Gatto Arancio – Orange Wine
A 100% Verdicchio ‘Orange wine’ from Marche, central Italy. Female winemaker Mery Ferrara, alongside the legendary Andrea Lonardi, produces wine in a graceful, elegant style that respects the fresh, mineral edge of the land.
For 70 years, Fazi Battaglia has focussed exclusively on one grape variety. Vineyards with different soils, elevations and exposures guarantee different interpretations of Verdicchio. In their cellar, new smaller tanks enable vinification of separate batches of grapes in order to further enhance differences in soil, clonal selection and vineyard exposure.
With innovation, creativity and insight to new wine trends, Fazi Battaglia now offer ‘orange’ and ‘pet-nat’ styles.
The hand harvested grapes are from 30ha of vines grown in calcareous clay soil at around 300m altitude with an exposed north-eastern aspect. After de-stemming, whole bunches undergo a natural fermentation in vat, left in contact with skin for 5 days, creating a sort of ‘infusion’ to extract flavour and aroma yet minimise tannin. Malolactic fermentation is blocked to retain a high level of freshness and bright acidity.
No additions other than minimal SO2, and bottled unfiltered.
A wonderful bouquet of lemon peel or a twist of lime, very light vanilla and caramelised peach; while the palate invokes pears, ginger and salty almonds with a crisp and vibrant finish.
Drink with hummus dips, boiled shrimp or poached salmon.
About the Producer
Fazi Battaglia was created in 1949 by the union of two families, Fazi and Battaglia, in a small cellar in the town of Cupramontana. However, it was the ownership and operation by the Angelini family a few years later, who turned the company into a historic Italian wine brand – a symbol of both the Marche region and the Verdicchio grape variety.
Angelini was behind the unmistakeable amphora-shaped bottle that would make this still little-known Verdicchio wine immediately recognisable. A competition was announced in 1953 and won by the architect Antonio Maiocchi. Inspired by ancient Etruscan containers, the result was the curvy amphora (which was rechristened “the Sofia Loren” in America), a bottle linked not just to the image of the winery, but also to a grape variety and a whole territory.
The Angelini empire now consists of top estates in Italy’s esteemed regions. The aim of its wineries is respect for the environment and to promote the local ‘identity’ as authentically as possible. This openly-declared responsibility is consistent with the production philosophy of Bertani Domains, owned by the Angelini group. Andrea Lonardi, COO of Bretani Domains, is a legend in his own right, with exceptional experience of producing wine around the world.