Producer: Cave Saint Verny
Title: Le Pinot Noir
Grape: Pinot Noir
Location: France, Auvergne, Puy-De-Dôme
Cave St-Verny co-op is in the département of Puy-de-Dôme in the Auvergne in the far north east of France’s Massif Central, a highland region in the middle of Southern France consisting of mountains and plateaus. Auvergne’s wine growing tradition dates back to Roman and Gallic times. The land is made up of volcanic soil from the Chaine de Puys volcanoes that give the department its name. This soil contributes a mineral driven character to the wines produced here. Among the hills of this region lie many rivers, including the famous Allier and the Loire. Most vineyards lie at an altitude between 400-500 meters with annual growing temperatures lower than nearby Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. Despite the long growing history of the region, very few wines have risen to fame. This could be attributed to the climate, which produces less structured wines, but could also be connected to the somewhat remote location and a lack of access to easy distribution.
The Cave’s 90 members have about 180 hectares of vines, so a good half of all the grapes are picked by hand. Fermentation occurs in stainless steel with indigenous yeast, then aging 3-6 months on fine lees. Fined without animal products and filtered before bottling. 15,000 bottles total produced. This wine is packed with flavors of fresh cherries and bright acidity. It would pair well with grilled spare ribs, slow roasted pork, or some lemon garlic pasta with salmon.
Title: Vino Rosso da Tavola
Location: Italy, Umbria
Since the 1100’s the Mattioli Family has been cultivating the rugged hillsides of southern most Umbria, a region in central Italy filled with rolling hills and historic hilltop towns. Today’s farm at Collecapretta is a scant 8 hectares in total; 2 planted to a mixture of local olives trees, 2 ha of farro and other ancient grains and ~ 4 ha of indigenous old vines, overlooking the valley below with the high Apennine Mountains and Gran Sasso looming in the background. The elevation is some 500+ meters and the soils are a mixture of calcium and iron rich clay with outcroppings of tufo and travertine limestone. The climate of Umbria is similar to that of Tuscany: cold rainy winters, and dry sunny summers with plenty of time to bring grapes to full ripeness.
All farming done by the Mattioli family is completely natural, using only composts made from their own animals to aid vine health. The grapes are left to macerate on the skins for 6 to 8 days. Spontaneous fermentation occurs without temperature control. The wine is then aged in cement/stainless/fiberglass until bottling. No added sulfur and no filtering or fining. Total production: several hundred bottles. Sangiovese can express a wide array of flavors, but some typical ones include earthy roasted tomatoes, espresso, cherries, and oregano.
(Sounds like a recipe for something delicious!)
Title: Gruner Veltliner
Grape: Gruner Veltliner
Location: Austria, Burgenland
Burgenland is one of Austria’s southern most wine regions of Austria, and runs into the eastern foothills of the Alps. Meinklang is an original, family-run mixed farm, set in the middle of the World Heritage Site of the National Park
Neusiedlersee, on the Eastern side of the Neusiedlersee Lake, bordering directly on the Hungarian lowlands, where life’s diversity and complexity are celebrated. The Neusiedlersee benefits the grapes of this region as it holds the summer heat, lengthening the ripening season into autumn. The lake itself stretches for 22 miles and is never more than 3 feet deep. Historically, Burgenland remained somewhat undeveloped until the middle of the 20th century. As late as 1945, villages around the lake had dirt roads and no electricity. The region greatly benefited when it joined the EU in 1995 and was then able to expand its plantings and build hundreds of well-equipped cellars for production.
At Meinklang, biodynamic farming radiates throughout their entire property, from eco-islands planted with fruit trees amongst the vineyards, to the extensive plantings of the black elderberry bush to promote biodiversity and pollination possibilities. Gruner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and the most widely planted. It tends to produce wines with great acidity and aromas of citrus fruit, complemented by flinty stone and vegetal notes. This wine pairs well with salads, vegetables, fish and all things light and fresh.