In the past years the demand for Italian sparkling wine, including prosecco and spumante, has steadily increased in many major markets including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany. There are plenty of well-known labels that will appear on Christmas tables both in the Bel paese and abroad, but others are far more difficult to find, even in no less enjoyable, and sometimes even more interesting. They are part of the artisan bubbles niche, that welcomes sparkling wines that take the palate beyond the conventional toast. Here are some of the many noteworthy labels of this less known corner of the enology world.
Maso Bergamini (Trento) – This is the name of the organic farm owned by the Tomasi family, who, since the 1980s grow their vines at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. Their ‘Terre Basaltiche’ is a classic method Trento DOC made with Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Nero (40%) grapes. These vines that are over 30 years originate a sparkling base with great structure and acidity.
I Clivi (Udine) – ‘RBL’ this is the name of I Clivi’s Brut Nature, about which they write: “Subtle and mineral rocks under a veil of fresh snow.” It is produced from 10 years old Ribolla vines and using a special sparkling technique, which does not provide a second fermentation. The bubbles are the result of the CO2 released by the residual sugar when at the end of fermentation the tank is sealed. This allows to maintain the characteristic primary aromas of the Ribolla vine.
Ciro Picariello (Avellino) – The vineyards of this winery are located in Irpinia, between Summonte and Monfredane, between 500 and 600 meters above sea level. The Fiano di Avellino grapes used to produce the ‘Brut Contatido’ are harvested slightly ahead of time to preserve the fruit crunchy and maintain its pleasant acidity. This quality sparkling wine goes through a re-fermentation in the bottle for 24 months.
Ilona Catani Scarlett