2016 La Pietra di Tommasone Biancolella
Region: Ischia < Campania < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; high altitude (over 600ft) vineyards on soils featuring the typical “tufo verde,” or green tufa ‐ a siliceous, calcareous rock formed by ancient volcanic eruptions full of potassium and phosphorus; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Lucia Monti
Last summer, we had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Lucia Monti at her tiny estate on the rocky, island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples – the bigger, and less famous, island to fancy-pants neighbor Capri (although it has a cool claim to fame: The Talented Mr. Ripley was filmed here). Lucia is revitalizing La Pietra, the winery that has been in her family for five generations. Her great grandfather Pietro planted grapes for the family’s use more than 100 years ago and later passed it to his son, Tomasso Monti (known locally as Tommasone), who began making wine commercially. As you can tell by the old-school label, these guys are not about branding themselves as hip or natty – they’re focused on the quality of the farming and the wine. Lucia hand-harvests from the steep hillside vineyards, de-stems, and presses, then let’s the juice do its thing — it’s important to her that the grapes are minimally touched so the resulting wine is truly the expression of the vintage. This is her 100% Biancolella, grown only on Ischia Island and in the Sorrento Gulf. Refreshing and bright, with lemon, grapefruit and rosemary and a ripping acidity, this wine is a perfect foil to all things fried or fishy.