A quiet road a few kilometers south of Rome climbs the western slope of the Lepini Mountains. It is a scenic road, offering the mountain on one side and the valley on the other. A view that is lost in the distance, all the way to the sea. This road leads to Marco Carpineti’s farm in Cori in the province of Latina.
This winery was established in 1987 on Carpineti family land. Marco’s grandfather, in fact, produced wine. Table wine, bulk, in other words, the farmer’s wine. I used to go there, often, with my grandfather and uncle when I was a child. A shed in the middle of the vineyards and a couple of horses. Of that rural reality, very little remains today at first glance. In fact, today we find a beautiful structure, with tastefully decorated glass-fronted tasting rooms. With an organized and modern reception. However, the rural spirit, understood as a connection with the land and nature remains alive and perceptible, in everything the farm produces. From wine to extra virgin olive oil.
The Carpineti estate.
As soon as you walk through the gate that likes not to be easily seen, you are impressed by the view. The Pontine plain (pianura pontina) stretches as far as the eye can see to the sea. On clear days you can even see the Pontine islands, Ponza, Palmarola and Giannutri. And of course the silhouette of the Circeo promontory to the left. Towering in the halls is the Carpineti coat of arms, with the three eight-pointed stars on a blue background, a coat of arms that makes the bottles very recognizable. Toward the north the first villages of the Castelli Romani can be seen.
Visit to the Marco Carpineti Winery
The visit begins from the rooms below the entrance, where you can admire the bottling and labeling machinery. As well as the modern machinery for the production of one of Carpineti’s top stars: the classic method Kius. Which is produced in three versions using the indigenous grape varieties of this territory: Bellone and Nero buono. Instead of the classic pupitres here a robot crate is used, like the one that makes the remuage for Cava in Spain. The path unravels between the various steel fermentation tanks before reaching the cave. Which is always one of the most important and romantic places in a winery. Here, against a wall of limestone mixed with tuff, representing the entire rocky coastline in front, are the tonneaux and barriques alongside the amphorae.
Carpineti wines: 15 labels
Let’s talk about 15 labels: 3 bubbles, Marco Carpineti’s line offers organic wines that with a clever use of terracotta, barrique and steel vessels offer aromas and flavors linked to the land and history of this area. The star grapes in these wines are Bellone and Arciprete (a variant of Bellone), Greco Moro (a variant of Greco grape). The black grapes are Nero Buono di Cori, Montepulciano and Cesanese. These are the company’s international grapes As Marco Carpineti himself defines them with his proverbial irony: “international because they have been made famous abroad by the company.” In reality, these are valuable native grape varieties that grow on various plots of land located, not all of them, around the winery. Immediately below the winery, you can see those of Bellone and a dirt road that runs through it, the Capolemole way.
The white wines of Marco Carpineti
The road names the first label Capolemole Bianco and Capolemole Rosso. Carpineti’s base white wine is Collesanti, which grows on the cru in the Capolemole Estate. It is pure Bellone grape, offering aromas of fruit and white flowers and great minerality. A freshness that invites the next glass. We begin the tasting with a nice glass of KIUS classic method sparkling wine from Bellone grapes, very fresh and easy, perfect paired with fried foods. Fairly persistent and very mineral.
Carpineti also produces a passito wine, Ludum. For this wine the berries dries on the vine with a late harvest by hand. Then, the wine ages in oak barrels for a year. This is a great wine for meditation, desserts and cheese pairing.
Amphorae and biodynamic philosophy
Coup de théâtre for NZU’ Bianco from Bellone grapes. Nzù, a dialectal name that means being one, in this inflection we find the whole spirit of this wine. Which is a Biodynamic wine, aged in amphora. The color is an intense golden straw yellow, with orange/gold hues. An intense floral bouquet of flowers and yellow fruits that is expressed, on the palate, in the most balanced form possible. A wine that in pairing can offer amazing sensations. All the wines in the range are interesting and pleasant, such as Moro (from Greco Moro). A little-known clone of Greco Bianco that expresses itself in a fresh, delicate wine scented with peach, almond and fresh hay. Strictly hand-harvested (as is done in all of the winery’s vineyards).
Nero buono, Montepulciano and Cesanese.
Nzù from Nero Buono is a tribute to ancient Rome. Which has left indelible marks here in Cori. In homage to history and tradition, these amphora wines benefit from the local clay. Nero buono, a black berry typical of the area, shows its ruby color with garnet highlights. So, the aromas are fruity and spicy. Moreover, this is a biodynamic wine strong in its volcanic minerality. The KIUS pas dosé is Nero Buono in purity, which boasts sixty months on the lees. The result is an intriguing sparkling wine and very interesting in pairing. That is the classic blanc de noir with distinctive aromas and depth on the finish. Striking is the elegance and finesse of the perlage that is creamy on the palate. Truly a fine wine.
Marco Carpineti’s red wines
Capolemole Rosso is a blend of three grape varieties: Montepulciano, Cesanese and Nero Buono di Cori. Aged for 12 months in barrique. Full-bodied and the nose feels like walking through the woods, over a field of wild strawberries. Nero Buono is a grape of great strength, in a blend with Cesanese it acquires elegance and balance. The winery produces other very interesting wines such as Apolide rosso. Produced this time with Nero Buono grapes from estates near Ninfa. This wine ages in Italian oak barrels. A wine that wants to be unique as inferred from the choice of its name. Moving up in gradation and emphasis, we find DITHYRAMBUS. It comes from a blend of Nero Buono and Montepulciano, harvested in the cru of Colle Paolino. Twenty-four months of aging in barrique for a wine meant to fascinate with a reference to Dionysian myths and the earth. Tufaliccio, as its name suggests, is a wine that carries a deep connection to the earth. To Tufo in particular. A full-bodied wine, fruity on the nose and full on the palate. A happy pairing with savory dishes.
What Carpineti has to do with ancient Rome.
Those who make wine and go in search of authentic roots not only in a cultural sense but also in a botanical sense will find great satisfaction here. In the latest acres acquired by Carpineti there are some that stretch across a plateau toward Bassiano, Sermoneta and Sezze, towns in the province of Latina. Here, between two ridges of Apennines, not far from where the Appian Way used to pass, lies the Antoniana Estate. Acquired in 2015, this is the last of the estates od the family. The history of this estate is linked to Cecubo wine. A Wine of Antiquity named after the blind Emperor Appius Claudius. Traces of ancient vines have been found on the estate, sparking important research, indeed.
Antoniana Estate’s new soils and biodynamics
The plateau is fertile, rich in spring water and higher altitude then other vineyards. Historically, therefore, it is a well-known land, both in ancient Roman times and in the Middle Ages. When it became the property of the Caetani family, lords of Sermoneta. It was the last bastion of civilization and wholesomeness before the dreadful Pontine Marshes. So, in this fascinating and wild territory, the Carpineti have planted a 3-hectare vineyard with the rows arranged in the form of a labyrinth. They grow the Abbuoto (Cecubo), Bellone and Nero Buono in a biodynamic environment. The ecosystem of the estate thus sees the coexistence of forest, pasture and agriculture. The estate, indeed, while not certified biodynamic, is increasingly looking towards an eco-sustainable development of viticulture. Never forgetting where one comes from, but with an eye on where one is going.
Team building in the winery
Gourmetaly has been organizing winery visits and Team Building since 2013. So, not only for our prestigious clients such as Netflix, Abbott, Lumenis, Allianz and Fineco just to name a few, but even our staff enjoys those activities. Many Companies have relied on us for their team building and corporate meetings. The gaming element is always present and alongside the visiting and tasting activities. This turns the gathering in a opportunity for fun, growth, sharing and socializing.
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