Cantina Gabriele Moscato 2018
A perfect accompaniment to desserts, its low alcohol content and mild perlage make it suitable for all the moments when you want the wine to be the companion of your pleasure, without any exaggeration.
In the midst of the XIXth century in Pantelleria - a little island in the south of Italy - Andrea I Pandolfo, great-grand father of the present owner Gabriele, began to produce wines based on the specie of Zibibbo grapes. In 1880, Andrea I sold the small vineyards in the island and bought 150 acres of virgin land in the north of Tunisia - precisely at Khanguet Gare, in the region of Cape Bon. There were planted and picked the first grapes then, in the early years of the XXth century, Andrea I and his son Giovanni began to produce quality wines in their family cellar. Such a good wine that from the port of Tunis departed full-loaded cargos to serve the best markets of France.
In 1938 Andrea II, son of Giovanni, was only sixteen when he took the business in his hands and continued to rise the fame and quality of the wines with courage and toil. But a terrible illness striked Tunisia destroying all the vineyards: Filossera. The dry grapes were burned and the obtained coal was sold in the market of Tunis. The family got new plants of innested barbatelle resisting to the disease from France and the red and desolate lands began to color up again with green leaves and generous grapes.
On May 12th, in 1964, Habib Bourguiba - the current president of Tunisia at that time - with an historically important measure dispossessed all the goods and properties of the foreigners in Tunisia.
Suddently a life-time hard work and sacrifice was wiped out and the Pandolfo family had to leave the country and divide between Italy and France. Andrea II at that time was fourty-two years old and, with his wife Elena and his sons, decided to come back to Italy to buy a small estate close to Terracina in Via Renibbio n° 1720 where he re-started to till that bitter-sweet land and to harvest, during the vintage of 1968, the first grapes to make wine.
With the first customers, the first bottles with hand-written labels and the first chestnut barrels the family cellar started to set up in the early wine-producing realities of the Pontina region. In 1976 Andrea II Pandolfo died and his sons, sided by the help of their mother Elena, decided to carry on that dream which began 150 years before by Andrea I in Pantelleria island.
This is how the farm 'Sant'Andrea' was born, also to remember the name of its founder. Nowadays the farm 'Sant'Andrea' is leaded by Gabriele Pandolfo, his wife Enza, his son Andrea III.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean. Naturally, most Italian regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige as examples, create favorable conditions for cool-climate varieties, while the Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering its variable terrain and conditions, it's still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany and Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the whites, Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. The list goes on.
Alluringly aromatic and delightful, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related and some of which, are not. The two most important versions are the noble, Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, making wines of considerable quality and Muscat of Alexandria, thought to be a progeny of the former. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and even fortified. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling, semi-sweet, refreshing wine that is low in alcohol. On the Iberian peninsula, it goes by Moscatel, not to be confused with Bordeaux's Muscadelle, which is acutally unrelated.
In the Glass
Muscat wines possess marked aromatics and flavors of peach, pear, Meyer lemon, orange, orange blossom, rose petal, jasmine, honeysuckle or lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice.
Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.
Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.