This post is dedicated to Tenuta Foresto and to my dad, who has introduced me to some of the best producers of natural wine in the area where I grew up - Piemonte (Italy). It's thanks to my dad that I got to visit Tenuta Foresto and meet Francesco, the winemaker.
Tenuta Foresto are a young winery on a hill overlooking Nizza Monferrato (Asti, Piedmont), an area which is part of Unesco world heritage. After years living in London, in 2016 Francesco and Pauline decided to return to Italy and become a natural winemakers.
The beautifully biodiverse vineyards that Tenuta Foresto are surrounded by produce some of the local grapes such as Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato and Cortese. Tenuta Foresto are firm believers in the nothing added, nothing taken away philosophy and practice low intervention both in the vineyard and in the cellar. They also believe in circular agriculture, a sustainable way of producing that closes the loop - this is done promoting biodiversity and maintaining an ecosystem of vineyards, ponds and woods within the property.
My dad and I visited Tenuta Foresto quite casually on a Sunday afternoon in August. As casual as our visit was the wine tasting that Francesco led us through, which was quite frankly what we needed. I feel like I have got so used to the fancy side of natural wine - London wine bars, bottle shops, wine tastings where everything undergoes preparation. It was truly refreshing to taste some wine in a winery where nothing was set up beforehand (Francesco was grabbing the bottles straight from storage as and when we needed to open them) and the real star of the show was the wine in its home. An impromptu wine tasting.
We tasted most of the wines that Tenuta Foresto produce. Plus a guest bottle of Cerruti Rifol Moscato Bianco. Here is a list of what we had and some impressions. All of the following are unfined, unfiltered and without temperature control during fermentation, which happens spontaneously.
La Comedié - 100% Barbera with second fermentation in the bottle, which provide a natural, light fizz to this exceptionally refreshing expression of the Barbera grapes. Fruit forward and overall a very pleasant summer-proof wine.
Favonio - 100% Moscato Bianco with 6 days skin contact. Probably my favourite one from that tasting, it's a dry wine made with a grape normally used to produce sweet wines in the region. Floral, stone fruit, honey and high but pleasant acidity.
Leuto - 100% Cortese, skin contact white.
La IDEAle - 100% Barbera, deep colour, dense, fruity and high acidity, slight fizz on the mouth almost imperceptible otherwise.
PauPau - 100% Dolcetto, intense fruit, dark colour.
Tenuta Foresto's wines are available through Wines Under The Bonnet across their stockists - so you have a chance to find them across the UK at your favourite natural wine bars and shops. Keep an eye on my Instagram page - if I find them somewhere in particular it will surely go on there.