Le Coste di Gradoli, which has long since become one of the darlings of natural wine lovers the world over and has attained something of a cult status, much deservedly, is located in Northern Lazio’s enchanting village of Gradoli, just a stone’s throw from the border with Umbria. Le Coste was born in 2004 from the romantic vinnaturist dream and uncompromising natural wine vision of Gianmarco Antonuzi and Clementine Bouveron who created it from scratch. Le Coste was built on solid foundations, as both Gianmarco and Clementine had many years of winemaking experience in France, particularly Bourgogne.
Gradoli is a land of recent volcanic formation with diverse soils rich in iron and minerals, dominated by the stunning Bolsena lake, with a viticultural tradition dating back to pre-Roman Etruscan times. Gianmarco and Clementine, upon returning to Gianmarco’s native Gradoli, purchased a tiny 3-hectare plot which had been previously abandoned, with the clear vision of giving light to terroir-driven, vibrantly alive natural wines.
Now the farm extends for about 14 hectares, including 3 of rented venerable old vineyards, 4 of olive groves and several of woods and orchards, as well as spontaneous wild herbs and centuries-old oak and helm trees. The deep understanding and application of biodynamics is not an isolated incident here but stems from the stern rejection of mono-culture and the industrial-agricultural model. The vines harmoniously coexist and thrive with wild and rare fruit trees, herbs, and spontaneous vegetation.
Although not certified by Demeter or other biodynamic certification bodies, the amounts of copper and sulfur used for treatments are usually, when used at all, less than half of those allowed by biodynamic certifications. Needless to say, work in the cellar is as natural as what we see in the vineyard, with only spontaneous fermentation, no oenological trickery of any kind, and no trace of fining or filtration.
The main varieties grown at Le Coste are Northern Lazio terroir's traditional ones – some of which have been saved from oblivion by Gianmarco – as well as some international ones that have been long since naturalized. They indigenous varietals include, Procanico, Malvasia, Roscetto, Verdello, Petino, Moscato, the international varietals are mostly Syrah, and Merlot.
Le Coste wines are wines of unmistakable character, depth, and sense of place. The unforgettable Le Coste Bianco, which vintage in and vintage out, always stands out as a true masterpiece, is a blend of Procanico and Malvasia with a touch of Moscato Giallo and Roscetto. About 2 weeks of skin-contact and elevage of at least one year. Le Coste Bianco is an orange wine of finesse and power, that sings of blood orange marmalade, red tobacco, balsamic herbs, and smoked quince with incense.
Author: Giovanni Segni ©