Sister City Alba Italy
A Longstanding Relationship
Relationships provide us with the opportunity to connect with people, whether in our immediate neighborhood or across oceans. At DANCIN Vineyards, we have built a wonderful relationship with the community of Medford, Oregon and its Chamber of Commerce since we began making wine from our vineyard in Medford.
We have been long-time fans of Barbera wine, and have been producing our own Barbera sine 2013. It is believed that the origin of Barbera precedes the more popular Cabernet Sauvignon by 1,000 years and one of the earliest discoveries of Barbera and arguably the place that produces some of the best representations of this varietal on planet earth is Italy’s Piedmont region, which is home to Alba, Medford’s Sister City.
The Medford-Alba relationship, which recently celebrated its 60 year anniversary was established in 1960 and was one of the earliest of such unions and was indeed unique. While many American cities were pairing up with Pacific Rim cities with the intent of promoting commerce, Medford Mayor John Snider took a very different approach. Tasked with choosing which foreign city among several candidates would be Medford’s partner, he based his choice on factors that he believed would lead to deep and lasting bonds. His goal was to promote personal and familial friendships between the two communities, which would become the heart of the union.
Alba and Medford already shared some essential traits. Both cities had nearly the same population and both were the centers of flourishing agricultural regions. Both cities enjoyed remarkably similar temperate climates due to their proximity to the sea. The two cities were similarly located in large river valleys surrounded by scenic foothills and the mountains beyond them. Their differences in language, culture and history were not barriers but gifts that they would come to share and appreciate. Credit: City of Medford Sister City Committee Website.
We look forward to celebrating each anniversary of this wonderful relationship with a glass (or two) of Oregon Barbera. Salute!
Click here to view a video presentation produced by Southern Oregon PBS about the Sister Cities.
The Italian Connection
In 2016, we bottled a 2015 Barbera in honor of the sister city relationship. It was in collaboration with the Medford Chamber and the Sister City Association. This limited-edition bottle was named ‘Sorella,’ meaning sister in Italian. The back label included the Alba crest and the story of the relationship between the two communities.
Since the 2015 vintage, we released a very special limited-edition 2018 'Sorella 60th' and the 2020 'Sorella 62nd' in honor of the sixtieth and sixty-second anniversary of this unique union!
We had the privilege of hosting Alba’s Mayor, City Councilors, and the Medford Alba Sister City Association for food and wine in our piazza space during the summer of 2018. Our piazza is named in honor of the places where people gather in an Italian town square.
We shared our signature stuffed mushrooms, filled with locally sourced Italian sausage, Caesar salad followed by homemade thin crust Margherita pizza, next our house-made semi-freddo dessert and of course, delicious Barbera!
It was a wonderful time celebrating the longstanding relationship between the sister cities, and an opportunity to build new friendships. There were many topics of discussion including a spirited conversation as we compared notes about about our farming practices in Medford and those employed in Alba.
We look forward to hosting our family from Alba again in the future!
From Left to Right: Anna Chiara Cavallotto (Alba City Council member in charge of sister cities), Roberto Giachino (Alba City Council President), Dan Marca, Mayor Maurizio Marello (Alba's mayor), John Pratt, Pino Dutto (Alba's first ambassador to Medford, in 1962).
Oregon Barbera travels to Alba, Italy!
In October of 2019, a bottle of the Double Gold Medal winning 2015 ‘Sorella’ Barbera was presented to the community of Alba!
From left to right: Brad Hicks, (Past President & CEO of the Medford Chamber), Carlotta Boffa, (Alba City Councilor) and Domenico Boeri (President of the Alba Council)
With bottle in hand and smiling faces, it’s time to celebrate!
From Left to Right: Eli Matthews, (President & CEO of the Medford Chamber and Travel Medford), Domenico Boeri (President of the Alba Council) and Brad Hicks, (Past President & CEO/Medford Chamber)