A new friend in Angiolino Maule and the future of Natural wine in Italy

Have you ever tasted a wine that thrilled you so completely and moved you so deeply that you felt compelled, as if by some magnetic force of the earth, to seek out the winemaker and vineyards where it was grown?

After first tasting his wines last year, that’s how I felt about Angiolino Maule and La Biancara, his family’s estate.

Two weeks ago, I called Angiolino out of the blue and asked him if I could bring Tracie P and Alfonso to taste with him (Alfonso arrived yesterday in Italy for the COF2011 project.)

Even though he didn’t know me from Adamo, he agreed to let us come and taste. Before we knew it, there was a sympathia and it didn’t take long to discover that we have a very close and dear friend in common, Veneto jazz great Ruggero Robin.

Angiolino’s wines are simply stunning, literally mind-blowing… We toured his growing sites, tasted, and talked about his new university research projects and his quest to bring hard science into the fold of the Natural wine world. And he revealed some of his breakthroughs in vinification without the addition of sulfites (more on that later).

Although the village is dominated by industrial, commercial winemaking, some of the upper slopes of the township of Gambellara in the province of Vicenza (above) are still blessed by gorgeous vineyards alternated with untamed woods. One of the most intriguing landscapes of my beloved Veneto.

So much to tell, so much to share… but it will just have to wait as Tracie P, Alfonso, and I head out for another day of tasting…