In 2002 we purchased six hectares of Malvasia delle Lipari vineyards on the island of Salina, with a view to producing a sweet wine with a difference. Skirting the local DOC rules and standards, we aimed to make something fresher and more elegant, with higher acidity levels. In no time at all, Tenuta Capofaro - exposed to northerly winds and on volcanic soil - became a benchmark for wine-making in these small islands. The vineyard surrounds our five-star resort, on an island which has been a UNESCO heritage site since 1981. Traditional local architectural styles have been carefully preserved: flat-roofed whitewashed houses with porticos and verandahs have details picked out in blue and peachy-orange; thick pilasters support wooden vaults; and a profusion of bougainvillea climbs to the rooftops. It was against this backdrop that we sought to reinterpret Malvasia.
Corridors of vines lead straight down from the mountains to the sea; beyond, there's nothing but blue waves and the islands of Stromboli and Panarea. We make sure these are leafy vineyards, with lush vegetation to shade the bunches: shade stops the fruit from burning and the sugars turning to caramel, and brings out all the aromas contained in the skins. Having defended the vines against heat and wind, we protect the grapes during the drying process too: we ensure that the air circulates constantly in our huge storerooms, imitating nature rather than forcing it in a slow drying process which brings out all the sugars in the fruit.
5 hectares of vines
20 meters above sea level