Trained in enology at the University of Bordeaux, after obtaining a degree in agronomy at the University of Milan, Cristina Geminiani has taken a radically new approach to viticulture and winemaking in an area of Italy that is little known for quality wine production.
Cristina’s grandfather, an industrialist from Milan, purchased the Zerbina estate in the 1960’s. Named after a local warm southerly wind, it is located at Marzeno in Romagna where the land begins to rise towards the Appennines that divide Romagna from Tuscany. The vineyards cover 29 hectares, more than 70% Sangiovese, the remainder planted with Albana, plus some Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cristina has been in charge since 1987 and has overseen major modifications. In the cellars the equipment has been completely renovated with temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation vats and ageing in new and relatively new French oak casks. In the vineyards a program of systematic replanting is underway, especially with the Sangiovese grape. All is being done to maximize the potential of the variety, taking into account the plantation density and pruning methods.
The results of this work are evident in Zerbina’s ‘signature wine’, Marzieno, a Sangiovese/Cabernet blend that has been awarded “Tre Bicchieri” for each and every one of the last 5 vintages…an unprecedented achievement in the Italian wine world.
The other significant variety here is the white Albana grape. From this, Cristina makes two of Italy’s greatest botrytis-affected dessert wines, Arroco and Scacco Matto (Checkmate).
The full range, from the young red and white wines, through the superb red riservas, to the outstanding dessert wines, is of world class quality. These wines have breed, elegance, charm, depth of flavor and a personality rarely found in Italy, even in neighboring Tuscany.
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