Wine-making in the Italy: letting Mother Nature take its course

In the beautiful Bolognese hills lies wine producer & ‘rustic farm resort’, Corte d’Aibo http://www.cortedaibo.it/ , which started in the late 80’s with a vision to produce local wines in the most natural way possible and to create a place for people to enjoy the fruits of nature, from farm-to-table food to accommodation amongst beautiful scenery.

Corte d'aibo Vineyards

Corte d’Aibo Vineyards

Back then, the concept of organic, or ‘bio’ wines, in the Emilia Romagna region in North-Central Italy was in its infancy. The local government was eager to get it off the ground, so Corte d’Aibo was in the right place at the right time. Collaborating with local support, Corte d’Aibo began organic / bio grape cultivation and wine production.  To this day, they continue to grow grapes and produce wines without use of chemicals, with little to no added sulfites, and by trying out with techniques which make their wines’ true natural characteristics stand out. For example, instead of aging wines in oak barrels, for some of their wines they introduced aging in terracotta cisterns, an ancient tradition  used by  Etruscans and other antique civilizations, which allows the wine characteristics to develop naturally without the ‘masking’ effect that wood can produce in wines.

Corte d'Aibo owner/founder, Enrico Paternò, in their wine cellar

Corte d’Aibo owner/founder, Enrico Paternò, in their wine cellar

They started their wine production with  Pignoletto, a native Italian white wine grape whose best wines come from the Bolognese hills, along with Barbera, a red grape varietal best known in the Piedmont region but also widely diffused in Emilia Romagna.  Today they produce Pignoletto, ranging from the most traditional ‘frizzante’, or sparkling, form which is great for an aperitivo, to Pignoletto  Classico, which pairs well with many local dishes like tortellini and tortelloni, along with other whites, such as Savignon Blanc which cultivates well in the Bolognese hills. Besides Barbera, the other reds they produce are also varietals typically produced in the Bolognese hills, like Merlot and Cabernet Savignon. Many think that sangiovese is also produced in this area, but instead it is common to the Romagna area of Emilia Romagna (along with Tuscany, of course). The most interesting wine they have is Colfondo, which is a sparkling pignoletto made with the champagne method, in which the wine is fermented in the bottle, and aged for three years. It has a rich deep yellow color with delicate bubbles, an interesting, complex bouquet and a great finish. While they make a limited production of only 1000 bottles a year, it’s a nice treat!

For those of you who are sensitive to the effects of wine drinking, you may be interested in trying a red and white wine they make with no sulfites. Their white wine, Rugiada, and their red, Meriggio, are both wine grape blends and are pleasant, food friendly every-day drinking wines.

Ciao for now!

Sheila

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