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  Wine Producers Issue 4, January 2003   
Fattoria ParadisoFattoria Paradiso Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Fattoria Paradiso

Between tradition and innovation, between culture and love for arts, in Bertinoro, Forlì (Italy), in one of the most significant areas of Romagna's enology, is located this very prestigious winery, impressive for its quality, rich for its historical and cultural patrimony

 Talking about Fattoria Paradiso means, first of all, talking about one of the greatest leading persons of Emilia Romagna's enology, it means talking about Mr. Mario Pezzi, the passionate and ingenious wine producer that has been responsible for the success and the rebirth of the enology of his homeland. A great wine producer who deserves the highest praises for his merits, such as for having discovered again the local grapes Barbarossa, Cagnina and Pagadebit, which were surely destined to disappear forever from our patrimony and, last but not the least, the conviction and the intuition of creating the very first reserve of Sangiovese. All that and more is, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Mario Pezzi, whose philosophy and passion is truly expressed and told by his wines.


 

 We get to Fattoria Paradiso, in Bertinoro, indisputable homeland of Albana grape, the very first Italian white wine to be designated as DOCG, few kilometers far from Cesena and about 20 kilometers from the Adriatic sea. Mrs. Graziella Pezzi, Mario Pezzi's daughter, welcomes us to Fattoria Paradiso with a warm and kind hospitality, a good characteristic of the people of these lands. Mrs. Pezzi opens her cellar's doors and starts talking about the historical origins of these places: «Fattoria Paradiso was an ancient residence of Roman times and in 1450 was Marco Palmezzano's house, a famous painter for his representations of Holy Nativity and he was disciple of Melozzo da Forlì. In the noble floor of the house there is a fireplace which has the initials “M.P.” carved on it, that is Marco Palmezzano, which curiously are the very same initials of the current proprietor, Mario Pezzi. The residence was subsequently a property of Counts Lovatelli and the last proprietors of this family was Countess Ugarte Lovatelli who sold this residence to my great-grandfather Costantino in the middle of 1800 and from that moment on the residence is property of Pezzi's family. My father Mario started the winery business in these properties in 1950 and in 2000 we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary.»

 Let's get into the rich wine production of Fattoria Paradiso and, concerning this subject, Mrs. Pezzi shortly illustrates her wines: «we produce both white wines and red wines, as well as sparkling wines and sweet wines. Our white wines include a dry Albana “Pezzi di Paradiso”, a sweet Albana “Contessina Ugarte”, Trebbiano di Romagna “Donna Ubalda”, Pagadebit di Romagna “Brezza di Paradiso”, a lightly sparkling wine “Paradiso” and, lastly, “Jacopo” a wine produced with Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc which is aged in barrique. We also make two sparkling wines: “Bert'in Oro”, a sweet wine produced with Albana grape, and “Villa Paradiso Brut” produced with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Moreover, we also produce a sweet wine, Albana di Romagna Passito “Gradisca”, which was the preferred wine of the great Italian director Federico Fellini and it was him who chose the wine's name as a tribute to one of the characters in his famous movie “Amarcord”. Among red wines we also have a nouveau wine, “Garibaldino”, that was first released in 1982, in the year of the centenary of Giuseppe Garibaldi's death, and it is produced with Sangiovese and Merlot, then we produce a Cagnina di Romagna “Sinfonia d'Autunno”, a Sangiovese di Romagna “Maestri di Vigna”, which is produced with little berried Sangiovese, therefore not really suited for aging, however it shows a good structure and agreeability. We also produce Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva “Castello Ugarte Vigna delle Lepri”, produced with big berried Sangiovese (Sangiovese grosso), therefore it is well suited for aging, it is aged for two years in casks and six months in barrique. “Vigna delle Lepri” was the very first reserve of Sangiovese ever created. My father, in 1960, was convinced that Sangiovese could give magnificent wines suited for aging and he gave a public show of his ideas and decided to store 5000 bottles of Sangiovese in an old snow tank that we have in our garden. The ceremony was attended by many public authorities as well as famous people working on the wine business; the tank was sealed and the key was given to a notary. After seven years, in occasion of another ceremony, the tank was opened and it gave the world magnificent wines. The very first bottle was uncorked by the famous Italian wine journalist Luigi Veronelli and it was the confirmation that Mario Pezzi's ideas and intuitions were right. Our Sangiovese reserve was also requested by the former President of the Italian Republic Mr. Sandro Pertini and our wines have been part of the Quirinal's cellars since then. The wine was served in occasion of a formal dinner in honor of the former President of the United States of America Mr. Ronald Reagan. Our production also includes Barbarossa “Il Dosso”, a grape my father discovered again in the beginning of the 1950 in a very old Sangiovese vineyard that he planned of uprooting, and my father, while was checking the level of grapes' ripeness, noticed a “particular” bunch different from the one of Sangiovese; it was smaller as well as having small berries and an indented leaf having a purple border. Samples of this grape were analyzed by many experts in the aim of identifying it, unfortunately, no one was able to determine its species. They also researched the grape's DNA in order to find some clues that could identify it, but they did not find any similarity with any other grape, therefore, we decided to name this grape as “Barbarossa”, in honor of emperor Federico Barbarossa who lived in the castle of Bertinoro. Finally, the last wine created at Fattoria Paradiso, “Mito”, which is produced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The label for this wine has been created, including a dedication, by the famous Italian actor Dario Fo, who was also awarded with the Nobel prize. We also produce two grappas, “Chicca” with Pagadebit's pomace and “Grappa di Barbarossa” with Barbarossa's pomace. At Fattoria Paradiso we also produce the olive oil “Palmezzano”, dedicated to the homonym painter and “Vignatico” a balsamic grape sauce.»


The magnificent entrance staircase to the
aging cellars
The magnificent entrance staircase to the aging cellars

 We continue our visit to the cellar and Mrs. Pezzi ushered us in the aging rooms and in the Fattoria Paradiso's private cellar, a real wine “cathedral” where they keep Fattoria Paradiso's wine bottles as well as other wineries' wines. These rooms are preceded by an impressive staircase having at its sides and at its roof hundreds of bottles, neatly ordered, giving the entrance an amazing and gorgeous view. At the end of this staircase, there is a new surprise waiting to impress us. Mrs. Pezzi opens the door of Fattoria Paradiso's private cellar and, again, the show is as impressive and as magnificent as before. The entrance to the private cellar is preceded by a gallery where its sides and roof are adorned by historical bottles of the cellar, the private cellar's entrance is as evocative as impressive as the staircase: a multitude of bottles that every wine lover would like to own.

 Mrs. Pezzi tells us very interesting aspects of this private cellar and of the cultural events held at Fattoria Paradiso: «we keep bottles as old as 200 years, here we have bottles dated back to 1800, both bottles from our production and from others, as well as keeping wines produced with Albana dated back to 1961, a truly wonderful vintage. In this cellar we also keep our historical wines as well as wines produced by many wineries of the world that we also use to compare our products with the one of others, to understand what we can learn from others and what we know already and that we could teach others instead. Here we also keep wines that are being shipped to the Vatican City, as well as the bottles that were selected by the University of Bologna in occasion of the celebrations for its 900 years. We also pay attention and care to our wine labels: they usually depict paintings of the winners of the biennial painting contest “Vinarte” which I personally organize in Fattoria Paradiso's rooms. We always dedicated much of our time and resources to social and cultural events, including “Ospitalità a Tavola”, with the collaboration of “Donne del Vino”, as well as the “International Paradiso Prize”, a contest for contemporary chamber music. In this cellar we also keep the labels that famous people wanted to create for us during their stay at Fattoria Paradiso.»

 Let's continue talking about wine production and the territory where Fattoria Paradiso makes its wines: «we are located in a hill which is towards the sea and therefore this area benefits from the influence of the sea climate and it is sheltered from northern winds. Our winery strongly believe in local grapes of this area just because this is the best place for them to grow up and, being their natural homeland, they are capable of giving the very best of them. Moreover, we also believe in our territory, in our traditions and in what our fathers taught us. This strategy has proven to be effective in the course of the years and gave us lots of satisfactions, therefore, why should we change them? If we truly need to change something, we have to change things in order to improve the quality of our products, working in the vineyard while trying to lowering the yield, paying attention to cellar practices, hopefully with the help of new technologies, anyway, always respecting our traditions. We do not think it would be wise to deny our traditions, that “agricultural” philosophy which is, however, part of us. These choices surely gave us the best satisfactions and we believe this is what we will do in future, also because in this “homologated” world, where everything seems to look the same, the ones that will be able to keep their typical characters will be successful at the end and will get positive results. Consumers need to discover again the “origins” of wine as well as something different, I think that always producing the same things, no matter the area where they are from, this will surely tend to be boring. This is the reason why we prefer giving our consumers a good wine made of Barbarossa or a good Sangiovese where there can be found the real characters of the people from Romagna: we are simple people, anyway we also are sincere and the same sincerity is found in the wines of this land. We also created a wine made of the Bordeaux blend, Mito, because we wanted to deny the ones who accused us of being too much traditionalist; the result gave a modern wine which proved that, however, we have been good in creating a wine which is not part of our traditions, a wine that was a striking success since its release everywhere in the world.»


The impressive entrance of Fattoria Paradiso's
private cellar
The impressive entrance of Fattoria Paradiso's private cellar

 Talking about countries where Fattoria Paradiso's wines are sold, Mrs. Graziella Pezzi tells us «our products are present in Italy, as well as in Europe, Germany, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Denmark and France. Our wines are also sold in the United States of America, Canada and Japan.»

 Concerning anticipations for the last vintage, Mrs. Pezzi says «we already had some good results with nouveau wine and with Cagnina di Romagna, however, the 2002 will not be a vintage to remember. I would also like to say that just before the harvest, most of producers complained about huge losses and the expectations were bad for everyone; after the harvest there have been expectations that denied the previous ones. I sincerely believe that one should be more honest as well as recognizing the real value of every vintage. This year our agronomist made us thin out vineyard and wanted us to vigorously defoliate the vines, something that allowed us to obtain a product which surely is more than reasonable. Unfortunately red wines of this vintage will slightly lack in color because of the unfavorable meteorological conditions.»

 Fattoria Paradiso also produces two excellent grappas made of the pomace of Barbarossa and Pagadebit. Mrs. Pezzi reminds us «Fattoria Paradiso produces two grappas, “Chicca” with Pagadebit's pomace and “Grappa di Barbarossa” with Barbarossa's pomace. They are both smooth and round, very agreeable, which generally meet consumers' taste, including the one of ladies.» We personally tasted Grappa di Barbarossa: it has a crystalline aspect and it is very clear and limpid, at the nose are revealed good aromas of hazelnut, peach, apricot, dried plum as well as elegant hints of violet and raspberry. In the mouth is truly round and soft, almost velvety, very agreeable, with a persistent finish of hazelnut, peach and raspberry. A very well made grappa, truly agreeable, the alcohol is well balanced and does not “burn” even though the grappa has 42% of alcohol by volume.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Albana di Romagna Secco\\Pezzi di Paradiso Vigna dell'Olivo 2001, Fattoria Paradiso
Albana di Romagna Secco
Pezzi di Paradiso Vigna dell'Olivo 2001
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Albana
Price: € 6,00 Score:
The wine has a beautiful and intense greenish yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes a good sequence of aromas, mainly apple, peach, almond, chamomile followed by hints of fennel, acacia honey and pickle. In the mouth shows good correspondence with the nose, with a crisp and pleasing attack although alcohol tends to prevail over the wine's balance. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of apple and chamomile.
Food Match: Soft cheese, Light appetizers, Pasta and risotto with fish, boiled fish and crustaceans



Jacopo 2001, Fattoria Paradiso
Jacopo 2001
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Price: € 10,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a deep straw yellow color with nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals good personality where wood aromas are perceived from the very beginning. Other good and intense aromas that can be perceived are of banana, apple and peach as well as butter, croissant, acacia, hawthorn, honey and vanilla. In the mouth has good intensity as well as good body with a correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack which is well balanced by alcohol, followed by an agreeable hint of wood flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of peach, banana and honey. The wine is aged for six months in barrique as well as in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Pasta and risotto with rich sauces



Albana di Romagna Passito Gradisca 2000, Fattoria Paradiso
Albana di Romagna Passito Gradisca 2000
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Albana
Price: € 20,00 (500 ml - 16.9 fl.ozPiquant and hard cheese, Confectionery, Cookies Score:
Pleasing and interesting example of Albana passito. The visive evaluation shows a beautiful amber yellow with nuances of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals am enchanting symphony of elegant, refined and well defined aromas, of great personality. There can be perceived good and intense aromas of dried apricot, candies, caramel, peach jam, dried fig, dried flowers, honey, skin of citrus fruits, enamel and a hint of vanilla. The mouth has an excellent correspondence with the nose, soft, round and well balanced by alcohol, pleasingly sweet which is well balanced as well. The finish is very persistent with long and pleasing flavors of honey, peach jam and dried apricot. A passito wine of great elegance and well made and will be capable of giving good emotions even tasted by itself. Gradisca is produced with dried Albana grapes and the must is fermented and aged in small casks.
Food Match: Piquant and hard cheese, Confectionery, Cookies



Mito 1997, Fattoria Paradiso
Mito 1997
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Price: € 36,00 Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and brilliant ruby red color, moderate transparency. The nose reveals an olfactory profile of personality, with good and intense aromas of black cherry, cherry, blueberry, licorice and plum followed by hints of peach and vanilla. The mouth corresponds to the sensations perceived by the nose and has a slightly tannic attack although well balanced by alcohol. Mito is full bodied and its finish is persistent with agreeable and intense flavors of black cherry, plum and a hint of peach. This wine is aged in barrique for 20 months and then follows a refinement in bottle for one year.
Food Match: Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese



Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva\\Castello Ugarte Vigna
delle Lepri 1999}
, Fattoria Paradiso
Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva
Castello Ugarte Vigna delle Lepri 1999
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 12,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Excellent example of Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore. The wine shows a beautiful and brilliant ruby red color, very firm, moderate transparency. At the nose reveals a great personality, very rich in clean and elegant aromas. There can be perceived good and intense aromas of black cherry jam, plum jam, Cherry macerated in alcohol, strawberry and blackberry followed by pleasing aromas of peach, chocolate, licorice, dried rose, vanilla and black pepper. In the mouth shows a good body and a tannic attack, however well balanced by alcohol and roundness. Good correspondence with the fruit aromas perceived by the nose. Wine's finish is persistent with long and pleasing flavors of black cherry jam, plum jam and blackberry. Simply a great wine which will be capable of giving excellent satisfactions in future. This wine is aged in cask for 18 months and 6 months in barrique followed by 12 months in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Barbarossa Il Dosso 2000, Fattoria Paradiso
Barbarossa Il Dosso 2000
Fattoria Paradiso
Grapes: Barbarossa
Price: € 25,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine, of great personality and character, shows a beautiful and intense ruby red color with nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals an impressive personality with clean, elegant and refined aromas of black cherry jam, cherry jam, plum jam, raspberry, licorice, violet, dried rose and cocoa followed by leather, cinnamon and vanilla. In the mouth shows the same great personality and a tannic attack however well balanced by alcohol and by roundness, as well as by its full body. It harmoniously corresponds to the nose with intense flavors of jams. The finish is persistent with long and pleasing flavors of black cherry jam and plum jam. A truly well made wine which will give rich and wonderful emotions to the ones that will be able to wait for some more years. This wine is aged for 18 months in cask and 6 months in barrique then follows a refinement of 12 months in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Fattoria Paradiso - Via Palmeggiana, 285 - 47032 Bertinoro, Forlì (Italy) Tel. +39 0543 445044 Fax. +39 0543 444224 - Winemaker: Roberto Cipresso - Established: 1950 - Production: 550000 bottles - E-Mail: fattoriaparadiso@fattoriaparadiso.com - WEB: www.fattoriaparadiso.com


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