2018 Valentina Passalacqua Pet’Garg Orange
Region: Apricena < Puglia < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming; rocky, limestone, marble soils with calcified seashells; 4-day maceration in stainless on the skins with no temperature control, single fermentation finished in bottle with crown cap; unfined/unfiltered with <30ppm added SO2; 11% ABV
Winemaker: Valentina Passalacqua
Valentina Passalacqua is a trailblazing young natural winemaker in Puglia, a region not exactly known for biodynamic, no sulfur wines. She took over her family’s land (used only for cattle grazing since 1900), located inside Gargano National Park, to create a diverse farm that includes indigenous grape varietals. Her family considered the land too difficult, too poor, for crops, not realizing that they were actually sitting on a precious marble mine – or soil that happens to be amazing for vines. The rocky, mineral-rich soil does not retain water (also great for vines), and proximity to the sea means cooling breezes and ventilation (another plus). Valentina’s wines are pure, elegant, never soupy as you sometimes see in wines from Puglia (it’s hot there). Because, she is careful about canopy management (to ensure grapes don’t get cooked) and picks early to retain freshness and acidity.
This is her pet’nat of Falanghina, a new addition to her whimsical line of natty (and quite coveted) wines. Done in the ancestral method, this lightly sparkling wine is brilliantly orange and glowing like neon Orangina, with bitter grapefruit and tangerine notes. It’s softly herbal and salty and tastes like breakfast wine, meant to be enjoyed on a sunny terrace with a plate of fresh berries and some avo toast.