In recent years, as the Italian wine industry has expanded its reach to areas such as China, there have been a number of newer producers starting to appear to show the world that it is not just the most renowned Italian winemakers who are capable of creating truly great drinks. In fact, there are many companies that are able to provide wines that are just as good, who now have the opportunity to operate on something beyond a regional level.
Casalfarneto is one such company and they have been making waves in recent years because of the quality of their wines, having spent the last two decades refining their processes and perfecting their techniques. The company has is now arguably at the forefront of the Italian wine industry and more than capable of sharing centre stage with any number of the larger players.
Here we will take a look back at how the company got started and what it has done to reach the heights that it currently enjoys.
Casalfarneto was founded in 1995, on land that had previously been used for more traditional farming, rather than vines. In fact, part of the property still consists of three old farmhouses that are still used to help the company make some truly special wines. Coupled with a modern winery, Casalfarneto combines the old with the new to create an interesting contrast in styles that some would say is reflected in the quality of their wines.
Located 350 feet above sea level and playing host to a number of old oak trees that lend the company its rather unique name, the winery dominates an otherwise gentle valley that still contains hints if the quaint medieval villages that used to be present there. Its location also makes it perfect for viticulture and there can be no denying that the quality of the land has played a large role in the company’s continued expansion in recent years.
The company currently maintains an astonishing sixty hectares of land, of which a little more than half are used for vineyards that grow the wonderful grapes that go into the many wines that the company produces. Chief amongst these is Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, whicb dominates the company’s production. However, the company also understands the importance of experimentation and using other grape varieties, which is why five hectares of the land has also been dedicated to red grapes like Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot.
Most impressively, the land also plays host to gnarled oak and olive trees, with the olive trees in particular playing a large role in the company’s output. Not only do they allow for the creation of a spectacular olive oil, but they also fill the area with an intense aroma that many say is captured by the wines that the company produces.
Casalfarneto works with a passion and dedication that is needed if a company is to be successful in the modern Italian wine industry. Demonstrating respect for the environment, while also interweaving traditional methods with some of the most cutting edge technology, the company has built a solid foundation on which it intends to create its continued history, continually striving for excellence in the process.
As a more modern wine company, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Casalfarneto has dedicated itself to making the best possible use of modern technologies so that it can produce wines of particularly high quality.
The company’s Cantina is perhaps the most obvious example of this melding of the traditional with the modern, as the structure has been created to make use of some of the most advanced production methods available, while still maintaining full respect for the environmental integrity of the land that surrounds it. It has been built using environmentally friendly architecture and design, ensuring that the wines produced by the company are the most accurate possible representation of the land that spawned them.
Completely buried in the hill that is behind the main vineyards, the company’s Cantina has become as much a part of the land as the vines that they grow, allowing it to gently blend with the land, rather than imposing upon it. Every scrap of technology that has been used in its creation is designed to extol the virtues of the grapes that are grown by the company, with separate tanks being used to ensure that each type of grape that they grow gets the level of attention and respect that it deserves.
Like many great modern wine companies, Casalfarneto blends the old with the new to create wines that offer something a little different to much of the traditional fare that is offered by older companies. Here we will be taking a look at perhaps one of the company’s best products, which is a beautiful DOCG still white wine that is worth exploring by anybody.
Often recognized as the best and predominant wine to be produced by the company, the CasalFarneto Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Crisio 2011 is a refreshing change of pace from more well-known still whites and offers refreshment and a surprising level of complexity, despite being made of 100% Verdicchio Bianco grapes.
The wine is pale, straw yellow when examined, as so many great white wines are, though in this case the most observant will be able to spot traces of small green hues as well. The wine also has a pronounced, aromatic freshness, not doubt influenced by the presence of so many olive trees on the company’s land.
To the nose you will notice hints of citrus, white fruit, white flowers and aromatic herbs, which all combine to lend the wine an interesting and unique body.
However, it is when introduced to the palette that the wine really starts to show its true colours. Featuring a surprising level of complexity that offers elegance in addition to being startlingly refreshing, the wine also has a heavily mineral taste that is again reflective of the care that the company has taken with its land.