There’s a saying in our office that roughly goes ‘if they’re not mad, we don’t want them’. Whilst that’s patently not true, there is a streak of iconoclasm that is writ large on estates like that run by Vittorio Graziano. With his heart set on decent Lambrusco – itself surely a sign of swimming against the tide - Vittorio has revived an old clone of Lambrusco de Castelvetro and replanted his vineyards at 5,500 vines per hectare. Naturally, he hand harvests, bottle ferments, and disgorges à la volée. Attention hipsters: Vittorio is the Godfather of pét nat.
In the cold cellars of his small winery south of Modena the wine ferments in bottle and remains on its lees for more than a year. I remember first trying this wine and not quite believing that anything with the dreaded L-word on the label could be this utterly glorious and frothy. Enjoy it with a plate of prosciutto, mortadella and parmigiano for a moment of pure Dolce Vita. Vittorio also works with Malbo Gentile for the 'Sassoscuro' which is dark, chocolatey and utterly delicious.
Emilia Lambrusco IGT 'Fontana dei Boschi'
Emilia Rosso IGT 'Sassoscuro'