The Wine: Croci Gutturnio Galvano 2019
Croci Gutturnio Galvano is a natural wine made from 100% Gutturnio grapes farmed sustainably in Emilia-Romagna and vinified according to the ancestral method (refermented in the bottle). This is a super classic natural wine by one of the most esteemed natural wine producers from Emilia-Romagna.
The Producer: Croci
A fixture in Italy's natural wine circles, Massimiliano Croci's wines have been familiar to us for many years. We've always made a point to taste with him at various wine fairs and have sat down together for many meals, often with his close friend Elena Pantaleoni of La Stoppa. When the opportunity to work together came about, we were quite excited.
Massi’s focus is primarily on the traditional, bottle-referenced wines of his area, representing 80 to 90% of his production in a normal year. Set atop a picturesque hill, his poly-cultural farm has cows, grain for the animals, pastures for grazing, and of course vines. The whole estate represents 16 hectares, with 8.5 dedicated to viticulture.
Milk was the farm’s main production until 1970. At that time, competing with bigger, more modern institutions became too difficult for Massi’s father. So he pivoted exclusively to wine, starting with bulk sales in demijohns before eventually bottling and selling locally. While initially successful, in the 1980’s his rustic wines were scoffed at as a wave of “clean” industrial wines swept Emilia.
Charmat and heavy filtration became the norm, with cloudiness/sediment in the bottle to be avoided at all costs. Massimiliano took over the vineyards and winemaking in 1999, where he quickly dropped the Charmat method eventually adopted by his father. He took inspiration from his grandfather’s wines from the 1930’s, which would always be bottled with sugars so they could referment in bottle.
The Region: Emilia-Romagna
Emilia-Romagna is a region as famous for its wines as it is for its incredibly rich culinary tradition. Who hasn't tried products such as Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma DOP, Culatello di Zibello DOP? Who hasn't typical dishes such as Tortellini di Modena, Lasagne alla Bolognese, or Tagliatelle? It is safe to say that Emilia-Romagna set the standards for Italian culinary excellence worldwide.
Emila-Romagna is located in the northern part of Italy and is the only Italian region with traits of coast both to the east and west. Its territory is mostly flat, dominated by Italy's longest river, Po river, and by Italy's largest flatland, called Pianura Padana, the most fertile agricultural region of the peninsula.
Emilia-Romagna borders with Lombardy (north-west), Veneto (north), Marche (south), Tuscany (south-west), and Liguria (west). Bologna is the region's capital and of the Italian cities with the highest quality of life - it is also home of the oldest university in the world, founded in 1088.
In popular culture, Emilia-Romagna found new glory in recent years precisely thanks to its unmatched food culture. "Osteria Francescana", the brainchild of "poet chef" Massimo Bottura, was voted best restaurant in the world for 2016 by the World's 50 Best Restaurants' jury.
Moreover, Aziz Ansari's hit show "Master of None" is set in Modena, where Aziz (Dev) is an apprentice chef at a traditional Tortellini di Modena shop who's on a mission to try and eat each and every local delicacy he comes across.