Luciano Saetti is a soft-spoken yet focused producer of organic Lambrusco located just outside of Modena in Emilia-Romagna. Luciano began bottling his own wine in 1998 after working as an egg distributor (!) and selling his family’s grapes to the local co-op. The original plantings are from 1964. He stopped using SO2 in 2006 after a gradual reduction year after year. 2007 was the first vintage completely without sulfur.

Luciano begins by de-stemming in the vineyard with a little mobile de-stemmer. There is no press juice here so as to avoid using SO2. Primary fermentation is in open topped steel containers of 100 liters in size. These stainless steel containers are also brought out into the vineyards and the crush is done in the fields in order to preserve freshness. The still wine is bottled with a bit of grape must in order to initiate re-fermentation.  Re-fermentation occurs the following spring and takes a minimum of two months.

The wine is hand riddled by turning the boxes and then disgorged using a jerry-rigged freezer. The Lambrusco is sensational. Red berry fruits leap from the glass and the palate is bright and crackling with a wonderful petillance.

The labels are actually made of fabric (looks like black denim) and each bottle has a little paper note under the capsule.

There are at least five strains of Lambrusco is Emilia-Romagna; Sorbara, Grasparossa and Salamino in Modena, and Maestri and Malbo Gentile in Parma. Salamino has tight bunches and thin skins. This gives both concentration and elegance.

Solfiti? No grazie.