Category_Abbonamento vini

September selections - natural wines

vini naturali

Stage #6 (September 2018), led by sommelier Francesco Cannizzaro, is dedicated to NATURAL WINES

Tenute Pacelli - Calabria

Often considered the Cinderella of Italian regions, Calabria actually boasts a highly respectable winemaking tradition. Already in the 7th century BC the Greeks imposed a more advanced viticulture - until then practiced for the production of wine for family consumption - and the region (together with areas of Campania and Basilicata) was subsequently called Enotria. This should be enough to understand Calabria's propensity for viticulture. The arrival of phylloxera, world conflicts and subsequent urbanization caused the sector to collapse, here more than elsewhere. But tradition, history, the attitude of the terroir are not irrelevant factors and in these lands it is easier to reconnect with nature.

The Pacelli family has done just this: they have taken up again the thread of memory , producing wine from the vines planted already in the seventies and adding others, according to the characteristics of the air and the land. Ten hectares, all organic, on a hill that is more than 350 meters above sea level.

The winery's agronomic approach includes great attention to the vineyard and the use of green manure, a practice that regulates the cultivation of certain species of plants that are not harvested but buried, with the aim of enriching the soil with nitrogen and other minerals. Small tricks for local wines, closely linked to history.

Agricola Cirelli - Abruzzo

I met Francesco a few years ago, introduced to me by another producer. It only took a few minutes: we immediately made friends, skipped any conventions and tasted his wines. Francesco is someone who gets straight to the point, he doesn't like lexical or behavioral acrobatics. And his wines are like this, very personal, and it's lucky to be able to drink them with him: it's like going to a vernissage arm in arm with the artist. Since 2003 Francesco has run the winery in Atri, in the Teramo hinterland, where you can still smell the scent of the sea. It is not easy to become a winemaker, especially in the way he has chosen: organic management, of course, but also a further, very profound respect for nature and time, through the rotation of the crops surrounding the vineyards and natural fertilization. He also puts his own effort into the cellar and has rediscovered winemaking in amphora , an ancient and organoleptically impactless practice. Step by step Francesco Cirelli passionately designs the wine he wants to produce, committing himself to doing as little as possible, especially in the cellar, when the grapes are already pressed and all that remains is to wait for the miracle of wine to renew itself.

Stefanago Castle - Lombardy

Those who know a little about the world of wine know that Castello di Stefanago is a model. More: a precursor. The brothers Antonio and Giacomo Baruffaldi manage the company in Borgo Priolo, in the Oltrepò Pavese area. An estate of over 130 hectares, of which 22 are vineyards, in the center of which stands the castle tower, testimony to a thousand-year history. They chose organic farming when it was not yet so widespread, when sensitivity to the topic was not as strong as it is today. At Castello di Stefanago the vineyard is an independent ecosystem, it is the sun at the center of the universe: it is observed and cared for with the aim of adapting each intervention to real needs, without ever losing sight of the health of the plants and the vitality of the soil. It is an almost holistic approach, which requires attention to many details and unconditional respect for nature . I often meet Antonio and Giacomo when traveling to trade fairs: they always have something new to try. After all, they grow Barbera, Pinot Noir, Croatina, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhenish Riesling: there is no shortage of grapes, nor even wisdom .

The selected wines


Eos (Pacelli) : the value of this passito is written in the name it bears. Eos is the divinity of Aurora, who at the end of each night runs towards Olympus, announcing the arrival of her brother Helios, the sun. Eos had a son, Memnon, who fell at the hands of Achilles: since then every morning she cries tears that become dew, rare and precious. Like this wine, produced in very few bottles. Made from Trebbiano Toscano and Vermentino grapes, harvested late at the end of November, Eos is a precious gem: it shines with its own light and smells intensely of honey, wisteria, orange blossom and mint. It enchants when tasted, with sweetness and calibrated acidity, well balanced by refined flavour. It pairs perfectly with ricotta desserts and blue cheeses, but I also recommend it for excellent, solitary meditation.


Barone Bianco (Tenute Pacelli) : I realize that talking about riesling at these latitudes, far from its places of origin or even simple choice, may seem bizarre. In Calabria, you see little, very little of riesling. As soon as you try Barone Bianco everything will return to its place: it will give a thrill - smelling the wine - to perceive the varietal traits of the riesling blending gracefully with those of the terroir , united by the wise hand of nature, still her. It will be exciting, as it was for me, to let yourself be carried away by the saturated aromas of lava stone and fruit, which lead by hand to the solid and salty sip. Very fine and constant, it is arranged gracefully, with a continuous reference to chalk and apple, until the long, very satisfying epilogue. Try it with linguine in lobster sauce or with baked monkfish.

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