Producer Profile: The dizzying, snow-capped slopes and limestone summits of the southern extent of the Dolomite Mountain Range in northeastern Italy – a region known as Trentino-Alto Adige – score against the sky just how sharply drawn day-day life must feel to someone like Matteo Furlani. A fourth-generation farmer, whose family has worked the dolomitic soils of the rugged yet somehow vineyard-strewn mountainsides that overlook the city of Trento (from which the region as a whole, Trentino, takes its name) for over 280 years, Matteo is a winemaker with a vision reserved for idiomatic crystals. Every day up at 4:30, every night to bed at 12, with no rest for the weary as it goes; cultivating both native varieties endemic to the region in addition to some small plantings of Pinot Nero (he wishes there were more), and a sizable Chardonnay patch (most of which is sold to négociant brokers, providing a safety net to the rest of his operation), he is the current custodian of both a filial & regional style of wines, defined above all, by the land in which they are grown: sharp, clear, compared to frozen fruit and the famous one-ness of a snowflake. The sparkling wines of Trentino have long held a place of prominence in Italian wine culture, as distinct from other Italian fizzers, namely Emilia-Romagnan Lambrusci & the Prosecco of the Veneto. These Dolomitic sparklers from Furlani are made in a host of methods: col fondo, metodo ancestrale, spumante from a particular process known as metodo interroto, essentially a cross of the champagne method and pét-nat. The wines are fermented in cement tanks, see no fining (any “clarification” is achieved through racking), filtration, often no disgorgement, no temperature control, and no sulfur added, ever. Rare as can be for sparkling wines as pristine and with such a clear point of view as these. Special bubbles!
Vinification: Nosiola, Verdealbara and Lagarino. Grapes are hand-harvested, direct pressed and fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel. Secondary fermentation is started via frozen must. Undisgorged, unfiltered, unfined with no SO2.
Tasting: Crisp, fine bubbles, delicate texture and a briny, bright acidity. Tastes and smells like a salty ocean breeze.