The name Controvento means “against the wind.” Given the vineyard’s location in Abruzzo on the Adriatic Sea, it could reference the winds that roll off the sea and through the green hills. Or, it could speak to the idea of sailing against the wind — embarking on an endeavor that, in the current climate, is forecasted to be challenging. Because Contravento makes natural wine. And while there might be a growing market for minimal intervention juice, it still makes up a tiny part of the overall market.
Vincenzo di Meo’s contributions to that small part are undoubtedly delicious. These are wines are direct translations of their environment. He doesn’t fine, filter, or use sulfur in his wines. In the vineyard, he focuses on cultivating grapes that are either indigenous or have a long history in the area. And in the winery, he lets them do their thing.
The Limite Acque Sicure — which translates to “safe waters limit” is a blend of red and white grapes, which might be where its name comes from. Melding Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and Passerina creates a wine that doesn’t quite fit into any category. It sits on the border between red and white, but has more body than your favorite rosè. The Vento D’Estate Bianco — which translates to “summer wind white” — is made purely of Passerina, a grape indigenous to the area that takes its name from the Italian for “sparrow.” Once you sip, the moniker makes sense. Hints of hay, pear, and apricot tumble in the glass, bringing to mind the sparrows somersaulting through the windswept vines post-peak of summer.
These wines are highly drinkable. They’re meant to be enjoyed now, enjoyed often, with food, with friends, and with music. That’s what the best value natural wines have to offer. They are direct, they broadcast just what you should enjoy about them loud and clear, no pondering required. In fact, you might miss what’s so great about these wines if you think too hard about it.