An old Italian white with a new lease of Kiwi life

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Jenny Dobson is a Hawke's Bay winemaker with a long history of European winemaking experiencing, but since most of that is in Bordeaux in the south west of France, it was a surprise to find out that she makes an exceptionally textural dry white wine from an obscure Italian grape. Fiano it is.

Buy Jenny Dobson's Fiano here for $34.99

She buys grapes from the Bush Hawk Vineyard on Ngatarawa Road, Hawke's Bay, a site owned by Bryce Campbell, who planted 300 vines in 2010 and had the first crop in 2013. She has since made a 2014 Fiano from this same vineyard, which she now leases. The volume has grown along with the quality of the wine, which is dry, full bodied and fleshy with interesting honey and savoury flavours. 

Fiano is an old grape variety from Campania in south west Italy, dating back to the 12th Century. It likes a warm to hot climate and was widely planted but later fell out of favour due to being decimated by phylloxera in the late 1800s. Plantings of Fiano were sporadic in Italy until the 1940s when winemaker Antonio Mastroberadino made his first 30 bottles in 1945. He has since been credited as rescuing this grape from oblivion and it is now grown widely throughout the south of Italy, notably in Marche, Basilicata, Puglia and Sicily. 

The great drawcard to Fiano is that it maintains acidity when ripe and grows vigorously, so crop levels and wine quality do not tend to be a worry. The grapes in this wine were fermented in stainless and aged on lees post ferment. There is no oak. 

Buy Jenny Dobson's Fiano here for $34.99 

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