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Tiberio

Tiberio are located beneath the Majella and Gran Sasso mountains in the Abruzzo region of Italy on the country's east central Adriatic coast. These are the highest mountains in the Central Apennines and this is a spectacular location. Tiberio specialize in wines made from traditional Aruzzo grape varieties, and it was an eight hectare vineyard of roughly 60 year-old Trebbiano Abruzzese vines that first sparkled Riccardo Tiberio's interest in the estate. He discovered these at 350 metres above sea level near the hillside medieval town of Cugnoli and was so smitten that he quit his job at another winery and established his own in 2000. With this old vineyard he acquired a further 31 hectares of land and, having previously worked at one of Italy's most renowned nurseries, he planted the vineyards with a massale selection of old vines, from the oldest and original biotypes of each grape variety, and matched these to the soil characteristics of the plots. Tiberio's first release was in 2004 and these really made the wine cognoscenti take notice of his mineral white and fruit-driven red wines. In 2008 Riccardo handed over the running of the business to his son Antonio, who is the agronomist, and his daughter Christiana, who is the winemaker. Christiana has worked with Jacques Selosse in Champagne, Nicolas Joly at Coulee de Serrant, Egon Muller in the Mosel, various Chablis producers, and even worked in the Clare Valley in Australia. Trebbiano Abruzzese is a rarity, not to be confused with Trebbiano Toscano or other similar-looking cultivars like Bombino. Today Tiberio cultivate just three grape varieties. The authentic Trebbiano Abruzzese vines are grown in the ancient traditional canopy training system on mainly limestone soils with gravel-sandy subsoil. Pecorino vines are planted on limestone soils with a marly-gravel subsoil, and one plot of Montepulciano is on limestone soils, with another on clay-calcareous soils. The massale selection are the fundamental identity of the wines which Christiana crafts with meticulous care, each bottle expressing the soils, microclimates and varietal aromas and flavours of the grapes. The wines vary slightly in their organoleptic profiles with each vintage, because at Tiberio they do not follow a recipe; the grapes and the vintage lead the way. Only the free run juice is used. The grapes undergo long fermentations with native yeasts exclusively in stainless steel, and the wines are bottled without fining. The wines have structure and minerality with noticeable concentration and depth. Tiberio have won an impressive list of accolades for their wines, with a string of Gambero Rosso Due Bicchieri and Tre Bicchieri, they are surely one of Italy's finest wine producers.