2019 Due Terre Nero d'Avola
Region: Alcamo > Sicily > Italy
Grape: Nero d'Avola
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with some biodynamic practices; clay loam soils; fermented and aged in concrete; bottled unfined/unfiltered with <20ppm So2; zero-zero; 13% ABV; 600 cases
Winemakers: Catherine Stratton + Vito Lauria
Due Terre Wines is a collaboration between friends, Alcamo native Vito Lauria and California-based wine merchant Catherine Stratton. Vito returned to Sicily in 2005 after getting his Enology degree in Udine in 2003 and spending a few years working at wineries in Northern Italy. With Catherine's help, he revitalized his family’s old winery in Alcamo and worked his relationships with the local small family that he had known since childhood. All Due Terre wines are from certified organic growers who have been working this way for many, many years and all are single varietal bottling, to showcase the unique character of each native grape. Even the labels have a cool story - designed by Vito's dear friend and illustrator, Chiccabu, they are based on drawings of the traditional marionettes used in Opera dei Pupi (Sicilian Puppet Theatre) which UNESCO has designated as part of humanity’s “oral and intangible heritage” and has devised a plan to save it from extinction.
Grown at a very high elevation, the Nero d'Avola bottling here is a crisp, crunchy, vivid expression of the Sicily's ubiquitous red grape that can easily get fat and high in alcohol, because, well, Sicily is hot and fresh wines haven't traditionally been a thing here. But with dark brambly fruit, lush blueberry, forest floor, soft tannins, chalky minerality and a refreshingly light-ish body, this one could even ride solo, no fatty meat dish required, and sings with a slight chill.