Small But Beautiful: Young Wine Producers at Vinitaly
Many individuals dream of retiring early and buying a vineyard, even if it is to only wine producer for themselves. What if you could expand that dream just a little bit? Sometimes, the fear of competing with young wine producers can be enough to stop you in your tracks. The good news is that there is a steady increase in ranks when it comes to smaller boutique wineries.
Watch the action at this year’s Vinitaly!
I believe that the reason behind this rise might have something to do with the attention to detail. Producing a lot of wine can become somewhat of an automatic process, but when you are only doing so on a small scale, there is more time spent on the small stuff. Many boutique wineries are satisfied with staying as small as they currently are. This could of course be for various personal or professional reasons.
In Recently I have had to speak directly with a group of Italian wine producers whom produce small amount of wine. What makes these wine special is the passion and dedication each winemaker gives to the finished product. Many times over we have expressed how attended wine tasting is such a great opportunity to discover the cast amounts of new and old favorites that each harvest yields year after year. Below is our recent discovery at this year’s Vinitaly.
Wine Producer “Federica Fina” from the Fina Cellars (wine: Terre Siciliane Kikè)
Taking advantage of the unique soil in Sicily, Federica is able to produce 800 bottles per harvest. Her passion for wine comes from her father and she is producing wine that is sustainable with high quality. This does of course not just happen in a stroke of luck and a lot of though, experimentation and work goes into creating wine in a sustainable way. She does not believe in taking shortcuts in the production process and would rather take her time to make sure the quality is just right. There are many benefits to buying from smaller wineries, but the biggest one is the focus that is given to the quality of these products.
Wine Producer “Daniele Olivero” from the Olivero Winery (wine: Barbera d’Asti “Filari Corti”)
When you have four generations of wine making combined with undeniable high-quality products, you know you have a winner. Daniele Olivero is a young wine expert, who believes that the taste of the wine is just as important as the image portrayed. No quality is ever compromised and Olivero says that he does not believe in chance. He believes that techniques mean nothing if the wine does not taste good.
While there is no USA distribution with a small production of 400 bottles per year the wine can be found in some European countries. The wines from Olivero Winery has received recognition from wine critics, with Daniele being one of the best in the business. Tasting this wine was a fantastic experience for me. I could taste the time and effort it took to produce that wine. When buying mass produced wines, you don’t often experience it in this manner. Definitely a winner for me.
Wine Producer “Caterina Sacchet” della Cantina Carpineto (wine: Toscana Rosso Dogajolo)
Science combined with tradition is the foundation of wines created at Carpineto. Beautifully decribed on their website, they believe that wine is a combination of passion, emotion, nature and culture. Finding wineries that is this passionate about producing wine is few and far apart. Caterina has a passion for Tuscany and puts that same passion into every bottle.
In order to age the wine perfectly, it is bottled and matured for 8 months. Each bottle of wine embodies the Tuscan spirit. With the rich soil and climate, the end result provides a unique flavour. With less than 1000 bottles produced per harvest annually, they are able to focus on quality over quantity. Carpineto has solidified their reputation by being consistent and has gained great success in the industry.
Zaccagnini (Wine: Sham Pinot Grigio)
Abruzzo’s soil clay is what infuses this wine with so much flavour and is the foundation of what makes it special. Zaccagnini is not a boutique winery, but this specific wine can only be purchased directly from the winery. They do produce over 4 million bottles of wine annually to the US market, but Sham has a story of its own. Only 2,000 bottles are produced every year from hand selected single vineyard grapes. This wine is not advertised anywhere, not even in Italy, so it is unique to a visit at the winery. You would not know that this wine exist unless you take a trip.
Another winery worth mentioning is Colle Bereto.
Colle Bereto – Village of Rada – Chianti
The Pinzauti family found the perfect location to produce wine over 30 years ago in Chianti. With some renovations done throughout the years, they have managed to preserve the look and feel the estate had centuries before. There are many tours offered to locals and tourists and it is worth the trip. IF Pinot Noir and Merlot are amongst your favorite wines, you would be right at home. The soil is perfect for these types of wines as well as growing sangiovese grapes.
In 2002, as wines were becoming popular, a wine shop, The Colle Bereto Canting was opened. The atmosphere in this stop is the same as the vineyard and you can see that a lot of thought went into it. In Chianti, this shop is the only place you can buy wine by the glass, which is fascinating. You are allowed to taste the wines by the glass, while enjoying an authentic Italian meal and the best views ever.
Looking at the statistics, one can come to a conclusion that it is possible to live your dream and be successful while doing so. These boutique wineries proves that you do not have to be one of the top 5 largest wineries to find your own level of success. At the end of the day, it all comes down to flavor, texture and really the story that the wine embodies. Culture plays a big role in the production of these wines and you experience so much more when people are passionate about the process of creating beautiful wines. Small wineries are obsessed with quality and by doing that, the world is recognising the effort.
Learning about where these wineries started and how successful they have become was such an eye opener. Over the 4 days that the event is hosted, you can experience wine tastings, meetings with producers and introductions to new products and techniques in the wine industry. The goal is to bring quality wines from small production to the world and this event did so flawlessly. Most of these boutique wineries have a specific goal, know who they are and stick to what works. I am excited to see what these small production wineries do in the years to come.