Conestabile della Staffa Rosso
Producer: Conestabile della Staffa
Umbria, Italy 2018
Chill this one, open it anytime of day. Puts an Italian filter on any event. Picnic certified.
‘No chemistry in the vineyard, no technology in the cellar, natural wine’ reads the label on this incredibly elegant, light and juicy red by Danilo Marcucci who tends to the grapes at his wife Alessandra’s family vineyard. For more than 200 years from the 1700s, Conestabile della Staffa produced some of the finest wines in the region but with two world wars came a diminished farming workforce and from 1956, the estate ceased to make anything, forcing the vineyard to sell off their grapes for other people’s wine… and then Danilo came along. Former student of architecture and one-time Umbrian wine-seller, Danilo turned to natural winemaking in the early 2000s after discovering first-hand what the chemicals in industrially produced wines can do to the body. A chance tasting of a natural wine made by his parents’ neighbour Vittorio Mattioli began what Danilo describes as a ‘radical change’ in his life and within a week of drinking the amber coloured white he joined Vittorio for what would become the first of many collaborations with the masters of natural winemaking across Italy. More than 12 hectares of vines were in need of some love when Danilo took the reins at Conestabile but by 2015 he was able to release the estate’s first vintage in 60 years, featuring native grapes and natural processes, with no added sulphur – for Danilo, it is Mother Nature who determines the wine. ‘Magnetic drinking,’ he says of this juicy Rosso, ‘and easy to finish a bottle in five minutes’.
Oli + Sam, Natural Born Wine