Vernaccia Rosa, Vini di Giovanni, "Chiaretto", Umbria, Italy (2018)
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Born on the rough terrain of the Barbagia Mountains of Sardinia, Giovanni Mesina moved with his family to Umbria when he was a child. Like his father and grandfather before him, he became a shepherd and to this day, he watches over a small flock while also, now, making natural wine, too.
Situated on the rolling hills of Pianello to the north of Perugia and covering less than three hectares, Giovanni raises his sheep on organic soil punctuated by ancient olive trees (from which he makes his own oil) and small rows of grapevines – a mix of typical varieties of the region including Vernaccia Rossa, 65-year-old Trebbiano vines and his favourite white variety from Sardinia, Vermentino.
Produced in a strictly natural way with a minimalist approach in the cellar “to capture the magical expression of the fruit and the earth”, Giovanni’s wines are incredibly special, from the labels (all made from grass) to the juice itself: expertly balanced and superbly moreish. He is known in the region and in natural wine circles around the world as ‘The Shepherd Who Makes Wine’.