There is much debate about amphora wine making, the taste, color and general characteristics. The amphora wines are some of my favorites, we debate the idea of terroir in using a terracotta.
The ancient Greeks and Romans fermented their wine in large clay containers with a capacity of several thousand liters and often partially buried in the ground. For aging and transport, the wines were sealed in terracotta amphorae.
A similar technique for production is now in experimental use by a very few modern vintners in part as an aspect of the “natural wine” and “slow food” movements. The results have in many cases been extremely good. There’s no doubt that fermentation in terracotta can yield softer styled wines, a more natural muted taste. Some like while others wave their hands at it.
Today we visited Leone Conti who is part of a group experiment who try to ferment wine in amphora. The project is a trial of 18 wineries each using a terracotta amphora. I thought the potential was very interesting, his wine making style is natural, the color is glowing yellow (seen above) the wine has finished malolactic fermentation and is showing well, in a fruity relaxed state.
As you can see below a single skin is floating in the glass, the skins are stay in contact with the pressed juice and it is very approachable right now, and I am anxious to see the end result. If you ever have time to visit Leone Conti and his wife Coral, it is a must, one of the nicest winery visits I experienced.