Producer: Conestabile Della Staffa
Location: Italy, Umbria
Conestabile della Staffa is a winery connected to a family that goes back to the middle ages in Orvieto, Italy. Today, Danilo Marcucci is the winemaker at Conestabile della Staffa. They call him the wine whisperer. He has a very hands-off approach, using as little technology as possible. He adds no yeast, applies no chemical corrections, and adds no sulfur. His lack of action on the wine reflects all of the potential decisions a winemaker can make to bring a bottle to your table. The lack of action however is still a choice, and a bold choice at that. Danilo grew up making house wine with his grandfather and he saw technology creep in, offering shortcuts of selected yeasts, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and sulphur dioxide tables. He has been one to always trust his instincts and felt there had to be a different method to making great wine the old fashioned way. So, he studied with some old-gaurd masters of Italian winemaking and found himself at the forefront a the Italian natural wine movement. His generosity with his skills, philosophy, and winemaking practice has strectched his collaborations over 585 miles of Italy’s 736 mile length, from Puglia on the southern tip, to Trento in the Italian Alps. His goal: to help winemakers express their land, their fruit, and themselves as naturally as possible.
The wine you have is named after one of the horses at La Staffa - Ciliegio (or “Cherry”). The name of the grape is very similar: Ciliegiolo. Made through spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts, 4 days of skin contact maceration without temperature control, and aged in fiberglass. There were no chemicals in the vineyard at any point, and there was never any added sulfur. The wine is unfined and unfiltered. Expect in your glass something bright and fresh with a classic salinity you find from wines around Trasimeno.
Grape: Mezes Feher
Location: Serbia, Subotica
The Maurer family has been producing wine for four generations. It was during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the 19th century that they moved from Salzburg to the southern part of the Kingdom of Hungary. . Oskar Maurer came to winemaking in 1993 after leaving the army. He was looking for something stabilizing in his life, and tending grapes was the answer. Working the land provided meaning for his life, allowing him to feel more at home than ever before. While he became familiar with various winemaking techniques, he discovered that purity of aroma and flavor were most important to him. To retain this in his wines, it meant adding nothing to the process. He is a non-analytical winemaker, always holding in view both sides of the coin. He believes in addition to the winemaker, that the wine itself contributes to its own success, that it has a will to live (or not) and that one must let the wine speak for itself. Wine, to Oskar, is a message between humans and God.
Made from 100% Mezes Feher, this grape is an ancient Hungarian variety that is almost extinct. Orion is one of the darker skin-contact white wines that we here at Caravan would categorize as an Orange wine. Oskar does little in the vineyard, letting the vine find its own path to growth and vitality. He works the vineyard land with horses, uses gravity and no pumps in the winery, and barrels made from local forests. For the Orion, there was a two-week maceration on the skins, which was followed with 1.5 years aging under a veil of yeast in Hungarian oak. (Aging under yeast protects the wine from oxygen in the barrel, and also increases the intensity of a wines aromatics and flavors). The Orion is a richly layered wine, loaded with notes of dried fruit, caramelized nuts, honey and generous acidity and tannin.