At Haynes, Hanson & Clark, we have long enjoyed the wines of Italy, for their variety, versatility and sheer vitality. In our continuous quest for fresh whites and brilliant reds at reasonable prices, we took a trip there earlier this year to seek out new producers and taste what they had to offer. From the spectacularly beautiful, mountainous region of Alto Adige we are fortunate to have discovered one of the best co-operatives in the region, Kellerei Kurtatsch, with its excellent wines made of the familiar grapes Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, and Pinot Nero, and the indigenous ones Schiava and Lagrein. Further east in Piedmont we uncovered the superb Ca’ Viola winery, where the gifted Giuseppe Caviola makes thrilling reds from Dolcetto and Nebbiolo. And from well-loved Tuscany we bring a second Montalcino producer, the tiny Querce Bettina, with their pure, characterful Rosso and Brunello.
We love all of these wines, finding them to be beautifully balanced, wonderfully expressive, and eminently drinkable.
Kellerei Kurtatsch, Alto Adige
Kellerei Kurtatsch – or Cantina Cortaccia, in Italian – is one of Alto Adige’s smallest and oldest co-operative wineries, founded in 1900. They look after 180 hectares of vines, working with 180 growers. “We like terroir; we don’t like too much oak. These are elegant mountain wines” – so says the head winemaker, and we could not agree more.
Ca’ Viola, Piedmont
Beppe Caviola established his winery in 1991, and is now one of the most well respected winemakers and consultants in Piedmont. Using organic farming, wild yeasts, and no filtering, he produces beautifully expressive, pure wines. His Nebbiolo is grown on the spectacular Sottocastello di Novello vineyard, one of the finest sites in Piedmont.
Querce Bettina, Montalcino
Querce Bettina is a tiny property in Mocali, a small area just south of Montalcino, with a distinctive terroir and a unique microclimate. Everything is done by hand by Sandra and Roberto Moretti, with the maximum amount of care and attention to detail – with the result that only a small number of cases per year are produced of these utterly compelling wines.