The Wine: Frizzi Pop 2018
Tenuta l'Armonia Frizzi Pop 2018 is a sparkling natural wine made from a blend of 60% Pinot Nero and 40% Durella farmed sustainably in the Vicenza hills of Veneto. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and then pressed. The Pinot Nero and Durella ferment separately in stainless steel tanks where the temperature is controlled to keep the wine under 85 degrees. Vinification takes place over 8-10 months. The two varieties are blended and bottled when fermentation is finished, along with some frozen must from the same vintage to provide the sugar for the fermentation to finish in the bottle – as a pet-nat. The wine is unfined, unfiltered, zero so2 added and it is not disgorged. The wine has a slightly pink/orange hue thanks to the soft pressing on the pinot noir, but it is not a macerated orange wine. Serving temperature: 45 F.
The Winery: Tenuta l'Armonia
Before starting the winery, Andrea Pendin was a trained chef. He made the first vintage of Armonia wine in 2009 and now cultivates 10 hectares of vines in the Vicenza hills in the Veneto. He also operates the excellent nearby restaurant Fare Cibo, which showcases the best of the local ingredients alongside a fantastic selection of natural wines.
Armonia creates three distinct lines of wine, POP, CRU, and LAB. The POP wines are the affordable, easy-drinking wines from Volcanic Soils a bit further away from the winery. These vines are all cultivated organically, and are in process of converting to biodynamics. The CRU line is from older vines from vineyards very close to the winery, with hillside exposure and calcerous/limestone soils, where Andrea tries to evoke the particularities of different isolated terroirs he cultivates. These vines are all cultivated biodynamically. And the LAB projects are those featuring collaborations with other natural winemakers and people important to the natural wine community across Italy.
Many of Armonia’s wines feature the local grape Durella, a late ripening, high acid white grape, which Andrea says always brings an essence of freshness and acidity to the wine. All of the wines at Armonia are fermented with indigenous yeast. (source: Jenny & Francois)
The Region: Veneto
Veneto is one of the most important wine regions of Italy, located in the North Eastern corner of the Italian peninsula. It borders with Trentino-Alto Adige (north), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (north-east), Emilia-Romagna (south), and Lombardy (west).
The capital of Veneto is Venice, which is also its most populous city, followed by Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, and Rovigo. The east coast of Lake Garda, the biggest Italian lake, is part of Veneto and so is the tract of Alpine foothills called Venetian Prealps.
Veneto is the leading Italian region for the quantity of wine produced – even though wine-producing regions such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy, Puglia, and Sicily all have bigger territories.
Some of its most famous wines are Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Soave, and of course Prosecco. Other less known but equally delicious wines are Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto di Gambellara, Raboso del Piave, and Bardolino.
Veneto’s main characteristic is perhaps the great variety of wine types produced, obtained mostly from indigenous grape varietals – Corvina, Glera, and Garganega being the most common.
This is due as much to its specific geography and climate as it is to rather peculiar winemaking techniques such as the grape drying technique employed to make Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto’s most famous red wine.