Matteo Furlani is a magician. From his perch in the Italian Dolomites above the city of Trento, the fourth-generation winemaker crafts brightly hued still and sparkling natural wines — mountain juice hewn from the clay and granite soils.

His approach is natural. He farms biodynamically, harvests by hand, and ferments with native yeasts. He even enlists the elements: wines are clarified in steel tanks set outside of the winery during the cold winter months — taking advantage of the natural conditions to give them clarity or aroma and color.

There’s his Joanizza, made using the rare ‘Joannita’ grape, a cross between Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chasselas, and cold-hardy Seyve-Villard. It tastes like grapefruit soda steeped in chamomile tea and preserved lemons. His ‘Macerato’ is made with 100% skin-fermented Pinot Grigio, which lends to its dusty purple, almost lava lamp-esque complexion. And his bubbly rosato, made with Pinot Noir, rings with clear notes of Saba-drizzled strawberries, wild herbs, and crushed minerals. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With their bright colors and juicy acidity, his wines feel summery. But we also love to enjoy them Alpine style. For apéro, we’ll pair them with slices of smoky Speck and traditional Alpine cheeses like Gruyere, Comté, or Emmental. For dinner we’ll attempt to recreate a barley and vegetable soup typical of the Trentino Alto Adige area called zuppa d’orzo — although it will never be as good as the one that Matteo’s mother makes.

You can learn more about Matteo and his winemaking in this interview on the Dispatch.

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