A Fun New Variety for Me

Today’s Story: Ciavolich

Ciavolich is a historic winery situated in the town of Miglianico in Italy’s Chieti provence, and they are dedicated to the indigenous varieties of Passerina, Cococciola, Pecorino, Trebbiano, and Montepulciano. The Ciavolich family traces their roots back to about 1500 when they were wool merchants of Bulgarian origin, though they migrated to Miglianico around 1560 to escape the Saracen invasion in their homeland. The family’s history with wine, however, came much later in 1853 when Francesco Ciavolich built the winery and cellars near his home. Though this winery still stands today as a testament to some of the earliest winemaking in Abruzzo, the family was forced out of their home in 1943 during an occupation by German soldiers just after harvest. Therefore, the 1943 harvest was the last by the family at their historic property. During the 1960s, though, the Ciavolich family inherited the 50 hectare (123 acre) estate of Loreto Aprutino in the province of Pescara from Donna Ernestina and they resumed winemaking. Giuseppe Ciavolich planted his vineyards here to Montepulciano, Trebbiano, and Cococciola. The estate remained in the family ever since, and beginning 2004 is under the guide of Chiara Ciavolich and her husband Gianluca.

Today the Ciavolich estate consists of two main vineyard sites in the towns of Loreto Aprutino and Pianella. In Loreto Aprutino, Chiara has 35 hectares (86 acres) of vineyards with additional land dedicated to olive groves and arable land. This makes up the heart of the estate and its production. In Pianella, she has 15 hectares (37 acres) with six hectares planted to Montepulciano and one hectare planted to Pecorino. The rest is planted to olive groves. Chiara practices a modern take on the traditional winemaking practices of the region, working with a range of vessels that include stainless steel, oak, concrete, and terracotta amphorae. Her main line of wines goes through what she calls contemporary vinification, though Chiara makes sure to pay respect and transparency to the variety. Her Fosso Cancelli wines, on the other hand, follow more traditional practices such as spontaneous fermentation in the ancient vessels made of terracotta, oak, and concrete.

Today’s Wine: 2020 Aries Pecorino

100% Pecorino; 13% ABV

The 2020 Aries Pecorino is pale gold in color. After this opens up in the glass and comes up in temperature, the medium intense aromas on the nose include lemon zest, white peach, pear, mango, ginger, chamomile, mild green herbs, and crushed rock minerality. Meanwhile on the palate, the flavors are also of medium intensity while showcasing notes of pineapple, peach, tangerine, lemon zest, white floral, chopped grass, and marine mineral. This dry white is light- to medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and a medium length finish. Good quality, as this is fairly delicate but it offers decent depth in a crisp and enjoyable wine.

Price: $20 (though this can be found for $15 depending on location). This offers decent QPR if you can find it at the $15, though I do also feel $20 is pretty fair. This is the first time I’ve tried Pecorino, and I look forward to giving more bottlings a try.

If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.