Above Wines began with two Italian friends wanting to bring the essence of the Italian lifestyle to Dallas. They see their role as ambassadors showing the best of Italy – whether that’s wine, food, or music, or art – all in one place.
I met with Alfonso Vischi and his partner, Aldo Bove (shown left to right), who put together Above Wines to bring small family boutique wines to Dallas with their online shop, Grappolo Wine Shop. The shop partners with small local, family-owned Italian wineries (many owned for generations) that respect Old World tradition but have incorporated some New World innovation. They also do wine dinners, tastings, travel, and events.
We first met at their operational site – a warehouse for the online shop, office space and a studio where Aldo posts different videos on social platforms. They told me the story of how they were both born and raised in Italy. Alfonso in Rome and Aldo in Pompei. They both worked for years in hospitality and Aldo graduated in Enology at Federico 2nd University of Naples.
Aldo told me that they see themselves as “ambassadors of Italian culture delivering wine and food experiences.” Aldo told me that I wasn’t going to understand the Above Wines experience unless I attended one of their events in person, so I chose to attend the quarterly EXPO event at Beehive Dallas, and I have to say he couldn’t have been more correct.
I asked my friend Heather Queen, who is the district manager for Banfi, what makes Above Wines special. She likened it to the hospitality of the way Italians approach a meal. It’s a time of celebration — with family, food and wine and it may last several hours. She told me that Aldo and Alfonso are trying to create that kind of experience in Dallas.
I’ve visited Italy several times — most recently a few times recently because my daughter has spent her junior year of high school there. So I understand what he was trying to convey, but I wondered if it was truly possible in America — especially in Texas.
It’s a sensory explosion – in a good way. For $39.99, your ticket takes you to a world of wine, music, artists, food, wine, and literature. I was really impressed watching Stephan Hackley from Hackley Art Studio who was working on a cool art piece while watching Singer Brad Ackland.
The wines came from Spain, France, and Argentina from Above Wines, Vinifera Imports, Volio Imports, Beviamo International, PR Selections, and Banfi. It really was a who’s who in the Dallas Italian Wine World with Maurizio Gamberucci, Deputy Director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, to Paul DiCarlo from Jimmy’s Food Store, whom I have never seen at a Dallas wine event in my 12+ years of writing.
I asked both Aldo and Alfonso what they were trying to accomplish with the business, and they told me it was about preservation. “We want to represent the territory, the passions, the hospitality, and the traditions that make Italy special. At the same time, we want to expose our family-owned businesses in food and wine to Americans.”
Italian culture occurs when a special kind of family hospitality happens. Aldo and Alfonso are great ambassadors of bringing something unique and authentic for Dallas Wine drinkers.