When Andrea Mugnaini approached the Valoriani family about distributing their wood-fired ovens in the U.S. 20 years ago, the Italians shook their heads in disbelief.
Who would want such an old-fashioned cooking appliance? The Old World ovens were considered passé, an aging dinosaur teetering on the edge of extinction.
They were ready to throw it all in at that point, Mugnaini recalled, while sitting outdoors at her ranch in the Alexander Valley. They thought I was a nut from California.
In her 20s, Mugnaini had fallen in love with the wood-fired ovens while traveling in Europe as a wine distributor. Everything about them, from the lifestyle to the versatility, appealed to her.