Pievalta’s classic-method Verdicchio was selected as one of GrapeLive author Kerry Winslow’s “wines of the day” last year. Here’s what he had to say about it. Coming from one of the leading food and wine professionals on the west coast of the U.S., we were thrilled to hear his comments and tasting note.
This sparkler is utterly spellbinding and rivals any top Champagne, I can not begin to tell you how good this fine bubbly really is! I had never had sparkling Verdicchio before, and wow, this is fantastic with wonderful depth, richness, life and complexities on offer, and I can tell you I’ll be drinking as much of this as I can get.
Barone Pizzini has a main property in the “Champagne” region of Italy Franciacorta, but it is this amazing Le Marche estate and it’s Extra Brut Sparkling Verdicchio that has blown my mind.
The Perlugo is made from biodynamic vineyards at the Pievalta estate, in heart of the Castelli di Jesi zone and is handcrafted to perfection. The chalky soils and small yields adds to the dramatic intensity and vibrancy in this elegant bubbly, and Verdicchio comes to life loaded with nutty aromas, citrus, green apples and mineral tones all of which plays well in a fine sparkling wine where these along with pretty yeast, brioche and fig notes come in too, making for a glorious wine. This has to be one of the best kept secrets of the sparkling wine world!
Click here to view his notes on GrapeLive, a great wine resource.
From Grub Street:
Jake’s been in so many cool films. But we REALLY LOVED HIM in Donnie Darko.
Click here for the Locanda wine list. Very groovy stuff!
Above: A photo taken recently of vineyards at Pievalta in Castelli di Jesi.
Is the grass on the other side of the fence really greener?
I often ask myself this when I see vineyards where a certain hierarchy is in place, where the grass is cut low like an English lawn and the space between rows is perfectly neat.
In other vineyards, there are sign of green manuring between the rows and orange stripes where herbicide has been applied in between as well.
But if you come to Pievalta this time of year, you won’t find anything like that.
The grass is high between the rows and there are field beans and spontaneous flowers popping up.
We leave the grass high between the rows in order to avoid peronospora. Only in the last few days, because of the bad weather, we have begun to clear the space between the rows in the youngest vineyards and to till under the grass between the rows of the older vineyards.
When you farm organically, you don’t use the chemicals and machinery that are needed to keep the space in between rows so tidy.
Above: A view from the Pievalta winery.
In case you missed it, we wanted to share a wonderful and highly informative series of posts by wine writer Walter Speller on Castelli di Jesi, its varied growing zones and macroclimates, and tasting notes from some of its leading wineries.
Walter published this in-depth profile of the appellation late last year on JancisRobinson.com, where he posts regularly on Italian wines and appellations.
“Pievalta’s young but very talented winemaker, Alessandro Fenino…” writes Walter, “told me he looks for elegance in wine, and no wonder. As a winemaker originally trained in making metodo classico wines, for him it is all about balance.”
Click here to read Walters five-part series, a must-read for Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi lovers.
Pievalta 2011 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2011
18.5/20 (95/100) points
Pievalta’s Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi perfectly combines the sense of confident expressiveness and poised restraint.
Click here for printable/PDF version of the review.
Above: Le Basi is a company that produces 100% certified organic “zero kilometer” prepared pizza and focaccia doughs.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 20), from 4-8 p.m., Pievalta will be pouring its Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi at the organic food store Bìos in the town of Monsano (province of Ancona).
The Bìos store (no website) is located at Via Sant’Ubaldo 67.
The wines will be paired with pizzas that have been prepared with dough produced by Le Basi, a company that specializes in 100% certified organic “zero kilometer” prepared pizza and focaccia doughs. (Click here for the Facebook post with event details.)
The idea behind “zero kilometer” food products is that they are crafted using ingredients sourced as locally as possible. In the case of Le Basi, the wheat used to produce the doughs is harvested in the town of Camerino (province of Macerata) where the certified organic bakery is located.
The doughs can be purchased for home pizza-making and the company also has two pizzerias where they serve pizza by the slice made with their doughs, in Jesi and Osimo (both in the province of Ancona).
After all, what’s the sense of drinking a biodynamically farmed wine if you’re going to pair it with a pizza made with commercially and chemically farmed wheat?
Last year, the Pievalta winery decided to join the Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti (FIVI), the Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers. The group’s mission is to represent and safeguard the interests of independent wineries by promoting quality and authenticity in Italian wines.
The federation was founded in 2008 and today counts more than 600 registered members. In order to join, winemakers — like us — must oversee every aspect of the winemaking process, from vineyard management to vinification to bottling and sale.
We share the federation’s view that wine is an agricultural product inexorably linked to the territory where it is produced. The winemaker is its protector.
Click here for the FIVI English-language website.
Above: Barone Pizzini was featured in an article on the carbon footprint of wine last week in the Corriere Vinicolo (The Wine Courier), Italy’s leading wine industry trade publication. The winery was cited as an example of how winemakers are using environmentally intelligent building materials (like the wood paneling pictured above) to help conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. Click here for a copy of the article (in Italian but with English-friendly illustrations).
Here on the blog last week, Pievalta winery manager Silvia Loschi noted how a new and lighter bottle format will help to reduce the winery’s carbon emissions.
“It’s a small step,” she said, “but an important one for people like us, who have always made the environment and its wellbeing a priority in our daily work.”
This attitude is part of a mission shared by both the Barone Pizzini and Pievalta estates.
That’s just one of the reasons that Barone Pizzini has participated in a study of fifty Italian wineries and their carbon emissions that began in 2009.
An article in last week’s Corriere Vinicolo profiles the study and reports some of the preliminary results.
The research was conducted using the Sata institute’s Italian Wine Carbon Calculator using a protocol developed by the Wine Institute in California.
Wine and its carbon footprint are one of the topics that will be discussed at this year’s Vinitaly, the annual Italian wine industry trade fair.
Barone Pizzini manager Silvano Brescianini will be meeting later this week with the Sata research institute to discuss how the results of the study will be presented and applied.
And we’ll be following this story here on the blog as it develops.
The 2012 Pievalta was bottled today at the winery in Castelli di Jesi using a new bottle format that weighs significantly less than one used for the last vintage.
The new bottle weighs only 460 grams, 90 grams less than the previous (which weighed 550 grams, a reduction of 17 percent).
The new format will help to reduce greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, because it reduces the amount of energy needed to produce the bottle and it also reduces the energy needed to transport it.
It’s a small step but an important one for people like us, who have always made the environment and its well-being a priority in our daily work.
The Pievalta winery takes its name from this yellow church on the hill above the estate.
The name, Pievalta, indeed, means “church on high.”
The church is also the symbol of the winery and it is depicted on our labels.
We do not know exactly when it was built but on the church’s façade, there is a plaque dedicated to the fallen of the first World War.
In the past, it was the church of farmers and people that live in this area. Now it is a symbol of an old agricultural world that is gone. Only a few families live here now and the church is opened only once a year, the first week end of May, on the occasion of the feast of Santa Croce.
—Silvia Loschi, winery manager, Pievalta