Monte Rio is a new wine project by noted sommelier Patrick Cappiello. Before recently turning his attention to winemaking, Patrick was the sommelier for four different New York restaurants that all received Wine Spectator’s coveted ‘Grand Award’ — TriBeCa Grill, Veritas, GILT, and Pearl & Ash. Patrick was named “Sommelier of the Year 2014” by Food & Wine Magazine, “Wine Person of the Year 2014” by Imbibe Magazine, and “Sommelier of the Year 2015” by Eater National. Working in those restaurants, Patrick had the opportunity to taste a lot of California wines from the 1960s and 1970s, which had aged remarkably well while being at a lower alcohol level. Monte Rio is the label he created to explore older styles of California, although he also finds plenty of room for experimentation. The wines are made in Pax Mahle’s winery and Pax has been working at Patrick’s side in making the wines. The Monte Rio was also created with an eye toward sustainability, with a modest glass bottle being chosen to avoid heavier glass which creates more greenhouse emissions in its production and transport. The cork is biodegradable and the label itself is printed on recycled paper. The juice inside the bottle is just fun.