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On my return trip from Orlando yesterday, I stopped by one of my favorite and most visited travel spots – the Vino Volo wine bar across from gate C4 at Dulles Airport.  As I’ve written before, Vino Volo is a creation of genius.  I’ve been to each of the Vino Volo locations with the exception of the San Antonio airport location (I’m thinking the owner should just send me a round trip ticket to/from San Antonio so I can mark this last one off my list).

Bonarda at Vino Volo

On this day, I had a hankering for something different so Jay, the wine bartender, recommended the Familia Mayol made from the Bonarda grape.  Perfect – a grape that I had never had or heard of.

I was surprised to learn that the Bonarda grape is the most widely planted varietal in Argentina – although a couple of sites I’ve found noted that the Bonarda is actually the second most planted grape in Argentina.  Bonarda is also grown here in the States under the assumed identity, Charbono.  Bonarda can be traced back to the Piedmont region of Italy, where it is often blended with Barbera.  Here’s a link to a site with a lot of interesting info on the Bonarda grape.


Familia Mayol 2007 Bonarda Familia Mayol, started in 1990, is located in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  Deep inky purple in color.  Big ol nose of blueberry pie, prune, pine straw on a wet ground (yes, really) and an herbal component.  Full mouth feel with medium tannins along with more blueberry, mint and a real raisin finish.  I typically do not like these big fruity wines, but this one was well balanced with pure fruit aromas and flavors.  In addition to the glass I purchased at Vino Volo, I took a bottle to go for dinner that paired well with burgers on the deck.  This was $9/glass and $23/bottle at Vino Volo (you may be able to find this one a local retail location for ~$14/$15). 

Thanks to the Vino Volo crew for turning me on to another great wine!

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