In Campania Where Sparkling Wine Grows on Trees

27 Aug

 

Vite Maritata

Vite Maritata

 

I have a thing for bizarre wines.  Especially if they’re white.  Doubly so if they’re sparkling.  Just so happens I came across such a fascinating find the other day, an Italian sparkler called Grotta del Sole Asprinio d’Aversa.  Admittedly, I had no idea what it was, but a little cursory research via the Oxford Companion to Wine (Many thanks, Jancis.) turned up two facts: 1) that Asprinio is a specialty of Campania; and 2) that it is likely identical to Greco di Tufo.  A little more digging on the internet and another fun fact emerged:  this particular variety grows on trees.  That’s right, the vines are actually intertwined with poplar trees in a traditional method called vite maritata, or married vine.  They can reach 30 or even 50 meters in height, meaning farmers with ladders custom-made for the purpose are required to harvest them.  So while I’m blogging, emailing, and Twittering away, a farmer in a little corner of Italy is climbing a narrow, handmade ladder to check on his Asprinio grapes.  Sigh.

Having found this bottle and done this little bit of research reminds me why I love wine.  Beacause it’s beautiful in its simplicity, and it connects us to humanity in a way Facebook never will.     

Would love to know if anyone has experience with other interesting traditional harvest techniques…

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2 Responses to “In Campania Where Sparkling Wine Grows on Trees”

  1. Ray 08/31/2009 at 6:17 pm #

    You might say that the co-fermentation of a field blend planted in blocks or at random is a traditional technique which, done properly, can greatly enhance wine complexity. You mentioned elsewhere an interest in outlying wineries. We are located beyond the popular “outlying” viticultural areas in the mountains of eastern Madera County. Lucky for us that we are located within a net effective marketing area of over one million people and one of the only Five Star / Five Diamond hotel/restaurants between Los Angeles and San Francisco. You are invited to visit and taste our traditional co-fermented blends the next time you are near Yosemite National Park or Bass Lake. Find a map at http://www.westbrookwinefarm.com.

    • Ms. Drinkwell 09/01/2009 at 11:55 am #

      Absolutely, and I hadn’t thought of that to be honest, but I know a lot of wineries still do this. Any favorites?

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