Five Minutes With… Alberto Antonini
While typically travelling across the globe for his consulting work, Alberto Antonini has spent the last year at his Poggiotondo estate in western Tuscany. We caught up with Alberto on the 2021 season to date, the Organic Vermentino 2020 and some of his favourite foods to pair it with.
Although the vineyards are planted primarily with Sangiovese, Alberto’s dry and unoaked Vermentino is sourced from select sites on the Tuscan coast, where the fresh winds and calcareous soils impart a lovely aromatic and savoury quality to the wine.
1. Alberto, we haven’t seen each other for a while, how was your 2020?
It has been very hard to see all these people suffering and dying, thank goodness my family and I have gone through the pandemic safely so far. Professionally, I have been very busy with my family vineyards here at Poggiotondo as I haven’t travelled much abroad for my consulting work. Therefore, I could spend more time here at home, which has been very regenerating and enjoyable!
2. What is happening in the vineyard right now?
We experienced a bad frost back in early April and there was quite serious damage to the vines, which had just started the season. Luckily the weather since then has been quite good, and the vines have recovered very well with nice shoot growth. Now we are doing some canopy management to guarantee a nice air flow through the canopy and less disease pressure.
3. Let’s talk about the Organic Vermentino 2020, tell us a secret about this wine.
I always say that in wine, more than secrets, there are mysteries. Every year we experience different aromas and flavour profiles because of different climatic phenomena, which influence the wine. In 2020, we had a lot of rain until mid-June and the canopy was denser than in previous years. The wine is showing intense balsamic aromas with hints of sage and rosemary.
4. What is the most unusual, yet delicious, food pairing that you have tried with the Organic Vermentino 2020?
I tried the wine once with a stew and its very refreshing acidity was a real palate cleanser, which I didn’t expect.
5. What is your favourite food pairing with the Organic Vermentino 2020 when you open a bottle at home?
At home we like to eat a lot of raw fish and the Vermentino 2020 is a great pairing for it.