Francesco Guccione has studied vine & wine for most of his life and most of his knowledge having been passed down from his grandfather. Francesco started making his own wines in 2007 from a six-hectare vineyard located in Cerasa, about 22 miles southwest of Palermo. He farms these extremely old-vine plants, left to him by his grandfather, organically and biodynamically, ensuring that each one is allowed to grow as naturally as possible without intervention. Francesco works only with native varieties, including the rare and known to few Perricone aka Pignatello.
Perricone was one of Sicily’s noble grapes until Phylloxera nearly wiped it out entirely. In the late 19th century, it was used as a blending grape for Ruby Marsala, but these days, it is used mainly as a blending varietal for Sicily’s dominant wine grape, Nero d’Avola, but it is flourishing, producing wines of incredible finesse and quality, no blending necessary. The soil is mostly clay with some chalk and iron, which gives some of the vineyards a reddish brown color from oxidation. The vines dig deep for underground water on the higher part of the hill at 480-500 meters. The climate in this corner of the island is relatively mild, and Francesco has oriented his vines so that they receive maximum light exposure from sunrise to sunset. All the work in the cantina is equally natural: native yeasts, no fining or filtering, modest sulfur at bottling. The vinification of the white wines (catarratto – trebbiano) is done with skin contact between 2 to 10 days. Most of the wines are fermented and aged in 3000 lt. upright wooden casks!