2018 Cantina Orsogna 'Civitas' Pecorino
Region: Terre de Chieti < Abruzzo < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic + biodynamic farming (Demeter); clay soils; soft press then aged in stainless steel for 30 days; bottled unfined/unfiltered with <20ppm So2; 13% ABV
Founded in 1964 by just seven producers, the Cantina Orsogna is now an expansive co-op winery made up of over 600 small growers. Co-ops are often looked down upon for their large scale production of supermarket wine, but Cantina Orsogna is different. Nearly all of their growers are certified organic and biodynamic, and the wines are all Demeter-certified biodynamic. Not surprisingly we like a lot of the things this group is doing. First, one of the primary ways they support biodynamic agriculture amongst their growers is crop rotation. Biodiversity is SO important for SO many reasons – soil health and climate change to name just two. And they also make our *second* favorite Italian product, olive oil! (the olive trees are also certified organic). Finally, the unique closure, a rope tied around the neck of the bottle is based on the ol- school method traditional to that region, and they work with a local school for kids with special needs to tie the enclosures, providing them with employment and a sense of purpose.
Pecorino, a local grape indigenous to the Abruzzo and nearby Marche regions, typically makes a full-bodied, golden wine, which this one most definitely is. But thanks to the coastal influence (the Adriatic sea is just 12km away) and an early pick, the wine maintains huge acidity and freshness, preventing the rich, cloying quality Pecorino can take on if left unchecked. Bright and crispy, with golden apple and honeydew melon, this wine is super versatile and crowd-pleasing, and shockingly affordable given the quality. Can you say HOUSE WHITE?