New in Journal: Spotlight on Switzerland

I Vigneri

I Vignieri is the physical manifestation of the philosophies and dreams of Salvo Foti. He had a passion to make wine, and he wanted to make beautiful, authentic wines, for himself and others in his ancestral home of Sicily. When he first came to consider this idea as a reality, he remembered something that his great-grandfather and grandparents had said to him many times - “in order to make good wine you need to have great grapes.”
It was clear for Salvo that to begin this project, to breathe life into this dream to revitalise the traditions and lifestyle of his region, the main focus should of course be in the vineyard.

Deeply inspired by the founding principles of the original winemakers guild of Etna, the Maestranza dei Vignieri founded in Catania in 1435, he knew that as it was then, his focus now should be on training the people who actually spent the time and worked in the vineyard.
Focus, quality, precision and care - from the ground up, literally - would lead to the kind of special fruit and connection to place and spirit that he wanted to represent and to express in bottle with the ‘finished’ wine.

Based in Milo in Sicily, Salvo works with a swathe of varietals from the slopes of Mount Etna, some native to the region and some from further afield - grenache, alicante, nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio, carricante, grecanico and mInella just to name a few.
He manages a personal estate (the wines of which are bottled under the I Vignieri label) of 5 hectares of uncertified but organically farmed vines with his sons Simone and Andrea, and he also works alongside other vignieri across Etna where he oversees the farming, training and vinification.

Salvo lives and breathes the traditions of the Etna vignieri and is a solid believer in the harmony to be found by working with nature and by creating and maintaining biodiversity in the vineyards.
He sees and espouses the true value of passing down the old skills of the ancient winegrowers of Etna, be it working with the alberello (bush vines), the tough volcanic soils or maintaining and repairing the terraced dry stone walls, that over generations turned the barren sides of a volcano into a sea of vines.

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