Tenuta la Viola is located just to the west of the city of Cesena, in the village of Bertinoro. Just on the outskirts of this medieval village, I had a chance to visit with Stefano Gabellini, owner of Tenutal La Viola. Founded in 1962, this has always been a family business. The focus here is on classic wines, representative of the region, but also respectful of the environment.
Since 1999 the vineyards have been certified organic, and 2018 marks the first vintage produced from Biodynamic principles.
Those vineyards are situated on rolling hills that face towards the Adriatic Sea. On the other side you have the Tosco-Romagnolo Apennines, which has a resulting microclimate that brings in cooling breezes that helps bring balance to the wines. The soil is a mixture with clay, limestone, as well as rich with ancient marine sediments. This natural white wine may not be for everyone, but it was one of my absolute favorite wines tasted on my trip in January.
Stefano decided to make two wines, a white and a red, in a way in which his Italian ancestors may have done generations ago. For the white wine, he chose the local Albana grape. This grape can be vinified in different styles, from a light crisp white wine, all the way to a dessert wine where the grapes are dried on straw mats before pressing. "In Terra" Bianco is neither of these styles.
Stefano makes this wine in large Georgian amphoras, where the juice macerates with the skins for 5 months. The resulting wine is truly unique and delicious. On the nose, it is a little closed at first, initially showing a wet earth aroma. With oxygen, it has a big mineral/salty quality, with notes of citrus, and aromatic herbs. It is a medium-plus bodied white wine, with a silky texture, plenty of acidity and a long mineral finish.
Just over 700 bottles are produced annually.
I strongly encourage you to decant this wine at least an hour ahead of time. You can even pop the bottle open the day before, or drink it over two days. It is an ideal food wine. I had it with the classic Romagna dish, Tortelloni en Brodo.
Tenuta La Viola
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