Fontana Candida wine producer
One of the oldest names in Frascati, Fontana Candida was incorporated as a company in 1958, but had been a family business long before. Since the 1980s it has been part of the giant Gruppo Italiano Vini, which also owns Bolla in Veneto and Melini in Tuscany.
Despite the size of the operation they have an enviable record for quality. Their single-vineyard Santa Teresa bottling has long been regarded as the flag-bearer for the region, but it was the arrival of head winemaker Mauro Merz in 2001 that transformed the rest of the range.
Although Fontana Candida has 25 hectares of its own vineyards it also buys grapes from over 200 different growers. Merz hired a top agronomist to act as consultant to the growers and pays up to 40% over market price for healthier, riper grapes, which has encouraged other growers into the Fontana Candida fold. He’s determined to reduce the plantings of Trebbiano in favour of the more characterful and traditional Malvasia.
Evidence of his ambition to restore Frascati’s tarnished reputation comes with the new much-awarded premium wine Luna Mater, which contains no Trebbiano and is aged in untoasted acacia wood barrels, which he claims add roundness and complexity while avoiding oaky flavours that would unbalance the wine. Santa Teresa has also gone from strength to strength, but Mertz laments that his mission to improve the less high-end wines is being held back by the refusal of supermarket chains to pay more than bargain-basement prices for Frascati.
Decanting Club wines made by: Fontana Candida
From Lazio, Italy
Fontana Candida, Frascati Superiore, Vigneto Santa Teresa
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