Vino is a very small business that specialises in bringing in quality Italian wines direct from small producers in Italy. Wines can be purchased direct – contact Marc – and can be sampled and enjoyed in the Pebblebed Cellar and The Galley.
In the early 1990s, a then young Italian named Mario Fontana loaded up his van in the Barolo wine hills of Piedmont and drove to England in search of new customers. He eventually made his way to Topsham where he met Nello Ghezzo of Nello’s Ristorante and his friend wine writer and consultant Marc Millon. Nello and Marc tasted the wines of Cascina Fontana and thought they were truly outstanding; thus began a long and special relationship and friendship.
Sadly, Nello Ghezzo passed away in 1999. He is still fondly remembered by many in Topsham, and of course commemorated in two special events: The Nello, an annual 100 mile cycle ride from Topsham over Exmoor (a route that Nello and Marc cycled in preparation for their cycle from Topsham to Venice in 1997), and in Nello’s Longest Table, a bi-annual community feast where virtually the whole town sits together at one long table to share local food and drink.
Partly to keep this special friendship, partly because they themselves love the wines so much, Marc and Kim Millon decided to import Cascina Fontana wines direct. Today, Mario Fontana and his wines have won the highest accolades in Italy and beyond (‘tre bicchieri‘ in the prestigious Vini d’Italia guide, and the snail emblem in the Slow Wine guide, awarded to the best and most traditional producers). The wines, made only in minuscule quantity, are today in great demand all over the world. Marc and Kim are proud to be able to bring them to Topsham.
Marc and Kim work closely with Geoff Bowen at Pebblebed and occasional organise ‘pop-up’ Vino Kitchen suppers in the Pebblebed Cellar. Their main occupation, however, is writing and photography: Marc and Kim are the authors of 14 books on wine, food and travel topics, including The Wine Roads of Italy and The Food Lovers Companion Italy. Marc writes for various magazines, lectures and organises wine tastings, works as a wine consultant, as well as hosts gastronomic cultural tours to Italy, France and the West Country.
If you are interested in learning more about Vino’s activities, or in discovering, tasting and purchasing the wonderful wines of Barolo and Cascina Fontana then contact Marc