Vino In-Dipendente, Natural Wine Fair in Calvisano, Lombardy

Returning to Milan after a weekend over the Colli Bolognesi I decided to stop for a few hours at the wine fair Vino In-Dipendete  (http://vinoindipendente.it). The fair which took place in Calvisano, a small town of Roman origins, in the province of Brescia, Lombardy region, on February the 18th and 19th. My time at the fair was short, enough to realize the quality of the producers that were present.

The fair now is in its fourth edition, which is a project by Stefano Belli was created to popularize the idea that is possible to produce wines without chemicals both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Such wines will thrill us if we leave our senses’ in a ‘receptive’ mode. 

Stefano wanted to have a fair outside of the large cities and chose to hold it in Calvisano to demonstrate that valid wine fairs born in the suburbs. 

The fair is meant to be ethical and support of small producers who were charged a nominal fee to join.

To participate, each producer must accept strict rules listed on the website of the event and a selection made through careful blind tasting or at the cellar. 

About 70 producers, coming from all over Italy and from Slovenia have joined this edition.

It was a small fair very well-organized where the quality of wines and food offered was remarkable. Also, the public could purchase wines directly from the producers.

But let’s get to the wines: here is an emotional list that sums up my brief experience.

Interesting review of Barbera in Val Camonica, the largest valley in the province of Brescia in the north-eastern part of Lombardy characterized by calcareous soils. I liked the wines of the Azienda Fortunato Bressanelli with its Lupus in Vigna wine and  Azienda Antonio Ligabue with his amazing Rosso Minego, full of juice and complexity, among it the company produce also an interesting interpretation of ‘mountainy’ Ciliegiolo called Inamàra.

The Pinot Bianco 2017 produced on the Colli Iberici,  in the province of Vicenza, by Giampiero Acco of the Azienda Agraria Pezzalunga, eventually a pure Pinot Bianco as I wanted to buy, and the powerful Cabernet Franc in purity from volcanic soils that give it great vigor, balsamic notes, and depth.

The knowledge of the Boschera grape, a native vine from the Colli Trevigiani, in the province of Treviso, where the second fermentation happens naturally in the bottle with its yeasts: a sparkling wine with notes of aromatic herbs and white flowers of an immediate pleasantness of the Azienda Winkler.  La Bianchetta, another native grape, 2006, worked by Gigi Miracol together with its ‘Diversamente Bianco wine’, or as reported on the label “Ignorant Italian white wine from abandoned grapes by God and men, lovingly harvested in 6 brave harvests”, left to macerate on its skins for 30-40 days.

The amazing Albana Rigogolo 2016 of the Azienda Andrea Bragagni of Brisighella, in the Emilia-Romagna region, in the magnum version ‘Ravenna Bianco’ which is refined in barrels of tonneau for 12 months, good to drink immediately or leave it in the cellar for a few years and then excite with its infinite nuances.

I met with Marta Sierota of Podere Anima Mundi in Tuscany, near Pisa, who works in purity with old Tuscan native grapes such as Pugnitello, Foglia Tonda, and Colorino. 

The wines of Fattoria San Vito inside the Valgraziosa a few steps from the Certosa di Calci and 10 km from Pisa, fresh wines that go only in steel tank from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colorino and Canaiolo grapes.

The classic method sparkling wines of Oltrepo ‘Pavese by Stefano Milanesi, a craftsman whom I had the pleasure to meet again after a seminar on the Oltrepò Pavese wines held at the Vinodromo wine bar in Milan a few weeks ago. Wines of the structure with pleasant effects sour – sapid and creamy. Beyond sparkling wines, Stefano Milanesi produces still wines from Barbera and Croatina typical of the area.

The knowledge with the Picodentro, the Nebbiolo typical of the Valle di Donnas in Val D’Aosta, of the Cantina Selva was a great emotion. A wine unique in the world as it is defined. I loved this expression of mountain Nebbiolo, shy but generous, with lots of fruit, spices, and depth. Elegant, thin and straight wines produced by the farm’s five different crus. I recommend going to their website to see the beautiful photos of the pergola vineyards supported by stone columns.

The Zibibbo in a dry and sweet version of the Abbazia San Giorgio by Battista Belvisi in Pantelleria, Sicily,  which I had the pleasure of reassuring and appreciating a lot from the first time

The Dolcetto di Ovada Celso by Cascina Boccaccio, a farm in the Piedmontese Basso Monferrato, which vinified it in steel and refined in cement, very drinkable wine. 

La Garganega macerated together with Trebbiano di Soave and the refermented version of the young Azienda Il Roccolo di Monticelli, in Lavagno, in the province of Verona. Garganega with delicious nuances of aromatic herbs, mountain herbs, and honey.

The wines of Tenuta Ca Sciampagne in the countryside of Urbino, in Le Marche, which with its Bianchello Ribelle wine, from the Bianchello Del Metauro grapes, macerated on its skins for twenty-eight days on the skins, ennobles those macerated wines of central ITALY. 

Finally, a small and well organized wine fair, crammed with small producers, witnesses of wine growing areas not much beaten by the normal wine trails, where the quality of the wines and food offered was considerable and everyone could purchase directly from the producers. 

Thanks to Stefano Belli for the availability and some photos.

Barbara D’Agapiti