Umbria: I Vini Di Giovanni Chiaretto 

$46

Chiaretto is a red wine by Giovanni Mesina Winery produced from Vernaccia Rossa and Ciliegiolo grapes, short maceration and aging in demijohn for 6 months. 

Natural | Vegan | Organic

About the winery: Translating to “The Wines of Giovanni”, this small, natural family winery began when Giovanni Battista Mesina, aka “the Shepherd who makes wine” became inspired to try out winemaking. Giovanni’s family left their homeland of Sardinia when he was a child to continue their family tradition of raising sheep in the hills of Umbria. It’s there in Umbria that Giovanni started to experiment with making wine in their barn, with little more than grapes and intuition. The hilltop hamlet of Pianello, just east of Perugia, is where Giovanni's farm is. The vineyard land is tiny (only 3 hectares total).  Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Montelpulciano, Vernaccia Rossa are the primary red grapes while Vermentino is the white grape of choice thanks to Giovanni's Sardinian heritage and pride that comes with it.  2017 was Giovanni's first bottled production.  Before this, the wines were made strictly for home consumption and direct sales to locals. Besides wine, the Mesina family’s major work remains raising around 1,000 sheep for cheese, milk and wool.

Their approach: Giovanni farms his own grapes completely organically and does all the work by hand. Sheep, by the way, are a great vineyard resident as they graze and offer weed control and they also provide natural fertilizer for soil health! In the winery he abides by minimal interventionist winemaking, avoiding the use of commercial yeasts, additives, and avoiding fining agents or filtration. He explains that his minimalist approach is “to capture the magical expression of the fruit and the earth”. Wines are fermented by wild yeasts in resin open-air tanks and bottled without sulfur. His sparkling wines are made according to the method ancestral, bottled in the winter with some frozen wine must and allowed to re-ferment naturally when the spring warms the wine up. The wine’s labels are made from grass-based paper, by the way!

 

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