Friday, 24 August 2018

More Ponza wine

Gerardo Mazzella
Anziane Cantine Migliaccio is the only Pontine winery - or is it? There are three other wines - all white - from the island of Ponza of which at least one is grown and vinified there.

First, the very lovely Marisa Taffuri 'Vino di Bianca'  from Malvasia, Biancolella, Chardonnay and Sauvignon - 'ottenuto da uve selezionate e prodotto sull'isola di Ponza'.

It is related that a couple from Rome, Marisa Taffuri and her husband Maurizio Pouchain bought a property in Ponza in 1977. Already wine producers in the province of Beneventano, Campania, they planted Biancolella, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne and Rousanne in Ponza.

said to be the Azienda Agricola Marisa Taffuri at Giancos, Ponza.
We didn't see the vineyard or winery but they are said to be at Giancos near the port.

Next a wine from the Lazio producer Casale del Giglio. It has been written;
The vines are located along a small plateau, called "Piano degli Scotti" near the Faro della Guardia, a building dating back to the 19th century. The Faro della Guardia is an absolute novelty in the wide and selected range of wines of the company Casale del Giglio, a real "gem" that already saw the debut of important awards. The Biancolella variety, originally from the island of Ischia, has arrived at the time of the Bourbons on the island of Ponza and here has yielded excellent quality results. "I fell in love with it," confesses Antonio Santarelli, "and I decided to plant a vineyard. Given the results of this first vintage, I can say that I am absolutely satisfied ".
It would seem that this wine is made at the Casale del Giglio cellars at Aprile, Lazio although we are open to correction on this point.The label doesn't mention any winery on Ponza.

At their Aprilia winery, Casale del Giglio also make a Petit Manseng - a rarity in Italy.

The deep golden colour is a hint of what it tastes like.  Gerardo's delicious home-made Biancolella

Finally with a claim to be among the best, the wine produced by Gerardo for his delightful restaurant 'da Gerardo.' this one is worth the 100 plus steep climb up from the rocks below or even the 20 Euro taxi ride from the port alone.

On Gerardo's menu the wine is offered in quantities of 1/4. 1/2 and 1 litre only without any further hint as to its colour or provenance.

not sure where Gerardo's vineyard is but vines grow at the restaurant
In fact it is 100% Biancolella from Gerardo's own grapes by the following recipe;


2.5 days cold soak with punch over (pigeage - punch down).

Machine press.

28 days fermentation in glass demijohns

2 rackings

Cellar temp 8 degrees. Humid (the cellar is carved from tufo).

Result - one of the loveliest Biancolellas it is possible to imagine. From these examples, we can say Biancolella is a truly outstanding grape. Those who have tried to grow Biancolella outside Campania, Ischia and Ponza have to contend with Pernospera and Coulure. According to D'Agata (Native wine grapes of Italy), the grape makes wines that are very site specific but hails it as having the potential to be delicious with complexity and depth of flavour uncommon in many Italian white wines.

I'll have the Torta di alici al forno
Gerardo, restauranteur of genius


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