Producer Profile: In the earlier parts of the 20th century, in the northern sub-province of Foggia, in the southeastern Italian region of Puglia, Domenico Demaio tended olive trees. The tiny mountain village of Rignano Garganico – amidst the largely calcareous Gargano Mountains – was home base then, and Domenico’s love of the olive tree extended to the vine as well, which was only expanded when he moved his family to a town farther north and out of the mountains called San Severo. The knowledge and love of olive and vine he’d pass on to his son Antonio who would eventually start making wine from the fruit he’d helped prune and harvest year to year. It was around the 1970s that Antonio’s, and thereby the family’s, focus would turn to collectivist agriculture and the economics behind co-operative agriculture. For decades, Antonio would lecture as a professor of Agro-business economy at the technical school in San Severo. Around 2010, his first passion for grapes and olives would be re-vivified with the help of his son-in-law – Giovanni, himself a wine enthusiast – when they decided to renovate an old farmhouse with standing grapevines in San Severo. Ever since the “first” vintage of this new-old operation in 2013, the wines have not only gotten more abundant, but they have carried a clearer vision of an expert’s hand re-capturing a dream.
Vinification & Tasting: 100% Nero di Troia from organic vines grown on rock and clay soil. The grapes are destemmed, crushed with a pneumatic press, and fermented in stainless steel using wild yeasts. After 9 months of aging in steel, the wine gets bottled unfined, unfiltered, with a touch of SO2. Black cherry and zingy acidity team up with a robust structure and light, rustic tannins on the backend. Not heavy in the slightest, but a wine that could (and perhaps should!) accompany a roast chicken on a chilly Fall night.