ELISABETTA FORADORI is a Biodynamic winegrower in Mezzolombardo, a village in the Trentino region of Italy. She took over here in 1985. Elisabetta is also a co-owner of the Ampeleia estate in the Maremma region of Tuscany. The wines are bottled under the Vigneti delle Dolomiti denomination.
VINEYARDS | 2015 24 hectares (59 acres) in total, of which 15 hectares (37 acres) were rented: 16 hectares (39.5 acres) of Teroldego, 3.5 hectares (30 acres) of Nosiola and the remaining 4.5 hectares (11 acres) were Manzoni Bianco (telephone interview with Elisabetta Foradori 14th October 2015).
BIODYNAMICS–WHY? | I asked Elisabetta Foradori what the catalyst was for her to go Biodynamic in 2000?” Her answer (telephone interview 14th October 2015) was: “Marc Kreydenweiss inspired me, but I also got a push from the father of my children [the late Rainer Zierock, a German writer and naturalist. Their children were born in 1988, 1990, 1991]. Rainer and I had separated. But his vision was to do with conservation. He was into Rudolf Steiner. He was key, even though there was a lot of conflict in our relationship.” So why, I asked, was she not influenced by Biodynamic wine-growers in Italy? “Maybe they were not so visible at this time. In winter I went to France to learn about wine. In France Biodynamics was well advanced, and much more visible than it was in Italy. In France some really well-known and well respected estates were doing it. Maybe what was going on in France appeared more serious, less hippy-style, compared to Italy. My biggest regret about wine-growing in Italy right now is the lack of courage being shown so estates can make clear steps towards better farming. Doing 100% with their heart, not just doing it for fashion. Maybe deep down they don’t believe they can do it. It is hard to change 100%, and it is especially hard for the more famous estates. But in France the great estates have managed to do it, why not here in Italy?“
BIODYNAMICS–THE NEXT GENERATION | I asked Elisabetta Foradori what she would do if one of her children took over but wanted to return to conventional (‘chemical’) farming? Would she say “OK, I had my chance, I did it my way, now you do it your way?” Her answer (telephone interview 14th October 2015) was: “No, I have left a foundation stone in place here. We must continue this way. My children agree. To be Biodynamic you must feel it, live it. It is not just a list of things to do, to copy, to imitate without inner reflection. It must come from deep within you, this sensibility. Perhaps organics is easier than biodynamics in this sense.”
BIODYNAMIC CERTIFICATION / 2009 First vintage with full Demeter Biodynamic certification.
WINEMAKING | Clay amphoras (‘giare’) from a potter in Villarobledo, Spain are used. These are kept above (rather than buried in the) ground.
FONTANASANTA, MANZONI BIANCO | 2013 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Bianco 54mg/l total SO2 (RAW Wine Fair 2015).
FONTANASANTA, NOSIOLA | 2011 IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti Bianco The Nosiola grapes are destemmed. They ferment on skins in clay amphora. Very interesting, not floral, a bit of yeast, smoke and green fruit, quite intense and saline at Vinitaly 9th April 2013. / 2014 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Bianco Very nice salinity at the Real Wine Fair 2016.
FUORIPISTA, PINOT GRIGIO (AMPHORA) | The name means ‘off-piste, off the beaten track’. / 2016 8 months on skins in clay amphora (‘giare‘). Pinkish-looking, lovely flavour, freshness at the Demeter Austria 2018 wine tasting.
TEROLDEGO, SGARZON | From a plot of Teroldego on sandy soil in a cooler site (Isabelle Legeron, 2014, p187). / 2014 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso.
TEROLDEGO, MOREI | Stony soil. / 2011 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso. Fermented in amphora. Nice and sapid, ripe and clear, bright style, dense and ethereal at Vinitaly 9th April 2013. / 2014 100% Teroldego. Amphora. Lovely juicy fruit on palate at the Real Wine Fair 2016.
TEROLDEGO, GRANATO | 2011 Vigneti delle Dolomiti Rosso 48mg/l total SO2 (Catalogue for RAW 2015).
Azienda Agricola Foradori s.s., Via Damiano Chiesa, 1 / I-38017 Mezzolombardo (TN = Trento), Italy / Tel+39 0461.601046
Demeter Austria 2018 wine tasting, Vienna 26th February.
Isabelle Legeron MW, Natural Wine, An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines grown naturally (2014, Cico Books, London & New York).
Oz Clarke 2015, Oz Clarke Wine A-Z (Pavilion, 2015), p119.
RAW Wine Fair 2015, London 17/18 May.
Real Wine Fair 2016, Tobacco Dock, London 17-18th April.