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Berries sampling is the best way to get ready for the harvest and to check quantity and quality of the wine grapes

Silence.
It’s all quiet and silent this early morning, while I walk the vineyards to sample the grapes. A silence made of wind and of the vines’ breath.

Ten steps forward, the vine on my left, I pick two berries from the cluster.
Ten steps forward, the vine on my right: two berries more. Go forward for thirty-two rows, back and forth.

I stop and listen, and taste. My fingers gluey with the sugar, feeling so close to the harvest.
Back at the winery, I gently squeeze all the berries, then analyse the juice: Babo, acidity, pH. Just for verification, ‘cause the vineyards have already told me all that I will need to know to make the wine.
The vineyards told me the story that the soil confirmed, the soil that brakes and crumbles under the Sicilian merciless sun, the same story that the ocean repeats every day with its salty breath that flirts with the grapes. 

I am alone: the grapes and myself and the wine that I want to make - that I hope I will be good enough, and sensitive enough to make. Step by step, every year further, every vintage feeling more confident about myself.

I immerse myself into that microcosm, trying to feel its energy, hoping I will be good enough to pinch from the land and from the sun and from the sea their well kept secret.  

I recorded this audio last year, while sampling.
It looks like the same story, and basically it is, in many ways. But every year, every harvest, I feel it's a completely different one.

 

 

Tags: vendemmia, campionamento

THE SHORT STORY

THE SHORT STORY

Grape variety: Inzolia grown in Dietro le Case vineyard
Soil: clay soil with calcareous components, very rich in limestones and sea minerals
Vineyard: planted in 1960s, head-trained bush vines
Winemaking: skin contact for 48 hours in steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: 4 months on fine lees, in steel tanks
Aging: one oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment
Average production: a few dozen bottles every some years

Download wine sheet

WINEMAKING

The grapes are handpicked the first half of September, when they are fully ripe. The traditional pruning system - called "a pezzo e spalla" - and the age of the vines, allow slow constant ripening cycles and a great aromatic concentration.

The fermentation is spontaneous, with 2 days skin contact. After soft pressing, the fermentation continues for 8 days in steel tanks. After malolactic is completed, the wine refines on fine lees for about 4 months and is then racked into one single oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment.

The wine is bottled directly from the barrel no more than 2-3 times every decade.

TASTING NOTES

Altrimenti has a bright amber color, enlivened by golden hues. Its nose is predominantly tertiary, where fruity notes of apricot and ripe figs blend onto an intense and aromatic herbal background, enriched by roasted and dried nuts.

It is dry and full bodied to the palate, with a distinct savory personality that harmoniously meets a tannic finish.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 54 - 58 °F
Pour Altrimenti in wide glasses, at a fresh but not chilled temperature.
Please avoid freezers and blast chillers, as well as a prolonged time in your home refrigerator: this wine is not filtered nor fined, and any temperature below 40 °F will mortify its complex aromas.

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