An ever increasing number of winemakers today are producing wines using environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices. And, that includes some Italian wineries, such as Zonin Family Estates.
Zonin’s Rocca de Montemassi is among the first in Italy to be granted the Equalitas Certification, which is a “Made-in-Italy guarantee that is based on a comprehensive vision and approach to sustainability in the wine industry.”
The creators of Equalitas, which was founded in 2015 by Federoc Unione Italiana Vini, “goes beyond simple black and white pesticide rules to address social, environmental, and economic factors.” If you’re interested in learning more about Equalitas, you can do so by visiting Equalitas.it/en/about-us/.
Rocca di Montemassi Le Focaie is made utilizing “green” sustainable winemaking practices and, priced at a SRP of $15, it is also quite a bargain. The wine’s name – Le Focaie – means “flint,” and is named as such because the Sangiovese grapes it’s made from grow in rocky deposits on the Maremma coast of western Italy.
Here’s the winemaking process, for those who are interested. Before the grapes were vinified, they were machine-harvested, de-stemmed, and then gently crushed. The must was then placed in vertical fermenters for about 20 days at a temperature of 82° F. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was placed in 350-liter French oak barrels and aged for twelve months. Following barrel aging, the wine spent an additional three months aging in the bottle. The alcohol content is 13.5 percent.
This approachable Tuscan wine is a deep ruby red color with intense aromas of cherries, wild berries and violets. On the tongue, Le Focaie is a full-bodied, well-balanced red wine with zippy cherry flavors and a soft finish.
I would enjoy this wine slightly chilled with Italian salumi, grilled meats, bruschetta, stronger Italian cheeses, and pasta with rich red sauces.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.