"If you’re looking for high-quality, fruit-focused yet balanced, pure wines from Abruzzo’s indigenous varieties, then Terraviva is right up your alley. This family-run winery only began bottling their production in 2008, but it has been certified organic since 1998. This is no-frills winemaking aimed at capturing an unadulterated stamp of each vintage’s character in bottle. The 22 hectares of vines are situated like an amphitheater, surrounding the winery, growing in soils of clay and limestone. The training systems for the older parcels are classic pergola, including the now 48-year-old Trebbiano Abruzzese vines that create the “Mario’s” selection (a big standout in my tastings). Winemaking depends on the variety and parcel, but in general, you can expect spontaneous fermentations by indigenous yeasts, mostly steel tanks and cement for aging, and all while working by the phases of the moon. (Biodynamic principles are being worked into the farming practices as well.) You will find some oak in use here, mostly neutral, but in the end, the objective is to add as little as possible to what Mother Nature has already delivered. Check out their CO2, made with 20% carbonic maceration, for a wickedly spicy and fresh expression of Montepulciano. The straight Montepulciano Abruzzo is like biting into a perfectly ripe piece of fruit. A new concrete-egg-matured Montepulciano is also in the works, which is exciting. Frankly, I could go on and on."
- Eric Guido, Vinous