Opera 02...Castelvetro's young masters of Lambrusco

I am not going to bore you with the old trope of Riunite on ice Riunite so nice and how far Lambrusco has come in the last generation and a half, and that dry Lambrusco is in vogue. This is an American concept meant to sell magazines and create page views on silly blogs such as this. Sometimes it's better just to taste the range of Lambrusco and decide what you like best. Drink and zip it, maybe have some salumi with it.

Better to the heartland of Lambrusco, the area around the small village of Castelvetro known for the Grasparossa variety. There are several notable producers within a short drive of each other: Pederzana, Vittorio Graziano, Venturini Baldini, and the standard bearer and in my opinion the most balanced Lambrusco Grasparossa is Opera 02, in the Castelvetro suburb (!) of Levizzano Rangone. Mattia Montanari, the President and co-enologist, and Roberto Ballestrazzi, the sales/marketing chief, were my very warm and gracious hosts.

First: what a venue. Super modern, with a restaurant and a 9 room b and b and an Aceto Balsamico aging room, and a recent story in Food and Wine magazine. This is the place to be right now. Was I wowed? Yes. Was I charmed by the Eva Mendes look alike server in the restaurant? Oh most definitely (is she single?). But strip away the infinity pool, the kitchen tile oligarchs taking over for a conference, the fine attention to detail, and all you are left with is a lovely Lambrusco. No beasty rusticity, not overly tannic, not a 3 Bicchieri award winning slick fruit bomb...balance. Without further bloviating, here is a photo journey with Opera 02...buona bevuta!

                                      Would you like some juice?

                                  Swimming pool full of Lambrusco

                                 Vertical of Lambrusco Grasparossa 2007-2011

                                    Brochure sadly non drinkable

                                 Near Opera 02 is a postcard scene

                                  Back to the farm post tasting...

1 comment:

Joanie Karapetian said...

I love this! Great photos too, Adrian. You are very talented!