Sangiovese from thirty year old vines planted over clay in Orvieto, destemmed and macerated on the skins for a fortnight, before a year of ageing in vats. Dark and brooding in the glass, its tannins frame moreish flavours of black cherry, herbs, balsamic and brine. A perfect example of the kind of rustic, soulful wine we love to drink in the trattorie that line Umbria’s hills.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Ajola is a beautiful little farm situated in the rolling hills outside Orvieto, at the crossroads of Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany. Here, Jacopo farms three and a half hectares of vines up to seventy five years old planted over sandy loams of volcanic origin. Facing east at some 440 metres above sea level, the situation lends the fruit a fresh, fragrant character to the wines. Recently, he has begun farming a further hectare and a half of Procanico and Ansonica from old vineyards closer to Lago di Bolsena and here the volcanic soils are littered with black sand and stones.
Having worked for many years for Gianmarco and Clementine of Le Coste, Jacopo started Ajola in 2012. Born out of a respect for the way the land was tended by the contadini of old and a hope to contribute to a new generation of regenerative farming in the area, at time the vineyards had been neglected for decades and some time his work was mostly a restoration project, nurturing the plants back to life, replanting and grafting from old massale cuttings. He has worked organically from the outset, treating the vines with just a small amount of copper and sulphur and preparing various herbal teas to boost their health.
In the cantina, he takes a gentle approach, experimenting with various vessels to give an understanding of the best way to express the region’s grapes. Pure, nourishing and very much alive, they make for compelling drinking and offer a true taste of these hills and the wonderful grape varieties which call them home.