2015 Bonavita Faro Rosato
Region: Faro < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappucio, Nocera
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, limestone/clay soils, hand-harvested. Native yeast only, fermented in small barrel with no temperature control, minimal sulfur added
Winemaker: Giovanni Scarfone
In the 18th century Faro, an area in North Eastern Sicily near Etna, became internationally renowned for its wines. Unfortunately, the combination of an earthquake and tsunami in 1908 devastated both the town and agriculture of Messina, and killed about 70,000 of its residents. Those who did survive were slow to come back to the vineyards, and Faro wine industry has never recovered completely. Today there are only 20 hectares under vine in the entire DOC. Giovanni Scarfone, now at the helm of his family’s century-old estate, Bonavita, organically farms just over two of these. Only a tiny amount of this dark pink rosato is made, as most of his production goes into his elegant red blend (and into the mouths of the local wild boars, who love his Nerello Mascalese). After harvest, the grapes undergo up to 30 hours of maceration on the skins, then ferment in small wooden barrels with no temperature control; this is a very simple and old-school winemaking technique for what is effectively a white wine with short skin contact. You get richness and body from the skins, with loads of juicy strawberry fruit. Definitely a more substantial rosato, for food, or BBQs, or apertivo sipping. Try with seared tuna or a fresh tomato salad.