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Newsletter 21 March 2010 - Special Edition: Governo di Castellare

. GOVERNO DI CASTELLARE - The fresh tradition of spring wine

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One of the oldest Tuscan sayings but still in use today is ‘senza lilleri non si lallera’, meaning without money nothing gets done. A simple piece of popular wisdom, true nevertheless, but even more so for a group of peasant farmers whose business is characterised in sharecropping and for whom, at the beginning of the last century, bartering was the principal form of commercial activity.
However, one of the characteristics of the Tuscan farmer has always been an ability to find ingenious solutions to complex problems. The method known as to governare wine was born out of the scarcity of lilleri (money).

‘In the days of the sharecroppers when they needed to have the wine ready for sale in the spring, in order to earn a little money to buy shoes or a new coat after a hard winter, Chianti was made by adding ‘appassita’ grapes after the first fermentation’. Thus explains Nanni Gori, ex-shareholder of one of the original farms at the Castellare di Castellina estate and the winery’s first cellar master, describing how the idea for Governo came about. Appassita grapes are those left longer on the vine, harvested at full maturity and then dried. ‘Governing’ wine means adding ‘appassita’ grapes (grapes with a higher sugar content) immediately after the draining off of the must in preparation for the second (malolactic) fermentation. This immediate re-fermentation rendered the Chianti refreshing, ripe and with a full bouquet by springtime.
This ‘governed’ wine, presented in the typical Tuscan flask and at one time hand-covered with raffia, became a symbol of how simple ingenuity
can produce exceptional results and in the case of Governo arrived at by completely natural methods: grape on grape without any chemical intervention as opposed to the methods used in novelli or nouvelle wine production.
All this, along with the flask bottle, slowly disappeared, as the more important objective became to develop Chianti Classico as a wine for long ageing.

Castellare di Castellina, encouraged by the tradition embodied in Nanni Gori and the memory of the wine’s history, revives today this historic and worthy skill, rediscovering almost forgotten flavours and bringing to life again for the 2009 harvest, Governo di Castellare.
Beginning with a limited quantity, the production grew to accommodate the appreciation for this wonderfully fresh wine, perfect for summer and even straight from the refrigerator, thanks to a vivacious smoothness which makes it extremely pleasant even with fish.

The label bears the image of a flower that is the symbol of Florence and its surrounding territories, including Chianti: the iris, which in this region is called the giaggiolo. The first tasting one hundred years ago identified the flowers’ perfume amongst those present in Governo. For this reason some of the more daring producers supplement the intensity of the fragrance by adding the giaggiolo roots to the barrel.

Wine-making is continually evolving and modern advances in production have allowed enormous improvements in quality. However, modernisation cannot and should not cancel out the brilliant traditions that for centuries have given us the opportunity to enjoy an extraordinarily pleasant wine. For this reason Castellare di Castellina has decided to increase the production of Governo di Castellare, utilizing this unique method, to offer a greater number of consumers the chance to try this historic wine in a modern era, enjoying its characteristic freshness and lightness - a red wine suitable for fish that can be served cold from the refrigerator in Summer.

Every year, at the blossoming of Spring on the 21st March, Governo di Castellare appears in the best restaurants and enoteca, bringing to the consumer the privilege of experiencing this unique wine, the memory of which is very much alive in the mind of the most discerning wine experts, such as Michael Broadbent, head of the Department of Oenology at Christies, who has dedicated a beautiful chapter in his most famous book to Governo.

. 21 MARCH IN FLORENCE - Celebrate the arrival of spring at Enoteca Per Bacco with Governo di Castellare and Jazz by Umberto Tricca.

Sunday 21st March at Enoteca per Bacco, Florence. Borgo SS Apostoli 21-23r, from 7.30 pm is the scene for an evening of live music celebrating the first day of spring with Governo di Castellare.

Run by two young sommelier and situated in the heart of Florence close to Ponte Vecchio, Enoteca Per Bacco presents a selection of Tuscan, national and international high quality wines and regularly organises evenings in which food and wine, especially Tuscan, are accompanied by live music.

Governo di Castellare is the perfect choice for the evening of 21st March, which hosts guitar virtuoso Umberto Tricca
With a selection of jazz and bossanova.
A beginning to spring as young and fresh as Governo di Castellare.



When: 8-12 April
Where: Verona
More than 40 years of history, more than 4,000 exhibitors and 150,000 visitors. Just some of the statistics of what is simply the most important date in the Italian wine calendar.
As always, Domini di Castellare di Castellina will be at Verona with all of its estates represented at pavilion 7 stand E 3.
In addition, Feudi del Pisciotto, DCC’s Sicilian winery will have its own stand in the pavilion dedicated to Sicilian wines, in the Assovini area.
We expect large numbers as always for the presentation and tasting of our new vintages.
tel. +39 0577 742903

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