There’s a saying in our office that runs along the lines of ‘if they’re not mad, we don’t want them’. Whilst that’s patently not true there is a streak of iconoclasm that is writ large on estates like that run by Vittorio Graziano. Deciding to make decent Lambrusco, in itself, speaks of a desire to swim against the tide and Vittorio has revived an old clone and replanted his vineyards at 5,500 vines per hectare. If this were not enough, he hand harvests, ferments the base wine to dryness, and then adds yeast and sugar in the best, traditional method.
In the cold, ramshackle cellars of his small winery south of Modena the wine then ferments in bottle and remains on its lees for more than a year before it is manually remuaged and degorged. I remember first trying this wine and not quite believing that anything with the dreaded L-word on the label could be this utterly glorious and frothy. Enjoy it with a plate of typically antipasto and wait for the fireworks.