Vaira is one of two estates which are the first in a line of estates/wines that we’ve partnered with Eric Narioo of Caves des Pyrenes in UK (and Vino di Anna) on. Eric Narioo has created a line of special labels together with existing estates/producers whom he respects in each of their territories (he has done a Barbera with our own Fabrizio Iuli in Monferrato for example). All the wines are low intervention and organically farmed, some biodynamic, some certified and some not yet. The idea is offering high quality, low priced natural wines to the ‘people.’ As we know, Natural wines have become almost exclusively an option (like organic food in many cases) for only higher income families, and that’s not what we want…
Hootananny is the exclusive importer for Vaira wines in the US.
How many of you have been to Molise? I drove through a few years ago and almost missed it! However, it's Italy's second smallest wine region after Val d'Aosta, and a hidden gem of a wine region it is (sort of like Monferrato :).
Fattoria di Vaira is instead one of the largest biodynamic farms in Italy with more than 500 hectares of land. Forty of these planted to vines. They also cultivate vegetables, grains and cereals. They produce Cheese, olive oil and honey.
They have received a degree of purity in their soils similar to 'wild soil' after years of biodynamic farming. They use cover crops, green manure, and compost from the cows on their farm, and use 500 and 501.
The Vicenzo range was created by Eric and the oenologist at the Fattoria. Named after the old many who has farmed this land most of his life.
The concept behind this line was to create value biodynamic natural low SO2 wines which are reflective of terroir and vintage, wild yeasts, no fining or filtering. A range of wines that all of us natural wine importers are constantly asked for... that pure wild wine that is by the glass pricing. Wines that speak to both the head Somm as well as 'regular' old wine drinkers at the bar...
The wines that Vaira was producing with their label were more controlled. However, with the beauty of the vineyards, the amount of fruit they had available, and the quality of the soil, it was a no brainer for Eric to collaborate with them to create this line.
With sandy and clay based soils, and and vineyards ranging from 10 years old to 35 years old, these wines are incredibly dynamic and truly both rockstars in their category!
The white is a 50/50 blend of Trebbiano and Falanghina. The Falanghina was macerated 1 week (50% whole bunch) and the Trebbiano was a direct press. They were fermented separately and then blended a month before bottling. Only 30 total on the SO2 and 12% alcohol (big smiles :). I was asked for years and years for a natural and gentle 'orange' wine with by the glass pricing... here it is folks, and it drinks like a wine that should be three times the price.
The red is 60% Montepulciano and the remainder an equal blend of Cab and Merlot. Approximately 10 days of maceration, 1/3 of which is whole bunch. Same story, all stainless and natural yeasts, no fining or filtering. Total alcohol is 12.5% and the total SO2 is 30 here as well.