Grillo & Zibibbo (AKA Muscat)
we used old cellar practices which allow us to reach a balance between acidity and sugar concentration, giving our grapes a perfect equilibrium. We start with a green harvest when the flowers start to become fruit so that the remaining grapes can fully develop their aromas; then we perform a step-by-step harvest, first picking the grapes that are outside and later picking the inner grapes. The grapes from a third variety are then put to dry in a ventilated area, so that there is an over maturation.
we found the perfect conditions to host our Origine project in Sicily, between the Valley of the Temples (province of Agrigento) and Marsala. Here I found some old, small tree vines which had achieved a perfect balance with the environment, so that no chemical fertilization had ever been used. We chose Grillo and Zibibbo, the grapes that are traditionally used in this area, to produce long ageing wines, then ancient vats that are half buried into the soil and old casks previously used for refining Marsala wines.
the first harvested grapes start to ferment thanks to the indigenous yeasts which are selected by the winemakers without adding any artificial ones. The second variety is then added. The fermentation continues and, when the wine is ready, we transfer it into the half-buried clay jars then the dried grapes from the third variety are added, in order to start a third fermentation. The grape skins are taken out of the amphorae during Holy Week.
the following summer we proceed with the wine clarification which is led by gravity, then at the beginning of November the wine is transferred into the ageing chestnut casks; these wooden containers must be in perfect conditions and have been already used to age wine for at least 10 years, allowing the wine to age and mature with no organoleptic interferences.
the whole process itself is quite long: six months of fermentation; six months for the static clarification, two years refinement in chestnut casks; six months of bottle rest. Almost four years after which Origine is ready to be uncorked.
with peculiar Mediterranean and balsamic notes of mint, rosemary and wild herbs, the honey flavour emitted from the dried zibibbo grapes is mixed with oxidative notes resulting from the maturation in the amphora.
hints of dehydrated fruits (apricot) tamarind, a light vanilla note, raw sugar and aged tobacco. There is a persistent aftertaste.
OPTIMAL SERVING TEMPERATURE
it depends on the uses: 10-12°C otherwise 14-16°C. The bottle needs to be open one hour before drinking.