Federico is the pioneer behind today’s Ronda wines. Part of a winemaking family native of the Italian Tyrol, Federico has correctly identified the fabulous terroir of Ronda and revived the region since 1982. With grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lemberger, Petit Verdot, and Muskattrollinger, Federico creates his wines and is appreciated by fine wine enthusiasts in Europe, the US and Japan, even caught the attention of the celebrated wine writer Robert Parker.
His vines are carefully taken care of and their needs of nutrients respected throughout the year. Returning to the soil all parts of the vines removed by selective pruning, as well as the rest of the wine lees and grape marc after the fermentation process, his vineyards are restituted with valuable nutrients, part of a bio-dynamic compost.
Planting of legumes such as beans, chickpeas, clover and others, ensure the vines capture of nitrogen. Organic products are used for the protection of the vines against any kind of possible diseases, preventive measures aimed at strengthening the plant’s own defense system. The emphasis of his biodynamic approach is on prevention rather than treatment as well as on encouraging the self-sufficiency of his vines.
Fonseca’s Terra Prima Reserve - Portugal’s first fully certified organic Port, as Fonseca is one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in the Douro Valley. Conversion to organic farming started in 1992 at Quinta do Panascal in the Távora Valley and later at Quinta de Santo António in the Pinhão Valley. To produce Terra Prima Reserve, Fonseca not only uses organically farmed grapes, but the required grape spirit for fortification is produced from organically grown grapes as well.
Fonseca’s unique style of Ports, the powerful, complex fruit quality, is also beautifully present in Terra Prima Reserve. It is a wonderful rich, concentrated Port with great flavor and texture, with opulent black fruit nose followed through on the palate with layers of intense berry, plum and cherry fruit flavors supported by firm, well integrated tannins. Terra Prima Reserve is a deliciously textured Reserve Port, velvety, smooth, succulent and plump. Fonseca’s 200 years old story is a testimony for knowledge and skills having been passed down from one generation to the other.
Quinta da Palmirinha
Quinta da Palmirinha is wine made out of the Loureiro grape variety, a wonderful aromatic grape with a light smell of a laurel leaf. Located in the Vale do Sousa, the local wine in this Northern Portuguese region is Vinho Verde.
Fernando Paiva pioneered in biodynamic winemaking, having been the first one to be certified in Portugal. Knowledge and enthusiasm in the care for his vines is responsible for an outstanding quality of grapes, naturally reflected in his wines of a pronounced pure aroma, great balance, structure and character.
This small wine production is all about respecting soil and environment, using aromatic plants and essential oils to render the vines resistant and to protect them against diseases. Producing a unique and rare Vinho Verde, is it surprising that he has made his name with international consumers, who appreciate the rare and authentic jewel in the quite huge Vinho Verde environment.
Quinta da Serradinha
António Marques da Cruz, wine producer and bottler of Quinta da Serradinha’s Whites, Rosés and Reds, is the youngest of a family having taken care of a vine estate located in the North of the Serra d’Aire. All three wines are nicely balanced, pure and elegant, expressing the influence of the Atlantic’s proximity and the calcareous limestone soils. Their quite marked acidity and not overly fruity character attest a sober and elegant style with interesting minerality. The uniqueness of these wines is based on the grape varietals Arinto and Fernão Pires for the Whites, on Baga, Castelão, Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro for the Reds and Rosé, on the soils of course, the mostly gentle Atlantic breeze and on the caring love of a winemaker, who lets his vines grow and develop naturally to obtain grapes which beautifully express what this land is all about year after year.
Herdade dos Outeiros Altos
Hidden in the Serra d’Ossa is Herdade dos Outeiros Altos, vineyards spread out over lovely rolling slopes, ranging at an altitude from 300 to 350m above sea level. In the middle of harmonious, un-spoilt nature, Aragonês, Trincadeira, Alfrocheiro Preto, Alicante Bouschet and some Touriga Nacional are growing, indigenous grape varieties that produce Reds, Blancs de Noir and Rosés. The wines are lean and pure, each one with its own character, with flavors of wild fruit, blackberries, plum, spiced with hints of fresh herbs as rosemary, all of them showing distinguished freshness, elegance and balanced tannins.
Herdade dos Outeiros Altos’ Talha Red is a unique, first ever certified organic DO Alentejo Talha Wine, representing the purest way of quality winemaking, where grapes are left on their own, starting their fermentation naturally, without any added yeast, until completion. The wine is well structured with a nice smooth mouth-feel and the characteristics of the grape varietal. It’s a wine with nicely fresh elegance and the aromas of lively, fresh fruits. There is something special with tasting wine directly from the respectfully beautiful and huge Talhas, the archaic vinification method, Roman heritage still alive here in the Alentejo. This simple fermentation procedure, isn't it ultimately an expression of sophistication to recognize Mother Nature’s perfect organization, which enables healthy grapes to transform into great wine on their own when left to ferment in a recipient produced and prepared for having the ideal porosity.
Herdade dos Lagos
Further down in Southern Alentejo is Herdade dos Lagos. German ship owner Horst Zeppenfeld bought these 1000 acres in the lower Alentejo, Mertola, over thirty years ago when falling in love with this part of the country, the driest region of Portugal. He gradually transformed the desert like estate into a sustainable agricultural farm by planting olive groves and vineyards and collecting the winter rainfalls in several reservoirs, creating lakes or ‘lagos’, in Portuguese. The lakes not only represent a water reservoir for irrigation in the dry season, but they became a refuge for several species of migratory birds.
Syrah, Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Alicante Bouschet are organically cultivated and supply the grapes for the exceptional wines, which express the beauty of this land, the love and commitment of its owners and managers, also the expertise of winemaker Carsten Heinemeyer, an international reference in organic winemaking.
Monte da Casteleja
Guillaume Leroux decided to start making wine on his family estate in the Algarve, having behind him a solid experience in Portuguese viticulture. The Romans had passed on his land as well, as many pieces of ceramics and mosaics found attest. Guided by deep respect for the terroir, which past civilizations and his forefathers entrusted to him, Guillaume, convinced of sustainable agriculture, started producing organic wine. His Bastardo, Alfrocheiro, Alicante Bouschet, Arintos and Perrum grapes are nicely expressing the beauty of a land located close to the shores of the Atlantic, where the sun is generous throughout the year, the summer nights sufficiently cool and the winter months never too severe for permitting the grapes to develop to their fullest. Elegant and complex wines are the result of an excellent climate and soil and a vintner dedicated to using a combination of new technologies with ancestral viticulture and enology practices.
Few wines are as closely linked to a region, expressing its identity and an understanding of life, as is the Manzanilla from Sanlúcar. Actually the word Manzanilla is equal to Sanlúcar, the same way as Sanlúcar identifies Manzanilla. It is the wine of joy and shared happiness, also the wine of light, sea and sea breeze. The wine is unique, exclusive to this very special corner of the planet. Manzanilla needs Doñana, Bajo de Guía, the Poniente, the cool and humid breeze from the west, the Levante, the hot and dry South Eastern breeze, to be what it is, and it needs the Palomino grape and Albariza, the chalky white limestone soil, hot and arid. It also needs century old bodegas and the complex system of criaderas and soleras, unique to the sherry making process, ancient wine butts, half full or half empty, and time, a lot of time, to be passed in penumbra and silence. It also needs the wisdom and knowledge of its creators and its guardians, los capataces, who know how to maintain the mysterious, beautiful veil of yeast called flor that lives in this hazardous equilibrium between take outs and examinations protecting the aging of the wine from oxidation as it consumes the grapes' sugar. For all this and much more Manzanilla of Sanlúcar is unique, unique to the world.
Delgado Zuleta is producing Manzanilla since 1744, the oldest family owned sherry house. Nothing has changed over the centuries when it comes to the prolonged production phase and aging, which can last up to ten years. Their Entusiastico is not only making history as the first completely organic Manzanilla, but has distinguished itself right away and received excellent marks at a recent international blindtasting. Respect of artistry and the ancestral artisanship are the base of the Bodega Delgado Zuleta, and their Entusiastico, a golden and aromatic fresh dry wine with the typically sweet-sour crunch of sea salt evokes sun and sea…the South. It is the perfect aperitif and complement for Iberian ham, any cheese or fried fish.
Mallorca is Bàrbara Mesquida Mora and her family’s little paradise, where they are rooted and continue to care for their ancestral land. They sow vegetable covers and apply biodynamic compost and preparations, use infusions of medical plants, to ensure that their vines remain healthy to produce grapes of highest quality. All the tasks are done by hand following the calendar of the most propitious movements of the stars, ‘a dialogue with nature that stimulates the health of the vines’, as Bàrbara Mesquida Mora says. Strongly motivated to continuing the legacy of their forefathers to make wine out of the island’s autochthonous grape varieties, as well as with some foreign ones, the Mesquida Moras are proud guardians of the noble art of wine culture, which has been practiced on this island since several thousand years.
Acrollam Blanc and Acrollam Rosat, are two of their wines we hold in our collection, the name ‘Acrollam’ being the reverse of the word ‘Mallorca’, an allusion that ‘Mallorcans’ often do things the other way round from what is customary. For those who wish to taste a wine of a finest selection of Callet grapes, there is SÒTIL, a light and fresh red wine, with nice floral notes, many nuances, a full-bodied wine with its subtle and delicate character.
Bodegas Oliver Moragues
Located near Palma de Mallorca, on the heights and in the outskirts of Algaida, Bodegas Oliver Moragues and their Manor Binicomprat date back to 1229, when King James I of Aragon defeated the Moors and conquered the island. In 1511, the estate was bought by the Oliver Moragues family, who has been cultivating vines there ever since. Today’s wine estate is run by oenologist Carlos and his uncle Gabriel, both convinced organic winemakers. They produce wines out of several indigenous grape varieties, such as Manto Negro, Callet, Gorgollassa, Prensal blanc and Giró blanc, and blend some of their wines with French varieties as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine tourism is one way to taste the exceptional Moragues wines, and spending some days in the charming family manor in the middle of the vineyards and pine trees is not only relaxing but a true privilege. El Galgo is the wine in our collection, a 100% typical Mallorcan grape varietal wine.
Rosé of Tavel
Our two Tavel Rosé Wines are produced by Eric Grassone, winemaker in Tavel as were his ancestors. He decided to apply organic wine making principles in the vineyard as well as in the cellar in respect of tradition and the environment. Devoted to his terroir, his act of winemaking is the simplest possible, non-interventionist, just a minimum of sulfur. His wines, ‘les commeyres’ and ‘li bestiairi’ are two gorgeous wine styles reflecting Mediterranean soil of Southern France. Even if you shouldn’t have the chance to accompany Eric on a walk through his beautiful, stony vineyards to explain the schedule of interaction between climate and his artisanal labor, the wine speaks for itself and is expressing his love for nature.
Fontemorsi represents a dream come true for the three enterprising friends, founders of the high quality vineyard in an area of Tuscany, where for centuries world class wines have been produced. On their 22 hectares they cultivate both grapes and olives organically. Made out of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Malvasia grapes, some Merlot and Cabernet also, Fontemorsi wines are expressing beautifully Tuscany’s nature, Tuscan terroir, wines that reflect the mineral rich soil and the generosity of its sun.
The fossil shell logo identifying the Fontemorsi brand is underscoring the tight bond existing between the Tuscan hills of their vineyards and the sea. Relying on natural processes only means rendering the soil’s and the grape’s characteristics to the fullest. Vineyard operations are conducted manually, the region’s ancient know-how applied and preserved.
All red, white and rosé wines are classified D.O.C. and I.G.T. (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), the first and second of four wine classifications recognized by the government of Italy to distinguish the high quality wines known as the Super Tuscans.
In the South Eastern part of Tuscany, where the weather is much warmer and arid, with precipitations much lower than in the more Northern parts, one of Italy’s most noble wines is produced: Brunello di Montalcino.
Montalcino’s terroir distinguished itself among the reds in the region since early medieval times. It was thanks to the initiative of the Biondi Santi family during the 19th century, that production of single varietal wines with the Brunello grape started, Brunello being the name given to the Sangiovese grape in Montalcino. The wine, typically aged in wooden barrels for more than a decade, gradually developed its reputation as belonging to Italy’s most precious ones. By the end of the 1960s, wine making in Montalcino got the attribution of DOC status (Denominazione di Origine Controllata). Brunello wines, as a consequence, have to be crafted from 100% Sangioveses Grosso exclusively, aged for at least 2 years in oak and 4 months in the bottle. Riserva wines are requested to age 6 months in the bottle. No wine can be released before 5 years after the harvest, before 6 years for the Riserva.
Francesco Leanza’s story is rooted in the deep affection and fascination he developed for the stunning beauty of the vineyards he bought, back in the early nineties. His love and respect for the place, its gorgeous nature and its diversity, turned this chemical engineer from Rome into a passionate caretaker of his vines. Getting to know their peculiarities and respecting their uniqueness were the reasons why organic farming methods were important to him since the very beginning. Much of the vineyard work is done by hand with use of machines kept to a minimum to preserve the life of the soils. Leanza ferments his grapes with the wild, native yeasts and proceeds in the cellar with as little intervention as possible. His Brunello ages over 3 years in wood before being bottled. Subtle elegance and complexity comparable to great Burgundies are commonly given attributes to these Brunello di Montalcinos, which year after year reflect a singular and distinguished elegant personality. No wonder that it has become difficult to get hold of them. Structure, tannin and intensity, they have it all, wines that you will enjoy drinking young, even though they are age-worthy. You will be proud to have them in your wine cellar in a few years from now.
Arianna Occhipinti expresses beautifully the new wind blowing through Sicily’s wine industry. Her fresh and elegant, rather light and well-balanced wines, which she produces in the South Eastern part of the island, can already be found in fine restaurants in New York and beyond. Wine making became Arianna’s vocation since an early age. Her love for native Vittoria, the motivation to produce wines there and with indigenous grape varietals, linked to her sensitivity, is a truly nice example of what ‘terroir’ really means. Her Frappato and Nero d’Avola are from older vineyards, and her winery is located in a renovated Palmento, the ancient term in Italian of the place, where freshly harvested grapes were crushed and where the juice underwent alcoholic fermentation.
Arianna Occhipinti is certainly a symbol for Sicily but in a broader sense also for a whole new generation of European wine makers. They all build on ancient, classical traditions, not only continuing a legacy, but to produce wines in balance with nature. Whilst respecting sustainable farming practices, there is artistry behind to get the wines express their potential and their uniqueness. Arianna belongs to these gifted and creative wine makers.
This classic red wine is from an island that produced once one of the most distinguished and expensive wines in ancient markets.
Today’s revival is the legacy of the Lambrou family who rediscovering Lesvos’ traditional red grape, the Chidiriotiko, decided to replant it in the beginning of the 1980s on their private estate inside the crater of an extinct volcano, the location of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos created millennia ago. Recognizing the privilege of vineyards growing on volcanic soil and its natural sulfur content, a natural protection against diseases, they decided to produce wine organically in line with ancient traditions, with no industrial fertilizers nor other agrochemicals.
Elegant and moderately scented, with earthy-mineral elements and hints of red fruits, this is definitely one of Greece’s world-class wines. Give him time in the glass and it will open its aromatic charm and unfold its distinct personality. With its beautifully ruby red color, it is an extremely well balanced wine and you will fall for the exquisite soft round tannins and hints of aromas reflecting Mediterranean herbs, sun and soil.
The Paterianakis family started winemaking in Europe’s oldest wine country, Crete, some thirty years ago. From family vineyards producing wine through wine co-operatives, a formerly well-established Cretan tradition, they reoriented their focus on indigenous, rare grape varieties in the nineties. Farming organically was a natural consequence in their ambition to produce wines that express the sense of place. More than that, it's love and passion for their land, a continuous effort to maintain the soils naturally balanced with its self-regulating microclimate. They are part of the renaissance of the Cretan wine scene, famous in ancient times when winemaking was part of the avantgarde culture of Europe, the civilization of the Minoans.
Domaine Paterianakis is located some twenty kilometers south of Heraklion, inside the island, embedded in the middle of hills and vineyards, protected from the hot North African winds. Some fresh breezes from the sea cool down vineyards and people during the hot Cretan summer months.
Domaine Paterianakis, the red wine in our collection, a blend of Kotsifali and Mandilari, two typical Cretan grape varieties, is strongly and deeply red, aromatic and with nice body, leaving an elegant and very balanced aftertaste. Melissinos, the white, is a blend of Thrapsathiri and Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine full of character and with strong aromas of pineapple, peach and rose, nicely balanced and pleasant in the mouth.
Batroun Mountains organic wines
In the mountainous region behind Batroun, Batroun Mountains’ organic vineyards are located on meticulously designed terraces in different towns with altitudes ranging from 400 to 1500 meters above sea, looking westwards on to the beautiful Mediterranean. This is the work of Assaad Hark and his family, a dream come true and expression of love for their country. Their work is rooted in deep respect for nature, the soil nurturing their vines, the commitment to organic viticulture just being a natural consequence of it. Their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah produce complex and intense reds with pleasant acidity, their Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, wines with excellent body, mineral freshness and robust flavors.
‘Seven’ is a white we have included in our collection. Made out of seven white grapes, three of them are indigenous varietals, Obeidi, Merwah and Youssefi, the others being Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat. The result is a wine with superb complexity, a wide range of aromas and intense nose of fruit. Aromas of peach, guava, acacia, citrus, mango and gooseberries, a little peppery and crispy on the palate and an intense finish with citrus and herb flavors. The vines grow at an altitude between 950 and 1500 meters above sea.