On the weekend of May 29-30, one of the newest wineries in Abruzzo will open its doors to the public as part of the annual Cantine Aperte. Founded just three years ago by Nat Colantonio and Andrea Quaglia, the natural wine vineyard has produced an extraordinary selection of high-end wines that focus on quality over quantity. A rich Montepulciano, a sophisticated Trebbiano, and a surprisingly audacious Rosé, they are all made between the sea and the mountains in an artisanal style that is true to the traditions of the region.
As Italy eases itself out of a second lockdown with most areas now being in the yellow zone, safe gatherings outdoors are now being allowed — just as long as people abide by social distancing rules, wear masks in presence of others, and sanitize often. In the hilly town of Controguerra, Cantina Bossanova expects to welcome hundreds of people in two days. Quaglia and Colantonio, however, are offering more than just a wine tasting: over the course of the weekend, guests to the vineyard have the option of enjoying gourmet lunches with esteemed chefs, practicing yoga on the green, taking cooking workshops, listening to live music, and doing tours of the vineyard.
“The goal is to show people our world, and the way we live the wine,” says Colantonio as he prepares the program for the event.
And being able to see the way that the men behind the wines work, the way in which they tend to the fields, collaborate with each other, and put theory into practice is what sets them apart from other Cantinas in Abruzzo. There is a deep bond between man and land in this region, but it’s felt profoundly at Cantina Bossanova because the personalities and passions of both Colantonio and Quaglia appear in the wines themselves. The Montepulciano is sturdy, full on the palate, and leaves a lasting impression — something that can be said about the characters of both men. With the Trebbiano, one finds a freshness that is neither mundane nor unbalanced, a wine that speaks to the complex and clairvoyant way in which the two owners live their lives. And finally, with the Cerasuolo (Rosé), an unexpected wave of crispness, the right amount of acidity and aroma, plus a finish that keeps asking for more — almost like the unexpected joy each man brings to his work, constantly learning, asking and pushing for more.
Bringing their love for rock ‘n roll and biodynamic farming, the men behind the Cantina Bossanova are reinventing what it means to be a vigneron. They are equal parts passion and hard work with respect for nature’s intricate ways.
“Wine doesn’t wait, it’s like a father and son relationship. Sometimes I’m the father, when the vines are small and still growing; and when they are in the cellar, they become the father and I the son because they have to do what they have to do,” Quaglia says, adding, “we don’t put any additives, we don’t touch the wine in the cellar, so I’m just an orchestral director.”
It is this thoughtfulness to winemaking that allows the vignerons to be both passive and active participants in their craft, and guests interested in visiting the vineyard for Cantine Aperte can book directly through Facebook and Instagram in order to peruse the many offerings that will take place.
Channeling in new energy and enthusiasm for the region, it can be said that this is the “new Abruzzo”, one that is vibrant, reopening, and eager to show the world what it’s got — the wine is just the beginning.