2019 Tenuta di Castellaro Bianco Porticella
Region: Isola di Lipari < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: Carricante, MoscatoVineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic, dry farming, high-altitude vineyards
on sandy volcanic soils; Moscato fermented in stainless and the
Carricante in oak, on lees, for 3 months; minimal SO2 at bottling
only; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Salvo Foti
Lipari is a volcanic island in the Aeolian archipelago a few hours off
the coast of mainland Sicily known mostly for its tiny production of
sweet passito wines made from dried Malvasia delle Lipari grapes, but
there is one guy making stellar dry wines, and not just from Malvasia.
And after visiting him a few years back, we've never been able to
forget this gorgeous island or the transportive wines. The man is
Massimo Lentsch, a businessman from Bergamo, who founded Tenuta di
Castellaro with his wife Stefania Frattolio in 2006. Massimo picked
us up in a rustic jeep and drove us to the top of the island to visit
vineyards surrounded on all sides by the Aeolian sea, where vines
shared the volcanic soil with robust caper plants. After that, we
shared an epic lunch with his family, and jugs of his simple, perfect
white wine. We're so happy to be bringing you this quintessential
island white, an idyllic postcard of summer to brighten up these fall
They are members of the I Vigneri (as signalled by the gnarled old
vine embossed on the bottle), a winegrowers' guild that dates back to
1435 but was resurrected by Lentsch's consultant Salvo Foti, the
godfather of low-intervention wine in Sicily, and missionary for
high-density bush vines planted in the traditional quincunx formation.
Today, it's a group of small producers who share Foti's winemaking
expertise along with physical resources like harvest crew and donkeys
to work the fields. See more about I Vigneri here.
And the wine -- it's a blend of floral, aromatic Moscato with tangy,
grapefruity Carricante that smells like honey and flowers, but on the
bone-dry palate you get chalky minerality, sea spray and nectarines.
Super refreshing and delicious, it's a day drinker, a poolside wine, a
wine for seafood or pasta and friends.