ERBALUCE [air-bah LOO-chay]
A fairy named Albaluce gave the people of Caluso a blessing in the form of this beautiful grape vine, according to legend. With a backstory like this it’s a shame that Erbaluce is not nearly as widely regarded as perhaps it deserves to be. It has very thick skin and actually turns quite bronze in color when fully ripened, which can present challenges if the goal is to make a simple, bright and crisp white wine. But this also provides some important positive attributes, such as the ability to retain strong acidity, as well as some natural phenolic texture that producers are learning to work with instead of constantly fighting. Wines made with a bit of skin contact, slightly off dry wines, and even sparkling wines are all examples of how Erbaluce is continuing to evolve its personality.
Benito Favaro is the true salt-of-the-earth farmer and his winery is an incredibly small production family business. Every family member has a role. One son, Nicola, farms the land with him while his other son, Camillo, makes the wine. His daughter Nicola and her partner are the viticulturalists and, of course, Mama Rosanna is the rock that keeps everybody moving, shaking, and smiling through their everyday. Situated just thirty miles north of the city of Turin and along the same Alpine fed river that travels down through the Aosta Valley, the small DOCG of Caluso is altogether a unique and stunning corner of Piedmont.