22 Jun Caiarossa: Italian Wine with a French Winemakers Touch
Caiarossa is a biodynamic winery located in Italy in the quiet hillside town of Riparbella in the Pisa province just north of Bolgheri. Located off the coast of Tuscany, Caiarossa has a strong connection to France as its sister properties are two Grands Crus Classés in Margaux, Bordeaux: Château Giscours and Château du Tertre.
And overseeing the winery is Frenchman Dominique Génot. I had the pleasure to meet him on a visit to the U.S. a few months ago, along with my friend, Nathaniel Muñoz, a sommelier in Los Angeles who also visited the winery recently.
Génot has been living in Italy for 10 years. Originally from Nancy, France, he studied enology and winemaking in Burgundy, and agronomy and viticulture in Bordeaux, receiving degrees from two benchmark schools in winemaking. Following his studies and time working in California at Saintsbury in Carneros, as well as in Marlborough, New Zealand, Génot was looking for work in Bordeaux when he was offered the job in Italy.
Génot began with the biodynamic estate of Caiarossa in 2006. Immediately his main focus was to take what he was given and simply improve each aspect to the best of his ability.
This includes expanding the acreage, as it has grown from 12 hectares to 31. The estate vineyard, which has a direct view of the sea, ranges from 180-300 meters in elevation. And the vineyard is diverse in soil type.
There are striations of calcareous soils mixed with stones and compact clays, while in other areas there is rich argil, which is a mix of clay and oxidized iron giving a reddish hue or “caia-rossa” (red stone). There is also a very stony limestone area where chardonnay, viognier, and a bit of petit manseng are planted.
Muñoz recently visited Caiarossa and spent time with Génot, sending me his impressions.
Read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.