Terre Sparse

When you travel from the Piemonte region into Valle d’Aosta, you pass through the pre-alpine growing areas of Caluso and Carema. Unfortunately, as you drive along the road, you’ll also notice many abandoned terraces. There’s now a few less, grazie to Matteo Trompetto and his farm, Terre Sparse. Matteo’s given love to those abandoned terraces, and life to a small traditional farm. There’s much work to be done and Terre Sparse is an ambitious undertaking. It’s an area we don’t usually see many new wine producers popping up, let alone ones with working farms. And that’s a shame since the soil and climate here are unique and warrant our attention. The Caluso DOCG sits a bit lower than the Carema DOCG, which is more Alpine in nature. Both are located in a natural morainic amphitheater, whose soil composition of sand and other elements renders it alkaline, producing wines with low alcohol and a savory quality. Matteo’s winemaking reflects the ethos of his organic farm; the wines have minimal intervention and use native yeasts. Sulfur levels are low and coming down each year as he gains confidence (and feeds the family). These wines are not glou-glou; they have too pithy of a texture, and the savory notes have a tinge of bitter, which maybe is a hallmark of many Italian wines. But they sure do go down easy after day of hard of work on the farm.