The Natural Wines of Tenuta Foresto
Back in August 2022 I was lucky enough to visit Francesco Pozzobon, the man behind the Tenuta Foresto winery in Nizza, Monferrato. He hails from the Veneto region but decided to move to Piedmont (after a brief stint living in Highbury of all places) and purchase a vineyard.
I wasn't quite prepared for just how hot this part of Italy would be at this time of year and it surprised me how Francesco retains so much acidity in his wines after seeing the sunbaked vines upon arrival. Piedmont is not a region synonymous with natural wine so it's inspiring to see Francesco farming organically and making unfiltered wines without the addition of sulphites.
It was great to check out the winery and explore the vineyards. We were able to try all of Francesco's wines in tank as well as some old vintages.
This particular part of Piedmont is particularly known for the Barbera grape variety and Francesco produces 3 different expressions. Acrú is his top cuvée, a still red natural wine with extended barrel ageing. La IDEAle is a full-bodied natural red wine, fermented in cement tank and bottled with no added sulphur. La Comedie is a Barbera Pet Nat (sparkling red wine) produced in the ancestral method, again with no additions.
There are two skin contact wines, Favonio, made from Moscato Bianco (and one of the best Italian orange wines around in our opinion) and Leuto with is 100% Cortese. Finally, Franceso makes one wine with the Dolcetto grape, Pau Pau, which is lighter than the Barbera reds with a soft texture.
After sampling all the wines at lunch, we headed out to a local wine bar where I was surprised to see most drinkers happily enjoying big local red wines with 15% alcohol in that extreme heat. Luckily some Lambrusco appeared!
It was an amazing experience and Franceso was the best host. It's an honour to be able to sell these wines in London and this trip only emphasised that feeling.