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‘Safari’ Pecorino

Producer: Bove

Region: Abruzzo

Winemaker: Dario Bove

Available Sizes: 750ml

Appellation: Pecorino Terre di Chieti IGP

Grape Variety: 100% Peccorino

Summary

No, this is not a sheep cheese. This variety’s curious name refers to the sheepherders and their sheep that occupied the high mountain ranges from whence this grape came. Pecorino is a high elevation grape which lost favor in the 20th century because of its low yields. But, like us at Uva, there are other people out there who want quality over quantity. That is why Pecorino is one of Italy’s biggest success stories of the 21st century. Once almost extinct, the grape was found in an old vineyard at 3,200 feet above sea level in the early 80s and was slowly replanted. As recent as the year 2000, there were only 200 acres planted in total on the Adriatic coast. Today, thanks to a renaissance in the wine world for traditional varieties and unique regional expressions, Pecorino is now being grown on more than 2500 acres in Italy. It is producers like Bove that have helped keep this grape in existence for us to enjoy and explore today.

Safari shimmers with a classic straw-yellow hue in the glass. The delicate aromas of citrus, peach, and tropical fruits prepare you for an excitingly fresh and vibrant dry wine with subtle herbal notes like sage, thyme, or mint. The fruit is perfectly balanced with a great structure of acidity and weight. The flavors linger nicely on the palate and finish with a softness that is pleasantly unexpected. Sauvignon Blanc fans should enjoy the texture and acidity of this wine very much.

Food Pairing

Because of the combination of high levels of dry extract (body) and the balance of acidity, this wine holds up better to vinaigrette-based salad dressings, making this wine perfect for that first course salad. Seafoods, raw fish like sushi, and fresh cheeses are perfect. Try it with a simple Caprese salad or grilled chicken breast.

Varietal Notes

We have already discussed the survival success story of the Pecorino grape. The experts believe that this very old variety originated as a wild grapevine, high up in the Sibillini Mountains in the Marche region, just north of Abruzzo. The grape’s name stems from the Italian word for sheep, Pecora. Pecorino is resilient, resistant to many diseases and problems that come from more cultivated varieties. It prefers cool climates and clay-rich soils that are not high in lime.

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