Sons Of A Lesser God – Sparkling Wine From Uncommon Grapes: Durella

27th March 2024

Sons Of A Lesser God Sparkling Wine From Uncommon Grapes Durella

Are you ready to explore the zingy and zesty world of sparkling wines crafted from Durella grapes?

Durella, predominantly cultivated in the Veneto region on the slopes of Monti Lessini, spanning the provinces of Verona and Vicenza, takes the spotlight in Monti Lessini Doc Durello Sparkling wine!

With roots dating back to the 1700s under the name Durasena (derived from the Latin Durus Acinus), Durella gained prominence in the 1900s when local wineries expanded their market reach into Europe and the USA, too.

In 2007, the successful joint venture between Cantina di Soave and Cantina Montecchio di Crosare propelled Durello sparkling wines into Extra-European markets.

Durella boasts a three-lobed leaf with an entire margin. Its bunches are stocky, ranging from medium to short and compact. Ripening in the latter half of October, the berries maintain a medium-sized ovoid shape and remain white in color.

An ancient and resilient grape, Durella is notable for its high acidity and thick-skinned, tannin-rich berries, making it ideal for crafting refreshing bubbly wines. Thriving in well-exposed vineyards with ample air exchange, winemakers capitalize on these qualities.

The volcanic soils of Monti Lessini, shaped by eruptions 50 million years ago amidst a tropical environment teeming with marine life and coral, contribute essential elements such as basalt, iron, magnesium, and silica. These elements enrich the terroir, fostering white wines with exceptional mineral structures.

Wine Typologies: Durella shines not only in sparkling wines but also in dry and sweet variants, offering intriguing pairings for discerning palates.

The Consortium for the Protection of Durello Wine actively monitors and identifies nine locally cultivated biotypes. For instance, Durella Gentile (clone R 238) exhibits limited development, while Durella Classica (Clone R 462) shares characteristics with other biotypes like Golden and Yellow Durella and Picaia.

Perfect for Charmat and Classic method wines, Durella reaches its zenith with prolonged yeast contact during secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Exotic fruits, vegetal nuances, beeswax, aromatic herbs, and a distinctive bitter almond finish define Durella’s olfactory profile. With ageing, hints of flint, matches, and beeswax add layers to the tasting experience.

Lessini Durello Doc Riserva Metodo Classico 36 months 2018, Sandro De Bruno Winery: A blend of 90% Durella and 10% Pinot Bianco, offering a straw-yellow hue with notes of acacia, jasmine, pineapple, mango, cedar peel, and lime. Silky bubbles and a saline finish complete the refreshing experience.

Monti Lessini Durello Doc Spumante Metodo Classico pas dosé Riserva 2018, Amedeo, Ca’ Rugate Winery: Crafted from 90% Durella and 10% Garganega, with 42 months on lees, this brilliant lemon-colored wine shows aromas of white peach, citrus peel, pastry, and bloom. High acidity, a creamy mousse, long persistence in the mouth.

Monti Lessini Durello Doc Riserva Dosaggio Zero Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Cuvée Augusto 2017, Dal Cero Winery: A 100% Durella aged for 50 months on lees, presenting a straw-yellow color with golden hues. Aromas of peach, cedar, acacia flower, honey, bread, and wet stone, creamy mousse and a lingering salty finish.

Intriguing sparkling wines indeed!

Olga Sofia Schiaffino

Winelover, Sommelier, wine blogger WSET Level 3 passed with distinction. Sparkling wine addict.