What makes a wine a Slow Wine and a candidate for the Slow Wine Guide in Italy? With 300 wineries and 2500 wines, what gets a wine in the book?
As someone who writes for Slow Wine USA, it can be tricky. I visited 35 winery candidates for the 2022 edition, yet when ti came down to it, I submitted 15 for the book in part because there’s just not enough room or time to write about them all.
So I focused on wines that came from organic or biodynamic estate fruit, grapes that are certified as such, and wines that are “natural” and using interesting grapes.
From that criteria, I am convinced that Famiglia Febo would be a good match for Slow Wine Guide Italy. And be a good match for anyone looking for good wines for Earth Month.
But as a newer winery, it may still be under the radar: Davide and Laura Febo began bottling Famiglia Febo in 2018 although this winery project began over sixty years ago with Grandpa Rolland Febo who, in the mid-‘60s, decided to transform cow pasture to vineyards by planting 2000 metres of Montepulciano grapes which he made into wine. Bottling challenges meant he sold bulk wine north and then sold grapes to the local cooperative.
Today Davide and Laura “are the body and the soul of the family winery project.” They left their jobs in law and publishing to restart the family business.
“Identity is like a lighthouse that illuminates the path of generations of lives and their stories,” states the Febo website. “Identity makes individuals unique and it contains some informations transmitted by familiarity. This is the parable of the rebirth of Famiglia Febo.”
And a significant part of that parable is becoming an organic farm and operating in all aspects with respect for the environment and to ” preserve the best of the past” by using the original equipment including eleven cement barrels. Four of these barrels are large and unique, painted in red and white, and purchased by Grandmother Febo with “money made made from selling fruit and vegetables at the markets.”
Farmed and made organically, Febo’s unfiltered wines rely on native yeast. As they say, “The goal of the winery is to produce wines that are a clear expression of the territory and of the passion for viticulture.”
The quality of the wine and the quality of the food are so important when thinking about what foods to pair with what wine.
Slow food is not necessarily the amount of time you spend on a meal, but the quality of the ingredients in the food and the attention and detail to how the wine will respond to the food that is being prepared.
And as I discuss here, you can take your time to make Slow Food when you have time, then on busy nights, you can enjoy the fruits of your labors.
- Homemade meatballs with purchased red sauce
- Homemade pesto with egg pasta from Abruzzo
- 2020 Famiglia Febo, Parella
- 2020 Famiglia Febo “Il Rolland”
- 2020 Famiglia Febo Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo
- 2019 Famiglia Febo Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo
2020 Famiglia Febo “Parella”
Varietals: Trebbiano Abruzzese
Color: Golden, like gold jewelry, great shine in the light,
Aroma: Very expressive, meadow flowers, salinity, sea grass, lemon, citrus blossom
Palate: Very clean and refreshing, very textural, lots of eureka lemon, sour grass, tart, lemon phosphate, nicely acidic, very tasty, light and refreshing, however this is not a simple wine. Good long lingering finish.
Pairing: Both of us wanted to go straight to our pesto dish for this wine and we were not wrong. The pesto brings out all things good on the nose in the wine, and makes the pesto seem as if it was made from butter. The orange rind in the chevo goat cheese with orange and fennel pollen just pops with the wine.
2020 Famiglia Febo “Il Rolland”
Color: Deep rich gold, copper, orange,
Aroma: Very interesting nose, chamomile, chaparral in bloom, Catalina cherry, chinquapin, white Ceanothus, Earl grey tea with bergamot, very slight essence of orange oil.
We try to find universal descriptors, but at times there are descriptors that we know and don’t know how to describe in other words…
Palate: Earl grey tea with bergamot, sage, chaparral, very herbal finish, orange oil. This is a complex wine. Very clean and not overwhelmingly “orange”, fennel, fennel pollen, very approachable and food friendly white wine.
Pairing: So very fantastic with the chevo with orange and fennel pollen. With all of the orange notes in the wine we knew it would be great, but it is beyond your imaginable dreams. Orange pith, orange flower, orange juice all come together and dance perfectly with the wine. Great with the pesto dish as well, but Sue kept going back to the chevo and the wine and could not get enough.
2020 Famiglia Febo Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo
Color: Very pretty, rose, mauve, sheer lipstick, lipgloss,
Aroma: Beautiful nose, roses, cherry, strawberry, violet, fruity and floral, tropical fruit punch
Palate: Bone dry, tart cherry, cherry phosphate, hint of wild strawberry, huckleberry,
Pairing: Great with the cardamon chili flake and orange peel salami. Perfect with our meatballs in marinara.
2019 Famiglia Febo Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo
Varietals: Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
Color: Dense and cloudy, plum with a ruby rim
Aroma: Earthen, plum, mulberry, raspberry, rhubarb, cherry cola, violet, earthy loam, first floor, ginger flower
Palate: Pine resin, pine needle, bright green, strawberry, rhubarb, pomegranate, big bold tannins,
Pairing: This wine loves the black pepper in the salami. The kick of the black pepper is perfect with the wine. Even better with the cardamom orange peel and red chili flake salami. You don’t even realize that there is cardamom in the salami without pairing it with this wine. What a perfect match! With food this wine has such richness, depth and complexity.
Home made meat balls are so easy to make. 20 minutes of time in the kitchen and another 20 minutes of time in the oven. Topped with your favorite marinara makes the perfect meal
- 1 lb quality ground beef–
we used Stemple Creek Sustainable Beef
- 1/2 cup organic bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 T onion minced
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup whole organic milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients together until just mixed. Do not over mix
- line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Bake 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven
NV Sfera Vino Bianco
SRP $22 (liter with bottle cap)
Varietals: Cortese di Gavi
Sue purchased at Point du Chene in Ojai
SFERA collaborates with small certified-organic farmers to bottle Liters in limited runs. This wines comes from Piemonte: Gavi, Comune di Capriate d’Orba, frazione Barcanello grown at 820 ft on limestone and clay. Using native yeast, the grapes were pressed after a night on skins then steel tank fermentation for 30 days without temperature control. A few months thereafter resting on lees, with occasional battonage. Multiple rackings and natural decant of sediment.
Color: pretty, clear, yellow, gold, it looks very summery
Aroma: Meadow flowers, fruity, Thompson seedless green grapes, citrus blossom, wet slate, petrocore, the aromas shine in a riesling glass,
Palate: honeysuckle, gardenia, clean mineral finish, lemon, eureka lemon, dry, pleasant, very easy to sip,
Pairing: Think greek pizza, fantastic with our chevo goat cheese with fennel pollen and orange. This was hands down one of Sue’s favorite pairings with this wine. Our finocchiona salami was perfect with the wine loving the fennel and touch of curry. This would be a great wine with Asian food. Toasted rosemary almonds are a great match making Sue think of toasted almond and rosemary crackers with LaTur cheese. Nasturshim pesto is complex in depth and flavor which is a lovely compliment to the wine.
If you’re a fan of Slow Wine, stay tuned! Next month we will be writing and pairing wines from the US edition of Slow Wine Guide.
In the meantime, check out these Italian Slow Wine and Slow Food pairings:
- Jennifer shares “Slow Wine and Food of Madrevite” on Vino Travels .
- Deanna delights with “Montenidoli Il Templare White Wine + Wood Fired Pizza” on Wineivore
- Camilla offers “Buono, Pulito, e Giusto: Lemon-Stuffed Chicken, Preserved Lemons, and an Umbrian Chardonnay” at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
- Nicole has “Old World/ New World Malvasia” on Somm’s Table.
- Wendy does “Spezzatino d’agnello and a G.D. Vajra Albe” for A Day in the Life on the Farm/
- Terri pairs “Grassfed Meatballs and Caiarossa Toscana” on Our Good Life.
- Here on Wine Predator, we argue that “Organic Famiglia Febo Deserves to be in Slow Wine Guide Italy”