The Ciavolich family traces its roots to wool merchants in Bulgaria. Around 1560, some of the family took refuge in Abruzzo to escape Saracen invaders. The family’s wine business started in 1853, when Francesco Ciavolich built a winery in Miglianico, which is now one of the oldest still standing in Abruzzo. Their landholdings grew thanks to a fortuitous marriage alliance with the Vicini family, who were local nobility, at the end of the 19th century. In 1943, the German army took over the family home as their general headquarters, allowing the Ciavolichs to live in the underground winery beneath the house. In December of that year the family was forced out completely when the Germans took over the winery as an air raid shelter, ending the use of the old winery for production.
Today, Chiara Ciavolich produces wine from three vineyards. The first, in Loreto Aprutino, is the legacy land from the Ciavolich-Vicini marriage, comprising about 35 hectares. Chiara grows Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Passerina, Pecorino, and Cociocciola grapes there. There’s a second vineyard of about 15 hectares in Pianella, producing Montepulciano and Pecorino. These lands are the primary sources of grapes for wines bearing the Ciavolich label. The third was left to Chiara by her aunt, Giuliana Vicini. Giuliana had wanted to be a winemaker, but social conventions of the time made it impossible. Chiara started a separate label named for Giuliana a few years ago. These are more everyday wines. There’s a third wine label, called Fosso Cancelli, which Chiara uses for wines with no added yeast, and produced with some ancient farming and fermentation techniques. All of Chiara’s wines are certified sustainable by SQNPI, a national Italian agricultural certification.
Aries Pecorino is a beautifully-colored white wine with aromatic floral qualities. The name Pecorino comes from Abruzzo’s history as part of the sheep trade migration trade routes. These indigenous grapes ripen early, and apparently were a favorite with the sheep passing through. (Whether because of their flavor or the fact that they were likely sweeter than other grapes hasn’t been empirically determined, at least as far as I can tell…) The wine is dry, but high sugar content in the grapes give the wine a beautiful texture, while its higher acidity and herbal and soft fruit flavors make a compelling combination.
||Dry White Wine
||Colline Pescaresi IGP
||Chiara Ciavolich Azienda Agricola
|3 months in 2009 tonneau
Altitude: 250 m.a.s.l.
Farming Method: Integrated Fight
Training Method: Pergola abruzzese and Cordon - Double Guyot
Year of Implantation: 2000 and 2011
Yield per Hectare: 14.000 kg per Ha
Summer and winter salads, seafood, risotto, poultry