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THE CURIOSITY

Novello wine, signs of revival. 6 million bottles on the market. Zeni’s the best in Italy

Coldiretti’ s 2022 data (production tripled since 2016, which was the lowest ever), and the verdicts of the “best novello in Italy” competition
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Novello wine, signs of revival. Zeni’s the best in Italy

A wine in Italy that is almost “extinct”, despite its ritual and symbolic value, “first product of the latest harvest” and an expression of the Italian ampelographic variety (unlike the French Beaujolais Nouveau, which goes on the market from today, November 17, ed.), the “Novello” does not experience a period of great splendor, although it seems to be the protagonist of a slight redemption movement. According to Coldiretti data, on the market since November 1, the date on which by decree Novello can be sold, there are 6 million bottles in 2022, a figure that is up on the 4 million bottles of 2021 and to the 3.5 million bottles of 2020, and even triple the 2 million bottles of 2016, an all-time low, communicated by the farmers themselves. A sign that someone is still aiming at it, and electing the “best Novello in Italy” of 2022 was the Competition, staged on November 13, in Roccamonfina (Caserta), in the “Salone Nazionale del Vino Novello” No. 16.
To be judged the best of the 21 Novello samples, tasted blind, was that of Azienda Agricola Zeni in Grumo San Michele all’Adige (Trento), a veteran of Novello production, one of the first to adopt the carbonic maceration technique in Italy back in the 1980s and focusing on the Teroldego grape variety. The jury convened by the new National Institute of Novello Wine and Olive Oil then awarded second place to Novellos from the Statti winery in Lamezia Terme and the Porto di Mola winery in Galluccio, tied. Special mentions, however, for Ornella Bellia’s Novello from Pramaggiore, the Telaro winery in Galluccio, and Tizzano from Somma Vesuviana. The “Novello amore mio” award, on the other hand, given by the Institute to highlight the winery that historically produces Novello while still maintaining high quality standards, went to the Zaccagnini winery from Abruzzo, distinguished by the bottle with the tralcetto, and to the Colli Cimini winery from Viterbo, in Lazio, for consistency in the production of white Novello as well.
“We have learned that there has been a considerable rise in the Italian production of Novello”, commented Tommaso Caporale, director of the “National Novello Wine Salon” No. 16, “on the always negative trend of recent years, but this figure does not make us particularly hopeful since from our sources we understand that these would be Novellos produced not with total carbonic maceration and therefore destined mainly for large-scale distribution and at prices below 3 euros. The signal we want to give once again is that of a different Novello, made exclusively from the year’s grapes and that is truly an ambassador of the new vintage, with characters of elegance and pleasantness without any sophistication. Zeni’s is a Novello that is on the market for 12.50 euros. This is the philosophy that should distinguish the new season of Novellos in Italy”.
In the days before the “National Exhibition of Novello Wine”, a motion, signed by the new National Institute of Novello Wine and Oil, was forwarded to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Francesco Lollobrigida, so that he would advocate for a legislative intervention to change the rules for the production of Novello wine (Ministerial Decree of Aug. 13, 2021 all. 7), urging the raising of the percentage, currently at 40%, of batches of wine vinified with carbonic maceration to 100%.

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