That’s Alicia, above, with Leonardo LoCascio, Italian wine industry legend and friend to Lini 910, in Correggio this week. Leonardo is one of the greatest pioneers of our industry. And he’s also been a cherished mentor to Alicia. His company had never carried a Lambrusco until Leonardo selected Lini 910 to be part of Winebow’s select portfolio.
The following is a post devoted to the maestro, published originally in 2019.
Be sure to check out Alicia’s new Instagram, @InMyLambruscoShoes, where Alicia documents her travels, work, and family life.
LoCascio is widely considered to have been one of the main architects of the Italian wine renaissance in the U.S. during the late 1980s and 1990s.
It was way back in the 1970s that he had a vision of bringing top Italian wines to north America. At the time, Italian wine wasn’t considered “fine wine” in the U.S. And the historic estates that he brought to this country for the first time played a fundamental role in reshaping American consumers’ attitudes about and perceptions of Italian wine here.
Many in the Italian wine trade don’t realize it but he also revolutionized the way that Italian wine was shipped and imported to the U.S. His model for shipping and customs consolidation radically changed the way business was done here, in no small part because his “DI” (direct importing) model reduced the importer’s costs significantly. As a result, high end Italian wine became much more affordable in this market. Today, his DI model is the industry standard in a field that continues to expand some forty years after he founded Winebow (1980).
Winebow remains the premier importer of Italian wines in the U.S., legacy that spans a generation. But LoCascio never imported a Lambrusco — ever. Lini Lambrusco is the first Lambrusco that Winebow has ever imported. And the Lini couldn’t be more honored or more excited by this new chapter in their family’s history.
Chapeau bas, Leonardo! You are a pioneer, a visionary, and an Italian wine original! Thank you for everything you have done for Italian wine in the U.S. over the decades. Without you, none of us would be here today.