As you probably read in my blogpost about Fattoria Fibbiano’s winetasting I had a while ago at restaurant Pazzo (my blogpost) that what astonished / intrigued me is the fact they only use original Tuscan grapes like Sangiovese, Canaiolo , Colombana, Colorino and Malvasia , so no Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon gets used…. So you can imagine why I definitely wanted to visit this vineyard?! During the wine tasting with Matteo I already thought he was speaking with lots of passion about their wines, but his brother Nicola (who I met during this trip) who makes the wines even surpasses this level of passion and also transmits this passion to the ones he talks to 🙂 (in this case my dad, our 2 partners in crime joining us on this trip and me).
You know what makes Italy, Italy? The hospitality! No matter whom you visit or how long, they’ll always bring out their best food and drinks to make you feel welcome… AND I let them 😉 😉 no really I just love it. At Fattoria Fibbiano this wasn’t any different as we immediately felt very welcome!!
Even though Fattoria Fibbiano only exists for 20 years they have already achieved a lot if you ask me. I think their biggest strength is the fact it is a family business and every member of the family has its particular task Matteo (the oldest brother) does the sales all over the world, Nicola makes the wine, Giuseppe (the father) helps out Nicola and the wives (lovely ladies I must add!)take care of the Agriturismo (6 apartments) and will try to make your stay most enjoyable. Maybe before I continue talking about the vineyard I should indicate where it is located. Fattoria Fibbiano is in Terricciola a little village 40km from Pisa.
I must admit I found it a pity I couldn’t sleep at their agriturismo as it looked really nice (the great weather also chipped in)… but nevertheless I felt home and btw I’ll be back anyway in the future 😉 (Don’t get me wrong I also like the place we ended up sleeping)
Something I didn’t mention yet is that Fattoria Fibbiano is that for making the wines only treat their soils with organic, non-chemical substances. Something that also surprised me was that most of the work on the vineyard is still done manually with the most important reason to keep a good overview of everything that lives/happens in the vineyard… a machine can be quick and as good as it wants, but the human feel/ look is something that cannot be replaced if you want to make a high quality product. Nicola follows the progress from the vineyard daily from the moment it starts blooming until the actual grape picking. The difference between wanting to make quality wine from big quantity wine already starts with grape selection in the vineyards… with this I mean that the winemakers won’t leave all the grapes(bunches) on the branches, during the year they will be cutting away those bunches that are too much on a branch. This will give the remaining grapes the higher quality… basically if you would have 7 bunches or a branch, the branch will have to nourish all 7 bunches… if you cut away a few bunches, the remaining bunches will get nourished more/better = higher quality grape. Don’t worry I won’t get too technical. Something I can never get my head around when I’m visiting a places where there now are vineyards ( or desert) millions of years ago used to be sea (although maybe if the global warming continues one day I’ll get to see it again) and still up to today you can find shells in the soil… I’m saying this a where Fattoria Fibbiano’s vineyards are located it used to be sea and you still see shells laying around…
What I think makes wine making fun for the winemakers, is that they can experiment with it in the case of Fattoria Fibbiano they use different barrels, they use obviously wooden barrels, stainless steel tanks and cemented tanks. Depending on the type of wine they’ll be making they will leave the wine for a particular period in the mentioned types of barrels… but if you would leave the same wine other periods in different types of barrels the result will be totally different 🙂 great, right? Obviously when making wines there are some rules to take into account. It was to hear Nicola speak with so much passion on his vision on winemaking and what way he liked to make wine… One thing I’m sure of is that a winemaker needs lots of patience and know-how as it seems simple, but I’m sure it isn’t if you want to do it in a proper way. He was now even experimenting on making an own Rosé sparkling wine… hopefully I’ll be able to taste it one day
I’m not sure what it was, but I found their cellar very light and as they are only for 20 years the cellar also looks very new 🙂 … Visiting the cellar is all very nice, but to my opinion it was getting a bit dry … it was time for some tasting that got even better with a slice of homemade salami and a local cheese… or as we call it ‘la dolce vita’ 😉
I could describe all their wines, but I won’t as I think the only way to know how they taste is by tasting them 🙂 . How a wine tastes changes from where, when and for which occasion you drink it… I wouldn’t be able to indicate my favourite wine as they all have their specific taste and thing I like about them, although I must admit like the Fonte delle donne, l’Aspetto and Casalini a lot… The most ‘special’ wine (and I also mentioned it in my previous blogpost) is their rosé wine aka Sofia made 100% from the Sangiovese grape (that normally only gets used to make strong red wines like a Brunello di Montalcino, …) so if you want to impress friends with a special rosé… this is the one. What all Fattoria Fibbiano’s wines have in common is that they are easy to drink! This is also how the family describes their wines and it is also the product they want… their most complex wine would be the Ceppatella…. I know, it is probably due to the fact I’m greedy that I’m not able to choose a favourite one 🙂
As if all of this wasn’t hospitable enough, we were asked to join the family table for dinner prepared by the ladies of the house (who are we to refuse)… and they have outdone themselves (BTW, when staying at the Agriturismo if wanted you can also eat there… just FYI). Feast your eyes on the meal they had prepared for us (or the shortened version of it).
I had a wonderful day under the Tuscany sun and was ready to continue our trip! (but I’ll be back as our dear friend Arnold said 😉 but with my beautiful fiancée as I’m sure she’d love it here ). To be continued…..