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Franco Aurora

Franco Auroras place is at the end of a dirt track which goes past Ciu Ciu (over a million bottles a year) and arrives at a small 15 hectare farm dried out by the sun and with swooping vineyards which fall away off the hillside to the beautiful valley below. All the vineyards are organic and Franco is starting to employ some biodynamic principles as well. The wine making has also always been non-interventionist since Franco started the estate in the mid 80s. Wild yeasts he says are the key to quality and his minimises sulphur addition too. The wines have great freshness, even the humble Falerio which has some older vine Pecorino in it is a delicious wine, a touch funky and so much better than the rest of the Falwrio in the region. Franco himself is a committed natural wine maker and artisan, not intending to produce any more than his current 50000 bottles (across 7 different cuvee) even though he says he could sell his production twice over. Try these wines, they are superb. Pecorino, Pecorino, Pecorino, we love our Pecorino! When in the Marche, you drink this stuff by default but then forget about it in the UK. It is like the pig cheek they use for the Matriciana Pasta, you end up buying loads of it and eating this amazingly simple yet satisfying fatty dish all the time. At home, pig cheek, not sure, i would probably just get some streaky! That is the power of place and context with wine and food. In the Marche, you let yourself easily be enveloped by their little daily routines and ways. The sun helps of course, wine at lunch, an afternoon nap, you look for every excuse to take a stroll to the bar on the square and sit there for a while, staring at people as they pass by and having yet another bottle of cold beer or espresso. Yeah, its a nice place, the Pecorino wine is part of the fabric of that life and that place. It works well with all the foods, meats, cheeses of the region and also the seafood down on the coast in Ancona. In the UK, the cheaper ones tend to end up on shelves as an Italian oddity, one of those lesser known grapes that are worth a try but you wouldn't go back to it. Well, i urge you to try the Pecorino from Aurora and then i am sure you will come back to it again and again.