2018 La Collina Lambrusco dell'Emilia Quaresimo
Region: Emilia-Romagna < Italy
Grapes: Lambrusco Salamino, Maestri, Grasparossa, Malbo Gentile
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Demeter-certified biodynamic; limestone/sand soils; 6-18 hours on the skins, then gently pressed and fermented in stainless tank; light, vegan filtration; minimal-added SO2; 583 cases; 11% ABV
Winemaker: Enea Burani
This story makes my hippie-heart sing: Agricola La Collina, an employee-owned co-op, was founded in 1975 by 12 young men with a vision is that everyone on the farm would live together in harmony, farm the land biodynamically to produce artisan products that would support the effort, and offer this community and work opportunity to young adults recovering from drug problems. And somehow they managed to FAR exceed this utopian dream. They grow vegetables, fruits, cereals, keep livestock, grapes; make great wine, sausages, honey, pasta, and meat products to sell; designed machines to help make biodynamic farming more accessible and practical, in partnership with Demeter founder Alex Podelinsky; and, they travel the world to host biodynamic farming workshops. Oh, and they have rehabilitated many young drug addicts in the process. Enea, who founded and still runs the commune of La Collina, is a pretty amazing guy. We’re in awe that he’s making such excellent wines given his rather full plate. But this is one of the best Lambruscos we’ve come across (with the most adorable labels), and it reminds us why Lambrusco is such a classic food wine: you get acidity in spades, low alcohol and palate-refreshing fizz, a combo that perfectly cuts through fat and washes down even the richest sauces. Dark, inky and bone-dry, with tart cranberry, sour cherry and slightly tongue-tingling tannins, you want this on your picnics, at BBQs, or with the random antipasti spread.