‘Well, I’d answer your question this way: I’d like to think that my wine stands out because of its sense of balance’, says PierLuigi. weighing the question with a refreshing degree of sobriety and contemplation. After all, he’s not just a producer, he’s also the marketing department at his family’s small winery, not far from the east coast of Southern Sicily.
‘Perhaps I mean to say ‘harmony’, he adds. He pours us through three annate, so that each year’s harvest is reflected in the glasses that span the table. The years mellow the wine, leaving it rounder, smoother, but without ever diminishing the sense of ripeness brought about the Mediterranean sun.
His wine, Poggio di Bortolone, Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, represents the highest level of the 4-tiered national system here in Italy. Cerasuolo di Vittoria also happens to be the only DOCG in all of la Sicilia, an island that produces enough wine to qualify as its own country.
The wine is always a blend of two grapes- the playful, whimsical frappato, which tests of cherries and cherry candies or even cherry-flavoured cough drops- and nero d’Avola, a larger, plummier and zestier grape, without much of its own perfume. Together, they marry perfectly, in the best sense of the word.
We walk his fields together for a few hours afterward, the late afternoon light rendering his vine leaves an almost yellow-green, as if they were glowing from within.
‘I know you’re bicycling’, he says as he hands me a bottle of wine to take away. ‘But I think you’ll enjoy this one enough to justify carrying it’.
And I do, the afternoon together, feeling like one really warm and genuine handshake.
Cerasuelo di Vittoria is one of the ‘Terronia Twelve’, the twelve varietals, or in this case, blends (along with Salice Salentino) that make up our wine programme- Terronia: The New Wine School of Southern Italy. Held several times a year at the castle here in Italy, you can learn more by clicking through to our site.