It all started with pizza. Kind of. Angiolino Maule was a pizzaiolo of some renown before his life as a vignaiolo. His winery, La Biancara, began in the ‘80s when he and his wife Rosamaria bought six hectares of land in the foothills just outside the town of Gambellara, itself a volcanic-basalt-strewn area a stone’s throw from northern Italy’s Soave. Here the soil is unique and Garganega - a local northern Italian grape known for its zippy acid and stony core, also planted in Sicily though known there as Grecianico - achieves a much more aromatic expression, thanks mainly to the deterioration of the native volcanic soil (releasing increasing deposits of potassium and magnesium). A truly singular gem, La Biancara’s location being between Soave and Veneto - not quite one nor the other - brings the wines that similarly alpine/Mediterranean fusion. This is an ancestral method sparkler reminiscent of a col-fondo prosecco though with markedly more depth - rich, aromatic, bright and fresh - a perfect aperitif from natural wine originals.
Vinification: 100% Garganega grapes hand-harvested from older vines grown on the decaying volcanic soils native to Gambellara (mineral-rich volcanic). The grapes are pressed into stainless steel tank and bottled prior to full fermentation so that re-fermentation may be completed in bottle (creating carbonation). Just before bottling, dried Garganega must is added to the fermenting wine to enrich the carbonation that will result from final refermentation in bottle. Unfined, unfiltered, no additional SO2.
Tasting Notes: A sparkler with a dense, creamy mousse, and a light, crisp bubble. Strong minerality mingles with pink lady apple, bartlett pear and golden kiwi. A thirst quencher for when the heat starts to rise but you don’t quite have the energy to install your AC unit. Recommended musical accompaniment: Gaga’s Chromatica.