In a land of mighty red gorges, like Tuscany the ansonica is one of the whites that, with increasing attention, knows how to stand on its own two feet, releasing the Maremma of its most celebrated star in the field of wine, the Morellino.
We are heading along the section of the road for Grosseto that looks towards Monte Argentario, the perfect land for this well-known grape that has been enjoyed since antiquity where it keeps faith in its innate coastal vocation.
The ansonica is in fact linked to seaside areas by its history and properties, with a special liking for the islands: Elba Island, Giglio Island, Sardinia and, especially, Sicily, where it’s known as inzolia, one of the most typical stars of the local wine-making culture.
It is a tradition that is promoted with encouraging results by a growing number of small-scale producers along the Argentario coast.
The real gem is offered by Giglio Island, one of the most colourful expressions of the so-called heroic vineyard cultivation, which sees man hard at work to rob Mother Nature of strips of land that can be cultivated.
The rows of ansonaco, as the grape is called locally, stand on small terraces with a sheer drop down to the sea, still dotted with curious stone wall buildings, the palmenti, built by the islanders between the sixteenth and seventeenth century and intended for grape pressing, which took place on site due to transport problems.
In addition to Giglio and the Argentario, production also involves part of the Capalbio, Manciano and Orbetello areas.
There has been a guideline in place since 1995, which, having recognised the history and uniqueness of the wine and vine, established the DOC Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario, enforcing the use of no less than 80% of Ansonica grapes in production.
It goes wonderfully with the coastal tradition of this corner of the Maremma; a crisp wine with delicate aromas that recall flowers and citrus fruit, with a light body, it is perfect with fish throughout the meal. However, elaborate recipes are best avoided. The version produced on Giglio is more structured, given the hot, sunny climate, providing us with more robust wines with a higher alcohol content.
“Fior d’Ansonica” Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario Doc
Cantina Capalbio (Capalbio, GR)
Vino Ansonaco Isola del Giglio
Azienda agricola Altura (Giglio Island, GR)