The Wine: Malva Gas Pet Nat 2018
Cantina Indigeno Malvasia Gas Pet Nat is a white natural wine from Abruzzo, Central Italy, made from 100% Malvasia grapes grown organically and vinified with the ancestral method. Native yeasts, spontaneous fermentation, and low-sulfites.
The Producer: Cantina Indigeno
Cantina Indigeno is located near Teramo, Abruzzo region, Central Italy. Cantina Indigeno is one of the most exciting natural wine producers in Italy, working with minimal intervention organically farmed mostly Montepulciano and Trebbiano grapes. Their wines are nothing short of amazing. Always different, always evolving in the glass.
The Indigeno guys are young, brash and ironic but nevertheless hyper-focused on their idea of wine and, although they’re all the rage in NYC’s or SF’s hippest wine bars, light years away from any vacuous and trend-driven wine hipsterism.
Grape varietals are the children of Abruzzo’s terroir, usually as low in alcohol as vertiginously high in-depth and unashamed drinkability: Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Montonico, and Pecorino, among others.
The Region: Abruzzo
Nestled along the Adriatic coast, Abruzzo features what are arguably the most spectacular landscapes of central Italy outside of Tuscany. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the North, Lazio to the West/South-West, Molise to the South-East, and the Adriatic sea to the East. Abruzzo has been described as “the greenest region in Europe” dedicating almost half of its territory to national parks and nature reserves.
Abruzzo is made up of 65% mountainous terrain; its rugged geography is a part of the region's rich history. Historically, these mountains were there to help isolate the winemaking influence of the ancient Romans and Etruscans in Tuscany, dating back to six century BC. It’s rumored that when Hannibal made his journey over the Alps, he gave his soldiers Abruzzo wine from Teramo.
TERROIR OF ABRUZZO
Abruzzo is made up of 4 provinces. Chieti, L’Aquila, Pescara, and Teramo. The vast coastline winding along the Adriatic sea flowing into Abruzzo’s mountainous interior provides numerous microclimates and terroirs. The terroir ranges from marly-clay, sand-rich flysch, limestone soils, and alluvium deposits.
Montepulciano, the fifth most planted grape varietal in all of Italy, benefits greatly from the humidity and rainfall coming from the Apennine mountains, making the low hills and clay-rich soil a perfect place for the grapes to grow.
The cool mountain air currents combined with the high altitudes helps to control the diurnal temperature variations of the vineyards on the slopes. Along the coastline, the sea absorbs the heat during the day and releases it at night which strongly influences Abruzzo’s viticulture.
Abruzzo has around 36,000 hectares (89,000 acres) of land producing more than 350 million liters of wine annually. The majority of the vineyards are located in the hills of the Chieti province, with the rest in Pescara, Teramo, and L’Aquila. The most prominent grape varieties are the native red Montepulciano and the white Trebbiano.