A magical place in the middle of the sea: the Azienda Agricola Serragghia on the volcanic island of Pantelleria
About a hundred kilometres southwest of Sicily lies a 15-kilometre stretch of land called Pantelleria, a volcanic island that is actually closer to Tunisia than to Italy. Pantelleria is famous for two things: its capers and the sweet passito's made from the local Zibibbo grape. Although Gabrio Bini makes fantastic capers and a unique passito, he became famous for his Zibibbo secco and Fanino, a remarkably fresh, unique blend of red and white grapes.
Gabrio and his wife Geneviève arrived on the island by a roundabout route and bought the estate in 1994, but it took 10 years for Gabrio to start producing natural wines. Gabrio analysed Georgian clay amphorae and received advice from friends who taught viticulture in Milan. When his research phase was completed with the first production in 2005, he recognised the potential of this magical place and simply carried on. One of his early mentors was none other than Pierre Overnoy.
The distinctive arrows can now be found on labels in the best wine bars and restaurants around the world. Their origin comes from an arrow-shaped marble figure that Gabrio himself designed for a lamp.
Giotto & Gabrio Bini's natural wines possess a rare energy
The grapes come from old bush vines planted on old terraces on the island's volcanic soils. As Serragghia is higher than most vineyards, a cool sea breeze blows here and the temperatures are surprisingly moderate even in midsummer. Due to the unique microclimate, Giotto and Gabrio do not use any pesticides and the vines regulate themselves. Other vineyard work is carried out by hand and with horses.
The result is highly complex and aromatic natural wines that are unrivalled worldwide. The grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed and fermented and matured for a long time in terracotta amphorae of various sizes from Spain, which are buried in the vineyard. Due to the prolonged contact with the skins in the amphorae, the flavours are tamed and endowed with the finest tannins. Each wine is a unique explosion of flavours, which develop rapidly in the glass and constantly reveal new facets. All natural wines from Giotto & Gabrio Bini are bottled unfiltered and without additives.