When you think of the wines of Basilicata, your thought immediately turns to the best known, Aglianico del Vulture, considered one of the greatest wines in Italy and nicknamed the “Barolo of the South”, which for 32 years remained the only DOC of Basilicata. This makes it clear why the other Lucanian vines are less known and even obscured.
Roccanova the homeland of the Grottino
But now it is in good company with those who came later to this recognition. Like Grottino di Roccanova DOC, one of the youngest Italian Controlled Designations of Origin, created in July 2009, which includes red, white and rosé wines from the south-eastern hilly area of the province of Potenza.
The zone affected by the Grottino di Roccanova appellation focuses on the three municipalities of Sant’Arcangelo, Castronuovo di Sant’Andrea Potenza and Roccanova in an area characterized by Calanchi.
In Grottino di Roccanova Bianco the base is Malvasia Bianca, which must represent at least 80% of the blend while the remaining 20% can be made up of any variety of non-aromatic white grapes authorized for the Basilicata region.
Red and rosé wines are mainly produced with Sangiovese grapes, which must make up at least 60% of the blend of Grottino di Roccanova DOC wines, with the remaining part divided between Malvasia Nera, Montepulciano and Cabernet Sauvignon.
While 10% of the blend used remains free and determines the “character” of the company Grottino, as Franco Collarino of Cantina Torre Rosano explained to us during our visit to Roccanova. Mr. Collarino guided us to the discovery of his cave dug into the rock where the Grottino “Torre Rosano” Dop is aged in precious wood, in the dark and at constant temperature and humidity all year round, in the Rosso, Rosso Riserva, White and Rosé typologies.
The company, taken over in 2012 by Sara Maria, daughter of Francesco Paolo Collarino, familiarly called Franco, has a history that dates back to the mid-1800s and refers to his great-grandfather Collarino Francesco Paolo, owner, among other things, of an inn that it ceased its activity in 1985 under the management of its grandfather Vincenzo Collarino.
It is located in the Roccanova area and has been conducted entirely organically since 2002. It covers an area of about 26 hectares, 8 of which are vineyards and the wines are made from grapes harvested strictly by hand. Respect for culture and tradition is fundamental, as we have seen in person in the vineyard, in the cellar and above all in the cave where the wines mature in Italian oak, French oak and Italian chestnut barrels.
In the “wine caves”, characteristic tunnels dug into the sandstone, both the classic Rosso Grottino di Roccanova DOC and the Riserva rest. The first matures 3 years in normal wood and 6 months in barrique, while the Riserva, ideal to accompany “strong” dishes such as ragù, red meats, roasts and game, is aged for 7 years in oak barrels.
Today, in addition to the “Torre Rosano” Dop, in the types Rosso, Rosso Riserva, Bianco and Rosato, it also produces famous Basilicata Igp wines such as the “Cantrum Piretto rosso” and the “Cantrum Ambrato bianco”, wines linked to tradition.
During our meeting Franco explained to us that the name of Piretto derives from the glass containers with a capacity between 18 and 20 liters, which were called “piretti”, where the wine to be consumed in particular events was stored.
While in the amphorae inside the caves, which are more than 300 in Roccanova alone, vegetables and salami were preserved in olive oil. Before becoming a recognized DOC wine, Grottino was also known outside the Lucanian borders thanks to traders who offered it during fairs and markets as a robust wine with an intense color that it maintained thanks to the addition of cooked grapes.
Today these are just stories to tell, because the terroir between the Calanchi Lucani takes care of it at an altitude between 350 and 600 meters above sea level which benefits from the excellent exposure with daily temperature ranges, to give the wine intense aromas, flavor and good alcohol content. Characteristics that together with the organic method on the Guyot single espalier rows with low production yield per hectare and exceptional quality make Grottino di Roccanova by Torre Rosano one of the most valuable wines of Basilicata.
And the tasting confirms it. Grottino di Roccanova DOC Riserva is a red with a ruby reflex, a slightly tannic flavor with a pleasant bitter aftertaste, which must be uncorked at least an hour before and served at a temperature of 20 ° C. The Red is also very pleasant, with a full, intense and dry flavor, with violet reflections that in the glass stand out on the deep ruby tending to garnet, and with an intense aroma on the nose that recalls the fruits of the undergrowth, cherries but also spices.
In the Cantrum Piretto the vinification takes place in red with maceration with a subsequent passage in Italian chestnut wood barrels for six months, as well as in the white called Cantrum Ambrato and bottled in Bordeaux noble dark color bottle, a wine with a deep yellow color but with a perfume delicate that goes perfectly with fish, vegetable soups and fresh cheeses.
Azienda Agricola Vitivinicola Torre Rosano
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 28 – Roccanova (PZ)
Info: : +39 0973 833427 – www.torrerosano.it