Sicily:Salvo Foti Vino Rosso "I Vigneri" 2019
There are many great winemakers in the world, but none have had as potent an impact—elevating an entire region—as Salvo Foti has had on Mount Etna. Name your favorite Sicilian Wine: Benanti, Vini Biondi, Gulfi, and chances are Salvo had a hand in it.
After 20 years as a consulting oenologist and agrarian advisor he yearned for a project to call his own. He established I Vigneri in 2001, a consortium of producers and growers committed to traditional grape growing. In I Vigneri, he has used his name and skill to help small farmers reach worldwide audiences. Even in this, his personal passion project, bringing an entire community up with him was integral.
To join I Vigneri a grower must farm organically (no spraying beyond copper/sulphur) and work entirely by hand (or with Ciccio the mule). Vines must be trained in the ancient Alberello system (each vine grows as its own little bush) to ensure proper light and air circulation. Re-plantings and new vineyards are at super high density of indigenous varieties and by massale selection only.
The project has meant job security in an entire region, a healthy environment, and Salvo Foti making your incredibly delicious wine. While he makes wine for many people in many styles, his own are made with a secret recipe passed down from his great grandfather "...wine is made with grapes...only with grapes!".
A lithe, energetic blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, this is an archetypal Etna Rosso, with notes of smoke and flint that temper lots of juicy strawberry and anise. The texture is multilayered, and although this wine is a pop-and-pour pleasure, there's undeniable ageability, thanks to its delicate tannins and fresh acidity.