The Donati estate was started in 1930 and is now run by its third generation– Camillo, his wife, and their children. They cultivate 11.5 hectares of vines using organic and biodynamic practices. They are about 20 km away from Parma on the hillside at an altitude of around 250m with an eastern exposition.
There are a number of diverse strains of the Lambrusco grape family, but the main one of the Parma zone is “Lambrusco Maestri” and it is planted on flat plains because of its characteristic resistance to humidity and mildew, and also for its relative abundant fruit. For this reason, the Donati do a severe pruning to produce low yields of better quality.
The range of vines at the estate also include aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato Giallo, Fortana, Croatina and Barbera. They also have a little Trebbiano, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Most of the grapes are vinified and bottled separately. All the grapes, including the white, are fermented like red wines (with skin contact), without temperature control, native yeasts, no fining, no acidification or de-acidification, no added sulfur, etc…
The carbonation of these frizzante wines comes from the traditional method of refermentation in the bottle, a method that does not require preservatives and which makes this wine, unlike those produced in the Charmat method, age better. The wines are not filtered and are topped with a crown cap, a traditional closure for some decades in this region. There may be resulting sediment and the bottles should be poured somewhat carefully without a lot of intense movement.
These are very delicate and natural wines that have immense glugability and unique character. They are meant to be drunk simply as you would a refreshing beer or cider at cold temperature (even the red) with simple foods. They go particularly well with cold cuts, prosciutto, dry sausages, and gnocco – fried squares of dough – that are traditional in Parma.
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