TheWineReporter go back to Campania, in Southern Italy, to talk about a really rampant woman winegrower. She’s Maura Sarno, currently one of the most important names among the Irpinia producers, in the Region hinterland. Her motto was for a long time: “A single land, a single vineyard, a single wine produced: the Fiano di Avellino DOCG”. Surely, this enthusiastic and positive woman is the real key to the success of her own winery, called Tenuta Sarno 1860.
The protagonist of this wine story is a volcanic woman, proactive and full of ideas. She’s Donatella Cinelli Colombini, a great woman of Italian wine. Born in Siena and graduated in History of Medieval Art, in 1993 she founded the “Movimento del Turismo del Vino” (Wine Tourism Movement) and invented “Cantine aperte” (open wineries), the event that made wine tourism known in Italy.
Perhaps not everyone knows that since some years italian winegrowers can create excellent classic method sparkling wines in Italian regions different from those known as “traditional”. Well! Today I want to tell you about an excellent sparkling wine that comes from grapes harvested on the slopes of Mount Etna, in Sicily. Of course everybody knows Mount Etna and knows where it is: it’s the highest active volcano in Europe with its 3,350 meters of altitude. All around the mountain – on different sides – the vine has been cultivated for centuries, up to altitudes of 1,100-1,200 meters.
I want to talk about a wine that is born from an authentic love story. It all starts in Val di Non Mountains, in Trentino, that’s an enological region of North-East Italy. Soon the dream of Pietro Pancheri and his wife Silvia Tadiello (the LasteRosse owners) becomes reality: they have created a winery that respects territory, land and traditions. In practice, they have chosen to work sustainable agriculture, to preserve the native vines and to work following the rhythms of nature with a careful look to the moon.
I like to come back often, very nicely, in the beautiful Montefalco (Umbria region, at the centre of Italy), an uncontamined historical land of wine since Roman times. Think about it: it’s one of the few towns where the vineyards were inside their walls: they were really “urban vineyards”.
So, I will tell you the story of Cantina Fratelli Pardi (Pardis Brothers Winery). It began about a century ago, in 1919, when the three Pardi brothers (Alfredo, Francesco and Alberto) decided to produce and sell their local wines. At the time the wines were traveling to the Vatican where they were much appreciated.
It’s always a nice job to share impressions, emotions and evaluations about typical wines of a specific Italian region (in this case: Romagna, on the North of Italy), comfortably in my city: Rome. I Like too much the idea of focusing on the Albana di Romagna vine, suggested in dry version (introducing by sommelier Monica Coluccia) proposed which is the most true and perhaps the most natural way. Let’s be honest: when we speak about Albana di Romagna DOCG, we think to the most famous kind: the straw wine (Passito) or even the one beneficially shaped by noble rot. But – in my opinion – this kind of Albana dry vinification is the real test for each good wine-grower in Romagna.
The “natural woman” Angela Fronti is the real “fresh face” of a wonderful Chianti Classico Riserva that thrilled me at last FIVI Market. FIVI is Italian Federation of Indipendent Winegrowers. FIVI winemakers in Italy are a clear sample of artisans winemakers, the classic vigneron, who follow in first person all the steps from vine to wine, up to the marketing and communication of their products. Wines that almost always are the result of organic or natural agriculture, without (or almost) use of chemical treatments in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Few years ago I had the pleasure to meet winegrower Andrea Cortonesi, the Uccelliera owner: I saw in him a strong determination and desire to improve his viticulture and his wines always and continuously. Currently can confirm it: he has achieved great results and never stops. Andrea Cortonesi is a forward-thinking and ambitious man.
“l became a farmer by deliberate personal choice – says -. Although I come from an agricultural family, I could have chosen a different path–until, in 1986, I purchased the Uccelliera farm”. Uccelliera means bird house.
Roberto Ceraudo really loves his land. If the jewel called Dattilo is his creature, built in his own likeness, his sons Susy, Caterina and Giuseppe are his pearls. Roberto gave his best for this land that slopes slightly from the hills of Strongoli, creating a natural terrace towards the Ionian Sea. We are in Calabria, in the province of Crotone. In 1973, Roberto started his adventure among fields, sowing, harvesting, up and down on his tractor.
I met Chiara Lungarotti during some interviews, when she was the national president of the Italian Wine Tourism Movement. She isn’t even that appointment but – actually – that role has sure got under her skin. The Lungarotti wineries (of which Chiara is the CEO) are a shining sample of how the hospitality of wine tourists and of all types of visitors should be managed. How do you do it? Proving availability, professionalism, passion, ability to tell their own story.