Pievalta (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, 2014)
Elie Wine Company specializes in wines with specific characteristics unique to the place that they come from — what the French call terroir. Wines with that extra something special that’s impossible to describe yet somehow connects you with a land you may never have traveled to and people you may never have met. It’s rare indeed to find a wine that has these characteristics and even rarer still to be able to offer it for $15 a bottle.
Born into a working-class neighborhood in the outskirts of Milan, Pievalta winemaker Alessandro Fenino’s rise to celebrated winemaker was improbable. In 1995 he took a “leap into the unknown” when he decided to enroll in the department of Enology and Viticulture at the State University in Milan. After an internship at the revered La Stoppa estate in Piacenza, and a full-time job at Barone Pizzini in Franciacorta, he help found the Pievalta winery in Castelli di Jesi in 2002. In 2008 he was joined by his life partner, Silvia Loschi, who manages sales and hospitality at the winery.
The 65 acres of estate-owned vineyards are comprised of two principal growing sites on either end of the Esina Valley where the climate and soils are ideal for the sometimes fussy Verdicchio vines. The vineyards are farmed organically and biodynamically and Pievalta was the first Demeter-certified biodynamic winery in Castelli de Jesi (they’re also certified vegan). Nearly all of the work carried out in the vineyards is done by hand, this approach aimed at achieving the highest level of quality. “We don’t transform grapes into wine,” says Fenino, “we simply accompany the fruit as it becomes wine. We always stay one step behind and we don’t intervene or use shortcuts that would interrupt its harmony with the place where it is made. Instead, we let the grapes express themselves freely. Anyone who travels through these hills will see and taste this.”
You will see and taste this.
This is a wine of fruit and sunshine and lime peels and Adriatic breezes. A brassy wine. A wine with aromas that defy cliché. Aromas that are best expressed on the palate, or as the Italians might say, “aroma di bocca.” This is most certainly a wine you want to drink for the rest of the summer. Serve it at 50º-55º with seafood, mild cheeses, finocchio salad, or simply while hanging on the back patio, surrounded by friends, with the evening sun hanging orange behind the trees.