Wine Tales of the Third Millennium: Firriato and the New Romance between Tradition and Innovation at Sicilia en primeur 2017
Firriato is proud to introduce four new wines to the market, to be disclosed at the upcoming Sicilia en primeur. Each wine will represent an important aspect of Firriato’s philosophy: respect for the terroir, tradition and innovation This Sicilian manufacturer is making history in the wine industry, pioneering original techniques and terroirs that will lead to a new era of wine making. One example is the precious wine grown in the Favignana Island: a vineyard basically in the sea, with extremely high salinity in the air and waters. This harsh climate demands that the pruning be carried on as late as possible, up to the month of March, in order to prevent the leaves from growing too soon and being destroyed by the salt before the grapes have reached their desired ripeness. Another testament to Firriato’s vocation to research and commitment to excellence, is the study of Etna’s distinctive varietals, which pushes the boundaries of oenology and winemaking. The parasite phylloxera, arrived to the Etna area around the end of 1800s/beginning of the 1900s. The harsh conditions of the only active volcano in Europe as well as other factors (such as an altitude above 700 mt and a fine, sandy dirt) created a naturally hostile environment for this insect, which in fact didn’t affect the area. Firriato has acquired a 140-year-old vineyard, planted prior to the diffusion of phylloxera in nearby areas: the vines are a living museum of Etna viticulture’s history! The age of the plants was certified and dated by researchers at the University of Palermo, who also documented that the roots were rootstock: they are completely European and indigenous. The CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council) is furthering the research and has taken samples to study the genome and the DNA of the plants. The new wines to be introduced at the Sicilia en primeur are:
- Caeles Grillo (part of the omonimus organic line): another native Sicilian grape varietal wine made with the native Sicilian grapes, namend Grillo, joining the organic line;
- Sorìa Frappato (from Firriato’s largest estate): a version of Frappato, whose illustrious neighbors of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria in the nearby province of Ragusa, but this is an original interpretation, influenced by the western climate of the island;
- Sorìa Perricone: Firriato was the first Sicilian winemaker to substantially believe (and invest!) in the Perricone varietal! Firriato has therefore developed its own Perricone clone, with a more affordable price level;
- Gaudensius Blanc del Blancs: a blend of Chardonnay of Trapani area with the Carricantefrom the Etna volcano. This wine represents a new investment in the sparkling wines landscape, with excellent results in terms of quality and commercial results. This label expands the lines, but we already had a Blanc de Noirs Etna DOC Gaudensius, from 100% Nerello Mascalese.
This new collection joins the ranks of several other wines, already well appreciated on the U.S. market, such as: Chiaramonte Nero D’Avola, Santagostino; Baglio; Soria Rosso; Etna Rosso; Etna Bianco; Harmonium; and Ribeca. “We are custodians of an authentic terroir, which we treat with respect and love,” by Federico Lombardo Di Monte Iato, Ferriato’s COO. “Our wine is a reward of such passion.” And the results are appreciated and the success tangible. “Firriato: Maybe the best discovery among the Sicilian wine industry of this generation,” says restaurateur and wine guru Piero Selvaggio, adding “A winery modern and traditional at the same time, ready for the international market, able to capture the pure potential of the volcanic soil, a terroir that you can feel in the aftertaste and fascinating as much as the surrounding landscapes..” The wines have been receiving accolades by Bibenda, Gambero Rosso, Wine Spectator, Robert Parker’s review and I Vini di Veronelli. The game is on: if you are visiting Sicilia en primeur, come to experience Firriato’s new entries or the beloved classics. Additional resources and information can be found at www.firriato.