NV Valle Unite Bianchini Vino Bianco
Region: Gavi < Piemonte < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified Organic farming; sandy clay soils; field blend, co-fermented, direct press, aged in stainless steel; no filtering or clarification; minimal added So2 added at bottling; 11.5% ABV; 300 cases
Winemaker: Alessandro Poretti
FUSO is a collaboration project between natural wine importer Portofino with organic grower/vignerons in different Italian regions to produce "Italy’s natural and characterful daily drinkers from farmers and producers who are our long time friends and colleagues". Here they partner with Alessandro Poretti of Valli Unite, one of Italy’s only natural wine cooperatives (and definitely the only one in fancy-pants Piemonte). Here, at a real working farm that looks like a hippie commune, growers live on property tending vineyards that lie amid beehives, farm animals, orchards, and truffle filled woodlands. Producing everything from honey to homemade salumi, grains and wine, 30 members live and work on the 100-hectare farm.
They make a range of wines, all natural (also unusal for a co-op), like this unfiltered Bianchino with the local Cortese varietal (which would be called Gavi if it came from the town next door). “We believe natural vinification is a social responsibility” is the manifesto; soil humus, livestock manure, native yeasts, local grapes, time, and very judicious sulphur use are the rustic tools.
Valli Unite Bianco is the farm's everyday white wine, made from Cortese. It gets an NV label, but this vintage is all 2019 fruit, bottled in 2020. There's just enough skin contact, a few hours, to provide texture and a bit of complexity, but it isn't an orange wine. Savory and herbal, crisp and dry, super food friendly, it's a true farmer's wine that plays equally well off the farm: by a pool, with aperitivo snacks, paired with a juicy roast chicken.