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Which Winemaking Family Hosted The Bachelorette?

Plus, repeat wine thieves hit a Boston-area Wegmans, and St. Helena's Hill Wine Co. has filed for bankruptcy

Posted: June 26, 2014

• ABC's hit television series The Bachelorette and The Bachelor haven't made an appearance here in quite a while now, so Unfiltered will admit to a little guilty joy when we "had" to tune in to The Bachelorette this week when this season's star single lady, Andi Dorfman, held her episode-ending rose ceremony at Italy's Villa Mosconi Bertani, the 18th century family estate owned by the winemaking Bertani family. Gaetano Bertani and his sons, Giovanni and Guglielmo, make the Tenuta Santa Maria alla Pieve wines. Their 2008 Amarone della Valpolicella was poured during the episode. "Tonight we're at the oldest winery in Verona," Dorfman said before sending home J.J. without a rose, "It is the epitome of romance." Unfiltered might not agree with Andi's definition of "romance," but we'll probably tune in next week anyway, just to see if they stop in at any breweries on their tour of Brussels, Belgium.

• In a callback to the heady summer of 2011—which veteran readers will recall Unfiltered repeatedly tried to brand "The Summer of Winecrime," even though it never really caught on—a Massachusetts duo has allegedly made off with some $14,000 in wine from a Boston-area Wegmans supermarket that was apparently, in other news, carrying at least $14,000 in wine inventory. Throughout the month of June, the sticky-fingered shoppers lifted a number of choice bottles, though none were noticed until the pair went for two bottles of 2006 Mouton-Rothschild, perhaps the world's priciest "critter wine," thanks to the funny zebra label Lucian Freud painted for that vintage. But then about a week later, according to ABC, police were called back as two more chichi bottles disappeared. As they say, burglarize me once, shame on you; burglarize me repeatedly despite that I have clear surveillance images of you …

• Hill Wine Co., formerly run by alleged Napa Valley grape bandit Jeff Hill, has filed for bankruptcy. Earlier this year, Unfiltered reported that Hill had been charged with two counts of grand theft for allegedly pilfering more than $65,000 worth of grapes from Del Dotto winery’s Howell Mountain and Oakville vineyards. Hill Wine Co. owes $8.6 million to creditors, and has been sued multiple times for alleged non-payments, breach of contracts and other allegations from wineries including Sebastiani, Patz & Hall and Domaine Chandon. Hill, who pleaded not guilty to the Del Dotto grape thievery, is no longer involved with the winery. His preliminary hearing is set for early July in Napa County Superior Court. Hill Wine Co. CEO Gordon Monroe, who joined the winery in February, could not be reached for comment, but for now, the winery will remain open for tasting while a reorganization plan is prepared.

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