February 2024

February 2024

Italian varieties



Hello and welcome to the February edition of the l’Art du Vin wine club!

It is currently all go at l’Art du Vin HQ as we gear up for the year ahead. Tasting new vintages, calculating prices and sourcing new wines are all coming to a head as we finalise our portfolio for the spring/summer season.

A (very) early Easter this year puts us under a little more pressure as this usually signals the opening for the majority of our seasonal customers. However we are making good progress and I am really excited about the way things are coming together.

It has been a tough start to the year for hospitality and we have seen quite a few of our friends choosing to close their restaurant doors for good in light of rising costs. However, we remain positive and continue to focus on what we do best – sourcing exciting wines from across the globe for you to enjoy!

This month, I have built a case focussed on Italian varieties – particularly with Spring in mind! Think light, fresh whites bursting with fruit and great salinity, paired with crunchy reds – all of which will work well with classic Spring cuisine but equally can be enjoyed on their own.

Among them are a few wineries that are brand new to our selection. You are the first people to try them outside of the l’Art du Vin office so I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

I hope that you enjoy the selection and, as always, would love to hear any feedback you may have on our new Italian gems.





Pinot Bianco, Kellerei Bozen, Alto Adige 2021


Kellerei Bolzano, based in the town of Bolzano, was born in 2001 when two local quality-focused cooperatives decided to join forces. They built an incredible new winery featuring a bold modern art structure, signifying their desire to step forward into an exciting new era for the Alto-Adige region.

Bolzano is nestled in the basin of a valley basin. From here, you can gaze up to the hilly vineyards that are planted up to the dizzying heights of 1000 metres above sea level.

Pinot Bianco was introduced to Alto Adige by Archduke John of Austria around 1850. It is particularly well suited to the area around Bolzano as it thrives on dry, loamy and calcareous soils, particularly when these conditions are found in tandem with highly varied diurnal temperature variations.

Tasting Note

This is an extremely elegant expression of Pinot Bianco, delivering fresh, floral aromas and bright acidity. Expect golden delicious apples, pear and a light scent of peaches and pineapples on the nose and palate.

Food Pairing

Generally, Pinot Bianco is best suited to lighter dishes. This particular bottling is a great match with soft cheeses, light salads and flaky fish. Also a really good option for intensely green flavours such as asparagus or peas.



Verdicchio desi Castelli di Jesi Andrea Felici, Marche 2022


There is no question that winemaker Leo Felici is among the current crop of top Italian talent, a fact backed up in 2020, when he was awarded the title of 'Italy's Best Winemaker' by the Gambero Rosso Guide.

Based in Marche, Leo heads up his family estate, presiding over vines situated in the rolling hills of Apiro which sit at 516m above sea level.

The cooling influence of this altitude allows for a slower ripening process, bringing out the complexity of his signature grape variety, Verdicchio.

He works organically, though without certifications, and takes a thoughtful approach to his winemaking that sees minimal intervention and a focus on allowing the unique, local terroir to shine.

Tasting Note

If you like light, fresh styles such as Sauvignon Blanc, Picpoul or Albariño then this is a wine for you! Bright aromatic notes of lemon and almonds are followed by a palate showcasing freshness, balanced acidity and thirst-quenching salinity.

Food Pairing

Extremely moreish - perfect with antipasti or simply enjoyed on its own. Ideally – pair with some spring sunshine!



Etna Rosso Ciauria Pietro Caciorgna, Sicily 2022


The Caciorgna family first started producing wine in Tuscany in Casole d 'Elsa, in the province of Siena.

In 2006, Pietro Caciorgna was visiting a friend who makes wine on his farm on the slopes of Mount Etna. Pietro was inspired by the wines and the location and began visiting other vineyards and subsequently bought a small parcel of half a hectare with Nerello vines in Passo Cannone.

Following on were two other small vineyard purchases and the development of a small winery and cellar in Rovittello.

This journey of discovery led to the production of this particular wine, using grapes from vines growing in the dark, mineral rich volcanic soils at 700 - 800m above sea level on the northern slopes of Mount Etna.

Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation occur in stainless steel tanks before the wine is aged for 6 months in French oak barriques. After bottling, the wine is aged in the cellars for a further 6 months before release.

Tasting Note

A wonderfully aromatic wine. On the nose, expect bags of crushed red cherries, hints of apricot and saline undertones. The palate is as light and fresh as the pale colour suggests, but there's depth too, similar to what you might find in a ripe Nebbiolo or a richly-scented Pinot Noir.

Food Pairing

The lightness, precision and delicate floral elements of Nerello Mascalese offer up many similarities with great Pinot Noir. So lighter pork dishes work well, as does confit duck, and even richer fish dishes, like sardines and mackerel.



Bacchus Rosso Piceno, Ciu Ciu, Marche 2022


Historical references matter for the Bartolomei brothers, Massimiliano and Walter. They work hard to uphold the reputation for quality of wines produced by the Ciù Ciù estate, which has been in the family since it was founded in 1970 by their parents, Natalino and Anna Bartolomei.

The Ciù Ciù winery sits in the Piceno hills in Offida in the Marche region, halfway between the Adriatic Sea and the Sibillini Mountains, and boasts 180 hectares of vines.

Processes combine long-standing methods with the latest technology to produce the excellence the brothers strive to achieve.

Since the 1990s, the estate has employed the latest organic and biodynamic techniques.

Tasting Note

A prime example of quality Marche production – dense fruit notes with meat hints and full bodied structures, a delightful nose of strawberry backed up with dark cherries and liquorice root. Great structure combined with an uncomplicated juiciness.

Food Pairing

Perfect to drink on its own, or pair it with cured meats and light pasta dishes.