Culture / Foodie Events

The Wine Queen

Since Taking Over a Winery at Age 19, She’s Changed Reds Forever

BY // 06.13.16

Elisabetta Foradori is a product of the mountains known as the Dolomites. Her father, who died when Foradori was but 12 years old, left her land and a wine concern, and she has taken it to new heights since assuming leadership of the winery at the age of 19.

Her efforts with Teroldego, an old grape variety that DNA testing has determined to be a sibling of Dureza, one of the parents of Syrah, has been game-changing. It’s a versatile, snappy red, perfect for a variety of foods, and this woman is its queen.

Elisabetta Foradori: A woman of the vines.
Elisabetta Foradori: A woman of the vines.

I like the results of Foradori‘s work with Teroldego, but what I’m drinking now is something entirely different. It’s a collaboration between Foradori and two partners, made far away from her native mountains, in Maremma, on the Tuscan coast. Ampeleia is the name of the winery, and it focuses on Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan, and Alicante Bouschet, varieties with complex and sense-of-place histories. Unlitro is a wonderful liter (hence the name) of red wine that is meant to be opened and enjoyed with everything from pasta and meats to pizzas and sandwiches (I’m partial to a crusty bread and prosciutto and a drizzle or two of olive oil).

On a recent evening I shared a bottle of this Foradori product with a few friends, and we tasted it with a ratatouille topped with a fried egg. Wunderbar. The wine’s light color is inviting, and it possesses a taut body and a fun fruitiness.

It’s made of 80 percent Grenache and 20 percent Mourvedre. Spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts is the method, and it’s aged in concrete tanks for 11 months. Nothing complicated or fancy here, just honest terroir and easy, enjoyable drinking. Look for it at your favorite wine merchant for $18.

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