Skinny Dipping – Calzo della Vignia 2015 & Azienda Agricola Casale Trebbiano 2004

Amongst the world’s oldest wine making regions, Tuscany is widely renowned for historic Chianti estates, many nowadays producing on an industrial scale. But look a little deeper and you’ll find numerous innovative winemakers returning to traditional methods and forgotten varieties, to produce intriguing and beguiling wines. Two mavericks in the region are island newcomers Castellari Isola del Giglio and historic Azienda Agricola Casale, both of whom follow minimal intervention philosophies to make long skin maceration ‘orange’ wines.

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Skinny Dipping – Alfredo Maestro Tejero ‘Lovamor’ Albillo 2016

Sensible haircut and conservative demeanour, Alfredo appears the antithesis of a maverick winemaker, but this self taught winemaker’s ‘natural’ wines tell a different tale. While most Ribera del Duero winemakers are preoccupied with making robust reds from Tinto Fino, he’s sought out neglected parcels of rare old vine varieties, including his ‘Lovamor’ Albillo, a funky and textural, yet refined expression of terroir and winemaker.

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Skinny Dipping – Maria & Sepp Muster Erde & Gräfin 2013

In the vertiginous landscape of Südsteiermark, near Austria’s Slovenian border, Maria & Sepp Muster have led the revolution for biodynamic farming, minimal intervention and notably for long skin maceration ‘orange’ wines. The delicate Countess, ‘Gräfin’, and concentrated and earthy ‘Erde’, offer kaleidoscopic expressions of environment and terroir; vibrant and unique.

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Ximénez Spínola Exceptional Harvest & Fermentation Lenta 2015

Bodegas Ximénez Spínola are something of an idiosyncrasy in Jerez, notable for making all their wines from Pedro Ximénez, in a region where Palomino is the predominate grape variety, with an unusual range of wines to match. A firm believer in Pedro Ximénez’s reputed Riesling ancestry, José Antonio has been inspired to make with it two unfortified dry vintage white wines, adapting the winemaking methods of the German Rhein to his native Jerez.

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Thousand Candles 2012

Named after the musings of a nineteenth century European settler on observing an aboriginal ceremony, made by a renowned Aussie winemaker who has been inspired by Pinot Noir’s Burgundian heartland from an idiosyncratic blend of grapes, and grown on vineyards owned by a nameless mega wealthy Singaporean businessman who’s never visited, Thousand Candles has an intriguing backstory.

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