Alla Costiera

Who: Filippo Gamba

Where: Vo’ Euganeo, Padova 

What grapes: Friulano, Moscato Giallo, Garganega, Serprino, Raboso…

How many bottles: ± 30,000

Key facts: Filippo does it all by himself; 7ha of certified organic farm


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Alla Costiera Prosecco DOC

Certified organic. This wine is 100% Glera from 15-75 year-old vines grown in calcerous marl soils immediately to the west of the Colli Euganei. Charmat method secondary fermentation, 60-day elevage before bottling. Vintage dated Prosecco made in roughly 3,000-bottle batches.

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Alla Costiera “Biancone” Tocai IGT

Organic: Certified Organic; Practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Calcareous Marl Soil
Elevation: 20m
Grapes: Garganega Tai Serprino 10% moscato
Method of fermentation: 8 months in vitrified Cement
Bottles made: 2,200

 

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Alla Costiera Cabernet F.

Organic: Certified Organic; Practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Calcareous Marl Soil
Elevation: 20m
Grapes: Cabernet Franc
Method of fermentation: Spontaneous yeast fermentation in enamel-lined cement tank.
Bottles made: 1,200

 

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Alla Costiera Vo Vecchio Rosso Riserva DOC

Organic: Certified Organic; Practicing Biodynamic
Soil type: Calcareous Marl Soil
Elevation: 20m
Grapes: Cabernet Merlot Raboso
Method of fermentation: Spontaneous yeast fermentation in enamel-lined cement tank.
Bottles made: 1,600

Also available:

Alla Costiera “Agnese” Fior d’Arancio Secco DOCG

Certified organic. Moscato grown in calcareous marls in the colli Euganei. Spontaneous yeast fermentation in enamel-lined cement tanks. Unfined and unfiltered. 1,500 bottles produced.


 

What’s with all the happy couples in our portfolio?  Fillipo Gamba and his wife have the mischievous banter of a duo that know their partner well… and still like each other! Inside-jokes, sideways glances, sparkle in the eyes. La Segnora likes Spanish telenovelas, we discuss their virtues and compare the Iberian versions to Mexican-American equivalents. It’s a serious atmosphere. When in Italy with our wine growers I’m surrounded by this stuff. Happiness. With the Gambas it feels like I’m along on their date, a sense magnified by the swank restaurant where we shared a really excellent lunch. They picked a good spot, the Trattoria al Sasso, a modern and ambitious hillside restaurant loomed over by sheer faces of trachyte, a strong calcerous marl that you can see in ancient building in Rome. For once, the food in a dressed-up place over-delivered on its promises. Ravioli with pumpkin was better than fresh pasta ever is in the USA, a really delicate, indescribable texture. The lamb chops were phenomenally flavorful, and fried chicken and artichokes were pretty decent, too.

The Gamba’s reasons to be happy together go beyond full bellies: a new kid, a thriving small organic farm, apparent health. Their vineyards are near Vo Vecchio, a village dominated by a Venetian-style old stone courtyard, basically a church and administrative buildings, built by a long-since forgotten (by me) aristocrat. And little else. The land around Vo is mostly flat, with narrow straight roads runing high along boundaries between fields probably best-suited for rice. This land was drained, reclained from sea and swamp. The hilly volcanic colli Eugenei where Filippo’s vines bask was once the only terrestrial space here. Parts of Holland look like this lowland, except for the sunshine!

The couple farm seven certified-organic acres, using biodynamic methods. Ambient yeast from nature begins fermentations in their cellar. Except for a Merlot, all wines are produced in cement tanks. And production is small. The Biancone Tai that we import is made in less-than 3,000 bottle batches. The 2013 is seductively aromatic: you should get some! A col fondo (on lees) Prosecco is the liquid highlight of our lunch, one day it will offer a funky, more-serious alternative to Alla Costiera’s popular-but-good DOC Prosecco. At the end of our meal Fillipo shares his plans to grow Corvinone, Turchetta, Cavarara, rare grapes that he’s had planted for 5-6 years now and are very specific to this corner of the Veneto. I’m interested. As good as Alla Costiera’s current Bordeaux-varietal reds are, I feel they remain second-best to the indigenous variety white wines that he grows.

I like being around people who clearly enjoy each other’s company. It gives me the sense that the world truly works, dystopias can be avoided, life is nice. Small dogs and happy children are being herded by grandparents in the driveway of Alla Costiera as I depart. The sun is shining, our friends are puzzling over the muscadine jam I gave them. “Indigenous to North Carolina,” I explained. I hope it defeats their initial skepticism. Maybe the positive vibes coming off all the biodynamic wine make famigliaGamba so quick to smile!