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CLETO CHIARLI

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

CLETO CHIARLI

EMILIA-ROMAGNA



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ABOUT THE WINERY

The story of Lambrusco is closely intertwined with the Chiarli family of Modena, arguably the most important producers of red sparkling wine in the world. The tale begins with Cleto Chiarli, the proprietor of the Modena restaurant Osteria dell’Artigliere in the mid-1800s. As was common for restaurateurs and innkeepers in those days, Chiarli made his own wine to sell at the osteria. Naturally, the wine was made from Lambrusco, the area’s primary grape variety, and it was well received by customers—so much so that in 1860 Chiarli was emboldened to found Emilia Romagna’s first wine-producing company, the Cantina Cleto Chiarli. The company thrived, and eventually, under the Chiarli 1860 name, it became the largest privately-owned producer of Lambrusco. 

The Chiarli family was also instrumental in taking Lambrusco from being just one among innumerable Italian local wines to its status as a popular international phenomenon and one of the country’s primary exports. A century after the winery’s founding, the Chiarli family pioneered the use of the Charmat or tank method of sparkling wine production for Lambrusco. Whereas the customary “ancestral” method always resulted in dry, fizzy, cloudy wines because it continued to ferment inside the bottle after it was sealed, Charmat-method Lambrusco introduced several advantages. It allowed filtration to make the wine clear, offered the opportunity to increase the bottle pressure to the fully sparkling level, and made it possible to bottle a wine that would retain residual sugar. The new Lambrusco—sweet, red, clear, and effervescent—became a sensation, and for a couple of decades, it was the most-imported wine category in the United States.

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WINERY LOCATION: Tenuta Cialdini, Castelvetro (Modena province), Emilia Romagna
WINE REGIONS: Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC, Modena DOC
VINEYARD LAND: More than 300 acres (120 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable & Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Lambrusco Grasparossa and Lambrusco di Sorbara; smaller amounts of Lambrusco Salamino, Grechetto Gentile, and Chardonnay
WINE STYLES: Dry red sparkling, dry and sweet red frizzante, dry rosé sparkling, dry white sparkling
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 900,000 bottles (675,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2003 (parent winery in 1860)
OWNER: Mauro and Anselmo Chiarli
WINEMAKERS: Michele Faccin and Filippo Mattioli

WINES

CLETO CHIARLI BRUT DE NOIR ROSÉ VINO SPUMANTE DI QUALITÀ

In the old days around Modena, the workers found refreshment in a light, pink, effervescent wine made from the runoff of grapes that were piled into carts for delivery to the winery. The Chiarli family pays homage to this old tradition with the Brut de Noir Rosé. Based on the Lambrusco Grasparossa grape variety, this wine gets its delightful pink hue from just a short period of skin contact, with 15% Pinot Nero. The Brut de Noir Rosé is a fully sparkling wine, produced in a single fermentation in an autoclave—a piece of technology unavailable to those thirsty farmers of the past.

CLETO CHIARLI “VECCHIA MODENA PREMIUM” LAMBRUSCO DI SORBARA DOC BRUT FRIZZANTE

The Vecchia Modena Premium Lambrusco di Sorbara represents the history both of the Chiarli wine Company and of Lambrusco wine itself. The bottle and label are reproductions of an 1892 bottle—the oldest existing bottle containing Lambrusco—that is still treasured in the Chiarli archives today. Chiarli Vecchia Modena won the first international recognition by a Lambrusco wine at the World Expo in Paris in 1900. Reintroduced in 2002 at a brand-new Cleto Chiarli winery, the wine is made through a single fermentation under pressure, rather than the normal two-fermentation process of almost all other sparkling wines. This is in the brut range, with minimal detectable sweetness. 

CLETO CHIARLI “LAMBRUSCO DEL FONDATORE” LAMBRUSCO DI SORBARA DOC

Fondatore means "founder," and the name of this wine name bears special significance for Cleto Chiarli.  The Lambrusco del Fondatore is a modern version of the same wine Chiarli produced for the customers of his trattoria back in the early 1800s. It is made by the "ancestral" method, by which a still wine was fermented in the fall and left to rest through the winter. It was bottled in the early spring, with no filtration, and once temperatures began to rise, the yeast would continue the fermentation in the closed bottle, creating a fizzy wine. In accordance with the time-honored practices, the wine is not disgorged to remove the sediment. Lambrusco del Fondatore has become the benchmark of the Lambrusco di Sorbara variety.

CLETO CHIARLI “VIGNETO CIALDINI” LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DI CASTELVETRO DOC BRUT

The Vigneto Cialdini is Cleto Chiarli’s top-of-the-line Lambrusco Grasparossa. The vineyard is located in the heart of the Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro denomination, where this member of the Lambrusco family has been cultivated since time immemorial. The wine is made through a single fermentation under pressure, rather than the normal two-fermentation process of almost all other sparkling wines. This is in the brut range, with a slight sweetness detectable. Vigneto Cialdini is the name of the vineyard, dedicated to Enrico Cialdini, who was a famous general during the unification of Italy.

CLETO CHIARLI “CENTENARIO” LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DI CASTELVETRO DOC AMABILE FRIZZANTE

A hundred years after its founding in 1860 the Chiarli family debuted a new wine, appropriately named "Centenario." It used the Charmat method of effervescent winemaking that Chiarli had introduced to Lambrusco production area a few years earlier. Centenario—a new wine for a new age—showcased the slightly sweeter side of Lambrusco. The wine is amabile, literally “lovable,” a designation for wines that are sweet but not so sweet they can only be served with dessert. It's produced with Lambrusco Grasparossa, a grape variety with deep color and high natural acidity that can counter the sugar content. The result is a well-balanced, intense red, soft, lightly effervescent wine that is indeed lovable.

CLETO CHIARLI LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DI CASTELVETRO ORGANIC DOC

In 2016 Cleto Chiarli started a collaboration with local farmers in the Castelvetro area that have long embraced organic viticulture practices. These individuals are members of the Cantina Sociale di Settecani, with whom Chiarli has been partners with for many years prior to this project.  Chiarli supervises and controls the quality of the farming and viticultural practices of the vineyards.  The grapes are brought to Cleto Chiarli at the time of harvest and the Chiarli winemaking team proceeds with vinification.  

CLETO CHIARLI “PRUNO NERO” MODENA DOC LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DRY SPUMANTE

Pruno Nero is an equal blend of Lambrusco Salamino grapes grown in the Sozzigalli vineyards and Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes coming from the Villa Cialdini vineyards. Such blends are not allowed in the traditional Lambrusco denominations, but the broader Modena DOC allows producers more freedom to mix the different members of the Lambrusco family. The vinification of each variety is carried out separately, followed by a selection of musts to obtain a Lambrusco of this distinctive character, balancing the structure, intensity, and acidity of Grasparossa with the delicacy and softness of Salamino.

CLETO CHIARLI “BLANC DE BLANCS” BRUT SPUMANTE

Cleto Chiarli produces this Blanc de Blancs from Grechetto Gentile and Chardonnay from vineyards in the Modena area. This uncommon recipe combines the finesse and elegance of Chardonnay with the aroma and complexity of Grechetto, made all the more unusual by the fact that Chiarli uses the same method for this wine, as it does for its red sparkling wines—a single-fermentation Charmat process in pressurized tanks rather than the double fermentation that is typical for most sparkling wines around the world. The result maximizes the freshness, aromas, and fruity flavors of these grape varieties and is finished at a brut level of sweetness.  

LOCATION


WINERY:
Tenuta Cialdini, Castelvetro (Modena province), Emilia Romagna

VINEYARD:
Modena province, Emilia Romagna

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