Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop and wine bar offering curbside pickup, local delivery, and shipping to 43 states.
Call 919-973-2001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping rates, special orders, or further inquiries.
Free Delivery throughout the Triangle* with an $89.99 Minimum Order
* Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Hillsborough, and Cary
We cannot ship to ND, NH, UT, MS, AL, VT, or KY.
Who: Lisa Gilbee
Where: Manduria, Puglia
[Grapes] Primitivo[Soil Type] Sandy clay over limestone.[Elevation] 3km from the Ionian sea [Bottles Made] 5,000[Method of Fermentation] Destemmed into open small fermenters. Hand-plunged, crushed using a basket press, aged in old barrel. Unfiltered.Mezzanotte has a distinct ripe berry fruit nose with hints of blackberry and cherry and with wild herbs. The mouth is initially ripe fruit followed by a balanced fresh tannin finish.
Lisa Gilbee has lived in Manduria for 12 years. She is Australian, married to an Italian. They have two young kids. She travels around the world making wine for other people, and also makes wine for a large Puglian winery. But Manduria is home, close to the seas, where they can make wine the way she wants.
Their logo is a picture of an owl statue made from local sandstone. They chose it because the owl observes, watches. It’s how Gilbee wants to farm. “We started by developing natural grasses in the vineyard, then we took out all the pesticides, and eventually got to just using copper and sulfur. Now we have moved to biodynamics.” Their methodology is slow, deliberate progress toward a lofty goal.
Traditionally in Manduria, wines were made really manually: foot stomping of grapes before fermentation, back-breaking pruning of low-trained bush vines, virtually no mechanization in most fields even until World War II. Poor sharecroppers farmed small parcels and could not afford the machinery, the feudal system funneled too much of their harvest into the pockets of local landed aristocracy. Then, after World War II these old techniques of by-hand wine making virtually disappeared. In the 20th century production shifted almost entirely to the Cantina Sociale: wine made with BIG equipment. Bulk wine shipped to pump up the alcohol by volume of thin northern Italian reds, and then headed to supermarket chains at bottom shelf prices. Today 90% of the area’s production goes to the Cantina Sociale.
“I’d rather we focus on being a small producer turning our own vineyard into wine,” Gilbee said.
Morella has non-nursery, antique clones in its 10 ha of bush vines. There’s lots of genetic diversity in Gilbee’s monopole because the parcel was planted over time by a variety of farmers. Bush vines like Lisa’s may yield 2 – 2 ½ tons per hectare, trellised conventional vines can produce three times that amount. So slowly the old bush vines are abandoned or removed and replaced with modern clones, in fields designed to work by machine. The fields become easier to work, bulk volume increases and maybe income increases, but the connection to a traditional type of Puglian viticulture disappears.
Lisa clearly likes it here. While she laments the lack of investment in truly studying and understanding Primitivo in the way, say, Barbera is analyzed in the north, she wants to stay, to protect these old vines. They have an indomitable natural resource in Puglia. The region still makes more wine than all of Australia, and many fields of incredible century-old bush vines (and centuries old olive trees) still stand as mute guardians of the region’s real wealth and value.
LouElla is Downtown Durham's neighborhood bottle shop, bar, and event space offering curated wine, craft beer, and fortified selections from family operated producers. The business takes its name and mission from owner and proprietor Campbell Davis's Great Aunt LouElla who was much beloved for her warmth, hospitality, and generous spirit. Whether we are serving you at the bar or helping you pick that perfect bottle to host your celebration, our mission is to share LouElla's hospitality with the community.
Owner & Manager
For Cam Davis, LouElla is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and beverage industry. Cam has successfully managed some of Durham’s finest locally and nationally recognized establishments, including Hutchin's Garage, Guglhupf, Rue Cler, and Durham Catering Company. He brings a wealth of wine and beverage knowledge, not only from his extensive restaurant experience, but also from his tenure as Durham Sales Manager for wine distributor Bordeaux, Fine and Rare.
316 West Geer St, Suite A, Durham, NC 27701
Tue. 11am - 8pm
Wed. & Thu. 11am - 9pm
Fri. & Sat. 11am - 10pm
Sun. 11am - 8pm