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|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine|
Gloria and Mirco Gottardi founded Vignaioli Contrà Soarda in 1999 on a hillside so overgrown with brambles it had become impassable. Longtime restaurateurs in nearby Bassano del Grappa, they turned their attention to growing grapes, as well as olives, and to making wine in an environmentally sustainable way. Their beautiful cellar—built right into the mountain with local materials—was designed as a zero-impact building that takes advantage of gravity and geothermal energy in the winemaking process. Compost, cover crops, and careful canopy management play important roles in the vineyards, as do the farm’s several donkeys. This single-varietal, single-vineyard cuvée grew on a steep slope of volcanic soils. It fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks, resting on the fine lees for a total of nine months, before aging an additional three years in the bottle. A beguiling, complex wine: as intensely aromatic as a riesling, as savory as a grüner veltliner, with the minerality of an albariño. Light, bright, and floral, but also textural and salty. Worth pondering. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine.