Valentina Passalacqua is making beautiful, glou-glou style natural wines in perhaps the most unexpected part of Italy—Puglia, the heel of the boot. It’s a region more commonly associated with big, tannic reds or peppery olive oil.Valentina grew up on her family’s estate. After a decade working in Rome and London she moved back to Gargano, to her family’s ancient and ancestral vines. She converted the farming to biodynamics and began isolating each plot according to soil type.She quickly realized how much Kimmeridgian limestone—that same stark-white chalk that injects tons of minerality into Champagne and Chablis—was present on her land. To drive home just how much minerality is in these wines, she’s named her new lineup Calcarius, with striking labels emblazoned with the atomic number and weight of Calcium.A century ago, this land, so full of rocky outcroppings of limestone, was thought to be suitable only for grazing sheep. However, it’s the perfect home for the indigenous Puglian grapes (Bombino bianco and nero, Negroamaro, Nero di Troia). They soak up all that crisp, mineral zing from the calcareous soil and salty sea breezes from the nearby Adriatic; earlier harvests ensure freshness and lower alcohol.Valentina farms biodynamically—she believes biodynamics are the key to expressing her vines’ extraordinary terroir. The wines are all bottled unfined and unfiltered, with just a touch of SO2. Before this newsletter-only discounting they're some of the most attractively priced natural wines we've had, but with it they're a downright steal.
Other White Grape
Aromatic , Fruity , Minerally