Elena Fucci, Basilicata,
Our winery was founded in 2000 at a time when our family was discussing whether to sell the beautiful vineyards surrounding the house where I grew up.
The vineyards were purchased in the 60’s by my grandfather Generoso, who chose to buy the highest part of the vineyard in Contrada Solagna of Titolo at the foot of Mount Vulture (an extinct volcano). Over the years that followed my grandfather and great-grandfather took care of the vineyards, selling the grapes after harvest and keeping just enough to produce some wine for personal consumption.
Our first thought was that “six hectares of land are too much to keep for fun” thus we decided to sell the land, also in consideration of the fact that my parents are teachers and both me and my siblings felt our future studies at the University would take us far from our home town of Barile. Interested buyers knocking at our door were numerous, but at the last moment I took a shot to the heart. I could not bear the idea that someone may take away from our family the vineyard that I grew up in (our house is located right in the middle of the vineyard) or accept the possibility that another name may do something great with the oldest vineyards on Mount Vulture; the majority of which are 55-60 years old, while some were planted over 70 years ago. Thus, I completely changed the plans I had for my future and my family and I decided to invest in our area and in the resource that allowed my father, and before him, my grandparents and great-grandparents to live and grow in Vulture.
VineyardIt may seem like a story written by a novelist, but when I confided to my parents the idea I had and my intention to study enology at the University they were immediately delighted and willing to lend a hand. Especially my father, who seemed to harbor this dream for some time. In fact, I found him to be well versed in agronomy and everything else that would be needed to start this new venture.
The winery came to life with the 2000 vintage concurrently with my studies at the Faculty of Viticulture and Enology. Initially, we were assisted by an external consultant, while in 2004 all facets of the winery were taken over in first person. The choice from the beginning, without any regret, was to stake everything on a single label, the "TITOLO" envisioning it as a high quality, first class wine or "cru". A unique wine for objective reasons related to the yields of the vineyards and the quality of the vines, considering their age. A unique wine to best represent the characteristics of the Aglianico grape and the territory of the Vulture, where the particular mix of microclimate and terroir transmits to our wine one of the best and most unique expressions of this fabulous area that is Contrada Solagna del Titolo.
One of the greatest compliments given to the "TITOLO" is its recognizability among other wines; recognizability that is based on the representation of the territory from which it comes. Whoever comes to visit the winery and the company will visit southern Italian vineyards located in a mountainous, inland area at an altitude of 600 meters. They will visit a type of volcanic terrain, a strong mineral soil, dark in color and pozzolanic, which clearly catalogues in its layers the history and life of the Vulture volcano (walking between the rows one can always see the extinct Mount Vulture volcano just a few hundred meters away, an ancient volcano which gave rise to the lava cliffs upon which my vines, house and town of Barile are located). One can note the eruptive phases composed of lava flows, lapilli and ash, interspersed with periods of stasis composed of layers of clay. All of this is reflected in the glass when you savor the bouquet and taste the wine.
My interpretation of the territory is defined by industry insiders as “modern but not modernist”. Modern for being able to understand the real needs of the Aglianico variety in terms of maturation and aging, but always without changing the characteristics of the fruit that the vineyard yields in this wonderful corner of Italy. Not to mention the history of my family, the knowledge that has been passed down from past generations, who had this craft and art in their blood, especially my grandfather Generoso, who despite being 86 years old personally takes care of the vineyard on a daily basis. Every year, each vintage is a struggle as we barely have time to bring the grapes into the cellar before grandpa Roso is ready to prune the plants in order to have everything in order just in case the next season commences prematurely.
We started our journey conscious of being able to do a good job, but unpretentiously, considering the great heritage of Italian wine. Nonetheless, we still managed to make a name for ourselves, a satisfaction that goes beyond the awards from national and international wine guides, a demonstration that the past and the future can, together, allow a small company like ours become a great company known and appreciated the world over, thus giving us the possibility to make our territory better known to all.
The work we do in the vineyard, as I always say to my grandfather, is not only viticulture, it is also the art of gardening and in this way we are able to provide so much care to our vines. A complete respect for nature and its cycles without the use of chemicals; even the vines are tied up with broom fibers that are dried during the summer. To me the work in the vineyard is essential (we only vinify grapes grown in our vineyard) and when the grapes arrive in the winery and the winemaking begins I am worried, in a way, that I may ruin the fruits of the harvest. Fortunately, the satisfactory end result makes all the hard work in the vineyard and cellar worthwhile.