Naturally Sparkling, explained.
What does 'naturally sparkling' actually mean?
Italy is one of those countries where the food and wine means serious business – it’s an institution as much as it is a lifestyle. From Piedmont to Lombardy, here’s five family-owned vineyards you simply cannot miss on your next big visit to the boot.
Marchesi di Barolo, Piedmont
Barolo is one of the most respected wines regions in Italy. A hearty red, Barolo draws its name from its namesake town perched among the rolling gentle hills of Piedmont. Established in the early 19th century, the winery is still a family business, handed down over five generations of wine loving Italians. Its excellent location means it enjoys the protection of the Alps in the north and the Apennines in the south which helps the grapes to prosper even more so. The result? Ever so tasty wines.
Vinicola Decordi, Lombardy
The Decordi Winery was set up shop in 1921 as a family-run tavern, where the traditional wines and foods of the Cremonese lower-padana Region were served to giddy and buzzing locals. Since then, it has remained in the family for 100 years and continues to pass down through the ages with Alessandro Decordi, fourth generation owner the latest to join in 2005. Those unfamiliar with Lombardy should know one thing, and one thing alone: the region is known particularly for its sparkling wines made in the Franciacorta and Oltrepò Pavese areas of the northern Italian lakes in the foothills of the Alps. What does this mean? They know what they are doing, especially when it comes to our cans.
Antica Cascina dei Conti di Roero, Piedmont
Vezza d’Alba is a truly historic area for winemaking in Italy. The aristocratic family of Roero used to cultivate this land in the 18th century, before the business was taken over by the current managers, the Olivero family, back in the 1950s. With 37 acres of vineyards to count on, this ancient farmstead will show any visitor that Piedmont has so much more to offer than just mountains and the Shroud of Turin.
Marchesi De' Frescobaldi, Tuscany
The Frescobaldi family have been devoted to wine production for over 700 years. To put that into perspective, that’s a colossal 30 generations. As expected, they know a thing or two about wine and everything they pump out is best summed up as grapes par excellence. The estate is home to five discrete units where wine is produced, scattered from north to south Tuscany, in Pomino, Nipozzano, Castiglioni, Castelgiocondo and Ammiraglia. If you’re driving through the region, this place is NOT to be missed. Advice: packs lots of cheese and even more cured meats.
Established in 1878, Mastroberardino is masterminded by a historic family that still maintains a passion for wine and the local territory. Situated in Campania and Irpinia (the region home to the stunning Amalifi Coast), this winery has seen 10 generations succeed each other with great technological innovations. Its grapes include, for instance, Aglianico, Fiano, Greco, Fanghina and Piedirosso, all dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times, so a taste session here is, to put it bluntly, non-negotiable.
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