The future is shaped by the past with COCCIOPESTO Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, a project that began to take shape with the 2017 vintage, when we decided to make a Trebbiano using cocciopesto.
The jars known as cocciopesto are made from opus signinum, an ancient technique that mixes brick, stone fragments, sand, binder and water, then is air-dried for at least 30 days. Cocciopesto differs from terracotta and was used by the Romans to clad aqueducts, cisterns and thermal baths.
We were fascinated by the idea of making wine from a 50-year-old pergola vineyard, with perfect phenolic ripeness and using the age-old maceration method. The grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, and fermented in cocciopesto with ambient yeasts.
After ten days of maceration and manual punching down, followed by first racking, the wine went back to the cocciopesto jars to finish fermentation and refinement and is bottled unfiltered.
Thanks to its microporous qualities cocciopesto triggers micro-oxygenation and enhances the sensory qualities and aroma of the wine without leaving traces.
The result is a refined, delicate wine with a decidedly mineral character. We are enthusiastic about this Trebbiano, which is certainly unusual but with its own identity.
Main characteristics of cocciopesto jars
Cocciopesto is a material used since Roman times, when it was called opus signinum, but it has even more ancient origins, dating back to the Phoenicians. The age-old method was used to coat aqueducts, cisterns and thermal baths. It is made by cold mixing of stone fragments, crushed earthenware, sand of all textures, and enriched with reinforcing fibres, binder and water. The result is a very compact, waterproof compound. The wine container was inspired by the Roman dolium tradition and its egg-shaped interior develops a convective motion that fosters the recirculation of must during winemaking.
One of the unique features of cocciopesto is that it promotes micro-oxygenation. Indeed, this material is remarkably microporous, which highlights the sensory profile by enhancing and amplifying aromas during winemaking and subsequent refinement. Finally, a substantial difference compared to terracotta is that cocciopesto is dried in air and the process lasts at least 30 days. Requesting food certification to endorse the purity of the materials used in the mixture means internal vitrification is not required for the interior, mandatory for other materials, such as concrete containers.