FAVIGNANA HARVEST 2016
Heroic viticulture in Favignana
The Courage and Insight to Experiment
We have discovered a “new world” in the Egadi Islands and we have had the courage to give life to this vision that makes Calamoni the one and only vineyard in Favignana. We did believe that we could plant a vineyard barely few meters from the rocks covered with sea grass. We call it heroic viticulture because to grow healthy vines we need to use some basic precautions.
The sea is extremely close and water is salty just two meters below the ground. During the winter months the wind strength must be reduced by using windscreen fences. It is a day-in, day-out commitment to this precisous vineyard and to the three limited edition labels that are produced in Favignana.
The Grapevine in Favignana
The Traditional Sicilian Vine Varieties in Favignana
“Autochthonous” comes from Greek and means “[from the] same soil/land”. It identifies the belonging to a place and the actual history of an area, much like the vines we planted in Favignana do. Firriato wanted to tell an authentic, undisguised story that could express through a glass of wine a unique and unmatchable terroir. And this is how eventually vine cuttings of Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto along with Perricone and Nero d’Avola landed on the island. A peaceful invasion of Nature in the nature of this beautiful archipelago. Perfect indigenous vines for a new chapter in the history of Sicilian wine-making.ana.
Pure Empiricism and Pure Passion
We did not know whether the vines would settle well on the island or what grapes could be obtained from these soils, and most of all we could not imagine how or when we would harvest. Every year the harvest time in Favignana is like a puzzle that is difficult to solve. Average temperatures are similar to those of the mainland so one may assume that the harvest time is the same: but all this is based on empiricism, there was no previous record or experience to substantiate our hypothesis. We then realised that in Favignana grapes ripen even ten days later than those from the Trapani countryside because the sea breeze envelops the clusters in a cooler temperature.
The sea crossing
The Voice of the Sea
We have established roots in Favignana with the intent to respect the island’s natural habitat. We planted the vineyard but we have not built a cellar. All this makes the work of the harvesters even harder. The grapes, freshly picked, start their journey towards the cellar in Trapani on board the traditional Favignana boats. All actions must be harmonised and speedy since the grapes must arrive to destination perfectly intact. The crates filled with grapes pass from hand to hand and are then laid down and protected on the boats en route to the port of Trapani.
Sea, sun, salt and wind
A precious vineyard such as Calamoni in Favignana could only generate three exclusive, genuine and unique wines. We named them “Favinia” as a dedication of love to this island in the Mediterranean Sea. Three labels produced in very limited numbers that conjure up the soul of this place floating between the sky and the sea. The sun and the salt, the wind and the sea characterise these nectars of exquisite elegance. Favinia La Muciara is a blend of Catarratto, Grillo and Zibibbo while the red, Favinia Le Sciabiche brings in the elegant force of Perricone and Nero d’Avola. Passulé is a monovarietal Zibibbo made from naturally dried raisins. This is Firriato’s tribute to Favignana and the Egadi Islands.