Great Sparkling Wine by the Sea from Les Caves Richemer

The story of Les Caves Richemer begins in France in the year 1998.  This is the year that the cooperative wineries of D’Adge and Marsaillen were married, bringing 450 winemakers together and giving birth to what would soon become numerous wine ranges of outstanding quality.  The name Les Caves Richemer comes from Henri Richet, a legendary local winemaker who became very wealthy from sea borne wine trader, especially vermouth.  The cooperative adopted the name Henri de Richemer, and working together they began to thrive and create exceptional wines.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldEach year, at the end of the summer, hoppers loaded with grapes sit side by side the numerous boats docked at Marsaillen.  This is because the wine cellar of Henri de Richemer is in the very heart of the city, on the port!  The wines are sold very close to where they are produced, in the three wine shops of Les Caves Richemer, those in Marsaillen-Ville, Marsaillen-Plage (the beach of Marsaillen) and D’Adge.

Les Caves Richemer wines are separated into five special ranges and produce a total of 300,000 bottles of wine per year, all made from grapes grown in the regions of Hérault, Côtes de Thau and from the Pays d’Oc

The 450 winegrowers of this cooperative have a combined 1,500 hectares of vineyards.  In their unique location between land and sea, the vineyards of Les Caves Richemer create exceptionally bright white, rose and sparkling wines.  This is partly because of the soil in the Mediterranean waterfront, which is mainly composed of tertiary sediments (clay and sand) and quaternary (gravel) which are particularly conducive to growing grapes with delicate and complex flavours.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThe climate of this area is heavily influenced by the vineyards’ proximity to the second largest lake in France, the Etang de Thau.  This is the largest in a string of lagoons in France that stretches from the Rhône River to the foothills of the Pyrenees, and lends a specific moisture and freshness imperative for creating beautifully subtle and delicate wines.

Their ranges include wines made from traditional single grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Their iconic range of cuvées, the Terre & Mer, focuses on vins de pays made with local varieties of grapes.  These are Terret for whites, Marselan and Syrah for rosés and reds, and both noir and blanc Piquepol.  Only the oldest wines are used for this range, which is the special of Les Caves Richemer. These are very special grapes and the wines that the cooperative of Les Caves  Richemer have created with them are truly outstanding.

Les Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldLes Caves Richemer 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the WorldThe doors of the cellar of Henri de Richemer face the beautiful port, and surely have had a hand in perpetuating the traditions of the first port on the Thau, as well as promoting the rich architectural and urban heritage of the waterfront.

Les Caves Richemer has the following sparkling wine amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Terre &t Mer Brut (Gold medal with 96 pts) Fresh orange and floral notes. Fruity attack with sprightly acidity. Clean lines. Short pleasant finish. Youthful.Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

 

 

Fratelli Agnes, Rovescola since 1912. Exceptional Frizzantes


The family operating the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes, an Italian winery with beautiful vineyards located in Rovescala, Lombardia, creates truly exceptional Frizzante sparkling wines.  This is most certainly due in part to profoundly deep roots in traditional wine making.  Grapes have been cultivated and wine produced in Rovescala for over 800 years!

Fratelli Agnes 50 Great Sparkling wines of the world

A notarized historical document exists, dated all the way back to March 22, 1192, stating that three Lombardi feudal lords, noble creditors, required repayment from Anselmo, the Count of Rovescala.  Rather than demanding the money back, they requested 2,000 litres of fine wine and an escort of armed men to protect the load on the journey back to Milan.  They requested, “de puro vino suarum vinearum de Rovescalla, de meliori quod habuerit super locum” (pure wine of the vineyards of Rovescala, a place that has the best).  The document is currently held in safekeeping at the State Archives of Milan.  Archaeological finds also attest to the age old winemaking tradition of the region, some dating back to Roman times, including fragments of beautiful relics used for serving wine.

The municipality of Rovescala is nestled amongst thriving vineyards in the region of Oltrepò Pavese.  This area lies in the province of Pavia, in Lombardia.  Located in the northwest region of Italy, Lombardia is frequently referred to as the “Tuscany of the North”, due to the abundance of remarkable and authentic Italian wines.  The Oltrepò Pavese in particular has a wealth of vineyards, medieval villages and castles, panoramic views and authentic Italian cuisine and wine.  This region is the largest producer of wines in Lombardia, and one of the largest in all of Italy, especially of wines made with Pinot Nero grapes.

It is in this rich, historic region that the Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes may be found.  The family also has very deep roots in the tradition of winemaking, and began cultivating grapes and producing fine wines in 1912.

Agnes Fratelli 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

The prestigious winery of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes produces 120,000 bottles of wine each year.  They craft their wines using grapes grown exclusively in their own 20 hectares of vineyard.  The harvest is done manually.  They cultivate Bonardo Pignolo di Rovescala and Croatina, red grape varietals that are local to the Oltrepò Pavese region as well as, to a lesser extent, some other areas of Lombardia.  Vines are planted in plots, and grapes are collected and crushed separately according to type in order to maintain as much of their unique characteristics as possible.

The wines of Azienda Agricola Fratelli Agnes continue to win awards in Italy and around the globe, which further inspires the family to create even finer wines.  To this end, they have recovered and reintroduced old vines of grape varietals that, over time, have been abandoned or forgotten.  One such example is the Bonarda Pignolo, with which they create wines that possess certain flavours unique to this grape.

Agnes Fratelli 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2

Today, the brothers Christian and Sergio Agnes operate the Azienda Agricola Fratelli cresta del ghiffi bottiglia mdAgnes.  With the wealth of knowledge that has been passed down to them from generation to generation, and by respecting time-honoured traditions, they perpetuate the production of superb wines, which capture the spirit of their land.

Fratelli Agnes have the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Vigna della Composta 2013 (Silver medal with 93 pts)
Cresta del Ghiffi 2017 (Silver medal with 91 pts)

Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016

Gold for Fiore del Vento by Fattoria Eolia

In the Euganei Hills in the province of Padua, the Fattoria Eolia vineyard lies, overlooking the town of Rovolon. Wine production first began at Fattoria Eolia in 1984, however in 2009 Giovanni Zini took over the farm, and decided to start from scratch – recreating the property into what it is day.

Fattoria Eolia 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

The thirteen hectares of vines span over two estates; Terrebianche in Luvigliano di Torreglia and Località Spinazzola in Rovolon, which is also home to the winery. The winery has been recreated by Giovanni Zini with a focus on investment in structures and production technology resulting in the most modern technologies for wine-making.  Further developments include a partly underground barrel cellar along with a wine tasting room with beautiful panoramic views over the surrounding vineyards. A holiday cottage is also available within the vineyard, with a guided wine tasting at Fattori Eoelia included for those who stay.

Fattoria Eolia 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World

Terrebianche Estate is where the four hectares of Fior d´Arancio grape variety is grown to produce the Fiore del Vento Moscato. The vineyard is also home to twenty bee hives which are nestled among the vines and provide exceptionally high quality honey.

For each wine that is produced at Fattoria Eolia, a character of rural tradition has been chosen to appear on each label: The labels have been expertly hand drawn by illustrator Marta Farina from Belluno, a small village in the north-eastern Italian Alps. The decision for Marta and Giovanni to collaborate was the result of a chance meeting; however the results provide a fairy tale uniqueness to each bottle of Fattoria Eolia wine.

Fiore del vento amongst the 50 Great Sparkling wines of the world 2016The illustration that has been chosen to appear on the Fiore del Vento label is the nymph Climene. According to Classical mythology, Climene and Apollo had a son, known as Fetonte. As a young boy, Fetonte was given the Sun waggon by his father, however after drifting through the sky ended up falling upon the Colli Euganei. The grapes for the Fior del Vento are grown in this area which is highly celebrated for growing this vine variety.

Fattoria Eolia has the following sparkling wines amongst the 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016>>

Fiore del Vento 2014 (Gold medal with 94 pts)

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016 – Get your copy here:

Front Cover 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2016