2015 A’Vita Rosato
Region: Cirò < Calabria < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, clay/marl soils; after crushing and destemming, grapes macerate for 12 hours in stainless steel without temperature control, after which they are not pressed, but drained by gravity. Aged 3 months in stainless steel; 283 cases.
Winemaker: Francesco di Franco
Francesco and his wife, Laura, moved to the coastal city of Cirò to make top quality natural wine with Gaglioppo, the most important native variety of Calabria. This was a return home for Francesco, who grew up in Cirò but, like many Calabrians, went north for university and more opportunity. There he met Laura, a native of Friuli, and studied oenology. But the natural beauty and artistic tradition of Calabria drew him back, and he wanted to demonstrate the potential of this largely forgotten part of Italy, where most of the wine production is highly industrial. I had the privilege of visiting Francesco and Laura this summer, staying in their home, walking their vineyards – and I was stunned by the natural beauty of the area, nestled on a hilltop overlooking the Ionian sea. The old vines are tucked among clusters of olive trees, fig trees and wild bushes and herbs, the kind of biodiversity makes the soil and the vines healthier. Francesco and Laura do everything themselves, by hand, down to gluing labels on bottles for their two wines, both 100% Gaglioppo. We’re featuring their deep pink rosato, which they actually consider a baby rosso, because it’s serious and structured, with dusty tannins and rose notes, meant for fall and food.