In southeast Piemonte, Valli Unite may be Italy’s only natural wine cooperative, where vineyards lie amid beehives, farm animals, orchards, and truffle-filled woodlands. From honey to homemade salame and wine between, 30 members work on the 100ha farm and call it home. During harvest, you can still stomp grapes with your bare feet here. Their wines range from the glou glou bottlings of Alessandrino, Bianchino, and a crown cap farmer fizz, to more complex natural wines, such as their lithesome Derthona with the local Timorasso variety. “We believe natural vinification is a social responsibility,” is the philosophy; soil humus, livestock manure, native yeasts, local grapes, time, and parsimonious sulfur compose the winning formula. Visit one morning, work hard, and then stay for the communal lunch. It’s a visit unlike any other winery – I mean working farm – that I’ve been to.
100% Cortese. Grapes are handpicked in the early morning for freshness from 80% 30-50-year-old vines and 20% 12-year-old vines. Vines thrive in the white clay and tuff soils. Grapes are de-stemmed and crushed, then pressed immediately. Fermentation begins in steel tanks with pump overs lasting for one month. The wine is then racked off its lees and filtered. Bottled immediately