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Italian wine terroir

It could be hard to understand and appreciate the Italian winemaking heritage, without knowing the myriad of different terroirs . Let’s explore some together.

mercoledi 21 settembre

Italian Wines in the World: il Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva doc 2013 di Masciarelli

Abbiamo degustato per voi il Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Riserva doc 2013 dell'azienda abruzzese Masciarelli Tenute Agricole.

Italian Wines in the World: il Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva doc 2013 di Masciarelli
Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva doc 2013

Vino: Bianco - Anno: 2013
Prezzo (franco cantina, senza IVA): 21,50 Euro
Produzione annua (bottiglie): 33.000
Affinamento: Barrique 12 mesi, bottiglia 12 mesi
Denominazione: DOC
Uve: Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 100%

Quanti regali enologici ci ha portato nel tempo il legame affettivo e professionale tra Gianni Masciarelli e Marina Cvetic. Oggi Gianni non c’è più ma Marina in maniera straordinaria non solo ha proseguito il lavoro intrapreso nel 1991 con il suo compagno ma ormai da tempo sta facendo emergere una sua precisa personalità. Come in questa straordinaria Riserva 2013 che ci fa capire come il Trebbiano d’Abruzzo forse rappresenti il vitigno bianco italiano con le maggiori potenzialità anche in termini di longevità. Già accattivante alla vista con quel bel giallo dorato, al naso un’esplosione di eleganza con note di frutti tropicali (papaya e frutto della passione), ma anche di frutta gialla matura (pesca e albicocca), di spezie (vaniglia), di miele d’acacia. In bocca un gusto pieno, ti ritorna il miele in una tessitura acida che garantisce fragranza e una sapidità straordinaria. La sensazione netta che potremo gustarlo in evoluzione eccellente ancora per molto tempo. L’abbiamo abbinato ad una cernia ai ferri straordinaria come il vino.


Masciarelli Tenute Agricole nasce nel 1978 dalla visione di Gianni Masciarelli di fare dei vitigni autoctoni abruzzesi dei grandi vini. Centro vitale è San Martino sulla Marrucina, in provincia di Chieti; vigneti e uliveti sono disseminati in tutte le 4 province abruzzesi. La produzione vitivinicola conta oggi 18 etichette e 5 linee di prodotti. I principi ispiratori della mission aziendale restano quelli voluti da Gianni, il cui lavoro è portato avanti con passione e determinazione dalla moglie Marina Cvetic: massima qualità, rispetto per la tipicità del territorio, produzione artigianale. Masciarelli ha inaugurato, dopo un lungo restauro conservativo, il Castello di Semivicoli, seicentesco palazzo baronale oggi relais de charme tra i vigneti, centro propulsore dell’enoturismo nella zona.

Via Gamberale, 1
66010 San Martino sulla Marrucina
Tel. +39 0871 85241
Fax +39 0871 82333

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Meeting with Marilena Barbera and her passion for the wine and the native grapes of this part of Sicily: the wine blogger Fabien Lainè tells his experience in his blog Vindeling. Here we have an abstract of his interview to the wine producer


Marilena Barbera

She is proprietor and winemaker at Cantine Barbera. She believes in the magic of making wine in a fully sustainable way, in tune with the unique character of Sicily.
I met Marilena Barbera last year during West Sicily Wine tour organized by Elisabetta Tosi, Giampiero Nadali and Valeria Càrastro.
The winery is based in Menfi, Sicily.
Marilena is a person that with many others marked me. She is a passionate winemaker, with a huge respect for nature, terroir driven, she wants to keep the sense of place of the force of nature express themselves in the wine she makes. Since a few years she uses indigenous yeasts and very simple, nature listener she practice a unique winemaking style â€" All fermentations start from pied-de-cuve spontaneously fermented w/indigenous yeast, used as starter â€" When yeast is strong enough, must is pressed & used to start fermentation of grapes throughout the season.
Respect of the eco-system is key there. And she wants to keep things manageable, making a small production about 70000 bottles per year, to be able to keep quality above and expression above all.
During the visit, a very interesting tasting we had three vintages (2010-2012) of Cantine Barbera wine Microcosmo, a wine made of perricone (ca 90 %) and nerello mascalese (ca 10 %). An interesting note is that in the 2010 vintage it was used selected yeast whilst only natural yeast in 2011 and 2012.
Definitely a "haute couture" nature work with indigenous yeasts and a deep understanding of the terroir and the life system around the vineyard allows to pull the mineral, good balance, intense wine.

"My goal is to make wines that respect the fruit: sustainable means being loyal to terroir â€" organic farming, very few oenological additives, no fining, light or no filtration, low sulfites. Less is more".

(To read more about this tasting I invite you to check We found a barbera microcosmos in Menfi, Sicily from my fellow friend #winelover and wineblogger Magnus Reuterdahl)
And so I felt in love with Perricone grape.
So I decided to dig deeper, learn and understand. And interviewed Marilena:
"Grape growing has been in your family business since 1920’s, you just fell in love with it, and winemaking is your life you said. Can you tell us a bit more, always been organic viticulture?
Even if Sicily is a great place to grow vines, and really here you don’t need to use much of chemical additives neither in the vineyards nor in winemaking because of ideal climate conditions, we started as a conventional farm: in the 60’s and 70’s there was little consciousness about the damages that chemical products cause to the environment and to human life. Our goal, in those years, was producing grapes in quantity that we would sell to the village’s big cooperative winery.
Things changed throughout the years: when we started making our own wines (just for family and friends at the very beginning) we began to care very much about the quality of our grapes. We saw that reducing pesticides and most of all abandoning weed killers resulted in healthier and stronger vines, which very soon started to produce better grapes.
Once this process was initiated by my father, I went further: I personally care about my food, and tried to apply my beliefs to the way I work. We quit all conventional practices in the vineyard between 2008 and 2010, and also moved to natural winemaking at the winery. I feel these two processes cannot be separated: organic farming without natural winemaking doesn’t really mean very much. Conventional winemaking is able to deeply influence wines’ personality, dramatically reducing the imprint of terroir, which is, on the contrary, what I focus on.
You grow Inzolia Grillo Catarratto which are iconic of the Sicilian island! But you also grow Perricone. It is rare to find some, why keeping it ?
Perricone is the signature red grape in west Sicily: back in the ‘50s and ‘60s there was almost no Nero d’Avola here, because this variety is native to the eastern part of the island.
Nero d’Avola was the first Sicilian grape to be "discovered" by international wine gurus, who initially appreciated its fruitiness and full body, and also its attitude to be blended with international grapes such as Merlot, Cab or Syrah. In the ‘90s it was very common to have such blends, which foreign markets started to buy in great quantity: the more the market requested, the higher the prices for Nero d’Avola and other grapes. Producers in Sicily could make more money on Nero d’Avola than they could on Perricone, so they started to rip off old vineyards to plant Nero d’Avola and international varieties. This resulted in a disastrous situation: from over 20.000 hectares of Perricone grown in the past, only 334 hectares still survive according to last survey (2011), and going down.
Keeping it, promoting and improving the knowledge of what this grape means for my homeland is my commitment: keeping Sicilian traditional culture alive and contributing to the conservation of biodiversity is only doing my share in the protection of the heritage I have been given, which I have to pass on to future generations".

(You can read the rest of the post here: http://vindeling.com/2014/04/03/marilena-barbera-nature-perricone-part-1/)

Fabien Lainè

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The many languages of terroir

Terroir is a French term with no precise translation, which summarizes a combination of values and characteristics of a wine

The many languages of terroir

Although there are several keys to interpret wine quality, the most important one is almost always the pleasure you get, a good food and wine pairing, a chance to share happy moments. In order to understand what a wine is able to narrate beyond a first shallow nose-palate impression, we should never overlook the concept of terroir, which for many wine enthusiasts is truly a focus. Terroir is a French term with no precise translation, which summarizes a combination of values and characteristics of a wine: soil, climate, grape variety, man’s contribution and winemaking. To judge a wine, it is therefore essential to have the whole picture and consider all these variables. Is that a forced choice? Absolutely not. The great thing about tasting a wine is that you can decide the aspects which are worth exploring in depth: the grape variety as the source of a wine, or the winemaker with his history and style.

Through our column we aim to provide some keys to understanding Italy's major varieties and wines, offering different points of view and trying to help avoid most of the clichés associated with wine business. One of these is that Italian Moscato is an easy-to-drink wine, that Soave is just a fresh white wine, that Lambrusco is a simple and light wine and that Amarone of Valpolicella is always a noble one.

Hence, if our goal is to provide helpful and simple tools to better understand Italian wines, we cannot leave out the concept of terroir and all its meanings. Without claiming to fully treat all diverse Italy’s terroirs and their characteristics – as it would really be a challenge -  we are going to highlight what we consider the most interesting aspects and some curiosities, to help wine lovers around the world become not only passionate about but also expert in the multi-faceted Italian wine industry.

Redazione Wine Meridian

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