Cirelli 2018 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo in Anfora, Abruzzo, Italy
Winemaker: Francesco Cirelli
Vineyards/History: "I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in a well off family which allow me to spent a fantastic and dispassionate childhood and to study in the most prestigious schools in EU; My grandparents and my parents spent all their entire life on bettering the social, cultural, economical status of the family, cutting all the links with their origin: the soil. Once I got the graduation in BA I decided to invest my little money on a farm in Abruzzo, the so-called “green region of Europe”. Since 2003 I am therefore trying to reestablish a link between myself and the origin of my Family because I am more then convinced of the goodness of the values within the farming. In fact there is a phrase that I love (but I don’t remember the author): “the farmer is the closest man to God”. This is not to say that I feel close to God, but I would like my children to grow up with a better understanding of the moral values of the soil. That’s all." - Francesco Cirelli
Vinification: The grapes were manually harvested in mid September. The bunches were immediately destemmed, crushed in the hydraulic press (basket press) and the must was transferred into the amphorae where it remained in contact with the skins for 20 days. The first fermentation lasted 120 days at the end of which the wine was racked a first time. It was racked one more time at the end of the malolactic fermentation and put back into the amphorae to rest only on the fine lees. The wine was neither fined or filtered before bottling.
Francesco Cirelli is a young dude making big waves in an area known for a mix of big brands or bulk, unremarkable wines. With a focus on natural winemaking methods in Abruzzo, Cirelli is committed to organic farming and bio-diversity. His family estate has wine vines, of course, but also other crops, plants and animals. Some of his wines, such as this Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, are made 'en anfora' (terracotta pots). Here the grapes are de-stemmed and gently crushed, then transferred into the clay amphoras for a 24 hour maceration. Then, the grapes are softly pressed again off the skins before indigenous yeasts take over and lead the fermentation process. The Trebbiano wine then rests and refines in the amphoras all the way through the malolactic fermentation, until it is ready to be bottled.
Cara Patricia was fortunate enough to meet Francesco Cirelli at the 2019 RAW WINE festival in Los Angeles, where she was able to try his entire range and talk about his methodology in farming. Since 2003, he has been working to rehabilitate the farmland of his family because, as he puts it, he “would like my children to grow up with a better understanding of the moral values of the soil.”
Because we see a lot of skin contact, this is a white wine that bridges the gap between red and white pairings. Enjoy this “Orange Wine” with foods rich in mediterranean heritage and ingredients, such as grilled fish in lemon and olive oil, flatbreads, spanakopita, marinated and grilled vegetables, and autumnal roasted dishes like squash, squab, and mushrooms. Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you are going to enjoy it, and feel free to decant it too!