Enoteca Properzio in Spello, Umbria, is a gem that highlights wines and olive oils from Italy that might not be as well known to the US market. In fact, a good percentage of the bottles sold never make their way overseas except for special order.
But praising the benefits of product exclusivity would only be to turn a blind eye to stellar customer service, a solid concept, and the retail excellence we experienced. Rated the fourth best wine bar in Italy, we were guided through local wines and olive oil by owners/operators Roberto and his daughter, Irene.
As we tasted our first couple of wines, along with bruschetta, it was immediately clear that this event was going to exceed expectations, and with additional food pairings it was more like an eight course lunch than a simple tasting. The trifecta of setting, service, and food – sitting outside under a canopy of umbrellas – made the three-hour event exquisite.
We left with the excellent DOP extra-virgin olive oil from healthy moraiolo olives that are harvested by hand and cold pressed within six hours, and products from their Angelis cosmetics line. And, of course, we’ll have a number of boxes of wine and olive oil to enjoy back home as soon as they ship overseas.
Enough cannot be said about quality over quantity at this local enterprise. Roberto and Irene were the most gracious hosts and salespeople – putting on a magnificent show that included turning down customers that they could not properly attend to with limited staff and food on hand. It’s a gamble that paid off when each and every table purchased a variety of wine, salumi, specialty foods, or cosmetics to take-away or ship.
A colleague in the wine business once told us to forget the points and simply focus on that you do/don’t like. The same sentiment should be considered when differentiating a concept from the competition. Enoteca Properzio has an undeniable niche that’s intensified by focus and enthusiasm.