Remo Falconieri comes from a long line of falconers, hence the family name, in Sicily. However, he left the island for a career in business and ascended to the north of Italy where he worked for 30 years at the Olivetti typewriter factory in Turino. With his success there, Remo was able to pursue another passion by becoming a vigneron and founding Azienda Agricola Cieck in 1985. Located in the hills of Alto Piemonte in San Giorgio Canavese, he chose to establish his estate in the land of Erbaluce, the ancient white varietal which was very à la mode in the 1800s and even served by Napoleon during important ceremonies. Remo's first production release was a sparkling Erbaluce made in the traditional Champagne method, or 'Metodo Classico', and he is referred to today as the 'King of Sparkling Erbaluce'. While the 16 hectare property is also planted to Barbera and Nebbiolo, Erbaluce makes up 85% of the vineyard holdings from which he produces three different still and two sparkling wines. Now 85, Remo spends time in the cellar and vineyard every day, yet the estate is run by his adopted Korean daughter, Lia and Domenico Caretto.
The name Erbaluce is derived from two words, 'erba' which means 'dawn' and 'luce' which means 'light' and "alludes to the striking copper color the grapes assume as the sun hits them on traditional pergola-trained vines." This ‘Misobolo’ bottling of Erbaluce comes from the vineyard of the same name which means 'half tax' because the site was considered such a poor growing area when it was part of the Greek Empire that it was only taxed at half the normal rate. Of course, today, this high altitude vineyard at 1,020 feet above sea level is quite prized for its mineral rich, glacial moraine soil. Planted in the 1970s, the vines are situated on the slope of a hill with optimal south-southwest exposure to the sun for even ripening. After the grapes were hand-picked, the wine was fermented and then aged in stainless steel tank for five months before bottling. The nose features pretty, effusive floral and herbaceous aromas along with scents of lemongrass. The lighter-bodied palate reveals both bright citrus flavors as in lemon with a hint of orange peel, as well as more savory notes of baked fennel and roasted nuts. This elegant Erbaluce ends in a fresh, crisp way with good length on a definitively clean finish of bright acidity.