I taste a lot of wine for work. Hundreds, maybe into the four digit range per year, and a surprising amount of them are at best uninteresting and at worst just plain bad. The upshot is the good, and rarer yet, truly special wines I taste at the store.
And thus we segue in a most unsubtle way into the wine of Elisabetta Foradori. Elisabetta is a producer based around the Dolomite mountains in Alto Adige (sometimes referred to as Sudtirol or South Tyrol) in Italy. Having never been there, I can only gather so much from photos and information about the region, but it seems like an idyllic Alpine setting; of course I investigated how the climbing looks, and it looks good. Single & multi-pitch sport routes, short approaches... I digress.
Elisabetta has been in the work of growing grapes and making wine essentially for her entire life; she was born in a house surrounded by vineyards and took over as winemaker after an education at a local enological school and the untimely death of her father when she was only 20 years old.
Her bread & butter wine is made from the local grape teroldego. She has 18ha (44.5 acres) of this red grape that makes fresh, bright, and fruity red wines that have a natural high acidity and would undoubtedly pair well with the local speck (salt cured & smoked ham flavored primarily with juniper.)
What we decided to crack open the other day was her nosiola. Nosiola is a local varietal that was close to being forgotten, but she is taking efforts to keep it alive. She has but two hectares of nosiola, a 9th of teroldego plantings, but according to an interview with her, she has real fun with her white varietals (the other is manzoni bianco) because they’re relatively unknowns with “a lot of personality.”
Most of the time, when making white wine, the juice is pressed and removed from the skins of the grapes. Ms. Foradori however, leaves the juice on the skins in clay amphorae for 8 months which creates a wine with a slightly hazy appearance, a hint of pear-skin like tannins on the finish, and some freakin’ delicious flavors.
The wines aren’t cheap, the manzoni bianco is in the mid $30’s and the nosiola is about $54, but if the nosiola is any indication, Elisabetta makes truly special wines that are worth every penny. Now I just have to track down some of that teroldego.