We recently sat down with Francesco Cirelli to talk with him about his organic farm in the hills of Abruzzo. Francesco is a young wine-maker who has chosen to go back to the place where he was born, to make authentic wines that taste of that place, and to run a sustainable organic farm with may crops and products. Francesco was kind enoughto share his thoughts with us on returning to Abruzzo, his farm, his wines, and his special anfora.
Sedimentary: Tell us about Agricola Cirelli and why you decided to locate it in Abruzzo?
Cirelli: I was born in Abruzzo but when I was 16 I decided to leave. In 2003 I wanted to purchase a plot of land and I decided to do that in the place where my roots are.
Sedimentary: You are vinifying a few of your wines in Anfora now. Tell us how you came to make that decision?
Cirelli: I am young, I love experimenting and I was looking for a way to express my style and idea of Abruzzo with no similarities to any other producer from Abruzzo. Amphora was perfect for that.
Sedimentary: Your anfora are special and were custom designed for you. Can you tell us more about them?
Francesco: My amphora were produced by a young artisan based in Impruneta (Florence), one of the best place for clay in the world: Brunelleschi used clay from Impruneta for building the roof of the Florence’s Dome. My amphora also have a special stainaless steel lid that helps to reduce oxidation during fermentation.
Sedimentary: Cerasuolo is an Abruzzo wine with a long tradition and we think you make one of the best we have ever tasted. Can you tell us more about Cerasuolo and about what makes yours so special?
Francesco: Well, I don’t think I am the best one but thank you very much. Cerasuolo is a wine of the paesant tradition – it is the wine of the farmer and, therefore, it must be simple and authentic meaning that it has to express sense of place without faults, It has to be as natural as possible.
Sedimentary: Agricola Cirelli is not just a vineyard – it is a full organic farm. Can you tell us more about the other activities you are in involved in on the Farm?
Francesco: I would like to create a full organic and independent farm where everything has a sense and helps to substain the rest. For example: I have geese – the geese help with natural weeding control in the vineyard, eat our figs (I have 4 hectares and 7 different varieties), provide fresh eggs as well as meat for producing prosciutto and salami. On the farm, I also have 4 hectares of garlic and 1 hectare of olive trees.
Thanks to Francesco for taking the time to talk with us.
Disclosure: We import Francesco’s wines. For our producer profile on Agricola Cirelli go here.