Cantina Paltrinieri is located in the heart of Sorbaro, Lambrusco territory, where the family's fourth generation of winemakers is producing one of the top Lambrusco di Sorbaro DOC wines. We are taken on a tour through the vineyards and winery.
Alberto starts with explaining that when you use mechanical equipment in the vineyard, you'll not only have to design your vineyard in such a way that it benefits from the equipment being used, but that you'll also have to maintain it appropriately for an optimal result. For example: machines cannot think so they will not recognize an unhealthy vine.
Harvesting by hand, depending on the vineyard, is not always in its favor. It is important for the grapes to be processed as quickly as possible after being harvested, because deterioration starts as soon as you separate the grapes from the vine. If your vineyard is too far away from your cantina, and/or the crates of grapes are too heavy, it will effect the quality of the grapes negatively by the time they start the vinification process. Alberto is very conscious about managing his loads wisely during harvest.
The soil at Paltrinieri is lime and sandy, very crumbly and fertile. It is well drained, forcing the roots to grow very deep to dig for water, which is good for the quality of the grapes.
The old part of the winery is build by Alberto's grandfather in the 20s. They got rid of his grandfather's oak barrels about 40 years ago, but they kept and still use the cement ones as they are in great form and complementary to the wine.
Maceration (skin contact) helps their wines not just by extracting color, but also evolving it by giving it body, complexity and by developing aromas and flavors.
Their Lambrusco di Sorbara, like any Lambrusco, is not a wine to be aged, it's ready to be drunk now, young and fresh.
The Paltrinieri Lambruscos undergo their second fermentation on the bottle, which explains its richness. Recently, this method of leaving the yeast in (touch with) the wine has become very fashionable again, it's also known as 'sur lie'.
The Paltrinieri Lambruscos ferment all their sugars, creating dry wines without any residual sugars. Historically, Lambrusco is used to be a bit more sweet, partially because the acidity was lower. Sorbara, instead, has a naturally high acidity, creating beautiful dry, acidic, high quality and sophisticated Lambruscos.