Our Story

Mission

For over 25 years, Villa Italia has been a pioneer in importing wines made by small-scale artisan winemakers from all the regions of Italy. Our mission and passion continues to be discovering and promoting these exciting wines with a distinct sense of place, often made with little-known grape varieties. Associated since our founding with the Slow Food movement and philosophy ,  we support truly sustainable growing and production practices, which benefit our farmers, our consumers and our planet.

“When sipping your wine remember the farmer, loyal to the grape and the land who produced the beauty in your glass.”

Lorenzo Scarpone | Founder

History

After working as a sommelier for a number of world-class Italian restaurants, Lorenzo Scarpone became dissatisfied with the limited availability in the U.S. of unique small-scale artisan wines, made from little-known grape varieties in all the regions of Italy. In 1989, he established Villa Italia as an importer and distributor of such wines in California. Beginning with his home region of Abruzzo, he gradually expanded his portfolio to include over 50 wineries from every region of the peninsula – as well as the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

As one of the founders of the Slow Food movement, Lorenzo has always based his selections upon their principles of sustainable agriculture, fidelity to local “terriors”, and artisan “crafting” of wines. He has been widely recognized and honored by wine and civic organizations for his contributions to the prestige and success of Italian wines throughout the world.

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