For a few years now, natural winemaker Danilo Marcucci has been experimenting with a new school of thought for skin-contact winemaking in his region, one of light skin time and relatively low alcohol to preserve the freshness of the white grapes he uses and not drown out the terroir he loves. This is not skin-contact wine for the sake of it – this is skin-contact wine Danilo’s way: restrained but complex, textured but mineral, tannic but uplifting.
Former student of architecture and one-time Umbrian wine-seller, Danilo turned to natural winemaking in the early 2000s after discovering first-hand what the chemicals in industrially produced wines can do to the body. A chance tasting of a natural wine made by his parents’ neighbour Vittorio Mattioli began what Danilo describes as a ‘radical change’ in his life and within a week of drinking the amber coloured white he joined Vittorio for what would become the first of many collaborations with the masters of natural winemaking across Italy.
More than 12 hectares of vines were in need of some love when Danilo took the reins at Conestabile but by 2015 he was able to release the estate’s first vintage in 60 years, featuring native grapes and natural processes, with no added sulphur – for Danilo, it is Mother Nature who determines the wine.
Aranciò Della Staffa is a macerated white wine made from 100% Trebbiano grapes, macerated for about 4 days on the skins, aged in fiberglass barrels, with no added sulfites.