Above: Savio, Ottavio, Alessandro, and Alessandra (first names only, please) of the Valli Unite cooperative and agriturismo in Piedmont.
There are so many great wines from Italy available today in the U.S. Nearly every week I taste with this or that importer or distributor and discover a wine that I didn’t know about. Such was the case when I tasted a few weeks ago with my friend Amy Atwood in Los Angeles, who always has killer wines in her bag. She turned me on to a biodynamic cooperative — a hippie commune, really — called Valli Unite. Here’s how the Valli Unite (united valleys) describe themselves:
- Nestled high up in the hills surrounded by green and fruit bearing trees, fields of vines and fruits, a center village consists of a cluster of stone and brick buildings covered with green — this is home base for 25 people who live and work together. Food, wine and labor is divided equally. Each has his/her own role, working the land, tending to the animals or cooking in the kitchen to sustain an alternative lifestyle that was originally designed by Ottavio as a way for himself a few other local farmers to survive in an industrializing world. After 30 years of commitment to the land, nature, and one another — Valli Unite is going strong…
And when you taste their wines, you taste the freshness and purity of fruit that only chemical-free winemaking (freed of the yoke of industrial winemaking) can deliver.