|Ironically, a variety characterized by great freshness, fragrance and zest - as lively and bubbly as youth itself - is in fact amazingly… old.
Grape historians date it back to the Etruscan civilization, meaning around 800 BC, though its present name comes from two Latin words: labrum, border, and ruscum, wild plant; combining into Labrusca vitis, which grew spontaneously along the borders of other cultivations. Such classic Roman authors as Cato and Virgil mentioned this wild grape. Interestingly enough, Virgil - one of the greatest Latin poets of all - was born near Mantua, in the mantovano area that now forms the only Lambrusco DOC outside Emilia Romagna.
Somewhere along the line, someone smartly decided to domesticate the grape’s crisp, zesty freshness. That may well be one of the reasons it has tasted fresh and contemporary for almost three thousand years
Approximately two thousand years after Virgil, another poet, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of Italian Futurism, sang Lambrusco as the country’s “national fuel”, carburante nazionale. We might say it’s on the way to becoming an international “carburante” judging from figures: Lambrusco is the highest-selling Italian wine in the world. What’s more, wine critics and consumers are finally realizing that for all its youthful appeal and light-hearted exuberance, Lambrusco should be taken very seriously indeed.
When Empson decided to take on a quality-driven Lambrusco - Molo 8 - we naturally picked a quality-driven winery with a track record that goes back - well, not quite to Etruscan times but to 1921; one that has accumulated an impressive amount of certifications and conforms to the strictest European norms (e.g. UNI EN ISO 14001)