100% Montepulciano. Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is the traditional deeply colored, full-bodied rosato of the region; it is named Cerasuolo or "big cherry" for its hue and flavor, which is derived from the very nature of the Montepulciano grape and not from an extended maceration. It is the true calling card of the finest Abruzzo growers.
The fruit for Le Cince comes from an earlier picking across all four of De Fermo's certified-biodynamic Montepulciano parcels, where vines are about 25 years old. The bunches are partly destemmed and partly left in whole clusters--they are crushed in an old-school vertical _pressoir. A_fter a few hours' maceration, the juice is moved into 20-hectoliter oak _botti_ for a spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts and no temperature control. The wine is aged in these huge _botti _on the fine lees for 7-9 months and bottled without fining or filtering or additional sulfur (used judiciously at racking only).
The story of De Fermo, a relatively new estate founded in 2010 by Stefano Papetti Ceroni and his wife Eloisa de Fermo, is an unconventional one. Originally from Bologna, Stefano does not come from an agricultural background but nonetheless took interest in wine at a very young age. He began a tasting group with his friends in high school (including his best friend Federico Orsi) and started visiting wineries as soon as he was old enough to do so. By Stefano's early 20's, wine had become his passion.
While studying law in Bologna, he met his future wife Eloisa. In their early years together, weekend trips to wineries became the norm. In 2007, seven years after the couple had met, Eloisa proposed they visit her family farm in Abruzzo; it that had been in the de Fermo family for generations but she had no real connection to it. Not expecting much, Stefano was shocked to discover a sprawling, ancient property with a rich history:
"The first document stating viticulture in our farm is the Chronicon Casauriense (IX century), a chronicle of San Clemente abbey in Abruzzo. That document states the sale of our land by a Lombard-Frankish family to the abbey. The monks kept the farm alive for centuries. Our family bought the farm in 1785."
Stefano fell hard for the De Fermo farm. In the winter of 2007, he began spending every weekend in Abruzzo, learning from the contadini hired by Eloisa's family to run the property. He eventually asked his father-in-law if he could manage a hectare of vines to teach himself viticulture, providing a first glimpse of what owning a winery could be like. But with he and Eloisa holding down successful law careers in Bologna (not to mention two new-borns), the idea seemed too crazy. And with no money to invest in the cellar he dreamed of building, it seemed like the weekend visits would have to do.
In 2009, Stefano asked the old man managing the property to see what was in the old farm house that had been abandoned since 1940's. Unbeknownst to Eloisa, he discovered an underground cantina in the basement. After testing it for temperature and humidity, a small restoration was done on the old concrete tanks, two barrels were purchased and 32 hectoliters of wine were produced in 2010, roughly 4000 bottles. Production increased each year, and by 2013 Stefano was managing all 16 hectares of vines, keeping the best grapes for the De Fermo estate and selling off the rest.
Today, almost all of the grapes go into the estate's independent production. For vines, 11 hectares of Montepulciano are planted