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The New Booze hipsters can’t get enough of...
in New York POST
September 30th, 2015
"A 148-year-old Italian winery is suddenly hot in New York restaurant circles.
Under new ownership, Contratto winery, which once supplied the Vatican with its house vino, is breaking into the city’s trendiest restaurants with its crimson-colored Aperitif and Bitter liquors — both low alcohol, bitter spirits meant to be imbibed before dinner.
Think of them as the hipper versions of long-popular herbal Italian aperitifs, like Campari and Aperol."
Contratto looks back at over 145 years of distinguished history. The winery was the first in Italy to make vintage "metodo classico" sparkling wine. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was the Contratto bubbles that were requested by the Vatican and the royal houses of Europe. In fact, the wines were exported to the far corners of the British Empire to be enjoyed by ambassadors and colonial governors.
Since June 2011 Contratto is officially in the hands of Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta, but the idea of taking over the Contratto sparkling wine production was already "planted" in 2007. For 4 years La Spinetta had been secretly making metodo classico wines at Contratto, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from Oltrepo Pavese. Today Contratto rents vineyards in Oltrepo Pavese as well as in Costiglione d'Asti.
It is the long-term plan to invest in vineyards in Alta Langa to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on Estate owned vineyards.
The new philosophy is different from the one of the past and the one of the big Champagne houses, as Giorgio Rivetti and his team have their minds set to make "great wine with bubbles" and not another Champagne.
With La Spinetta behind the brand, one may be certain, the goals for future quality are extremely ambitious.