Producer Profile: In northern Italy’s Veneto region, more specifically in the province of Vicenza atop the sedimentary and limestone-rich Colli Berici (hills that rise from the alluvial plains just south of the city of Vicenza), outside a sleepy town by the name of Nanto, the winemaker Davide Xodo is realizing a lifelong dream. Having worked for a decade and a half in this region as a technical cellar whizz (see: oenologist) and vinification consultant at wineries such as Veneto favorite Tenuta l’Armonia, Davide has finally secured some land and a cellar of his own not far from his childhood home. 3.5 hectares of vines are dedicated to the typical varieties of this area where Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea all seem to converge – a combination of international grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and local ones like Glera, Garganega, and Malvasia Istriana. Farming is practicing organic meanwhile cellarwork is low-intervention with spontaneous fermentation, utilizing only native yeasts, no fining or filtration, no chaptalization or funny business, and no SO2 unless a particular vintage absolutely demands a touch at bottling. The primary focus for Davide is twofold: the wines and the soils. To propagate a robust microbial life in the soils, he endeavors to maintain a polyculture on his property with a couple of hectares dedicated to olive, oak, and fruit trees in addition to typical cover crop of the region. Another new winemaker who’s actually not-so-new and whose wines already attest to such technical precision and life.
Vinification: 50% Garganega, 50% Pinot Bianco. Grapes are hand-harvested and fermented using wild yeasts. The Garganega spends 4 day on the skins and the Pinot Bianco spends 6 days on the skins. Aged in concrete and bottled unfined, unfiltered with no SO2.
Tasting: A spicy, bone-dry, high-acid orange wine from Veneto. Light-bodied but bursting with saltiness, herbal aromas and a slight hint of fennel. The finish is long with firm tannins. Best paired with a bloomy cheese, cured fish or a heavier dish, like Bolognese.