Fattoria Nicodemi Winery
Such winemaking expertise insures near perfection for the wines of Fattoria Nicodemi
The Fattoria Nicodemi winery is located in the new Colline Teramane District of the Abruzzo region, a hilly part of Central Italy that borders the Adriatic Sea. Despite its small vineyard plantings, Abruzzo produces over 40 million cases of wine each year - more than twice that of Tuscany. The great varietal here is the famed Montepulciano, Italy’s fifth largest planted grape. It should not be confused with Tuscan Montepulcianos, which are red wines made from Sangiovese and other grapes near the town of Montepulciano. Montepulciano d’Abruzzos are typically deeper colored wines with pepper and spice notes, nuances of earth and blackberries, and often described as “rustic.” The vineyards are planted at around the 900-foot elevation allowing for warm afternoons and cool evenings.
The Fattoria Nicodemi winery was founded more than a half century ago by Bruno Nicodemi, who took over his father Carlo’s vineyards. The term ‘notari’ is a reserve designation for the Nicodemi Estate’s highest quality fruit that is singled out at harvest time and exceptionally handled until production.
Since 2000, the winery has been run by the brother/sister team of Alessandro and Elena Nicodemi, third generation operators. This brother/sister team also fills the role of winemakers at their family’s impressive winery. They have specialized in native Italian varietals and are assisted in their winemaking duties by Frederico Curtaz and Paola Caciorgna. Curate worked for fifteen years with Angelo Gaja, one of Italy’s greatest winemakers, and Caciorgna is Tuscan and has made a name for himself with his own wines that are crafted from grapes grown on the side of volcanic Mt. Etna. Such winemaking expertise insures near perfection for the wines of Fattoria Nicodemi.
Elena & Alessandro Nicodemi - Owners & Winemakers
Owners Elena and Alessandro Nicodemi fill the role of winemakers at their family’s impressive winery. They have specialized in native Italian varietals and are assisted in their winemaking duties by Frederico Curtaz and Paola Caciorgna.
Curtaz worked for fifteen years with Angelo Gaja, one of Italy’s greatest winemakers. Caciorgna is also Tuscan and has made a name for himself with his own wines that are crafted from grapes grown on the side of volcanic Mt. Etna. Such winemaking expertise insures near perfection for the wines of Fattoria Nicodemi.
Abruzzo is nestled along the mountainous central Italian region along the Adriatic Sea. It too is mountainous (65%). Despite smaller vineyard plantings, Abruzzo produces over 40 million cases, more than twice that of Tuscany. It too has a mild
Mediterranean climate thanks to the Adriatic Sea. The great varietal here is the Montepulciano, Italy’s fifth largest planted grape. In the northern part of Abruzzo, fertile ferrous clays and limestone vineyards produce Abruzzo’s finest fruit.
A Short History of Italian Wine
It seems that wine pundits are increasingly attentive to the fact that Italy is about to (or already has) surpassed France as the world’s leading producer of fine wines. Such a thought would have been unthinkable as little as three or four decades ago.
France was firmly ensconced as the top rung in the wine ladder thanks to its big four regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Cognac. The French reputation was above board and French wine prices were mostly realistic. Italy, on the other hand, was a moderate collection of numerous commune production and relatively few estate vintners. Its sole recognizable region was Chianti, where most of the wine was sold in the rounded fiascos.
When the Italian government decided to get involved in the mid-1970’s, the pendulum of wine viability began to swing in the direction of Italian wines. Growers were encouraged to improve their vineyards and renovated wine estates became more frequent throughout the country. An upgrading of the Italian DOC and DOCG laws to rival France’s Appellation Controlee laws narrowed the gap even further.
In the past three decades, Italian wine in uence and quality has continued to improve. France has changed its marketing emphasis to the Far East and has generally increased its fine wine prices to levels that are unaffordable to many consumers. Italy has taken a much softer approach and still maintains reasonable pricing on even its very finest offerings.
Italian grape varietals are a part of every menu and wine retail establishment in the United States. Names like, Pinot Grigio, Montepulciano and Sangiovese are commonplace terms among wine aficionados and a large number of top producers generally sell out all their production that reaches the United States.
It is impossible to tell just how long this Italian run of good luck (and great wines) will last, for the general perception among wine and food experts is the fact that Italian wines seem to favor food more than their French counterparts. Part of the reason for this assumption is that a number of France’s top wines (Bordeaux
in particular, with its emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon and its high acid content) must be held for many years to achieve completion, while many of Italy’s greatest wines are consumed much younger and with less acid.
For now, the consumer benefits from Italy’s steady growth and quality. Many smaller estates are just beginning to import their wines to this country and generally provide excellent pricing in order to establish their wines in America.
This Italian International Series selection provides further insight as to the marvelous quality that is available from Italy and its sister-producer Sicily. It is an interesting adventure into Mediterranean grape growing and vinification that should prove a delight to the palate.