In a stunning setting smack in the middle of Abbruzzo’s National Park, in Orsogna, sits the Il Feuduccio winery. The visit to the winery was part of a large excursion organised by the newlyweds to entertain us during our stay and came as a welcome surprise.
I don’t know if pictures can really depict the beauty of the place: green valleys, rolling vineyards and the snow capped mountains as a background, they all comprise a very interesting terroir for wine production.
The winery is owned by Gaetano Lamaletto, a ceramic tile tycoon born in a nearby village, who left for South America with his wife to make a fortune. In 1998 he decided to buy one of the best vineyards in the area and built a winery, now run by his daughter Laura and her family.
Laura herself (and her lovely youngest daughter) gave us the tour around the winery, explaining every step of the painstaikingly quality controlled production process from the cultivation of the vines to the final product.
Montepulciano was one of the first ever non-Greek red wines I tried in my life, back in those years where cheap was the main criterion for choosing a bottle. It is true that a lot of the production in Abruzzo is targeted torwads economy wines, which due to their fruitiness, are not actually that terrible when you are a 20year old on a drinking spree.
The wines produced in the estate, however, have so little in common with ‘plonk’ as good Argentinian steak has with a Mac Donald’s value meal. The vineyards get the sea breeze of the Adriatic and the cool mountain air. This unique microclimate coupled with a soil of sand, clay and silt produce high quality wines with typicity and clear palates.
We tried one white, the Pecorino 2007, an ancient variety of the Trebbiano family, one rose, the Feuduccio Cerasuaolo 2007, the basic of the estate’s DOC reds, the Fonte Venna 2006, and because Laura was in great mood as she was leaving for holidays the next day, she also treated us to the pride of the estate, the sweet Passito, which is a mix of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Merlot and Sangiovese, and is produced only in very small quantities.
All were very interesting wines, well structured and expressive, but I have to admit that the sweet one, the Passito, blew my mind (it also happens much more expensive that the rest). I am not a great fan of very sweet things in general, but this one had a nice balance, an acidity which kept things more focused. Black cherries and a grapey bouquet combined with a lasting finish, well what can I say…
The Fonte Wenna was also a treat especially for the price (8 euro). Very dark in colour, with spices and red fruit on the nose, fruit and good tannins on the palate, and in general typical of the variety. I can’t imagine what the other three more expensive -Feuduccio, Ursognia and Margae- (with scores around 90 at Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate) will be like! Unfortunately I cannot find their wines in Greece and couldn’t carry any with me because of the flight, but I might try and order them online.