Between the sky and the sea
Soaring in the light between the sky and the sea, the Arrighi company vineyard is located in Porto Azzurro on the island of Elba. It extends for 22 hectares of which 8 are cultivated with vineyards, completely within the Tuscan Archipelago Park. The Park is part of the MAB UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Islands of Tuscany”.
A vineyard with a view, a natural amphitheatre, an ideal place to support the work of nature in which Antonio Arrighi, winemaker since 1970, carries on the family business, now in its fifth generation, applying particular winemaking techniques, such as the use of amphorae.
Along with wines the company Azienda Agricola Arrighi also produces olive oil, vinegar, Limoncino and Arancino.
“My experiments include a lot of historical wine and vinegar recipes. I like to awaken the old, forgotten and get it acquainted with this modern world”.
Multitalented Wine Entrepreneur
They call him Multitalented Wine Entrepreneur. That is perhaps because of his love of experimentation… And his winery on the island of Elba is the best in the region. A modest person with a deep immersion in the history of winemaking, a brilliant technologist, a famous oenologist-archaeologist. All this is Antonio Arrighi. In 2019, the world heard about Nesos “underwater wine”. The excitement around the presentation was so great that of the several hundred journalists who gathered for the press conference, only half were able to attend. Those who were lucky enough to try vino marino maintain that its organoleptic properties are unlike anything previously created. No wonder, the recipe is more than 2000 years old!
Unique wine by Antonio Arrighi
Wine – according to Galileo Galilei – is a composite of mood and light. Speaking about the Elbe winery it would be appropriate to expand it a bit: – a composite of mood, light and the sea.
The vine used is Ansonica, the grapes were immersed in the sea for 5 days between 7 and 10 meters deep, protected in wicker baskets. This process made it possible to eliminate part of the superficial bloom, thus accelerating the subsequent drying in the sun on the straws, preserving the aroma of the vine. During the days of immersion, the sea salt also penetrates inside by “osmosis”, without damaging the grape. The subsequent passage of the grapes takes place in terracotta amphorae with all the skins, after the separation of the stalks, without the addition of selected yeasts, sulphites and without any stabilization. The presence of salt in the grapes, with a disinfectant effect, has allowed us not to use sulphites, resulting in the production, after a year of refinement in the bottle, of an extremely natural wine, very similar to the one produced 2500 years ago on the island of Chios, a small island in the eastern Aegean, which was part of that small elite of Greek wines defined by Varrone as “the wines of the rich”.
“We experimented a lot, which allowed us to determine the required time for the grapes to stay under water, and this is five days. Otherwise, the grapes would become unsuitable for wine production. Then – drying and withering in the air”.
A journey back in time to discover the secrets of a mythological wine
The recovery of techniques such as amphora winemaking allows a return to the origins: rediscovering the ancient flavors and aromas of wines. Precisely for this reason the land, together with the sea, are protagonists in the creation of Nesos, the marine wine. After the oenological experiment carried out by the Arrighi Agricultural Company in collaboration with Professor Attilio Scienza, Professor of Viticulture at the University of Milan and Angela Zinnai and Francesca Venturi of the Viticulture and Oenology course at the University of Pisa, Nesos, the marine wine, comes onto the market with a very limited production of 240 numbered bottles.
“Wine amphorae, in particular the ″dolia defossa″, found during archeological excavations on the island inspired the creation of the amphora wines”.