Fiorano, organic estate winery in Cossignano, a township in Ascoli Piceno province in the southern part of Italy’s Le Marche region. Fiorano was founded in 1997 when Paolo (a dental technician) and his wife Paola (a researcher) decided to leave Milan, and restructure an 18th century farmhouse with vines and other land they had bought (from a Sr Giobbe, who was born in around 1919) and try to make a quality wine.
Giobbe was a ‘mezzadro’ or sharecropper. He had a house with some land, and vineyards. He took his grapes to the local co-op. Paola’s father bought the first bit of the estate from Giobbe in 1991. The remainder was bought in 1996. More land was added in 2002, and the final piece in 2014 (thus three phases to get to what in 2019 was 16ha of land of which 8.5ha grapes.
The couple were supported by Paola’s parents Antonio Massi and Adriana Stracci (Paola has a sister called Alessandra). Paolo studied winemaking. Existing vineyards were gradually replanted and extended. Olives were planted too. From 2003, the new owners chose to make and bottle their own wines instead of selling grapes to co-op (2003 saw 40 days with nights of 30 degrees Centigrade minimum).
Today the production is 30,000 bottles, including the Ser Balduzio (100% Montepulciano), the Terre di Giobbe (Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Merlot under the Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC, and Donna Orgilla, a white made from Pecorino and bottled under the Offida DOCG.
Staff | Winemaker: Gigi Costantini. Agronomist: Pietro Zeppilli.
Vineyards | 2019 16ha land of which 8.5ha grapes.
Cover crops | Cover crops and wild sward in alternate rows are used to stop erosion from rain and sun. All rows have green cover. Beans (Vicia faba), barley (orzo), mustard and a mix of clovers. | Pruning Sangiovese is 50% spurred cordon and 50% single guyot. 100% spurred cordon for Montepulciano.
Certification | 2004 First vintage with full organic certification.
Winemaking | Sangiovese never sees oak here. Only used for Montepulciano.
Offida Pecorino DOCG, Donna Orgila | Donna Orgilla was the wife of “Ser Balduzio” (see below), the former lord of of Cossignano village. 100% Pecorino planted in the Sacrì vineyard. 1.2ha. Sandy (30%) clay (70%) soil. 5,000 vines per hectare. Guyot. 300 m above sea level. North-east facing. Hand picked. | 2012 Cool citrus at Millésime Bio 2014. | 2017 100% Pecorino. 14K bottles. Very hot. Picked in August. | 2018 14K bottles. Wild ferment. Stainless steel. Nice sappy end, plenty of mouthfeel, nice and bright. Chill and add sulfites to retain some malic acid.
Giulia Erminia | 2017 14% 100% Pecorino. 3,000 bottles. Fermented and aged in 2nd, 3rd, 4th fill tonneaux. The oak gives and nice soft casing for the salty fruit. From the higher, sunnier part of the vineyard and drier compares to the Offida Pecorino. Chamomile and sage or thyme notes.
Sangiovese | Sangiovese. Clay-limestone. From the Fiorana and Fraticelli vineyards. 3,500 vines per ha. 255 metres. South-west and east aspect. | 2013 No oak. €4.20. Bit simple at Millésime Bio 2014. | 2018 10K. 13%. Do a salasso for the Rosato. Shortish time on skins to avoid excess tannins. 6m in steel. Bottled. Really juicy strawberry. Will easily last 4-6 more years. Use Nomacorc on this. Started wet in May. Then picked mid-Sept. Nice harvest. Also nice for them to have a wine which they can sell early to get some cash in. Often Sangio seen as a softener for Montepulciano. Salasso helps give a bit more colour.
Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore, Terra di Giobbe | Named after the old farmer they bought the house from. Was 70% Montepulciano plus 15% each Sangiovese & Merlot. Now 80% Montepulciano and 20% Sangiovese. Clay and sand, sand and clay. Gives fine, less aggressive tannins. From the Giobbe and Fraticelli vineyards. 1.5ha. 3,500 vines per ha. 245 metres. South-west aspect. | 2016 14%. 80% Montepulciano, 20% Sangiovese. Both varieties do three or four ‘delestages’ for softer extraction. Sangiovese is run off the skins before fermentation ends to avoid bitterness. Want fruit, not tannins. The Sangiovese ages in steel. The Montepulciano ages in 3rd, 4th and 5th fill barrels. Black olive, balsamic, young still, nice tannin with plenty of fruit.
Syrah, Gallo Otto | The Syrah vineyard is in Gallo Otto, a contrada in the adjacent township of Costigliano. | 2016 1,200 bottles. First trial which aged in a squat clay tank. | 2017 1,800 bottles.
Ser Balduzio | “Ser Balduzio” was the name of the former lord of of Cossignano village. 100% Montepulciano planted in the Giobbe vineyard. 0.7ha. Clay soil. 4,500 vines per hectare. Cordon. 260m above sea level. South-east facing. | 2009 Hand picked. Botti and barrel. 14.5% alcohol. Very, very, very oaky at Millésime Bio 2014. | 2013 14.5%. Montepulciano. Fermented in open 500-litre tonneaux. Destem, foot trodden. Want concentration of colour. Small mass means relatively cool fermentation. Then aged 18m in barrels followed by 12 months in botte grande. 30 months of ageing in total. Very smooth. Can easily age 20 years of more. Digests the oak easily. Ready to drink after 14 months in bottle. | 2019 Good vintage for both vines and olives: good quality and volume.
One flat, three rooms. Member of the Ascoli Piceno province’s organic “Filiera Corta” project, “Slow Travel” network, and Bike Hotel.
Visit on Tuesday 11th June 2019.
Contrada Fiorano, 19 |
I-63030 Cossignano (AP = Ascoli Piceno), Italy
Tel+39 0735 98247 | www.agrifiorano.com