2021 Vini Cali Giufà Rosso

2021 Vini Cali Giufà Rosso

Regular price $30

Region: Linguaglossa < Mt. Etna < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: 85% Nerello mascalese 15% Cappuccio, Carricante, Cataratto
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, mineral rich volcanic soil; grapes are destemmed, pressed and fermented without temperature control; just 3 day skin contact and basket pressed then aged 6 months in oak; unfined/unfiltered with no chemicals, additives or sulphites; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV; 45 cases

Vini Calì is a tiny producer of artisanal, natural wines on Etna.  They farm 3ha of vines and 1ha of olive groves, all organically, and call their wines 'Controcorrente' which translates as 'counter current' or against the tide -- essentially wines that don't follow any rules but march to the beat of their own drummers.  Family owned + operated, as they say, "with the occasional disagreement, always resolved at the table with a bottle of wine".   Their wines are unique, not big and powerful and striving for scores, a scale that feels natural for them because their style "brings us back with its smells and flavors to that which our grandfather produced many years ago - we produce convivial wines, to drink together with the people you love!"   And they proudly use 100% plastic-free packaging!
We love this honest philosophy and integrity, and we super love the volcano juice from Etna, a region we consider one of most interesting in Italy.  The terroir is unparalleled -- I mean, it's an active volcano that is also the tallest mountain in Italy south of the Alps.  The steep terraced vineyards, with chunky black volcanic soils, crawl along the broken surface of the volcano and are sometimes wiped out by an active lava flow.  The weather can go from rainy to sunny or even both at once in the distance of a kilometer.  Sicily is just off the coast of Africa, so summers are long and warm, but up on Etna vineyard temperatures can swing by 25 degrees Celsius between day and night.  Warm salty humid air blows off the Ionian sea and runs smack into cold air cascading down from Etna's almost 11,000 ft peak.    A result of that crazy terroir/weather and Etna's heritage of 'contadino' (grower/farmer) farming means plots are tiny, everything is done by hand, and production is naturally small-scale.

They call this pretty ruby elixir their "almost-red", but really it's a natural wine made in the Etna contadino farmer tradition from a field blend of red and white grapes, vinified together with brief maceration.  With bright red fruit (wild strawberry, cherry), a hint of bitter blood orange and flinty minerals on the palate, this is a fresh, light red perfect for any and all occasions or times of day.  They say it's a "pic-nic wine", and suggest you try it with salami and cheese, sausage and pizza, but we've also found it works very well, with a slight chill, with nothing but friends and some warm sunshine.

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