It is rarely possible to talk about a bond between winemaker and terroir with a greater depth than that which for over 40 years has united Salvo Foti and the volcanic Etna soils. Salvo is first and foremost a man deeply in love with his land, which has studied and recounted endlessly in countless lectures around the world, and from which he tries to obtain wines produced with techniques that belong to a rich wine tradition handed down from father to son.
Today, those who drink Etna wines ignore that those wines were produced for centuries on its fertile soils, as evidenced by the establishment in 1435 of the Maestranza dei Vigneri, an association of winegrowers based in Catania, the city at the volcano’s foot. More than 500 years later Salvo, who had already been highlighted as the oenologist of the famous Benanti winery, starts again from the Vigneri, gathering around him a group of winegrowers committed to using historical and non-invasive principles and techniques, considered the only way to produce excellent wines in those territories. At the same time he begins to produce wine from his own winery, located in a hamlet of Milo, Caselle, in the middle-eastern side of Etna, also called I Vigneri.
True to tradition Salvo cultivates vineyards at dizzying altitudes, according to a natural approach, and then vinify the grapes in his Palmento, a traditional construction, set for pressing and vinificating grapes, born in Georgia about 3000 years and then migrated to Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Among the wines produced there’s Vinudilice, literally “ilex wine”, which is born in the Vigna Bosco, a small plot of 35 ares, surrounded by dry lava walls, at 1300 meters above sea level. In this tiny vineyard coexist red and white berried traditional alberello plants (Alicante, Grecanico, Minnella and other minors) which in some cases exceed 200 years of age, with a density of 10.000 vies per hectare. While in the vineyard the cultivation is almost entirely manual, and uses the help of a mule for the heavier workings, in Palmento the grapes are left to ferment spontaneously, thanks to indigenous yeasts. The wine does not undergo any clarification and the decanting and bottling are carried out according to the lunar phases.
The 2020 vintage has a pale pink color, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of ripe prickly pear, black cherry grenadine, red currant and cedar peel, followed by pomegranate, orange blossom, acacia honey and fresh mint, with final echoes of eucalyptus, silex, damp stone and smoky hints. The palate strikes for the wonderful balance with which alternate the softness of glyceric that 12.5 degrees are able to offer, the freshness balsamic, citric, and a hint of pink pepper spiciness; all while retrolfactively are scanned, with a precision that has supernatural, all the perfumes already listed on the nose, with the prickly pear, honey and eucalyptus that persist for a long time after a juicy closure.
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