We recently purchased a case of Stonewood California Merlot, inexpensive but palatable everyday wine which was offered to us as "Scotto" wine. When the salesman presented it as such, I pretentiously nodded knowingly all the while not having a clue what Scotto wine was. So after he left I googled it and learned that I have actually bought and sold many Scotto wines in the past.
Scotto Cellars is their official name and their origins are less than certain. Company information says "since 1883" which, according to their own biographical information, places them firmly in Italy. Patriarch Dominic Scotto immigrated to America and settled in Brooklyn in 1903. Dominic's grandson, Anthony, moved the family to California in 1963 and the current company incarnation has just been in existence since 2009.
Villa Armando Rustico Red is the company's flagship wine and it has been around since the late forties when the Scottos sold it out of the back of a truck in Brooklyn. In California Anthony Scotto re-marketed Rustico as a four liter jug and that is its format today under Anthony III.
If all of this sounds kind of sketchy...it is. I tried to reach out to the company for more information through their website email but didn't get a response. While I love wine industry history I particularly wanted to know if their Nightfall Lodi Barbera used fruit sourced from their vineyards in Amador. Having known many fine Amador Barberas in the past, it seemed like Nightfall was just too good to be a hundred percent from Lodi.
If I had done my due diligence, however, and considered that the California wine law says that 85% of the wine in a bottle labeled with an AVA (American Viticultural Area) like Lodi must be sourced from that place, well that remaining 15% of assumed Amador-sourced juice would have to be incredible to so impact the Lodi 85%. So as I sit here I guess I answered my own question and Scotto must have just wonderful Lodi Barbera.
Stonewood Merlot, by the way, is labeled 100% California Merlot which really simplifies things by comparison (unless you consider the entirety of California wine country).