What do you do if you marry somebody whose family has been making wine for generations? You bring all your agricultural research and development expertise and start a new winery. In 2007 Alessia Bertaiola and her husband, Stefano, a 3rd generation winemaker, took over the 10-hectare winery near Lake Garda and converted everything fairly quickly to biodynamic farming. In a region where most people make Bardolino wine, they ignore the DOC certification and make the wines they like to drink. 2020 is the first vintage for their new natural wine project Sassara, and Danilo Marcucci is helping them making raw and unfiltered wines.
The label says red-orange wine, but what is it? It’s a co-fermented wine with 30% red grapes and 70% white grapes. The vines are pretty old and the grapes were hand-harvested in September. They macerate for 10 days in a fiberglass tank and are pressed directly afterward. They then age for another half a year in stainless steel to show off only the grape aromas and not overpower the flavors with any wood. Showing off its Veneto coolness with some pomegranate and wet stone on the nose. In the mouth, it’s a little blood orange and later more of a fruity cold brew tea. This is structured enough to work well with any barbecue or even dessert if you give it some time to breathe.