Aglianico del Vulture, Italy
Fabrizio and Cecilia Piccin were originally winegrowers in Montepulciano, but some 15 years ago they went looking for fresh fields and pastures new. They found them on the Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano in Basilicata. The name Grifalco is a tribute to the gryphon, symbol of Montepulciano, and the ‘falco’ or hawk, symbol of Monte Vulture. They farm their high altitude (400 to 500 meters) vineyards organically, and produce some of the finest Aglianicos anywhere. Aglianico can be fearsome in its youth, but Fabrizio’s wines are supple and seductive without sacrificing an iota of minerality or tension. He attributes this to the quality of the fruit, rather than any magic in the cellar. The cellar itself is a recently constructed marvel of ‘green’ design and architecture.