More than 20 years ago, anyone who did have a farm was very proud of the technological advances of chemicals and pesticides. A blessing to increase productivity and profits.
At the same time, in contrast with this "deadly wave" Pierluigi decided to convert his farm to be fully organic. One of the first to do so in the South of Italy; an heretic for his peers.
Well, that decision has definitely paid off today.
Perhaps enough to describe Pierluigi and his unique natural white wine: the Don Chisciotte. However, it would be unfair not to spend few lines on the 3 quality that I love to recognise to him. Charm, knowledge of the past and (obviously) vision.
We are around Calitri, a remote town in the Alta Irpinia (800 a.s.l.) in the Campania region. Here Pierluigi grows 2 hectares of Fiano on his idyllic hill; made of half clay, half limestone. His vision is simple, reflecting the uniqueness of this grape in the glass without alterations.
Yes because Fiano is a grape that is making wine-world tastemakers - who have traditionally diminished and underrated Italian whites to the proverbial corner- to totally rethink of them. One of my absolute favourite area for white wines in Italy is the southern region of Campania (more precisely Irpinia). Irpinia is not merely the cradle of ancient viticulture but a place with some of Italy’s greatest white grapes: among them, indeed, the Fiano.
The reason behind Fiano-based wines success around the world is enclosed in its elegance, depth, freshness and its unique capability of ageing for 20+ years (In 2021 I tasted Raffaele's fiano (Vadiaperti) from 1994 and it was still astonishingly vibrant and powerful).
The Don Chisciotte is among my absolute favourites Fianos. Pulpy, mineral, its juice is all played on finesse and sapidity, result of a wise use of the maceration, which gives depth without weighing it down. It stretches very easily thanks to its refined saline texture.