The second smallest region in Italy (after Val d’Aosta), the youngest (recognised and ‘separated’ from Abruzzo in the ’80s) and the least densely populated of all Italy.
Large parts of Molise are covered by nature reserves – so untouched is Molise that UNESCO has chosen it for two of its four Italian biosphere locations.
Ok, what is Tintilia then?
The Tintilia vine arrived in Molise during the Spanish domination. Its name could hence be originated from “Tinto”, meaning “red” in spanish.
During the postwar period, Tintilia vineyards were abandoned and its cultivation were deemed virtually disappeared (as the production per hectare is very low) and replaced by the more productive grapes.
The DOC Tintilia was born in 1998 and is reserved for some areas of the province of Campobasso and Isernia
It’s getting interesting: tell me more!
L’Arco Antico (translated “The Ancient Arch”) farm was founded in 1865 when a local family took over this parcel of mountainous inland that once belonged to a nearby monastery (the current owner Alessandro Melone still complaints that every time they start digging for whatever reason they find historical remains…) and the first vineyard was planted in 1890.
Production is organic (as per guidelines they will be allowed to use the word organic on the labels only after three years – the 2014 vintage).
L’Arco Antico is currently the only Tintilia producer in Isernia and it is indeed different from the more rustic wines from Campobasso
A blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico (80/20) aged for at least 12 months in oak barriques; there is no intervention of the wine whatsoever apart the addition of a very small amount of sulphites for preservation.
From 2014 will be classified as ‘IGT Rotae’ – an old classification rediscovered in the archives; as of today L’Arco Antico will be the only producer of IGT Rotae.
Production is between 10-13k bottles per year.
Tintilia Vinea Benedictina 2012 (translated “Benedictine Vineyard”)
Made from the oldest vineyards in the farm, this 100% Tintilia is aged for at least 12 months in oak barriques – from 2014 will be classified Tintilia DOC Isernia.
As the vine produces tiny bunches the wine is naturally more concentrated (stylistically similar to Amarone wines…); current production is between 700-1000 bottles per year.