Summer & Ciliegiolo Wine by the Pool at Fattoria di Fibbiano

Sometimes it is good to dream back a bit to a summer day when you were sipping on Ciliegiolo wine by the pool in good company.

On this rainy September Sunday, where some parts of Italy has suffered heavy torrential rain and landslides, to not forget Hurricane Irma pulling in over Florida right this moment, I was sitting thinking back to the summer. More specifically, I was looking and sorting through the photos from the last few months.

Some of these photos were from an outing to Fattoria di Fibbiano in Terricciola, close to Pisa, with my friend and wine influencer Li Valentine, The Wining Hour, two months ago. Can you believe that two months have already passed…? It feels like it was just yesterday.

So, let’s dream back a bit to the summer on this rainy and a bit gloomy day…

A tour of the vineyards

For those of you who want a more in-depth background story about Fattoria di Fibbiano, you can read more in my article Fattoria di Fibbiano — A Family Wine History.

The first time I visited Fattoria di Fibbiano more than a year ago, it had been raining heavily so it was not possible to visit the vineyards. When I returned there last summer, I did manage to have a look at the vineyards. It was fascinating to see the 120-year-old Sangiovese vines that are producing the grapes for their Ceppatella IGT Toscana wine.

As that part of Tuscany used to be the bottom of the sea a couple of million years ago, the clay soil is very rich on fossil shells. In fact, you can see the shells everywhere in the soil and it is impressive to pick them up and get a closer look.

When I visited them in August last year, they had recently planted new vines of Sangiovese and it was interesting to see how much they had grown in a year. Last year, I took photos of the new plants but this year I actually forgot to take a photo close up. However, you can see the vines in the background of the photo below.

They are focusing on indigenous grape varieties, not only Sangiovese, but also Colombana, Vermentino, Colorino, Canaiolo, and Ciliegiolo.

Fattoria di Fibbiano has launched its new 100% Ciliegiolo wine this year. Already in the early spring, I tasted this new Ciliegiolo wine in Livorno at a general tasting organized by Riccardo Gabriele.

Then the red fruit, mostly cherry, and the freshness were the most dominant parts of this Ciliegiolo wine. In mid-July, it had already evolved and become much more structured with deeper and balsamic notes.

The Ciliegiolo is an indigenous grape variety mostly cultivated in Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, Abruzzo, and Lazio. The wine critic Ian D’Agata has defined it as one of Italy’s

“greatest but most unappreciated grape varieties”.

(Native Wine Grapes of Italy by Ian D’Agata, pp. 247–249.)

Often, it has historically been mistaken for Sangiovese as well as confused with other grapes such as Grenache and Aleatico. According to DNA studies, it has been shown that there is a clear parentage between Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo, the former being a progeny of the latter.

To read more of the article, click HERE.

PhD, Wine Writer, Sommelier, Social Media Strategist for Wineries, Translator, founder of #WinesOfItaly #LiveStream-every Wedn 19.00CET/10amPT-Football fan

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