Our first stop on our final day of touring was at Codice Citra which was founded in 1973. Codice Citra was quite the change from the smaller family wineries we had visited so far. It has 9 cooperative wineries with 3,000 associated winegrowers in the group. They produce about 20,000,000 bottles from over 14,000 acres each year.
Codice Citra has a large and impressive facility. They have the largest cask room in central and southern Italy with the capacity to refine or age close to 200,000 gallons of wine. While most of their wines are made from indigenous grapes, they do also make some international varieties. They are the largest exporter of Abruzzo wines in the world with a presence in 50 countries, this is primarily due to the good quality/price ratio that the company delivers.
The wines made by Codice Citra come from the province of Chieti. The vineyard area stretches inland 25 miles from the Adriatic Sea. They began their commitment to sustainable energy and the environment in 2011 with the production of a photovoltaic power plant to run the consortium's wine production. Their next goal is to continue to improve quality and value with a collaboration with the World Assoenologi President, Riccardo Cotarella and their head winemaker, Lino Olivastri.
Lino Olivastri led us through the winery and showed us the latest projects he is working on. He seemed most excited about the classic method sparkling wine. We then went down to their modern tasting room to try the wines.
Passe "Rina" Spumante Brut - This tank fermented sparkler made from Passerina grapes had floral aromas with white peach and citrus with a light yeasty note in the finish, the winery recommends it both as an aperitif and as an after dinner sipper.
Fenaroli Montonico Spumante Metodo Classico 2014 - This classic method sparkling wine is made from 100% Montonico, a local white grape, it spends 36 months on the lees before disgorgement. The wine is dry, crisp, and citrusy with apple and yeasty bread in the lingering finish.
Ferzo Cococciola Superiore d'Abruzzo 2017 - Floral notes of wisteria with nectarine and grapefruit, dry, fresh, fuller bodied, and persistent.
Caroso Riserva Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013 - Only produced in the best years, the grapes for this wine were sourced from sandier soils, this red had dark berry aromas and flavors with hints of licorice, fresh acidity, and an elegant slightly balsamic finish.
Lavs Vitae Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva 2012 - This wine came from 60 year old vines in the more calcareous northern part of their vineyards. It was full bodied with ripe tannins and had aromas and flavors of mixed ripe red
berries with dark chocolate, toasted nuts and a mineral-tinged finish.
An amazing high tech facility combined with local family growers, all of these wines are recommended.
Also, check out winemaker, Lino Olivastri, in Citra's video for their Sheep Thrills wine and see some of the Abruzzo terroir.
VINI CITRA - Sheep Thrills from TOART on href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo.