There’s always a story to be told at Summa, the 21-22 March green event organized by the innovative South Tyrolean winemaker Alois Lageder in his estate in Magrè, in Alto Adige, where he hosts more than 60 quality-conscious winemakers from all over the world to present wines and vintages characterized by a sustainable approach.
And this year it’s Love who tells the story of wines and families whose passion for this nectar plunges its roots in a past of tradition and love for land: two French speaking wineries located in the heart of two small valleys, Valle D’Aosta in Italy at the foot of Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, and in France Languedoc on the foothills of the Larzac plateau and the Buèges valley.
La Maison Vigneronne Grosjean Frères has a very close relationship with the Valle D`Aosta land, a northern gem with ancient castles and terraced vineyards crowned by an amphitheater of snowy mountains. The Grosjean family has been cultivating their love for the region since 1781, growing 12 varieties of autochthonous grapes, such as Petite Rouge, Fumin, Cornalin, Premetta, Vuillermin, as well as Pinot Noir, in steeply inclined vineyards located at 650 mt around small Ollignan, on the border between the towns of Quart and Saint Christophe. Vinification was handed down from father to son and in 1969, the family started to bottle their own wine, personally following all stages of production, from vineyard to cellar. In 1975 they converted their vineyards to organic farming, becoming through the years one of the top producers of the region, expanding to reach 10 hectares of vineyards that give beautiful, fruity, sincere wines. A pleasure to drink, tasting the red 2013 Vallée d`Aoste DOC Torrette, a blend of Petit Rouge, Cornalin, Fumin and Premetta, leaves the palate fresh with lovable red-dark berries flavors, full and round, really well-balanced. The charming characters of Vigne Rovettaz shape also the 2010 Vallée d`Aoste DOC Fumin, a gentle, structured dark black purple with spiced cherry and cedar aromas, and very soft tannins. With a very late harvest in mid-November, this wine feels cool and elegant, and proudly represents the elegant, enigmatic wines of Valle d´Aosta region. Somehow, these wines seem both French and Italian at the same time. Yet in a way, they’re neither. They’re purely mountain wines which have their own unique geography and a story ready to be disclosed in a bottle.
And into the hidden pockets of the vast Larzac plateau and remote Buèges valley in France Languedoc the almost 60 years old vineyards of Mas des Quernes are telling another tale of love and friendship: it is here, not far from Montpellier, in the tiny fortified village of Montpeyroux, that international renowned oenologist Jean Natoli, and practiced wine importer Peter Riegel, began their joint wine story in 2009. Their predilection for organic wines flourished in a partnership that led 12 hectares of vineyards to give nectarine Carignan, Mourvèdre and Grenache varieties a unique appeal, becoming officially bio in 2012. The two friends unified their expertise and skills to give birth to Domaine Mas des Quernes and to refined, immediate wines, with a great aromatic elegance. Such as 2013 Les Ruches, AOC Languedoc, an explosion of spiced bloom and blackberry fruitiness blend of Mourvèdre Carignan, Grenache, a cuvée of only 10 000 bottles, that perfectly embodies the character of the terroir where these enigmatic grapes grow.
You can discover how the mystical combination of the soil, the sun and the man wit makes Mas des Quernes wines with such force of nature tasting 2012 Le Querne, Terrasses du Larzac AOP, a hidden array of aromas of chokecherries and thriving, nearly liquorice flavors weighed down by a soft tannin: the perfect complement to an enduring conversation that you can experience at Summa, genuinely exchanging moments of praise for each of these wines`stories with their creators and simply realizing how much love is wrapped in a bottle.