Nicholas Pearce presents two new bright and crisp white wines from Italy…
One of the most beautiful parts of working with small producers is having access to hidden gems, such as undiscovered regions or unpronounceable grapes.
The producers we are introducing to you today are not an exception. Both come from Italy: Fattoria Nanní from the Marche and Zuani from Friuli ; and work in the most respectful way with their beautiful local grapes.
See below to learn more about both wineries and for a list of wines available to pre-order, arriving in Ontario for April 2020.
Roberto Cantori grew up in the heart of Marche, hearing the story of a man who decided to go against what everybody used to do. His nickname was Nanní, and he started to cultivate vines at higher elevation than most Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesci DOC vineyards were located. Fascinated by the unique surrounding of the vineyards and the legend of the rebel man, Roberto Cantori bought his plots and has dedicated himself to continuing to protect beautiful vineyards through his winery, Fattoria Nanni.
The vines of Verdicchio have been organically farmed since they were planted in the 60’s and sit at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. Roberto works exclusively with stainless steel to retain the freshness and crispness of the terroir.
Arsicci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2018 – $22.95
Named after the Contrada in which the estate is located, which means ‘dry’. The label shows the window of the house belonging to Giovanni Piersigilli (‘Nannì’) who inspired Roberto to create his winery.
After being handpicked, the grapes are kept at 5 degrees celsius overnight. Once pressed with the whole cluster, the cold juice goes to stainless steel tanks, where it ferments from its natural yeasts. After fermentation, the lees are stirred occasionally for a month.
Origini, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2018 – $33.95
The first wine Cantori produced. The name refers to ‘calanchi’, a local geological feature. The ‘calanchi’ are composed of sand which was once under the ocean and originate from the erosion of Monte San Vicino.
The juice ferments for 20 days at a temperature range between 16 and 18 degrees. The lees are stirred twice per week during the first six months, and then once every two days, creating toasty and nutty aromas.
Zuani is located in the heart of Collio, Friuli, a hidden appellation between the Adriatic Sea and the Alps. Coming from a long tradition of winemakers in Croatia that goes back to the 19th century, Patrizia Felluga saw her dream come true when she acquired the estate and vineyards in 2001.
Today, her son and daughter have taken over the winery; producing exclusively white wines, made mainly from native grapes of the region such as Friuliano and Ribolla Gialla.
The mild weather in Collio and the proximity to the sea and the mountains contribute to create perfect temperature oscillations, allowing a long ripening season. The soils of the wildly rolling hills of the region are popularly called ‘ponca’ , and it’s a mix of marl and sandstone that facilitates proper drainage of the rain.
Pinot Grigio Sodevo Collio 2018 – $19.95
The destemmed grapes are softly crushed and then fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine remains on the lees for approximately 5 months before being bottled.
Ribolla Gialla Sodevo Collio 2018 – $19.95
Ribolla Gialla is the autochthonous white grape par excellence in the region. It is probably the oldest variety in the region as the earliest evidence of its diffusion dates back to the Roman Empire. For this wine, the grapes macerate for approximately 12 hours and are then softly crushed. The must ferments in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. A small part of the wine is aged in oak barrels.
Bianco Riserva – Tokai Friulano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio 2016 – $48.95
A white wine obtained from a blend of native Friulano grapes and international varieties that thrive in Friuli, especially in Collio, with its outstandingly favourable geology, soil types and site climates. Aged in small French oak barrels with lees stirring.
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