Over the last few years, the wonderful Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco has gone from strength to strength, cutting into the market traditionally dominated by the French and prompting a few nervous glances over the shoulder from Champagne producers. For those in the know, the unfiltered Prosecco 'Col Fondo' is the way to go and Casa Belfi is one of the regions finest producers of this style. Casa Belfi's vineyards are farmed biodynamically and their Col fondo is a perfect example of the style. With its natural sur lie bottle re-fermentation and no filtration, the resulting wine is cloudy, effervescent and dangerously slurpable
Campi di Fonterenza was founded by twin sisters Margarita and Francesca Padovani in 1997. The biodynamically farmed estate lies in the commune of Montalcino in the beautiful heart of Tuscany wine country. The origins of the 35ha estate at 420 metres above sea level, date back to 1462 and the Padovani family began rejuvenating the vineyards in 1975 planting 4ha of Sangiovese and retaining 24ha of woodland and olive groves. Vinification takes place in 17.5hl new Slavonian oak fermenters, using only wild yeasts, followed by 'affinamento' elevage in larger 37hl Slavonian oak. No fining or filtration takes place prior to bottling of what is only a few hundred cases of each wine. The wines, Rosso di Montalcino (savoury, bright and pitch perfect) and Brunello di Montalcino (a study in detail and latent power) are some of the most exciting wines to come out of the region.
Piemonte is without doubt, one of the most famous and beautiful wine regions in the world. Eugenio Bocchino and his wife Cinzia run a small organically certified estate with 5ha of vineyards scattered through the communes of La Morra, Verduno, Alba, and Roddi. It is here that Nebbiolo is king and with fastidious work in the vineyards and a distinctly traditional approach in the winery, these are wines that resonate with the deep pedigree of the region. The Langhe Nebbiolo “Roccabella” & Nebbiolo d’Alba “La Perucca provides delicious, savoury drinking but it is with the Barolo's that the wines are taken to the next level. These are just beautiful wines.
Located in the stunning hilltop town of Monforte d'Alba in Piemonte, Flavio Roddolo is one of the finest winegrowers in the Barolo region for his deep connection with the tradition and land he farms. He seems to have a deep attachment and connection to each of his vines and the 6 hectares of vineyards have not been chemically treated for 40 years, following biodynamic principles well before they became fashionable. Using only indigenous yeasts and the traditional winemaking techniques of the region the wines are captivating. The stunningly pure and juicy Dolcetto & Barbera will have you reaching for another bottle and the Barolo 'Ravera' is a fine example of what this famous region is capable of.
With 7ha of certified organic vineyards planted with Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Canaiolo, Vermentino, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti , in the heart of the DOC Montecucco in Maremma, La Calle produce a range of wines that are considered benchmarks for the region. There is a deep respect for the land they farm here, the utilisation of knowledge, laid in a sedimentary fashion by generations of successive family's tending the soils. Wild yeast ferments and a traditional, hands-off attitude in the cellar result in wines that are true to their terroir and utterly delicious in the glass from the young and vibrant Sangiovese, Campo Rombolo that bursts with fruit purity through to the Poggio d'Oro Riserva which is built for the long haul. Spellbinding, beautifully made traditional wines from an exciting, yet often overlooked region.
The Colli di Luni DOC is an interesting one, spanning two regions, Liguria & Tuscany and Azienda Agricola La Felce is located at the foot of the hills of Ortonovo in the Province of La Spezia in Liguria. These are wines of stunning purity and savoury lines produced from Vermentino, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Massaretta, Canaiolo, Sangiovese and Merlot. The vineyards are farmed according to organic principles and winemaker Andrea Marcesini produces wines that are both delicious to drink and very agile when it comes to food/wine matching. One of our hidden gems that is sure to win many fans.
Established in 1999, Maria Pia Castelli is located in the commune of Monte Urano in the beautiful Marche region of Eastern Italy, with 8ha of vineyards heavily influenced by the climatic effects of the nearby sea. The vineyard soils, clay rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium and the attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery is evident in all their wines. Their rich and intricately detailed Sangiovese and Montepulciano have won Tre Bicchieri awards in the influential Gambero Rosso guide and their wonderful skin-contact white wine 'Stella Flora', a blend of Pecorino, Passerina, Trebbiano and Malvasia has won adulation as a wine of excellence in the Good Wines of Italy guide.
The tiny Paradiso di Manfredi farm in Montalcino was purchased in 1950 by Manfredi Martini and his wife, Fortunata, pre-dating Brunello being awarded is DOC in 1968. Today the estate is run by daughter Rosella and her husband Florio Guerrini. Nestled on the hill atop which Montalcino is perched, there are a compact 2.5ha of Sangiovese Grosso vines of which 2ha produce Brunello. Organic and biodynamic practises are adhered to in the vineyard and very traditional in the winery - wild yeasts, cement tanks and a selection of very old, very large Slovanian oak botte (large barrels). The large oak allows a slow micro-oxygenation, and the Brunellos remain in these barrels for at least three years, sometimes longer (36–40 months for the Brunello; 48–54 months for the Riserva) — these are profound, captivating traditional wines that age magnificently.
Farming organically since 1992 and certified through ICEA, Paolo Francesconi is located in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy and produces are range of vivid, textural wines from Sangiovese, Merlot and the utterly delicious native white grape variety Albana di Romagna. These are stunning wines from the bright, savoury lines of the Limbecca Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Superiore to the wild-edged, skin contact white wine produced from Albana, 'Archaic'. Today, the wines of Paolo Francesconi are much revered in Italy with Tre Bicchieri awards in the Gambero Rosso and high praise in the Slow Wine Italy guide. You will love them.
Giovanna Morganti has quickly forged her reputation as one of the most exciting new winemakers in Tuscany producing epic wines from the village of San Felice just north of Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the southern section of the Chianti Classico zone. The vineyard, planted with obviously with Sangiovese, but also Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Foglia tonda Mammolo and Prugnolo, is farmed organically and harvested by hand. Production embraces biodynamic philosophy and non-interventionist methods and the Chianti Classico 'La Trame', roughly translated as 'the intrigues' is a highlight from the estate — authentic, full of character and built to age. Since the 2011 vintage, Giovanna has opted out of the Chianti Classico consorzio, labelling her wines instead as IGT Toscana. This was due to the consorzio bowing to the power of the large producers and no longer reflecting the quality and authenticity that the smaller producers aim for. A true vinous artisan.