Meet The Maker 2013
An evening of Biodynamic Gastronomy
Friday 26th April 2013
£15 in advance (Including food!)
42-46 Bethel Street
Norwich NR2 1NR
You could look long and hard to find a range of biodynamic and vegan wines, made without the addition of sulphur dioxide. Or you could walk into the Greenhouse shop, and find three awaiting you on the shelf. The man behind these wines is Henry Finzi-Constantine. He married Massimiliana Spinola and left his native London for Gavi, in Piedmont, Italy. The Spinolas are one of Europe’s oldest families, and can trace their line back to the 9th century. Spinolas have lived at Castello di Tassarolo since the 14th century – and now the estate is given over to the production of organic wine.
This is a forward-looking old family – concerned with creating a sustainable and healthy future. The wines they produce are as ethical and specialised as you can get, but aim to include, not exclude. Henry prides himself on making pleasurable and easy-to-drink wines (not always the case for sulphite-free wines!), and you can try them at our latest Greenhouse wine event – when Henry will be here in person to present the wines, and tell us what goes into making them.
Henry is a charismatic man, an entertaining speaker, and is passionate about his work. You can see him mixing up biodynamic preparations by hand on his website: www.castelloditassarolo.it
He is the most high-profile proponents of using heavy horses in the vineyard, (you may have caught him on Martin Clunes’ recent ITV programme Heavy Horsepower) and plans to cultivate his whole estate in this manner in the foreseeable future. This way, he reduces his reliance on fossil fuels, and reduces soil compaction. Often the good work done to nurture microbial life in the upper layers of soil can be compromised by using heavy machinery in the vineyard, so Henry works alongside Titouan, his Comtois horse, to weed between the vines.
Henry is leaving his horse at home (after a little persuasion) when he comes to the Greenhouse on Friday 26th April, at 7.30. We will be putting on food designed to complement Henry’s wines, and build on the themes of the evening. We will begin the night with his sparkling Gavi, an ideal lightly-bubbling aperitif. Then we’ll move on to the Gavi Spinola. Gavi is made from the Cortese grape, known for its refreshing acidity. This should complement our starter, a seasonal pesto, made with herbs from Orchard End Organics, a biodynamic smallholding in Norfolk. Generous slices of rye and wheaten sourdough bread from a local organic bakery will complete our first course – and keep us on theme. Henry eschews bought-in yeast strains in favour of indigenous yeasts to make his wine, and so the bread on offer is made from a sourdough starter, rather than by adding yeast.
Then we’ll move on to his the Monferrato Rosso, a red made chiefly from Barbera, with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a ripe, soft and fruity wine, well-rounded with supple tannins. Northern Italian wines reds tend to have a touch of acidity, and complement the same quality in tomatoes. This particular red goes well with the sweet aniseed flavour of fennel, too, so a roasted fennel and tomato pasta dish will follow. There will be plenty of fennel by late April from Thornage Hall, a Camphill Community near Holt, which grows biodynamic vegetables. There’s a symbiosis here, too, between the agricultural ideas of Rudolf Steiner, from which biodynamics emerged, and some of his ideas of social inclusivity, the basis for the Camphill movement.
Attendees on the night will get a preview of Henry’s Titouan Barbera, a light but balanced red made from those vineyards cultivated by Titouan.
Wine, food, ideas and education… a place at our evening of biodynamic gastronomy costs £15. You can reserve yours in the Greenhouse shop.
The evening’s menu in full:
Gavi Frizzante 2011
12% vol., £12.75(rrp) Grape variety: Cortese.
Gavi Spinola 2011
11.5% vol., £11.25. Grape variety: Cortese.
With a platter of seasonal herb pesto & sourdough bread
Monferrato Rosso 2010
13% vol., £12.50. Grape varieties: Barbera / Cabernet.
With a bowl of roasted fennel & tomato pasta
…And a sneak preview of:
Titouan Barbera 2012
13% vol, price TBA. Grape variety: Barbera
Feedback from Just Drinking, our last wine tasting:
“A great balance of fun, formality & serious enjoyment”
“Keep going – we love it!”