Knowing how much I love hard to find Italian grape varietals, my husband gave me a 3 month membership to a wine club featuring indigenous grapes of Italy from my favourite wine shop in NYC. I was so enthusiastic to find an Arneis included in the first shipment that I gave it a pour that very afternoon. I have only had Arneis a few times, and always found it to be a fantastically character driven glass displaying a dry acidity, crisp minerals and sometimes almost smoky tropical fruits.
The Vietti winery was founded in 1919 by Mario Vietti and is located in the Langhe region of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Headed today by 4th generation winemaker Luca Vietti, it was his father Alfredo who is responsible for putting “the native Piedmont varietal Arneis on the wine map”. In addition to rescuing Arneis from extinction, Alfredo also introduced the concept of vinifying grapes from a single vineyard, which at the time was an unheard of approach. Taking over the estate in 1990, Luca has continued his father’s progressive concepts, such as taking an “intuitive approach” to measuring the acid and tannins levels, rather than using modern instruments. Luca organically farms the more than 25 single vineyards that contain vines up to 90 years old. The winery recommends this as an aperitif.
Pale straw-yellow in colour with aromas of lemon zest, pineapple and hints of earthy funk. Green apple, hints of tropical fruits and dry minerals merged into a mouth puckering lemon finish. An engaging, invigorating glass that is irresistible with small plates like smoked cheeses and grilled vegetables.
Bottled by Vietti
$24 [average price]