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The jewel in the crown and Alessandro’s favorite grape – he has fond memories devouring catarratto during harvest as depicted on the slick wooden label. The vines for Le Mie Origini (My Origins) were planted by the grandfather more than 30 years ago, they grow up on the mountain pass at 500-600m altitude. Limestone soils, north-east exposition, underground water and cool sea breeze are ideal for cataratto. A variety which is able to express terroir like no other according to Alessandro. Usually picked at the end of September, the grapes go through one night maceration into the press, fermentation and ageing happen in 2,500ltr botti with well-judged lees stirring and no SO2 added until bottling (10-20mg/l). Deep in color while the palate is round and rich, the expansive mouthfeel is perfectly balanced by salty acids, an umami bomb with complex flavours of juicy peach, spiced apricot, fresh hay and peated cereal – an aromatic profile reminiscent of the best white Châteauneuf-du-Papes. The finish is long, taut and salivating, this is a food-friendly and moreish wine in the purest Sicilian form.

In the cellar white grapes are directly pressed whereas reds are fully destemmed – Alessandro is not a fan of semi-carbo as he likes to point out. Vinification and ageing occur in a mix of stainless steel, Marsala botti and French oak. All wood vessels have been progressively bought new allowing better control and precision. Alessandro likes to play with lees-stirring, a thoughtful and judicious batonnage (roughly once a month) that adds depth and layers to his wines. Sulphur is banned during vinification and only added at bottling in tiny quantities.

The Viola family has always had a strong bond with their terroir, indigenous grapes and wine. Alessandro and Aldo’s father was a winegrower and produced some wine for domestic consumption. The brothers, impregnated with this culture, followed their own personal path and went on separate winemaking journeys. Alessandro graduated in oenology and viticulture, and gained experience around the world (windsurfing as well as winemaking!) before deciding to come back home and solely focus on the family’s land. The visceral love for his Sicilian roots makes him a fervent advocate for native varieties and catarratto in particular. This sensitive grape is especially well-suited to that corner of Sicily and it beautifully conveys a sense of place when put in the right hands.

Organic farming.

12.5% / 75cl