Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fulchino Vineyards utiling Italian grapes in New Hampshire winemaking

One of my goals this year is to explore Italian grapes in the US and I've come across a number of wineries that I'm in contact with to speak with them about their growing methods and how their soils and climates differ as well as the wines they produce from those that they originate from in Italy.
Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyards Hollis, NH
Myself with Al Fulchino, owner of Fulchino Vineyards in Hollis, NH
I recently interviewed Al Fulchino, the owner of a local winery in New Hampshire called, Fulchino Vineyards. My feature of Fulchino Vineyards was featured this past week on my column, “Italy Uncorked” in the Bostoniano magazine where you can get a history of Al's Italian roots and heritage and how he came about producing wine in NH.
Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyards NH
Winery in NH ~ Fulchino VineyardAl grows about 85% of his own grapes on his land in Hollis, NH, but does import some Italian grapes from Italy including montepulciano grapes from the central region of Abruzzo as well as the lagrein grape from the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy. Granted, the terroirs along with certain elements of the actual winemaking and aging process are what make the wines unique so it's no wonder that US wineries that are experimenting with indigenous Italian varietals from Italy are making styles different than what you may be used to. The selection of specific varietals that these wineries and winemakers choose in comparison to what they think they are capable of producing to produce a somewhat “true style” of how that grape is expressed is what I find intriguing. 
Wine tasting in NH at Fulchino Vineyard

Al Fulchino chose lagrein and montepulciano grapes because these are the grapes that his family experimented with in making wine. Since lagrein is a grape that isn't well known in the public eye I asked Al why lagrein in particular? Outside the reason of his history within his family with the lagrein grape, overall Al is satisfied with the results of the wine produced with lagrein in the long term. His biggest issue with it is that in its youth it lacks the qualities he looks forward to in the end result. When presenting to customers its difficult to demonstrate the potential of this grape in the long term.
Fulchino Vineyards winery in NH
Original wine basket for the wine press of Al's grandfather
Al's family originates from Campania and next Saturday June 6th for our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group #ItalianFWT we will be featuring Campania this month with a group of bloggers sharing all their wonderful experiences and recipes and wines. Make sure to check back next week with a preview earlier in the week for a sampling of what's to come. You can join us live on twitter Saturday June 6th at 11am EST and chat with us. We'd love to hear your story and experiences too!