Today’s story takes us to Abruzzo, in the village of Orsogna, province of Chieti, an area known for the presence of many social cooperative wineries. The homonymous social cooperative winery of the village, Cantina Orsogna 1964, founded in the mid-1960s, now has 600 members for over 1,200 hectares of vineyards, and produces about 1.7 million bottles produced, not considering bulk wine.
About 87% of the vineyards of the Orsogna Winery are certified organic or biodynamic. About 300 hectares are biodynamic and about fifty are currently being converted. In this way, Cantina Orsogna turns out not only to be the largest Italian producer of certified organic and biodynamic wine, but in 2018 it was also recognized, by the World Conference of Biodynamics, as the largest winery in the world.
The current situation is the result of the strategic choices made in the early 2000s, with the management of healthier agriculture, with the greatest respect for the ecosystem where the vines are planted. This decision has proven to be forward-looking, because over time Cantina Orsogna has obtained important commercial achievements in the international market too. The greatest attention to nature has led to the elimination of the use of plastics altogether, such as the capsules on all bottles of organic and biodynamic wines no longer exist.
Cantina Orsogna and a large part of its vineyard are located at the foot of the Majella Mountains, 15 km from the Adriatic Sea. The location is very favorable, as it benefits from constant sea breeze. Furthermore, the vineyards are located in the hills, at an altitude ranging between 380 and 580 meters above sea level, optimal for temperature excursions between night and day and among seasons. The soil has a predominantly calcareous composition, combined with the presence of clay and sand.
The wine production is divided into 4 lines, two Demeter International certified biodynamic and two organic. The wine we will talk about is Passerina Primae, which is part of the Zeropuro line, certified biodynamic. The rules of the biodynamic method convey that work in the vineyard has to be is in tune with forces, rhythms and cycles of nature.
According to Rudolf Steiner teachings, the goal is to create the right interconnection between sky and earth, considering planets and the moon’s astrological influences, to preserve the soil fertility and the vine vitality. Natural preparations and fertilizers are made, the most famous of which is ‘cornoletame’. These grapes have a superior quality,and arean authentic expression of the vineyard and the area of origin. The ripe grapes are strictly harvested manually, and are then transported to the cellar where the attention to hygiene is extreme.
In the cellar, the fermentation of the grapes takes place through the yeasts naturally present on the skins and, in no case, using selected yeast strains. Moreover, sulphur dioxide is not added to the must, an enological choice that preserves spontaneous microflora and the natural action of endogenous yeasts. At the end of the process, there is no wine filtration, which we will see directly in the glass.
Now, let’s talk about the taste of Pecorino Prismae Zeropuro 2016.
A visual inspection of the wine shows a light yellow color with a slight opalescence, caused by no filtration. On the nose, it is striking for its olfactory intensity, as itopens with floral hints of acacia and hawthorn, which turn towards notes of Mediterranean aromatic herbs of rosemary and thyme, along with juicy pear and ripe apricots. The texture of the wine is full, round, with an important fresh-savory component, which is well balanced by a pleasant presence of alcohol and a great glyceric softness. Well structured, it remains in the mouth for a long time with retro-nasally returns of mineral and almond tones.
A sincere, surprising wine, with great flexibility, itcan pair with seafood dishes, deep-fried appetizers, semi-mature cheese and pasta with vegetables.