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Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018

Mediterranean elegance and the colour of light

One of the estate’s established wines, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018 has just finished a year of bottle refinement and is ready to dazzle even the most discerning palates. Consisting mainly of Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Vermentino and Viognier, this white wine by Ornellaia elegantly embraces the estate style in a more approachable manner.

 

“Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018 boasts a sumptuous structure and luminous straw yellow colour,” comments the estate’s winemaker Olga Fusari. “This vintage, which started with rain but finished with sunshine, distinguished itself with an extended and slightly later harvest. We sense the result in the overtones of exotic fruit, accompanied by white peach and delicate vanilla nuances. The wine is generous and smooth on the palate, in addition to having standout opulence and richness, which makes for a refreshing and enduring finish”.

 

After a hot vintage like 2017, 2018 reinvigorates and soothes with its cold winter months and considerable spring rainfall. The Mediterranean microclimate worked its magic in July, providing dry, sunny days. In turn, the cooler September nights enabled the vines to regain and preserve their aromas and acidity. These perfect conditions permitted the Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier harvest to begin on 16 August and continue until mid-September. Vermentino bunches were delivered to the cellar between 17 and 25 September. 

 

To achieve such elegant and complex wines in the Ornellaia style, the quality of the grapes is essential. Equally important are the care taken and the techniques employed in the cellar during vinification and refinement. First selected in the vineyard and again in the cellar, the grapes are gently pressed, and the ensuing must is moved partly into new and used barriques, and partly into steel and concrete vats. The wine alternates between ageing on the fine lees with regular batonnage for six months, which is an important step in crafting the character of Ornellaia whites. Finally, every single parcel is tasted and calibrated for the final blend, which rests in the bottle for a year. “Our Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia is an expressive wine with an enjoyable complexity as soon as it is released to market,” explains estate director Axel Heinz. “That doesn’t make it predictable: the wine’s opulence and richness, hallmarks of the Tuscan coast, bestow depth and an ability to stand the test of time”.

 

Regardless of whether it is enjoyed soon or set aside for a while, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia encapsulates the sunlight of the land, to which this wine owes its unmistakable Mediterranean character. The unique microclimate of the estate, an authentic gift of nature, becomes a rich and juicy white with a lively vein of acidity, a product of the sea breeze along the Tuscan coast which caresses and nourishes the vines.

 

The name ORNELLAIA is synonymous of fine winemaking and an authentic expression of the beauty of Tuscany. The estate is situated along the Tuscan coastline, a short distance from the medieval town of Bolgheri and the iconic cypress-lined approach. Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore and Ornellaia Bianco are the estate’s top wines, ensued by the second vin Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia and the white Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. In little over thirty years (the first vintage of Ornellaia was in 1985), the team’s dedication accompanied by optimal soil and microclimate has resulted in critical acclaim and public success within Italy and internationally. 

 

Cantina Tollo: organic and vegan certified wines made with native grapes of Abruzzo

 

Cantina Tollo, the well-known proactive brand from Abruzzo, has released on the market its latest project. The new line, which is made from indigenous grapes and with a sustainable packaging, features five wines certified both organic and vegan. The wines pay homage to the surrounding natural environment which stretches from the Adriatic Sea to the towering Maiella mountain reaching above 2.790 metres asl and boosts an incredible flora and fauna biodiversity. The five wines include Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Dop, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Dop, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Dop, Terre di Chieti Pecorino Igp and Terre di Chieti Passerina Igp.

Each wine is identified by a handmade pencil drawing featuring five bioindicators. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo dop, made from the eponymous juicy and tannic red grape, Montepulciano, is identified with the ladybug, which is an indicator of unpolluted environments. The dragonfly, which inhabits clean water spaces, stands on the label of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Dop from refreshing white Trebbiano variety. Butterflies which reveals huge information about climate change have been chosed to represent a traditional product such as Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, the local dry rosé with a deep salmon hue, cherries aromas and a mineral palate. The stag beetle, living in the fierce old woods of Maiella mountain, stands out on the label of white Terre di Chieti Pecorino Igp whereas the bee is the symbol of the light Terre di Chieti Passerina Igp exuding aromas of citrus and wild flowers.

The whole packaging aims at respecting nature. The capsule is PVC-free, the label is made from recycled paper and cotton fibers, and the box too is made of recycled cardoboard.

The line is aimed at consumers looking for wines with a sense of place, speaking of the land they come from and playing an active role in preserving the environment, from a social and a natural point of view. “Cantina Tollo has always been safeguarding and preserving nature” states Tonino Verna, chairman at Cantina Tollo. “With this new line we want to cast a light on insects which are the daily companions of our grape growers and are the minuscule keepers of our vineyards, helping preserving the natural balance. Today, more than ever before, we have to carefully observe the signals of the environment, understand it, respect the Earth and produce in a sustainable and conscious way”.

 

A new Contrada emerges on Mount Etna: Passochianche

Passopisciaro again a pioneer, with a new Chardonnay

 

Passochianche, the name of the latest Contrada, or distinctive growing district, recognised by Passopisciaro and dedicated to Chardonnay, is an ancient terraced piece of land on the slopes of Mount Etna, lying between 870 and 950 metres’ elevation. 

Andrea Franchetti had already intuited, back in 2000, that this tiny plot of ultra-fine black sand would be an intriguing habitat for Chardonnay, so he planted a high-density vineyard to that grape. From vintage 2018 the winery has decided to bottle it as Contrada PC, shorthand for Passochianche. 

 

“This wine embodies the experience and knowledge that we have gained over the years with our parcels of Chardonnay,” explained Andrea Franchetti, who was a winegrowing pioneer on Etna and creator of the whole concept of Etna wine contrade. “Over the years, during the growing season and, in particular, with the ageing of the vines, many individual terroirs began to impose their own distinctive personality and quality on the fruit. So, year after year, as we applied precision viticultural practices to the various soils, experimenting with different ripeness regimes, we started separating out the various lots of grapes during harvest and vinification. The result is Contrada PC, which is a superb demonstration of how Etna, with the same grape variety, can yield expressions and wine personalities that are so distinct and different from spot to spot.”   

 

The first vintage of Contrada PC, produced in an extremely limited edition, will be shortly released to the market.

From Volcanic hills, Reassi wines

Few kilometers from Padua in the Euganean hills, a family wine estate totally devoted to organic vineyards, transform grapes into wine for more than one hundred years. This is Azienda Agricola “Reassi extended over an area of about 6 hectares, where the favorable position of the land, together with volcanic soils, guarantees the grow of vines with optimal results.

The ancient volcanic cone of the Euganenan hills has a rich and diverse geological composition. Sedimentary limestone of marine origin lies below the unique Euganean marls, which cover the volcanic subsoils formed during the last period of volcanic activity, rich in basalt, tracheae, rhyolite and lalite.

In this ideal environment there is a continual search of the ultimate expression of the terroir using techniques reinforced by modern technology while maintaining respect for ancient traditions.

The company philosophy reflects the characteristics of the land, concentrating predominately on autochthonous vines.

 

Reassi’s wine production:

  • Antichi ReassiColli Euganei Pinello. Bubbles mean fun. This festive wine is perfect as an aperitif or for a dinner with friends. Easy to drink, it is ideal for welcoming guests and it can accompany snacks between meals or a casual lunch.
  • Sparviere – Colli Euganei Cabernet. A versatile wine that flatters a wide range of foods. The ideal pairing for bigoli (a typical Veneto pasta) with duck ragu, braised game with polenta and grilled steak.
  • Tre frazioni – Colli Euganei Rosso. The most serious wine; the grapes come from a vineyard that borders the three villages of our municipality. Perfect with game and roasted or grilled beef.
  • Terre d’argilla – Colli Euganei Manzoni Bianco. Its fresh and fruity aromas make this wine seem “happy-go-lucky” but with its structure and complexity it has a more serious side as well. Smart and fun! Excellent with risotto or homemade egg pasta, oven-baked fish and soft cheeses.
  • Vin Bastardo – Marzemina Nera Bastarda, Turchetta, Corbina. Perfect for casual get-togethers with friends and with snacks typical of the Veneto region: fried polenta with salami, cotechino, Prosciutto or homemade sopressa.
  • Arche’ – Colli euganei Merlot. Many people consider Merlot an international grape, but to us it is a traditional variety. Archè prefers starters with delicate sauces, lamb and mushroom or vegetable dishes.
  • OP! – Opera Prima Spumante Metodo Classico. For those who love the Classical Method. Opera Prima is an ideal alternative to Franciacorta or Champagne. Perfect for celebrating special occasions or for making any occasion special. Ideal with risotto, white meats or tartare.
  • Fior d’Arancio – Colli Euganei Spumante Dolce Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. Life always needs a little sweetness! This is a sparkling wine to be enjoyed at the end of a meal with pastries, cakes, fruit plates or as an enchanting addition to aperitif cocktails.

Ca ‘Lustra, an exciting journey in a unique land

 

Ca’ Lustra is a path, now more than 40 years long, in a land rich in history and character.

The cellar is located on the southern slopes of Monte Venda, the highest Euganean hill.

The Euganean Hills are a true school of geology in the open air, highlighting very particular volcanic phenomena, whose legacy is made of clear siliceous rocks often interspersed with limestones of different ages and origins.

 

The wine-growing vocation of the Euganean Hills derives from their extraordinary geology, evident in the alternation of generous volcanic soils to much more arid marine sediments. A variability that we support with patience and experience, field by field, with the dual purpose of safeguarding the natural environment and enhancing the “cru” details. For consistency and tangible influence on the quality of the products we have chosen since 2008 to grow organically in a territory that is today, in addition to the Natural Park founded in 1989, also Biodistretto and UNESCO candidate.

 

The Muscat and Bordeaux vines are the most important in terms of expressiveness and diffusion. Evidence of the presence of Muscat in these areas dates back to the 1st century AD. The moscato bianco, with excellent freshness and delicate hints of flowers and aromatic herbs, enriches the moscato giallo which releases sweet and intense notes, nectarines.

The Fior d’arancio represents the appreciated DOCG, especially in the passito version, awarded periodically in many guides. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, widespread in Roman times, integrated perfectly into the environment of the Euganean Hills to give us Bordeaux wines of great pleasure, structure and longevity.

The deep knowledge of the territory, the constant experimentation, the belief in healthy products through organic cultivation, are the basis of the company’s personality.

The production commitment is divided into 2 lines:

• Wines Ca’ Lustra Bontà, simplicity and recognizability where product and territory are intended as sincere identity in the bottle. They are wines that carry the volcanic and Mediterranean character of this small acrocore of over 100 hills that emerged from the waters of the Adriatic just 30/50 million years ago.

• Select Zanovello Studio, experience, need for comparison and progress. From the historical research on the first Venetian and Euganean civilizations follows a cultural path in which we insert ourselves with the fruit of our work today. For this reason, in the “Zanovello” label, the current sign fits into the old one, shown in the characters of ancient Venetian writing.

Encounter with #storiedivino 15 Italian wine producers live on Facebook and Instagram.

Wine-lovers across the globe can now enjoy a virtual encounter with 15 top-ranked wine producers throughout Italy in a “virtual wine fair.” In place of the usual stands will be direct social-media encounters right from the wineries, vineyards, or desks of these wine producers in most of Italy’s regions. Anyone using social media can meet with them via the wineries’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

During these weeks, while almost all of us in the world are “sheltering in place” in our homes, spring has awakened the vines. In synch with the season, wine producers are looking resolutely towards the future. Each of them is ready to personally describe the wines that, following long months of maturation and bottle-ageing, are ready for their journey to the tables of consumers in all corners of the globe. Each bottle has a story of a growing year, and, behind that, the passion, beauty, and values classic to Eternal Italy.       

 

After they introduce their new vintages, the producers will be happy to engage in conversation with wine-lovers and wine sector professionals and to respond “live” to any questions they may have.  (Note: All times are CET-Central European Time)

Monday, 6 April: Ricasoli 1141 (IG 3pm), Tenuta di Ghizzano (FB 4pm), Pio Cesare 1881 (IG 6pm)

Tuesday, 7 April: Azienda Vitivinicola Passopisciaro (FB 4pm), Conte Vistarino (IG 4.30pm), San Leonardo (IG 5pm)

Wednesday, 8 April: Tenuta di Trinoro (4pm on Instagram under „passopisciaro_trinoro“), Tenute Silvio Nardi (FB 4.30pm), Castello di Querceto (FB 5pm), Fattoria Le Pupille (IG 5.30pm)

Thursday, 9 April: Ornellaia (FB 3pm), Antico Podere Gagliole (IG 3.30pm), Alliance Vinum (FB 4pm), Giodo (IG 4.30pm), Luce della Vite (IG 5pm)

GIOVANNI GEDDES (ORNELLAIA): ‘THE CHINESE WINE MARKET IS RE-STARTING’



“A slender ray of sunshine seems to be arriving from China regarding wine sales,” is the cautiously welcome message from Ornellaia Ceo Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja. “With orders slowly increasing, in particular for the currently-available 2017 vintage of Ornellaia, it actually seems that one of the most important markets for Italian exports, and not just wine, is re-opening. This positive change is a great relief and reason for optimism, not only for us but for all of Italy’s wine industry.”

CUSUMANO PRESENTS BENUARA 2018 A SMALL RED FLOWER


It is to a small red flower that grows in the spring around the Mediterranean that Benuara owes its name. And, just like that flower, this wine presents itself in the new vintage, 2018, at the end of the cold season, at the end of those five thousand hours of work that the brothers Alberto and Diego Cusumano dedicate to each of the twelve labels that produce in five, very different, kept scattered throughout Sicily.

Benuara was born in Presti and Pegni, from the union of the all Sicilian power of Nero d’Avola to the complexity of Syrah which has found a home suitable for developing its spicy character in the vineyards of this estate. We are in Monreale, on hills where the vineyards are exposed to the sun from sunrise to sunset. To cool the air comes the sea breeze, about 10 km away, which dissipates the heat. Here the soils are clayey and compact, a factor that gives wines greater complexity, starting from the color. The harvest is manual: it starts with Syrah in late August, continues with Nero d’Avola in the first ten days of September. Vinification, with frequent pumping over and punching down, allows to enhance the full color of this wine. The aging takes place at 80% in steel, the rest in large barrels, of 20 hl, to enhance the spicy notes of Syrah and the tannins of Nero d’Avola. The result is a complex wine, but very pleasant and refined.

An elegance, that of Benuara, which is also reflected in its new guise, recently chosen by Cusumano for each of its twelve labels: material colors and interweaving of dark and light backgrounds translate the shades, shades and harmony into color the vines offer the palate. To complete the sensorial experience, the Touching Experience: a plot of free lines placed in relief on the label depicts the rows of Tenuta Presti and Pegni and allows the consumer to enter, with a simple touch, in this corner of Sicily which, like the mosaic tile, it composes the multiple and courageous identity of Cusumano.

Benuara

Sicily D.O.C.
Grapes: Nero d’Avola 70%, Syrah 30%

Nero d’Avola in a complex, refined guise marries Syrah. Elegance and drinkability from the vineyards of Tenuta Presti e Pegni.

Like all Cusumano wines, Benuara uses the SOStain / VIVA “Sustainable Wine” certification. In fact, the common denominator of the diversity and uniqueness of Cusumano wines is the commitment to sustainable viticulture that stems from the sentiment and ethical obligation to protect resources, limiting their waste. A research that translates into actions compliant with the SOStain protocol, the sustainability program for Sicilian viticulture, sponsored by the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies and recognized by the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea, through the V.I.V.A.

Harvest 2018: quality / price award, Berebene 2020, Gambero Rosso.
Harvest 2017: 93 points, Yearbook of the Best Italian Wines 2019, Luca Maroni; 90 points, Wine Enthisiast, Feb. 2020; 89 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

 

Ornellaia 2017: “Solare” is sumptuously Mediterranean

 

The Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno interprets the 12th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista

“Vintage 2017 was certainly one of extremes, in which frosts, sun and drought certainly captured the imagination. Despite the fact it was a challenging year for the team in the vineyards and for us winemakers, I am very happy with the high quality and character of this vintage. We have chosen the word “Solare” (which in English translates as “Radiant”) to describe Ornellaia 2017 because it expresses its positive qualities,” explains Axel Heinz, Estate Director of the Bolgheri winery. “To preserve the strong and opulent personality of this wine, we had to apply the upmost care and attention from the vineyard to cellar – more so than in a normal vintage. This careful management of the grapes, starting with an early harvest, has resulted in a harmonious wine in which scents of black berries and liquorice prevail alongside velvety tannins typical of warm vintages. In short I would say that Ornellaia 2017 is sumptuously Mediterranean”.

 

In line with these words from Axel Heinz, this year’s Vendemmia d’Artista project turns its attention to our planet and the star that illuminates it. The artist chosen to interpret the character of “Solare” is the visionary Tomás Saraceno, known worldwide for his interactive installations that, in this age of ecological upheaval, propose new, more sustainable ways to live.

For Ornellaia, sustainability has always played an important role. The estate itself is a harmonious ecosystem with internal checks and balances that expresses the characteristics of each single plot and its unique terroir. Sustainable viticulture, defined by the conservation and enrichment of our terrain and the landscape in general, is essential to Ornellaia’s production philosophy. Through minimal intervention, we encourage the plant’s spontaneous tendency towards equilibrium. Precision viticulture addresses the specific needs of each parcel, whereas low-impact intervention stimulates the plant’s natural defenses.

 

Ornellaia 2017 Solare was produced in a year with above-average temperatures, with early budbreak and a sharp dip in temperatures in April that fortunately did not influence the vegetative growth cycle. The proximity of the Bolgheri DOC to the Mediterranean Sea played a decisive role and meant that we avoided the spring frosts that struck other parts of Italy. We then moved from one extreme to another with a dry heat spell that lasted from May until nearly the harvest. Luckily, hot and dry summer days were followed by much cooler nights which contributed to the development of Ornellaia 2017’s olfactory complexity.

 

Inspired by the radiant nature of Ornellaia 2017, Tomás Saraceno looked to the connection between the Sun and the Earth, inviting greater care and attention to the most important source of our planet’s energy. This is the concept behind the artwork developed for the estate and transposed to the unique Salmanazar. PNEUMA 4.21×105 recalls an atomic structure composed of glass spheres which, like clouds, create a suspended city whose form and size are in constant evolution – an expansion of traditional concepts of borders and territories. The suspended sculpture’s forms, as imagined by Saraceno, would be able to float without fossil fuels, powered only by the sun.

 

Alongside the installation for the estate and the Salmanazar, the artist has also customized 110 large-format bottles and designed a special thermochromic label for the 750ml format, through which he invites us to reflect on the impact that the human behaviour has on the environment.

 

As with every year, the 100 double magnums will be sold to avid collectors around the world meanwhile the unique Salmanazar and the 6 litre Imperials will only be available for sale through an online auction, hosted by Sotheby’s, the profits of which will be donated exclusively to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s “Mind’s Eye” program.

 

Sotheby’s Wine is delighted to continue our long-term partnership with Ornellaia supporting the 12th edition of their Vendemmia d’Artista project. The 12 lot online auction of the 2017 “Solare” vintage, illustrated by Tomás Saraceno and including many experiences, will open on Sotheby’s online platform, where clients can easily bid through the Sotheby’s app. Similar to last year, we anticipate these lots will attract a truly global roster of bidders who wish to buy these exclusive bottles and enjoy unique experiences.” Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

 

“Since the inception of Vendemmia d’Artista in 2009, we continue to have the pleasure of supporting leading cultural foundations through celebrating the unique character of Ornellaia,” says Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO. “In 2019, we embarked on a three-year partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, which in the first year raised $312,000 for the project through auction at Sotheby’s. The connection between art and wine remains a passion for many people, ourselves included; we hope that in the years to come we will be able to contribute just as much, if not more, to the Mind’s Eye program through which the Guggenheim assists blind and low vision persons to experience art.”

 

Donations from the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista auction will make it possible to advance superb educational programs at the museums in the Guggenheim constellation.

“We offer our sincere appreciation to Ornellaia for their longstanding involvement with the visual arts and their ongoing support of our Mind’s Eye program,” stated Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “With the generosity of Ornellaia, we are able to expand the programs that allow us to promote an understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art to audiences of all abilities.” 

 

The artist Tomás Saraceno will open the Vendemmia d’Artista online auction during the annual event organised by Ornellaia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on April 30, 2020. 

The profits will be announced and donated to the Mind’s Eye program on May 15 when the auction will close on Sotheby’s website, the long-time partner of Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project.

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