Introducing Italian Blogger Alessandro of TanninTime!
After our trip to Italy, I felt so much pride and gratefulness for my experience that I was eager to share it with everybody. However, I was a little hesitant because I felt these amazing winemakers should be introduced and have their story told by a local with a native, Italian approach.
I kept wondering how we could accomplish this, and then one day, I read a few blog posts on a website called TanninTime, and I just knew this was the right approach. So I asked Alessandro Ingrosso – the Italian blogger behind it – if he could help us tell the stories of these Italian owners and winemakers, and luckily he replied, "Yes!"
Alessandro did three interviews for Vegan Wines which you can watch in full here, and everything went so well that I had to meet him in person!
Meeting Up in Italy
Alessandro and I were finally able to meet during a visit to the two winemakers at Serracavalle and Terre del Gufo. The way Alessandro's words fell right into sync with our mission, it was like he had been with the Vegan Wines team from the beginning! He understands Vegan Wines, our guidelines and standards, and the "why" behind them. He is also easy-going, an amazing Italian wine blogger, and an expert on Italian wines, so it all fell into place.
Vegan Wines is excited to welcome Alessandro of TanninTime to our team as a Brand Ambassador!
I love Italian wines and want the Vegan Wines portfolio to keep adding more and more each year, so having Alessandro on our team is the perfect arrangement! After knowing him for some time, we now have a team member who will be on the ground in Italy to help with our wine research – keeping everything amazing and locally vetted!
To introduce Alessandro to you, we asked him to write a little about his background as well as his winery visits with Vegan Wines in Italy, so here is Alessandro:
A Word from Alessandro of TanninTime
Wine has been always present in my life and in my study and training in the hotel world. I am a sommelier, but I prefer to simply be called a "wine lover." My TanninTime Blog was born in August 2015 just because I've always loved to make notes about the wines that I tasted. I enjoy listening to winemakers' stories in their cellars. I love to talk and write about wine, its nuances and the emotions it creates.
This was my first enological journey to Calabria, a land that is very well-suited to viticulture but still not very well-known. I found myself in the car, forced for logistical reasons, to drive for over 700 kilometers to go and meet Frances from Vegan Wines in the beautiful land of Cosenza. In recent years, this area has begun to gain the attention of people who are passionate about wine. The objectives were two: discover new wines and meet new winemakers.
I arrived in Cosenza in the evening and immediately I met Francesco and Michele from CerzaSerra, two young winemakers with so much enthusiasm, and we tasted their "Vasciu" rosé made from Magliocco and Mantonico. They produced only 1,200 bottles of this wine and it expresses generous red fruit with a slight acidity. Their "San Pietro" is a red wine made from Magliocco, sapid with vibrant tannin. The Magliocco variety (also called Magliocco dolce or tondo) is a native black grape of Calabria, widespread throughout the region, particularly in the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro, and Crotone. They are ancient vines, once almost completely abandoned in favor of Gaglioppo, that have in the last few years been re-evaluated and often vinified in purity. The wine obtained from this vine is of an intense ruby red color with hints of ripe red fruit, warm and soft on the palate.
Calabria is known for the area of Cirò, where the main grape is Gaglioppo. The Terre di Cosenza DOC, a denomination born in 2011, is trying to make its way into the panorama of wine lovers thanks to the hard work of the Consortium. This denomination includes within it seven sub-areas characterized by the production of wines from grapes including Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Calabrase, Chardonnay, Gaglioppo, Greco Bianco, Greco Nero, Magliocco, Merlot, and Montonico.
The morning here was a pleasant discovery for me because I love small producers. Terre del Gufo is truly an artisanal or craft producer of wine – the only building present is perfectly integrated with nature, designed and built by the owner Eugenio's father. My memory of the tastes and smells here reminds me of two wines in particular, both from pure Magliocco: the Chiaroscuro 2018, a fresh and pleasantly fruity rosè, and Portapiana, a full-bodied red with hints of jam, spices, and toasting.
To conclude our journey, we visited Serracavallo, an important winery in the Terre di Cosenza where the winemakers Demetrio Stancati and Flaviana Bilotti perform miracles from just one hour from the vineyard through lots of experimentation and careful clonal selection. The place is enchanting – it seems to be lying on a balcony while going through the vineyard on a tractor. The average height of the vines is high for the region, and this can be tasted in the wines. The whites are an explosion of pleasant acidity, from the elegantly mineral Besidiae to the Petramola with a touch of exotic fruit. The reds have an intrinsic big character – the Terraccia is warm and silky with a very long aftertaste, and the Vigna Savuco 2013 is a full-bodied red with pleasant jam fruits and an enveloping palate.
Happy for this short tour of only two days that led me to discover this fantastic land and grateful to Vegan Wines for the outstanding experience, I drove home, planning a new wine journey.
See more from Alessandro on his blog TanninTime and Instagram!
What sort of Italian wines would you like us to explore next?