Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Wines of casa 236 in Italy – Peter Schiller

Picture: Peter Schiller's casa 236 wines

A year ago or so I was contacted by Peter Schiller in Italy, who wrote me that we did not only share the name Schiller but also a passion for wine. While I have never made wine, but only write about wine, Peter actually makes wine. His winery is called Casa 236 and is located in 47025 Mercato Saraceno. Mercato Saraceno is in the Emilia-Romagna region, located about 90 km southeast of Bologna and about 35 km southeast of Forlì.

The web presence of casa 236 is extremely limited, but the web site suggests – in German and Italian – that Peter follows a natural wine making approach, with the use of natural as opposed to chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. It is small, family managed winery which was founded not so long ago.

casa 236
Azienda Vitivinicola Peter Schiller
Strada Sanzola 2532, 47025 Mercato Saraceno

Peter asked me if I would be interested in tasting some of his wines and writing about them and I replied yes. He sent me 5 bottles which I tasted. Unfortunately, I have only very little background information on the winery, the winemakers, the winemaking philosophy and the terroir. I also have no idea what these wines cost. For 3 of the 6 wines, Peter provided some additional information, which suggests that he produces perhaps 200 cases of the wines we tasted.

In the tasting, I was assisted by Katharina Schiller, formerly Manager of Venus Restaurant in Berkeley,USA, and Annette Schiller.

Italian Wine

Italy is home of some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Etruscans and Greek settlers produced wine in the country long before the Romans started developing their own vineyards. Two thousand years later, Italy is world leader in wine, accounting for about 20% of world wine production. Italians also lead the world in wine consumption by volume, 59 liters per capita, compared with 8 liters per capita in the US. Wine is grown in almost every region of the country.

Wine Regions

There is wine everywhere in Italy, from the Alps in the North to Sicilia in the South, clustered into 20 wine regions, which correspond to the 20 administrative regions. The about 30 DOCG wines are located in 13 different administrative regions but most of them are concentrated in Piedmont and Tuscany.

The Piedmont area of northwestern Italy is further divided into the two popular regions of Barbaresco and Barolo. The predominant grape there is the Nebbiolo. Northeastern Italy has the Veneto area. Soave and Valpolicella are two important regions that produce many local varieties.

Picture: The Wine regions of Italy

The large area in central Italy is Tuscany and is known for Chianti. The Sangiovese is the predominant red grape in Tuscany. The Chianti area of Tuscany is a large geographic area that is divided into eight zones. Each zone has a Chianti DOCG that regulates the Chianti made in that zone.

In Italy’s South are Puglia and the island of Sicily. The Negroamaro grape is widely grown in this area.

Tasting Notes

Picture: Peter Schiller's casa 236 Wines - Backlabels


Vino da tavola rosso
Dark color, thick, fruity, long finish, very jammy, new world style.

B1 2008

Sangiovese Rubicone
Dark color, banana peels, overwhelming nose, peanut butter, medium tannins, relatively light, spicy, peppery, very well balanced, very soft.

X’ No3 2008

IGT, 2200 bottles, 4300 kg per hectar, 13,5% alcohol
Sangiovese Rubicone
Very dark color, nose-burnt rubber, musty, thick, lots of tannins, velvety, strong tannins in otherwise short finish, coats the tongue, most structured of all wines, after aeration, nose of dark berries, tannins have smoothed out - very well balanced.

X 2009

Sangiovese Rubicone
Nose: pipi de chat, licorice, still very young, bubbles, taste: wet concrete, plums, dry, very short finish.

X’ zero sette 2007

Sangiovese Rubicone
Very thick legs, nose: undertone pipi de chat, berries, new world style – big nose, short finish, jammy, a little spice.

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