- Cirò, Calabria, Italy
Cirò wine can be traced back to antiquity, when is was allegedly served to the winners at the ancient Olympics. Run by husband and wife team Francesco and Laura de Franco, ‘A Vita is located on the arch of Italy’s boot tip, nestled between the Ionian sea and Sila mountains; this situation ensures both coastal influence and dramatic diurnal shifts. DOC Cirò is dominated by one producer: Librandi, who produces over 200,000 cases per year. By contrast, Francesco & Laura make only 2000 cases total.
The red wines are 100% Gaglioppo, a rustic variety native to the area which typically has dusty tannins and aromas of roses; it is an offspring of Sangiovese and a cousin to Nerello Mascalese. The vineyards are certified organic, and no fertilizer is used. Instead they plant cover crops, and are careful to not work the soil so as to favor natural biodiversity. In the cellar, there is zero technological input: the wines are fermented spontaneously without temperature control, decanted naturally, and are never rushed. A small amount of sulfur is used at bottling. The wines are often aged in bottle for an extended time before release.
To view their website click here.
For a nicely produced video (in Italian) click here.