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Chocolate and wine, food and nectar of the Gods, for the first time merge in fermentation

Fervolato was created through the research carried out by Alessio Tessieri of Noalya, the only true cocoa farmer, and Marco Caprai, at the helm of Sagrantino di Montefalco

Fermentation has a unique sound and a particularly lively and engaging melody, its music is accompanied by joyful and delicious aromas. It has been exalted by poets and storytellers, musicians and painters, and the word itself contains the concept of fervor, which is activity, joy and dynamic pleasure. The Divine poet, Dante, wrote, “think of the heat of the sun that turns into wine”, while the Arabic AI-Husayn b. Al-Qattà who in a qasida said, “and come early to visit the wine, whose sound of fermentation receded after other sounds”. Alessio Tessieri of Noalya, the only direct cocoa grower, and Arnaldo Caprai, the winery led by Marco Caprai that relaunched Sagrantino di Montefalco to the international spotlight, decided to collaborate and after years of research and experiments, have created Fervolato, which they officially launched on October 24th. The product is not just the simple union of two ingredients such as chocolate and wine, food (theobroma cacao) and nectar of the Gods (theios oinos), but it required a complicated and vigilant journey made up of three fermentations in its family tree, cocoa berries, grape must and combining the two in the process to unite them.
The innovative production process is the result of Alessio Tessieri’s experience with chocolate, from the plantation to the production of world-class quality. In this case, the product was combined with one of the leading names in Italian viticulture: Caprai. “Our two companies are both dedicated to high quality”, Marco Caprai explained, “and we have come together to create something different and unique, but even more than this, to get involved and understand what could create mutual value from one and from the other. The result is that this chocolate has brought not only our obsessive pursuit of excellent products, but also innovation and technology”.
After several years of experiments with various different vines, the first example of Fervolato has finally been presented. It is a completely new product, obtained through an original process that combines the aromas and scents of an exotic fruit, the cocoa plant, to the complex and intriguing aromas of the fruit of the vine. The uniqueness of Fervolato is in the mastery of the manufacturing process. Following the initial fermentation, which took place on the plantation in Venezuela, a spontaneous and expertly guided process taking place immediately after the cocoa harvest, and very similar to that of wine, the cocoa beans are sent to the factory. Subsequently, the infusion of cocoa into the must transforms into a partial fermentation, activated by the natural yeasts in the cocoa, which were in a state of rest during the quiescence phase.
In the “First Journey: Noalya-Caprai”, the star players are the best Criollo Cacao berries from Venezuela on the plantations Alessio Tessieri owns, and the Sagrantino di Montefalco variety grapes dried on racks from the Arnaldo Caprai vineyards in Umbria. In the past, the wine obtained from Sagrantino variety grapes was traditionally produced and consumed in the sweet version. The vine shoots carved into the marble friezes in the Romanesque Church of San Bartolomeo in Montefalco bear witness to this long tradition, alongside the Renaissance frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the Church of San Francesco in which Sagrantino is depicted. Furthermore, the pairing advice for this wine says, “dark chocolate”. These two elements, in normal conditions, become Noalya’s single-origin Venezuela cocoa and Arnaldo Caprai’s Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG. To fully appreciate the Fervolato product, it is advisable as well as educational, to taste each product separately and in sequence; that is, a Venezuela Noalya, a Sagrantino Passito Caprai and then a Fervolato Acciaio, aged in steel, followed by the Fervolato Anfora, aged in terracotta, and finish with the Fervolato Rovere, aged in small French oak barrels.

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