Photo credit: Ausoniawines.com

New biodynamic wines from Ausonia

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We are very excited to offer fantastic new biodynamic wines from Azienda Agricola Ausonia, located in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. Ausonia was founded in 2006 by Simone Binelli, who had worked for six years as a pharmacist before deciding to take the plunge and pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker. After studying viticulture and enology in Florence, he and his wife Francesca purchased land in Atri and began work on the property by improving the existing Montepulciano and Trebbiano vines, planting a few hectares of Pecorino, and building an eco-friendly cellar. Ausonia is located in the northern part of Abruzzo, in the province of Teramo, and the soils at the estate are composed of a mix of limestone and clay. The 12 hectares of vineyards and 400 olive trees that are grown on the property sit at an elevation of 270 meters, protected by the Gran Sasso Mountain to the west and are exposed, beneficially, to the cooling breezes of the Adriatic Sea to the east.

From the beginning, the guiding principle at Ausonia has been maintaining a natural balance between the soil and vine. Simone and Francesca have been using organic viticultural practices since day one, beginning the official process of certification in 2013, and converting to biodynamics the following year. Even the name Ausonia is rooted in their devotion to the land. Simone named the estate after the rare and beautiful butterfly, Euchloe Ausonia, that his entomologist father discovered one day while walking through his son’s recently purchased property. He chose the name Ausonia as a symbol of the link between the wines, nature and the land, and as a reminder that his new vine-growing pursuit should always be in harmony with the region’s natural beauty. This commitment to naturalism continues in the cellar with the use of natural vinification methods. Starting with varieties that are native to Abruzzo, the grapes are all estate-grown, hand-harvested and fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts. Wines are allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, with no fining or filtering, and are all bottled using minimal amounts of sulfur.

Montepulciano grapes make up the bulk of what is grown on the estate and are used to make three very different styles of wines: first, the medium-bodied and fruity red Ausonia 2015 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane Apollo, is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, giving the wines an easily approachable freshness. Second, the full-bodied and earthy red Ausonia 2015 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane Anfora is fermented and stored in clay amphora, giving the wine more depth, structure, and a distinct earthy yet mineral character. And third, the deeply hued and full-bodied rosé Ausonia 2015 Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, which is macerated for several days on the skins and is full of juicy flavor and character.

Trebbiano grapes are grown on three hectares of the estate and are made into the light-bodied white, Ausonia 2015 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Apollo, which is fermented and aged in stainless steel, giving the wine a fresh and fruity character. Lastly, the lesser-known Pecorino grape is grown on two-and-a half hectares of the property and is made into the light-bodied and lively white, Ausonia 2015 Abruzzo Pecorino Machaon, which is also fermented and aged in stainless steel and is a superb example of the zippy and characterful wines this grape is capable of making. These are five delicious wines from Abruzzo that are not to be missed! Anna DeBeer

Ausonia 2015 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane Anfora

Ausonia’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Anfora is made using an ancient method of fermenting and storing wine in clay vessel (or amphora) which originated in Georgia and was used by the Greeks and Romans for centuries. The amphora helps protect the wine from oxidation and gives the wine a tannic and earthy, yet mineral-driven character.  Ruby red in color, this Montepulciano has an intense aroma of red fruits, sweet spices, dried flowers and turned earth. The palate is full-bodied and complex with a dense core, lush tannins, bright acidity, and flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry compote, dark chocolate, dried violets and a distinct minerality. The finish is long and earthy and full of licorice and herbal notes. This wine would make an excellent complement to hearty dishes, red meats, roasted vegetables, and grilled mushrooms. Anna DeBeer

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Ausonia 2016 Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo

The word 'cerasuolo' means 'cherry-red' and is a great descriptor for the deeply colored and hearty rosati produced from the Montepulciano grape. Cerasuolo is made by macerating the skins of the grapes (which are high in natural coloring pigments) in the juice for a short period of time; the resulting wine is full of flavor, color, complexity and minerality. This Cerasuolo from Ausonia is a gorgeous and glistening cranberry color and is bursting with aromatics. Strawberry, dried cherry, and aromas of exotic spices are followed by flowery violet and licorice notes. On the palate it is ripe and hearty with juicy cherry and red berries, orange peel, cinnamon and a touch of anise. Deep minerality and bright acidity make this a rose that is easy to enjoy on a warm day, but with plenty of body and muscle to carry it well into the cold months. This cerasuolo is a cooling-but-hearty compliment to spicy foods such as the pepperoncini that the Abruzzesi are famous for. Anna DeBeer

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Ausonia 2015 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

Ausonia makes this delightful Trebbiano from estate-grown biodynamic grapes that have been hand harvested. Fermentation is carried out spontaneously from indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks, and the wine is bottled with minimal use of sulfur and without fining or filtration. The aromatic nose exhibits aromas of fresh pear, citrus zest, white peach and a touch of jasmine. The palate is dry and crisp with fresh and fruity flavors of pear, melon, lemon pith, chalk, Thai basil and a green almond note on the finish. This is easy to enjoy on its own but would make a great pairing with seafood, goat cheeses, sautéed veggies or with fresh fruit for dessert. Anna DeBeer

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Ausonia 2015 Abruzzo Pecorino Machaon

This lovely Pecorino is named after the Papilio machaon butterfly that lives in Abruzzo meadows and forests. The wine is made from biodynamic grapes, grown on limestone and clay, and fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel. Aromas of melon, pineapple, and lemon zest mingle with salty, briny notes and a touch of dried flowers and anise. The palate is refreshing and mineral with bright acidity and juicy tropical and citrus fruits, lemon zest, a touch of mint and anise with a tangy finish. This is a perfect sipping wine that can easily be enjoyed on its own or paired with crunchy salads, fish dishes or white meats. Anna DeBeer

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Ausonia 2015 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane Apollo

Ausonia’s Montepulciano d’Abuzzo “Apollo” is named for the Parnassius apollo butterfly that lives in the mountains near the estate. The wine is made from biodynamically grown grapes, hand harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, and bottled without filtration. Deep and ruby in the glass, aromas of red and black berries jump out first, followed by light baking spices and a touch of thyme and oregano. On the palate bright red cherry, juicy blackberry, raspberry and a dusting of spices are wrapped around velvety tannins, with a slightly herbal and earthy finish. Medium-bodied and juicy with refreshing acidity, this is a great example of why Abruzzo’s cooling Adriatic breezes and warm sunshine are capable of producing such delicious wines. This one is easily enjoyed on its own or paired with grilled meats, pasta with meat sauce, and aged cheeses. Anna DeBeer

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur