From Alto Adige to Sicily, discovering rare and precious wines, the result of passion and experience handed down from father to son
Rediscovered vines, heroic viticulture, niche products: these are the lines along which our research unfolded in the last Vinitaly, to discover rare wines, and surprises were not missed. Different stories, places and scenarios not comparable, but at the end of the journey, the common thread that unites all adventures is always the same, a infinite passion, that sacred fire that replant low yielding or difficult to breed vines (which are however the symbol of a territory), which perpetuates a heroic viticulture on a rough and rough island like Pantelleria, which rediscovers ancient and abandoned vines.
From north to south, passion is fundamental
Behind every glass of precious wine there is one family history, made up of men and often women, of condottieri who had the audacity to go against the current, to take unusual steps in difficult times, when uniformity was the rule and courage a gamble. Fearless visionaries who challenged everything, and then they were able to charm their blood with their enthusiasm, thus ensuring a second time for the great dream, and new actors on the stage.
The women in the cellar
There are many women who drive part of these cellars and therefore are responsible for the winning choices that gave birth to these rare and precious wines. Elena Walch, for example, with the two daughters Julia and Karoline, they follow the work in the vineyard step by step, "where wine is really made, where nature and land are followed, where the individual characteristics of each vineyard are respected". Federica Zeni, together with his sister Elena, his mother Mariarosa and his brother Fausto he carries on the work of his father Nino, with the energy and foresight that were of the founder of the Zeni winery, convinced that every wine must be the testimony of the soil from which it comes.
The rediscovered vines
Challenges true and real those faced by many vigneron, in the rediscovery and revaluation of forgotten vines, abandoned, replaced by other specimens that are easier to breed and have safe yields. Tenute Rubino has bet on the rebirth of Susumaniello, a vine of ancient origins from Brindisi, abandoned due to its low yields. Now the Torre Testa is considered the example of quality production of Apulian wines. Cantine Volpi did the same with the Timorasso, a vine typical of the Colli Tortonesi, long abandoned. It is actually a vine that knows how to give structured, elegant wines that are embellished with aromas over time. And of intense aromas you can also speak for the Perricone, an ancient Sicilian vine typical of the western coast, rediscovered and re-cultivated by Feudo Disisa. The wine obtained from this plant is structured and elegant, with olfactory organoleptic characteristics that clearly identify the territory of origin. These are wines that give the nose spicy notes especially of black pepper and juniper and ripe fruit such as cherries and plums. In the mouth they are full, warm, of great elegance and with a long and almond finish.
The Cellar Jacopo Biondi Santi, one of the most representative of Tuscany and famous for its Brunelli, wanted to launch itself into the world of Super Tuscans and with the Schidione 1997 Millennium created a great meditation wine, of great complexity and longevity, a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, made with the best selection of grapes and with the most accurate method of processing and refining, to best preserve the characteristics of the three vines in the elegance and structure of the wine. Made to last over 50 years, it is produced in a limited number of magnums.
Long rows covering the sides of the mountains or the slopes of Etna, where the work is only manual, where the strong temperature difference between day and night gives the grapes the acidity necessary for aging, where the breeze of the wind holds away from the molds of the grapes: this is mountain viticulture, that which gives wines of great structure and character, perfect to be forgotten in the cellar and rediscovered over the years. In Sicily the cellar Firriato produced in 2018 a Etna Doc Riserva from grapes from a Nerello Mascalese vineyard of over 140 years more than 600 meters above sea level. The plants are rootless, and this means that the polyphenols and anthocyanins are more intense in the wine, giving it a greater character and structure. In the Marche the company Ciù Ciù of the Bartolomei family has produced a Rosato IGP from Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Cesanese grapes, from vineyards 600 meters above sea level, in the hills around Offida. The Rosato IGP is a wine with a delicate and harmonious taste, which smells of fresh fruit, cherries and rose. Mountain wines also in Trentino Alto Adige, where the winery Lageder experiments in the context of biodynamic viticulture a holistic and sustainable approach to the earth. Alois Lageder has always been a proponent of a respect for nature that allows him to create wines without any addition of chemicals, closer to the essence of the vine, more identity. And rare mountain wines are also those of the Lunaria winery, in Abruzzo, where the search for the characteristics of vines such as Montepulciano, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese and Malvasia is a consolidated modus operandi, within a biodynamic philosophy.
Plants of over 80 years give wines with a strong and intense character. This is what the wineries have experienced Varvaglione and Trullo from Pezza with the Primitivo di Manduria, native vine of the city of Messapica and king of the Apulian vines. The first winery making a late harvest, the result of a slow ripening of the grapes in the plant, the second instead, a Reserve, balanced, elegant and structured, which fully reflects the territory close to the Mediterranean scrub of the Ionian Sea. In Sicily, on Pantelleria, Fugata Woman performs a miracle every year, producing almost centenary saplings of Moscato di Alessandria, protected by dry-stone walls in a context of heroic viticulture, the Ben Ryé Passito of Pantelleria, a wine made almost sartorially, with the natural withering of grapes on racks left in the sun and with manual tearing of raisins. An artisan work with always the same rhythms, which produces a surprising result every time. Fruit of the golden sun of Sicily is also the Grillodoro of Gorghi Tondi, a late harvest 100% Grillo, which brings with it all the aromas and scents typical of this ancient vine (orange blossom, honey and jasmine), capable of creating rare wines, prone to aging, of great depth and structure .