lance Mills points out the diversity among these Italian wine offerings. “There is something for everyone on our wine list. Each region represented encapsulates a story in itself, where the main characters are world-famous grapes, regional varieties, climate considerations, different methods of aging, and the such. Italian wine is special; each bottle uncorks a fascinating look at the region it is rooted in.”
“Italian wine is special; each bottle uncorks a fascinating look at the region it is rooted in.”
—Lance Mills
Not well versed in your Italian wines? Not to worry: Mills assures that the team takes pride in educating their servers on every style of wine available and passes on that education to the restaurants’ guests. “When you are given the right tools—in this case, information—choosing a bottle that pairs well with your dinner is a lot easier,” he says. “And the best part is, you just might discover your new favorite wine.”