Librandi Val di Neto Passule Passito Bianco 2005
The Librandi winery is a modern enterprise founded in 1950 by Antonio and Nicodemo Librandi. Nowadays, the winery is run by Nicodemo, his two sons Paolo and Raffaele, his nephew Francesco and his niece Teresa. To this day, they remain faithful to the principles that inspired their forefathers: a great wine requires love and dedication to the land and its history. Librandi is located in Cirò Marina, a small town in the southern Italian region of Calabria (Italy’s boot tip), on the splendid Ionian coastline. The soil in this area is naturally suited for grape growing, and the geographic position, located between the sea and the Sila Mountains, guarantees an excellent balance between day and nighttime temperatures. All Librandi wines and olive oils are made exclusively from estate-grown grapes and olives. The Librandi family owns a total of 890 acres, 573 of which are vineyards, 247 are olive groves, and the remainding acres are dedicated to the forest. The vineyards are planted with both local varietals (Gaglioppo, Magliocco and Mantonico) and international varietals. Librandi also runs an experimental vineyard with ancient local varietals.
As the toe of Italy’s boot and closer in proximity to Sicily than any other mainland Italian region, Calabria holds much much in common with the island by way of climate, landscape and agriculture. Calabria’s principal red grape, Gaglioppo, is also a close relative of Sicily’s famous Nerello Mascalese.
Cirò, Calabria’s most valuable appellation, covers gently sloped hills on the Ionian Sea coast. Its wines are based on the indigenous red, Gaglioppo, and can be made as single varietal wines or blended with Cabernet or Merlot. Also of interest from Calabria is the red Maglioppo, likely a relative of Sangiovese. Whites here are made of Greco.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.