Rare Wines. Two great reds produced at 600 metres above sea level

Mar 13 2023, 14:49 | by Gambero Rosso
In this episode we reach high elevation to get to know two deep and articulated red wines, produced from native grapes respectively in Molise and Sicily, with a very strong territorial connotation

In common they share altitude and a magnetic charm. First, we fly up to approximately 600 metres above sea level in Molise, in the municipality of San Felice del Molise, to get to know one of the most interesting and consistent wineries in the region: Claudio Cipressi. We were impressed by a selection of Tintilia, the main native grape variety of the region, capable of yielding reds rich in identity and definition. Tintilia 66 from the 2015 vintage is a complete red, pulpy and enveloping, but also finely spiced and layered, we are certainly at the top of the type.

We wanted to pair such a particular red with a rare wine that fans of the largest active volcano in Europe know well, even if only by name: the Vinupetra by I Vigneri. Also in this case we are around 600 metres above sea level on the northern slope of Mt Etna, in the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia, contrada Porcaria wine district, the parcel is called VignaCalderara, less than half a hectare in total. The alberello vineyards look towards the central crater of Mt Etna, on one side, and the Ionian Sea on the other, and sink into a soil full of small and medium-sized volcanic stones, hence the origin of the name.

Today we tell you about the 2019 Vinupetra, in the glass there is the magic of a wine with a simply precious evocative intensity. Behind the bottle we find agronomist and oenologist Salvo Foti, the man who revolutionised Etna viticulture, supported by his sons Simone and Andrea.

Rare Wines: a Tinitilia and an Etna Rosso to discover


Vinupetra 2019

I Vigneri
VINEYARD | Vinupetra is the fruit of a very small parcel on the north side of Mt Etna, within the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia at an altitude of 580 metres. The contrada wine district is called Porcaria, the parcel in question, 0.38 hectares, is VignaCalderara. We are among centuries-old alberello vineyards, only a small part was replanted in 2005, which insist on land woven by lava and lapilli, with a very high concentration of volcanic origin rocks: this is the origin of the name. The grapes are pressed with about 30% of the stems, then they ripen in barriques and tonneaux for about a year. First vintage produced was 2001, the wine was not made between 2009 and 2013....
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Molise Tintilia 66 2015

Claudio Cipressi
VINEYARD | The Contrada Montagna of San Felice del Molise is the territory in which Claudio Cipressi works. This is the most rugged and inland hilly area of the province of Campobasso which houses the company's 15 hectares of vineyards, certified organic and destined for the traditional varieties of the region. The bunches of Tintilia that give life to the wine come from a selected parcel, at an altitude of 600 metres. 66 metres, to be precise. After a 12-day maceration, the fermented must does a passage of one year in steel and 2 in new and second passage barriques. PERSON | Winemaker and oenologist, Claudio Cipressi began his activity in the Nineties by following in the footsteps of a...
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