Terracotta and Wine 2018

Impruneta, capital of amphora winemaking: contemporary viticulture from Italy and the world to the Fornace Agresti.

Firenze – Impruneta for a weekend capital of amphora winemaking thanks to “La Terracotta e il Vino 2018”, an international biennial dedicated to the use of terracotta in winemaking that returns for a third edition with high technical and cultural content. The most important event in the world dedicated exclusively to wines in amphorae is organized by the Cultural Association “La terracotta e il vino” and tells for two days, on 24 and 25 November at the Antica Fornace Agresti, an ancient practice born as a niche movement and today, in Italy and worldwide, used by contemporary viticulture. The movement of wine producers who practice the use of terracotta in oenology sees more and more enlarged (and aware of practicing a stylistic choice of quality) the ranks of its fans. The event, with its 42 exhibitors, was created to make known who are the producers in Italy and in the world who believe in this practice.

The guest wine producers

The third biennial national wine production companies such as Foradori, Elena Casadei’s Le Anfore line with the Tuscan companies of Castello del Trebbio, Tenuta Casadei and Sardegna Olianas, are back in Tuscany for the third biennial. This year, for the first time, Tenuta Il Borro di San Giustino Valdarno and Azienda Agricola Oliviero Toscani Wine in Pisa will enter the event to stay in Tuscany. But almost all the Italian regions are well represented at the event: two companies from Sicily (Bagolaro and Francesco Lipari), but there is also Campania (Tenuta Fontana, I Cacciagalli) and in the north the Veneto of Monte dei Roari and Casa Belfi. Four continents represent the practice in the world of aging in amphorae: Europe, Asia with Armenia by Zorah Wines, Australia with the Summer Trophy and the United States with Montinore Estate and Beckham Estate Vineyard from Oregon. Almost all of these foreign companies use large amphorae made by hand in Italy, in Impruneta, by craftsmen with the prized Impruneta soil: unique and unalterable over time are those made with the ancient technique “colombino” by Impruneta Artenova, the company among the partners of the event (main sponsor is the Banco Fiorentino Mugello, Impruneta, Signa), author of the renaissance of the production of amphorae in Tuscany.

Characteristics of the land of Impruneta and of the wines aged in terracotta

The thermal insulation capacity of the Impruneta soil is extraordinary, so much so that the wine does not suffer excessive changes in temperature during storage. The oxygenation is also intense for the porosity that characterizes this terracotta, when it is used without any coating, neither beeswax nor epoxy resin that reduce the gas exchange with the outside. Thanks to the particular physical characteristics of the terracotta of Impruneta, the results are under the eyes of every wine lover: natural wines that have no exogenous scents because the terracotta does not give aromas and for this reason amplifies the concept of terroir, maximizing the character of the vine. The miracle of the amphora is to make the wine feel at ease, pampering the liquid, making it live and breathe in order to mature. At “La Terracotta e il Vino 2018” you can taste over one hundred labels of wines, exclusively aged in amphora.


Oenological science and archaeology at a high-level technical conference

Manuel Ferreira, of the Higher Institute of Agronomy of the University of Lisbon and the Armenian professor Artur Petrosyan, archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, will tell the first the uninterrupted tradition of winemaking in the talhas that has been maintained over time, the second the oldest winery in the world, Areni 1 in Armenia, where it is witnessed the millennial existence of the Karasi, the Armenian amphorae. Discovered in 2007, Areni 1 is curiously located right in front of the winery and vineyard of the Zorah Wines winery, which had been active for several years at the time of discovery. We will also discuss the latest results on how terracotta from Impruneta influences the quality of wine in the amphora, thanks to the research that Artenova has conducted in collaboration with the University of Florence. A study carried out starting from the analysis of the must before it entered the amphorae for fermentation to understand from the beginning what was the natural supply of metals of the raw material.


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