Cantina Tollo Tullum Terre Di Chieti Passerina, Italy, 2016

Cantina Tollo Tullum Terre Di Chieti Passerina, Italy, 2016

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Overview of the Wine

The history of Vigneti Radica (Radica wineyards) goes back to the Fifties when the late grandfather Rocco (known in the village as Zi’ Rock) established his first wineyard in Tollo.

Initially he cultivated mostly table grapes, producing wine only for family and friends. Grape cultivating proved to be a success and Rocco purchased more lands in Feudi di Ortona, dedicated solely to wine grapes. Rocco believed strongly in the potential of Abruzzo’s wine, being one of the founders of the farmers’ cooperative established in Tollo to produce local wine.

Since his yearly years Rocco’s son Antonio has worked next to him in the vineyards and learned the secrets of winemaking.

In the Seventies Antonio expanded the grape cultivation and acquired Tenuta Nicate in Fara Filiorum Petri. In 2009 Antonio with his sons Giacomo and Rocco Jr established their own family winery to create great wines from the Radica wineyards and to share this passion with enthusiasts of good wine. As all families living in Italian countryside, also ours has a local nickname – we are called Li Ture, which means ‘The Bull’ and to be loyal to the tradition we proudly chose this strong animal to be our symbol.

Tullum DOC is one of the smallest DOC areas in Italy. It covers an very limited area – roughly 300 hectares in the Municipality of Tollo in the province of Chieti – and is characterized by very strict production parameters. Being situated between the Adriatic Sea and Apennines, the uniqueness of this appellation is in the mix of mild sea climate and fluctuations of the temperatures  that are typical of the mountains.

Hand-picked harvesting at the end of September. The vinification start with the cryomaceration of the must at 4° C for 24 hours. After a soft pressing, the must is cooled to facilitate the decantation. The fermentation is activated in steel tanks using particular yeasts able to operate at low temperature. Ageing: 6 months in steel tanks at controlled temperatures in the absence of oxygen and a short period in bottle.

Grape / Blend
100% Passerina

Tollo, Italy

Tasting Notes

Light yellow color. The aroma opens with floral hints of broom and citrus fruit and ends with herbaceous and elegant aftertaste. The taste is fresh, good acidity and mineral.

WHAT?  You have never heard of Passerina?  Don't worry - even an experienced wine pro had to look this up...  and per wine searcher (whom we sponsor):   

Passerina Wine

Passerina is an ancient and traditional grape variety used in the white wines of the Marchewine region of central Italy. It is thought to be a mutation of Biancame (the name by which the Bianchello grape is known in Marche), and it is often confused with Bombino Bianco and Trebbiano Toscano. The majority of Passerina vines are to be found in Marche's Piceno province (of Rosso Piceno fame), but there are also significant plantings all across central Italy, in Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna and Lazio.

The variety differs considerably from region to region in terms of the wine it makes, but a familiar character of ripe citrus fruit unites Passerina wines. In Marche, the wines are sharper with an intense minerality whereas, on Italy's west coast, in Lazio the wines are softer with an almost creamy texture. Some ampelographers have suggested that Passerina is not one grape variety, but several, a hypothesis which is supported by this regional flavor disparity.

Passerina Grapes

Passero is the Italian word for "sparrow", the bird known to Italian vinegrowers for its voracious appetite for ripe Passerina grapes. The Italian "–ina" suffix is a diminutive, and indicates the relatively small size of Passerina grapes.

Passerina also goes by the names Uva Passera, Campolese, and Trebbiano di Teramo, after the Teramo hills (Colli Teramane) in northern Abruzzo. It is even sometimes known as Pagadebit, meaning debt-payer, although this name is given to several high-yielding Italian grape varieties.

Passerina vines have mid-sized, pentagonal leaves and small grapes, which grow in medium-to-large clusters. The berry's skin is quite thick and ripens to a deep golden color. The grapes ripen with a high level of natural sugars, and have correspondingly high acidity, making for balanced wines in all but the hottest sites.

92 points - Ian Blackburn

I opened the impressive looking bottle... beautiful perfume - clean, pure, elevated quality marks of a better wines - intensity, purity, focus, floral, citrus... a little richer and rounder than most Italian whites, a concentration and roundness that is very love-able and great acidity to pull it through.  I think this is an outstanding find from dependable importer - at this price point we look for things that are satisfying and offer a great value... this one overachieves... I only wish I could get more at an incredible price.

Product size: 750ml

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