By Elena Kadvany
San Francisco wine shop to open in Palo AltoUploaded: Aug 16, 2016
UPDATE: Biondivino will take over the Town & Country Village space vacated on Aug. 23 by high-end bakery Tout Sweet Pâtisserie.
Biondivino, a popular 10-year-old Italian wine shop in San Francisco, is expanding to Palo Alto, owner Ceri Smith confirmed Tuesday.
She'll be opening her second outpost in a yet-to-be-announced location at Town & Country Village on El Camino Real, hopefully in October.
Biondivino offers what Smith calls a "living wine list" that reflects "all the wines that you would find at a great restaurant list, without being commercialized," she said in an interview. She opened Biondivino after working for several years with Italian-wine distributors and retailers and becoming frustrated that they valued recognizable brands over quality wines that served in top restaurants.
So at the shop, you’ll "food-friendly focused wines," many small producers and an emphasis on organic and biodynamic wines, Smith said. Biondivino's selection is almost entirely Italian, with few exceptions. (Smith said she’ll dabble in Austria or Spain, and also sells some French rosé and champagnes, but nothing from California.) They’re the kind of wines you would find at San Francisco Italian restaurants like A16, Acquerello and Quince, she said. Smith has also led the wine program for San Francisco’s Tosca Cafe for the last three years and previously did the same for Flour + Water.
Peruse the wines in Biondivino’s online shop here.
The name of the shop pays homage to Smith’s Italian great grandfather, Settimio Biondi. He came to San Francisco the day after the 1906 earthquake, and that year built some apartments on Mason and Green streets, Smith said. A century later, in 2006, Smith opened her shop close by on Green and Polk Street.
The Palo Alto store will be "almost identical” to the San Francisco original, Smith said. Her team is currently looking into licensing and regulations to see if they’ll be able to have tastings and possibly host food pop-ups, as they do in San Francisco.
Smith said they were drawn to Palo Alto as a hub of activity with "great restaurants" -- and ideal rosé weather.