- Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Thank you to Saetti importer Louis/Dressner for this estate profile:
Luciano Saetti makes stunning, evocative Lambrusco just outside of Modena. He is of a generation that decided to return to traditional methods and eschew modern practices that contributed to Lambrusco's poor reputation. The 2.8 hectares of vines he works were planted by his family in 1964. Prior to his taking over, they sold off most of their fruit to the local coop.
Luciano, however, thought that they could do better and so after a successful first career as an egg distributor in Modena, he founded Vigneto Saetti in 1998. He saw the value in the family’s old vines of a particular local strain of the Lambrusco grape called Salamino di Santa Croce. It’s thick-skinned, tight-bunched, darker-colored and higher in natural acidity than some other more common varieties of Lambrusco.
He works completely organically (certified) in order to not upset the natural harmony of the vineyard. Everything is meticulously sorted and hand harvested. Grapes are destemmed and crushed in the vines to maintain freshness. Importantly, the wines undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle. This process had become increasingly rare in the region because many producers were seduced by modern technology associated with the charmat method which allowed for easier production of sparkling wine. Saetti’s second fermentation is initiated by the addition of fresh grape must in the spring following the vintage, and is fermented to dryness. The bottles are riddled and disgorged by hand.
Over the years, as Luciano gained better understanding of the vines and noticed the quality of fruit improve, the estate made the decision in 2007 to forgo the use of sulfur at any point in the vinification process.
For Luciano: “Producing wine without the help of chemical preservatives cannot be identified simply as an alternative winemaking method, but it becomes a real production philosophy, which requires a lot of dedication, patience and above all passion. The absence of sulfur dioxide is recognized at the first sip, through the fragrance of the fruits in the glass, you can perceive the flavor of the freshly picked bunch, the roughness and bitterness of the skin immediately reached by the sweetness of its pulp.”
We are thrilled to be working with Luciano, a humble dedicated winemaker.