Campania, Italy

Cantina Giardino

Gaia 2021



Gaia 2021
Campania, Italy

Fiano from a ninety year old vineyard planted some five hundred metres above sea level. It was fermented on skins for four days, before a year of rest in both chestnut and mulberry casks. This wows with complex aromatics of white flowers, chalk and minerals, whilst the finest of tannins lead to a long, salty finish. As good as it gets.



Antonio and Daniela De Gruttola seek out old vineyards in Irpinia, high in the hills of Campania, championing and preserving the region’s native varieties, old vines and the old-fashioned way of tending them.

They began in 2003 and in Italy they were amongst a handful of pioneers who paved the way for the making of wines with no additions, inspiring many to adopt an approach in the cantina that produces wines with a true sense of place.

Since their beginnings, they have grown organically, amassing twenty one hectares of beautiful old vines spread out amongst six parcels and planted over a fascinating mix of soils. Trained in the traditional fashion, the old, gnarled vines grow as if they were trees, reaching upwards and outwards like outstretched arms. As was commonplace in the days of old, the vines are planted at a low density to allow a mix of agriculture and often share the parcels with olive and fruit trees. The work in the vineyards is done by hand, organically and to supplement what their own land produces, they also work with a network of contadini who do things the old-fashioned way. This combination of climate, landscape, old vines and sensitive farming produces vibrant, characterful fruit.

In the cantina, Antonio takes a no-nonsense approach with the intention of letting the land express itself in full. The grapes ferment naturally without temperature control and fermentation can continue for months. The wines are raised in a variety of vessels, though most often in terracotta and sandstone amphorae and large casks made from local woods, and are bottled unfiltered, with no additions at all.

The resulting wines are singular, vivid expressions of grape and place.