News & Events

A Journey Down the Adriatic Coast at Il Leone Italian Restaurant

Jan 26, 2023

Vinotria Italian Wines presents a journey down the Adriatic Coast, with wines from Marche, Abruzzo and Manduria, presented by the producers themselves, paired with the delicious, authentic cuisine of Il Leone.
 – Vinotria at Il leone Italian Restaurant, Cape Town – Wednesday 25 January 2023

Another great evening of culinary and intellectual indulgence was had in Cape Town, a global hub and the heart of gastronomic experiences in Africa. We have welcomed some of the Italian wine producers we work with and have given them a full tour of South African wines during the period of their stay, but we have also incorporated their wines into the South African culinary event calendar by hosting an evening that highlighted regionality in wines but also winemaking. Paired perfectly with the traditional Italian cuisine of Il Leone.

Adriatic Sea - WikipediaWines chosen for this evening were from three different producers from the regions of Marche, Abruzzo and Manduria, regions along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, or the heel of the boot that is Italy.  The producers that were hosted at the event were Varvaglione from the Manduria region, Masciarelli from the Abruzzo region, and Velenosi from the Marche region. We enjoyed multiple white wine pairings with a 3-course starter list and a selection of reds from each producer paired with our main course.  There were some wines that were the highlights of the evening, especially the round and silky Varvaglione “Papale” Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2019 with intense notes of ripe, red berries and spicy notes of brown candy, oak and cacao. An honourable mention goes to the gorgeously balanced and polished Masciarelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Villa Gemma Riserva 2017, a full-bodied and tannic wine carrying notes of crushed stone, blackberry and blueberry.


Right next to Salento, in the heart of Puglia within an area supported by the best climate conditions, Varvaglione 1921 develops its distinction sign and corporate philosophy by joining traditions and technology. Varvaglione 1921 takes care of its wines’ quality through a scrupulous grape selection, shrewd harvest choices, meticulous wine-making process supervision, and constant research on the improvement of wine-producing techniques. This company commits to producing wines outside the box, by relying on local vine varieties as modern representation of a thousand-year-old history.


Gianni Masciarelli inherited his passion for vineyards and wine from his maternal grandfather Umberto and soon began his first experiments with grapes, animated by a big dream: give value to the native vines in Abruzzo, giving them an international character, and emphasizing their link with the region. The phrase that best describes the winemaker Gianni Masciarelli is “non-stop innovation”. The passion and love for the land started, in 1981, the production of Masciarelli Wines. Trebbiano and Montepulciano, two grapes once unknown and little considered, are now two stars of the firmament of Italian wine.


Located just outside the town of Ascoli Piceno, Velenosi embodies the personality of the Marche region of Central Italy. Beginning 30 years ago with limited resources and minimal experience, the indefatigable Angela Velenosi, through sheer determination and perseverance, pushed the boundaries of expectations of the entire region. Holding vineyards as varied as the geography in which they lie, her portfolio is a confluence of diverse terroirs, varieties and cultures, unified under the maritime climate and her will to succeed.

  • Velenosi Pecorino Villa Angela Offida DOCG 2021
  • Velenosi Pecorino Reve Offida DOCG 2020
  • Velenosi Ninfa Marche Igt 2020



The annual ITALIAN FESTIVAL at IDIOM returns on the weekend of Sat 4th & Sun 5th March 2023, bringing together the best of the Italian lifestyle in the Cape. Join us again for an enogastronomic journey through Italy, discover new flavours and grape varieties in our Italian wine-tasting area, and taste the latest additions to our Vinotria imported Italian wine portfolio.

Sign up for one of our informative wine masterclasses.
Bring your shopping bag to fill up on specialist Italian deli products, and browse the Italian themed stalls.

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