In the 1990s, Marco Bernini was an industrialist with a biodynamic dream. That dream became Agricola del Farneto, Mauro’s sustainable agriculture project in the province of Reggio Emilia. Today, Il Farneto compasses 30 hectares of farmland, of which eight are dedicated to vines. Il Farneto is located in the first hills of the isolated Farneto plain – shielded by forests, gypsum outcrops and massive limestone calanques. It is a strange and otherworldly terroir, presided over by birds of prey as much as humans, and home to an array of unusual fauna. The soil here, paliocene clays rich in fossils, is particularly receptive to grape cultivation and the strong dawn till dusk exposure and good ventilation make for healthy grapes and expressive ripening.
Spergola is a local grape you’ll find in this area, and is the very definition of good vino da tavola - simple, nourishing wine to open with food. the wine has taken on a little colour and tannic grip from a brief skin maceration, so although not a fully orange wine, it’s heading in that direction. It’s one of those broad, nutty Italian whites with lots of pithy citrus and a bitterness in the finish. Simple pleasures.