Aris Blancardi of Selvadolce was once a horse vet, and grew up on a flower farm. Sounds romantic, right? Not quite — unfortunately there's an intensely chemical side to flower farming. It was this realisation combined with the discovery of biodynamics that made Aris decide to swap the flowers for vines, and to ditch the chemicals completely. Today, he has become known for his one-of-a-kind expressions of Vermentino, Pigato and Rossese.
"When you taste a young wine, you never know what it will become. It’s like if you were able to scan a baby’s mind; you don’t know if he or she will grow up to win the Nobel Prize, and there is no way of knowing."
People: Aris Blancardi
Place: Liguria, Italy
Varieties: Vermentino, Pigato, Rossese and Grenache
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Although “genetically identical”; Vermentino and Pigato have very different characteristics, the latter being known for its freckles and subtle bitterness. In a sense, it is like comparing identical twins; they may share the same DNA but they express themselves differently.
Interview: You can read an additional interview with Aris here: The Symbiotic Relationship between Plants
Skin contact vs. Direct-Press
Aris’ four white wines are from the Selvadolce home vineyard. The original, old-vine vineyards produce VB1 (Vermentino) and Rucantu (Pigato), both of which see a period of maceration, and regular bâtonnage (every two to three weeks) to add a little richness to the palate. He allows a little headspace in these barrels to encourage a small amount of oxidation.
Meanwhile, the younger vineyards produce Crescendo (Pigato) and Rebosso (Vermentino), which are not macerated and remain topped up, in more of a reductive state. One day, when they vines are older, Aris will make these wines in the same way as Rucantu and VB1, but for now, he is adamant that the vines don't yet produce grapes that are powerful and balanced enough for skin macerated wines. He explains that with age, the vines find an equilibrium, and in turn the wines will find their own inherent balance. He deems this is of utmost importance for wines that see skin contact.