Everything begun sixteen years ago in the ”Fossa di Lupo” area. A place where the land in the evening becomes redish and is brushed by the Ibleian winds and leans on one side of a road: the County Road 68. A county road like many others, but with a special past. It was once a stone narrow path; three thousand years ago it connected Gela to Kamarina, it travelled- as it still does – through the Cerasuolo di Vittoria roads hills and from Caltagirone continued to Catania and Lentini. There, squeezed between heaven and earth, that road also marked my destiny. In the first hectare of land next to my palmento, in Fossa di Lupo District, others followed. The firm grew into the Bombolieri, Pettineo and Bastonaca Districts, Yet, everything is still the same as in the first year. Bombolieri is also located on the County Road 68. The vineyard here enlarges and it stoops onto the limestone base of the area, the vineyards are twenty years old if not more, and the court on which the wineries raise themselves is able to trap all the strength of the Ibleian sun. Nowhere else I can feel to have been walking on a coherent road. Never as in Bombolieri I can feel that I’m carrying with me past and future at the same time. It was the oldest wine route ever documented. That road was used by generations of farmers to bring their own wine to the coast.
Goethe said: “Substance is nothing, what counts is the gesture by which they are made.” And the first thought that I’ve learned from wine making it was to accept. Accept the diversity of soils, the slope of the ground, the altitude, and the originalityof a vineyard. To accept means to respect. To respect the earth and its balance. Respect the vineyard with skilful gestures of a sensitive agriculture To respect the fermentation through the use of local yeasts. Respect the wine as if it was a person. A person who takes with him/her, a world, a history, an atmosphere. And it tastes like the land where it was born from. Mine is not just an organic wine. It is a natural wine as I think about myself, that’s how I am. It comes from my sensibility towards true things and from my Gestures, my loving attentions. A wine that, in its harmonies and roughness, talks about the land where it comes from and also about me. That’s why I think that the natural wine, besides being a good wine is also a human wine.
Season after season, the earth talks to me, listens to me, answers me. Ours is a silent and authentic dialogue. That’s why I do not have a “formula”, but only some ideas that come from my experience. First of all, I believe in a respectful relationship with the land: a direct contact that turns into profound knowing. I think there is a balance, the one of nature, that has to be respected in every gesture: from cultivation and pruning – that has to be tidy, clean- to the processing of the fruit. Balance that can be summarized in the following words: from a good grape comes a good wine. Yes, in some ways my wine can be considered organic. I prefer to till the land by hand and I only use organically grown grapes, without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, chemical or synthetic fertilizers. I consider a wealth the wild plants which grow in the vineyard and help the soil to oxygenate and feed itself. So I use the green manure: I plant field broad beans or oat grasses in the vineyard soil and then I overturn them in spring. In the vineyard I try to respect the surrounding plants which I consider to be a resource. Maintaining biodiversity, not disturbing the natural balance of things. I like to keep the old clones of these grapes, the mass selection and the grafting in the field. In this way the vineyard is tougher, stronger and carries within it the plot of a past and the strength for the future. Even harvesting is made by hand. The grapes are first selected in the vineyard and then in the cellar; this is the only way which allows me to choose the best, healthier and more mature bunches of grapes. If the care of the vineyard is carefully done, the passage into the cellar becomes more simple and it requires less interventions. Healthy grapes, spontaneous fermentation, yeasts, very low in sulphur.