Antonio and Daniela De Gruttola seek out old vineyards in Irpinia, high in the hills of Campania. They champion and preserve the region’s native varietals, old vines and an age old way of tending them. The vines are set at altitude and are planted over the region’s vibrant volcanic soils. Vineyard work is done by hand, organically and a combination of great farming and low yields results in healthy, characterful fruit. In the cantina, Antonio takes a no-nonsense approach with the intention of letting this terroir express itself in full. The grapes ferment naturally without temperature control and fermentation can continue for months. Wines are raised in a combination of terracotta amphorae and large casks made from local woods and are bottled unfiltered, with no additions at all. The resulting wines are singular, vivid expressions of grape and place.
From just two rows of seventy five year old vines planted with the rare pink kind of Coda di Volpe some 500 metres above sea level. This spends two days on skins, before being pressed off to chestnut casks for élevage. Reflecting the vintage, this is a little deeper, darker and intense than previous efforts. The alcohol and sugar present here will not appeal to everyone, but our experience tells us this will become something increasingly wonderful in the coming years.