A Vegan Vineyard Offering

A Vegan Vineyard Offering

Not all wines are created vegan!

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Organic wines? That’s old news. How about vegan wines? Not only devoid of pesticides and herbicides, but never using gelatin or egg whites (animal products) to “fine” or clarify the wines. (They use bentonite or charcoal.) “They” are Ciù Ciù (pronounced choo choo), a winery located in the Marche region on Italy’s Adriatic coast. The name may come from the word “ciuccare” which means “to sip.” Anyway, it’s a cute, memorable moniker.

As if not novel enough, today’s wine is made from the Lacrima grape that doesn’t seem to exist anywhere outside of the Morro d’Alba region within Le Marche. Its name, meaning “tears,” refers to the fact that the grapes tend to split while ripening, and tears of juice descend. (Tough way to make wine …) Not oak-aged, the wine is a fruit-laden delight of something positively unique.

2015 Lacrima di Morra d’Alba, Ciù Ciù $16 srp

Intense purple to ruby color. Fresh, audacious, highly scented nose of springtime flowers, rosebuds, Rainier cherry and a definite overtone of cinnamon. It’s a penetrating bouquet and refreshingly different. Flavors are light/medium bodied, delicate and Beaujolais-like in a good way. Lightly astringent but not tart, this would match well with Italian cold cuts, Mozzarella and goat cheeses. Drink now-2018.

88/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.