The unexpected visit to meet Edoardo and his wife Stella in early 2019 was arguable the most surprising and rewarding winery visit of the year for Kelsey & I. First off, Kelsey was six months pregnant and thus we were trying to keep things simple and not push the envelope (which is not easy for me to do). Edoardo had come across my plate when researching the extremely unknown production area of Domodossola, essentially on the Swiss border.
Moreso than anything else I wanted to take a drive to an area I’ve yet to explore. Kelsey was feeling up for it after a lovely visit to the gardens at the Villa Taranto on Lago Maggiore about a half hour from Domodossola. I called Edoardo that morning and said I’d love to meet him and learn more about what he’s doing.
We arrived around 4:00 to a world surrounded by mountains where heroic winemaking is on full display. There we were happily greeted by Edoardo and Stella whose tiny winery was built into (ask edoardo to remind me what that building was before) the mountainside with a half a hectare of vines hanging on for dear life.
Edoardo started making wine in 2016 after a few harvests in Australia and four years in Barolo learning how to make wine. It was his time in Australia that gave him time to reflect on just how lucky he was to be from such a unique winemaking region. His time there, along with the encouragement of Stella who he met while living abroad, is all he needed to take the leap.
Amazingly Domodossola and the the Ossola valley have 700 years of winemaking history but yet at present there are just one or two other wineries making wine commercially – most of which is produced by those who come to stay here in the moutains at the various agriturismi for a few days. Edoardo’s jaunt into serious, natural winemaking is something unique to the valley.
His approach is one that I respect greatly as he plans to work with the varietals that have always been grown here, which is insists include Merlot, as well as Prunent – a Nebbiolo biotype – grown here for centuries, Barbera, Dolcetto, Vespolina, and the list goes on. In fact, his blend PSP is a celebration of this grape diversity as it’s a field blend of up to 13 grapes. The vineyard this comes from (confirm age) has been planted this way forever and thus Edoardo wanted to leave things the way they are.
Edoardo is a smart kid and based on the fact that he’s studied winemaking and worked around the globe (particularly in Australia where you could argue wine is maybe made more in the cellar than the vineyard) he is making wines the old fashioned “natural” way w/ a hand from modern technology. He believes in temperature controlled fermentations and swears by a piedi cuve as far as a native yeast starter. He also keeps a careful eye on the wines and is not afraid to rack when necessary, often an excuse in natural winemaking that can yield defects.