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Gastronomy and Wine Portal

1000 Adventures and Wine

Drinks+ talks about a book by Simon J Woolf that all wine and travel lovers can use as a guide.

Briton Simon J Woolf has had a difficult and varied career path: he was a musician, sound engineer, IT consultant, but at some point, wine appeared in Simon’s life. As a wine journalist, Mr. Woolf founded an online magazine about natural wines, began publishing articles in Decanter and Meininger’s Wine Business International, and became a recognized expert on natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. Among Woolf’s literary achievements, there is the prestigious 2019 Roederer Best Wine Book of the Year for “Amber Revolution” dedicated to orange wines. Besides, the New York Times included this book in the Top 5 Best Wine Books of 2018.

Simon J. Woolf

We hope that another work by Simon J Woolf, which has recently been released, awaits no less successful fate. The long title gives an exhaustive answer to the question of what will be discussed: it is immediately clear that the book “The Wine Lover’s Bucket List: 1000 Amazing Adventures in Pursuit of Wine” will talk about wine, travel, and adventure 🙂.

The book will come in handy for those wine lovers who prefer wine tourism and interesting trips, during which they can discover new wine varieties, destinations, and regions, to classical tastings and prim wine restaurants. The guide, easily readable and accompanied by atmospheric illustrations, contains stories about vineyards around the world that are worth visiting, sights that tie in with certain wine locations, and must visit events and festivals.

The wine lover's bucket list

In this wine guide, the reader will find both traditional locations and activities (for example, dining with wine in Bordeaux or excursions to picturesque Portuguese villages), as well as rather unusual and fun ways to spend their leisure time.

Do you want to be in shoes of Adriano Celentano, a character from the popular old comedy, who crushed grapes with his feet? The author will tell you which Italian villages offer tourists this exotic attraction. Do you like not only wine, but also cycling? No problem, in the guide, you will find all the hints and tips for organizing bike tours in Champagne.

If the idyll and tranquility of vineyards and pastoral rural landscapes are not your cup of tea, you can find more “urban” entertainment in the guide, such as excursions to the wine gardens of Vienna or visits to the famous wine repositories of Rome.

In the margins of the book, you will find the author’s brief notes on the characteristics of each wine region and the top 5 best local wines that you should definitely try. We wish you all a pleasant reading and an equally pleasant stay! 🙂

Drinks+ talks about a book by Simon J. Woolf that all wine and travel lovers can use as a guide.

Winery Honcharna Hora

The author of “Honcharna Hora” (the “Potter’s Mountain”) non-commercial wine project is Anton Liapin, a garage winemaker. He established his production in Kharkiv Region, where he grows grapes and produces a quality product. He has been growing the varieties that belong to both Vitis vinifera and complex interspecific hybrids.

The winery’s name reflects its location: the village of Novaya Vodolaga was the land of potters, and many pottery fragments are still found in the ground. Anton Liapin decided not to ignore this historical feature: you can see various pottery fragments on each bottle.

pottery fragments

On numerous occasions, Anton Liapin’s wines participated in competitions and won medals. For example, at the All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition for the best Ukrainian wine Uwines Awards 2019, Chardonnay 2018 from “Honcharna Hora” won a bronze medal. At the same time, in 2019, within a framework of the project “Wine Games”, which regularly conducts various tastings, the same Chardonnay 2018 was ranked 6-th among the specimens from all over the world. At the competitions among winemakers of Kharkiv Region, 5 wines from “Honcharna Hora” were ranked first in their respective categories: 3 in rosé, 1 in white, and 1 in red.

wine in glass

Anton Liapin believes that garage winemaking initially presupposes an author’s approach to winemaking, experiments with technology and verification methods.

Recently, the winemaker began experimenting with Pét-Nats: he used Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Citron Maharacha, and Johanniter varieties; those were primarily blends with various proportions.

The author of “Honcharna Hora” (the “Potter’s Mountain”) non-commercial wine project is Anton Liapin, a garage winemaker.

Winery Narovylo

Winery Narovylo is one of the most promising microwineries in Ukraine. Its founder and chief winemaker is Valeriy Narovylo.

The winery has Italian equipment: several presses, crusher, as well as tanks for primary and secondary fermentation, and reservoirs with floating lids for storing wine materials.

In 2014, Valeriy Narovylo obtained a conclusion confirming high quality of his wines from the laboratory of the National University of Food Technologies.

Валерий Наровило.

Over the years, he has achieved a lot both in terms of quality and range variety. The winemaker has achieved prominent results in both vectors: mastering still wines and trying his hand with sparkling classics. His experiments with the release of Pét-Nats may also be defined as successful. During VI All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition “Variety and terroir. Micro-winemaking”, Narovylo Cabernet-Merlot 2019 won in the “The Best Red Blend” nomination.

In addition, Narovylo produces whiskey. At the Craft Ukrainian Whiskey tasting competition, which was held in 2020 by the Ukrainian Craft Distillers Association, Narovylo whiskeys ranked second and third in the category “Aged whiskey from other raw materials”: TM Narovylo’s corn-based whiskey with added rye ranked second, and TM Narovylo’s rye- and rye-malt-based whiskey ranked third. We predict that Valeriy Narovylo will surprise the admirers of his craftsmanship more than once, due to his brilliant new drinks.

Winery Narovylo is one of the most promising microwineries in Ukraine.

Winery SliVino Village

The Molchanov family received their first harvest and first wine in 2016. And already in 2018, these starting winemakers became the owners of the first license for craft winemaking in Ukraine. That is why SliVino Village rightfully calls itself the first craft winery in Ukraine.

SliVino Village is located in the historical area, which during the period of time from 1900 to 1917 was one of the largest chateau in Nikolayev Region, that was founded by Anatoly Bredikhin, speaker of the City Duma, who received the right to produce wines under his own trademark. In 2012, the Molchanov founded a winery here and are actively working to unite the Ukrainian winemakers.

SliVino Village winery has established a 6-hectare vineyard on the historic slopes of the Southern Bug River. Both Ukrainian and European grape varieties are grown here: Cabernet, Odessa Black, Chardonnay, Sukholimansky White, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, etc.


At the production facilities, the wine is fermented using wild yeast, without additives and preservatives. “We make high-quality Ukrainian wine!” – they say at the winery.

The family-run winery offers wine tasting tours led by Georgiy Molchanov, co-owner of the winery and assistant to the chief winemaker of SliVino Village Mikhail Molchanov. Georgiy Molchanov is the Chairman of the Black Sea Craft Winemakers’ Association. The Association was established in 2019, bringing together more than ten winemakers from Nikolaev, Kherson and Odessa Regions. The purpose of the organization is to protect the interests of small businesses, popularize craft winemaking, hold festivals and register geographical indications.

The creators of SliVino Village have founded a wine festival, and organize events, concerts and tours.

slivino bottle

During a tour around their winery, producers talk about the traditions of growing grapes in the region, about  peculiarities of the soil and climate, and about vine and grape varieties. The tastings are conducted by Olga Molchanova, Chief Sommelier of SliVino Village.

Every year, the winemakers take part in tasting competitions Uwines Awards, where professionals and amateurs choose the best Ukrainian wines. SliVino Village was awarded a silver medal for Cabernet 2017 and two bronze medals for Chardonnay 2018 and Riesling 2018.

In 2018 the Molchanov family became the owners of the first license for craft winemaking in Ukraine, that is why SliVino Village rightfully calls itself the first craft winery in Ukraine.

Winery Home Wine From Boris

Victoria and Boris Pecker’s family winery Home Wine From Boris was founded in 2010. Home Wine From Boris is located on the roof terrace of a multi-storey building in the center of Nikolaev. “The motivation for starting our own winemaking was the creation of high-quality natural wine, corresponding to our own taste”, – the owners comment. – Making wines is our hobby”.

Victoria and Boris Pecker

The winery has Italian equipment (an electric grinder with a comb separator, press, stainless steel tanks for fermentation and storage with a floating lid and a hydraulic seal). Home Wine From Boris processes 1.5-2 tons of grapes annually, depending on the yield and quality of the berries. The winemakers buy raw materials in various regions of the south of the Black Sea Region (Nikolaev, Kherson). Preferred varieties: Cabernet, Merlot, Aliberne (Odessa Black), Riesling, and Johanniter. In the nearest future, the family plans to start their own vineyard.


The winemakers give preference to the production of dry red wine with high tannins. The technology assumes long-term maceration (up to 7-10 days) without further aging in oak. This results in attaining an astringent, rich taste and a deep dark ruby color. Alcohol reaches 15-16% with a residual sugar of 0.5%. There are plans to use malo-lactic fermentation at various stages of wine preparation and to create wines with set aromas. The plans also include creation of a line of light wines with alcohol content of 8-10%.

bottle of Home Wine From Boris


In the process of making wine, a part of the wort (for the sake of experiment) is bottled immediately after maceration. Due to further fermentation in bottles, natural carbonation occurs, resulting in a red sparkling wine Pet-Nat. Another part of a free-run juice immediately after pressing the grapes is fermented without maceration to create a light rosé wine. The same technology is used to make dry white and dry sparkling wines. These wines are bottled just before drinking. No preservatives are added to ensure that the wine has   a natural taste. All wines are ordinary, without blending.

The label sketch depicting the winery (house profile and roof terrace) and containing the words “Home Wine From Boris” was created by Victoria. For white, red and rosé wines, the inscription on the labels is made in the corresponding color. The label logo is registered as a trademark. No wines are sold before the required license is issued. But currently “Home Wine From Boris” offers its wines for tastings at various competitions, festivals, and online conferences.


Home Wine From Boris is waiting for everyone to pay a visit. Roof terrace, light breeze, aromatic wine – what could be better? Boris and Victoria will be happy to visit fellow winemakers to hear their professional opinions.

Home Wine From Boris is located on the roof terrace of a multi-storey building in the center of Nikolaev.

Fathers wine VB

Winery Father`s wine VB was founded by Vladimir Buyachek. In 2010, the enthusiast planted experimental seedlings, and after a while the debut wine release took place; thereupon, the hobby grew into a passion and business: albeit small, but successful – like everything that Buyachek’s hand touched. Over time, Vladimir Miroslavovich planned to organize a wine festival, but, unfortunately, did not get a chance …

After the death of Vladimir Buyachek (in 2018), his family continued his beloved work:  his wife Nadezhda and children – Taras and Oksana.


Currently, the winemaker of Father`s wine VB is Victor Kondrat, and the company also cooperates with the renowned Ukrainian consultants: Alina Tenetka and Masha Skorchenko. The winery’s credo, which was voiced by its founder, has always been the same: “To make wine for others as if you are doing it for yourself!” Today, the production volumes are equal to 12,000 bottles per year.

The area of Father’s wine VB’s own vineyards is 4.5 hectares, leased vineyards – 2 hectares. The winery grows such varieties as Jupiter, Johanniter, Muscat Ottonel, Riesling, and Helios. The seedlings are purchased from the Ukrainian nursery – Vinograd-Odessa LLC. In the near future, the winery plans to expand the vineyard with white varieties: “Our region is ideal for them”, – the winemakers emphasize.


Additionally, the winery purchases in Odessa Region such red varieties as Merlot, Cabernet, and Odessa Black. For several years, the winery has been cooperating with the same vineyards, with which it entered into the vineyards lease agreement and agreed processing and harvesting terms (condition, ph and sugar values). Hand-harvesting only! Raw materials from Odessa Region are transported within 10 hours via temperature-controlled vehicles.

Father`s wine VB range includes more than fifteen wines, most of which are produced in small volumes.

Father`s wine VB received a license for microwineries in September 2019, and commenced sales in 2020. “Internet sales of our wines began during the quarantine period, and the experience was successful. It all started with purchases by our friends, hashtags in social media, and sales through partner websites. We sent products all over Ukraine! We held raffles for individual bottles of wine and sets, participated in raffles together with other brands, and collaborated with bloggers. All of these tools are efficient and yield great results. Online sales are efficient for wines. We are currently working on launching our own website”, – they say at the winery.

In 2019, Father`s wine VB produced rosé Pét-Nat for the first time; this experiment was a success and in the new season, it is planned to produce rosé again, as well as a trendy white sparkling drink. In addition, the winemakers also intend to produce traditional sparkling wine pursuant to Charmat-Martinotti method. The winery is waiting for its aged wine – that was the first experience with oak barrels. In the near future, it plans to expand the range of orange wines, new white blend, and start producing natural wines shortly.

wine in bottle

But the family winery is also elaborating some additional plans! Already this year, “Daddy’s wines” is to lay out a new vineyard and buy professional equipment: a closed press, a crusher, fermenters, and tanks.

Perhaps, not everyone has felt the fullness of organoleptic properties of wines by Father`s wine VB, but many may be already familiar with the label. Bright geometry, color kaleidoscope, allusion to ethnic costume, and generations’ code … All this hypnotizes and does not enable one to avert eyes.


The R Agency’s super-team helped to create the logo and identity: they are based on the geometric symbolism that our ancestors used. They combine the history of succession of generations, connection with the elements, family traditions and simplicity. This can be traced in the new logo, on the labels, and in the names of the wines. On the back of the bottle, there is a special heraldic field, and the set includes a series of stickers enabling one to create their own family coat of arms and give the bottle to the beloved ones.

bottles on the ground

The winery conducts tastings in restaurants, so potential partners can learn about “Daddy’s wines”; accepts small groups of visitors at its production facilities. “Ordinary wine lovers; those who are interested in everything originating from Ukraine; tourists who have visited our country; buyers whom we meet at various festivals and, certainly, our friends, come to visit us. We are receiving a lot of guests, especially during this period of closed borders”.  In the near future, the winery is to equip a tasting area and will be ready to open the doors for a full-scale wine tourism.

Father`s wine VB has gained its own experience in wine tourism: producers of “bright geometry” visited Hungary (Tokaj) and Croatia, where they had the opportunity to exchange experience with the owners of microwineries whose vineyards range from 4 to 6 hectares. We also visited major production facilities: wine factories in Bordeaux and Moldova. This year, we set a goal to visit Ukrainian wineries: “All the more so because we are on friendly terms with many [wineries] 🙂”.

wine tasting

Followers of Vladimir Buyachek say that with each new season, they strive to improve, introduce innovative technologies, and experiment, because the best way to master theoretical knowledge is experience, although it is a long way … They often resort to consultations with oenologists + exchange experience with colleagues. The winemakers gained their wine education in Ukraine, and now they are thinking about studying abroad.

D+ Files

The winery currently sells:

  • “Rosé Square” (Jupiter, 2019), still semi-dry, aged without oak. The aroma has red berries and white fruits, a slight hint of rose and citrus.
  • “White Circle” (Riesling, 2019), still dry, aged without oak. Fresh and acidic, with tropical fruits, lime and grapefruit notes in its aroma.
  • “Red Triangle” (Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Odessa Black 2017), still dry, aged without oak. The aroma has red berries and dried herbs.
  • “Red Rhombus” (Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2018), still dry.

Winery Father`s wine VB was founded by Vladimir Buyachek in 2010 and the hobby grew into a passion and business: albeit small, but successful.

Don Alejandro

The winery’s owner Alexander Shapovalov, is a sixth-generation winemaker. He was the first among microwinemakers to have received an official production license.

The winery resembles an art object, the bottles design and names are also creative: Metamorphosa, Equilibrium, Haematogenum …

Alesandr Shapovalov

Vineyards: 14 hectares, biodynamic methods are practiced. Besides wines, it produces Pét-Nats. Range: over 30 items. The most vintage one is “Rkatsiteli”, 2013. There are also Pét-Nats from Pinot Noir, Odessa Black, Centaur, Pervenets Maharacha, Aligote, and Muscat Holodryhy.

The winery invites you to tastings of its wines. The program includes a tour, review of the production premises, underground storage facilities and the catacomb-based cellar.

The winery’s owner Alexander Shapovalov was the first among microwinemakers to have received an official production license.

Bohdans winery

Winemaker Bohdan Pavliy is the pacemaker among craft winemakers: he has been engaged in winemaking for over 20 years.

Vineyards covering the area of up to 2 hectares are located in a unique climatic zone on the slopes of the Dniester River in Podilski Tovtry. His wines perfectly demonstrate the characteristics of the terroir (varieties: Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Aligote, Gewurztraminer, etc.). One  can describe them for a long time, but it is better to try.

In 2019, at the competition “Odessa Bay” the wines “Barbariska” and “Bakota” gained silver awards.

Bohdans winery

In 2019, Bohdan Pavliy began experimenting with Pét-Nats, but did not make a classic Pét-Nat in a bottle, he preferred to create it in a tank. He presented the drink at the “Food and Wine Festival” in Kyiv and at the “Festival of Wine and Cheese” in Lviv. These were two barrels with a volume of 30 liters – white and rosé. The residual sugar content was 6%. For the production of Pét-Nat, a blend of early white varieties was used.

On the winery’s territory, a mini-hotel is built, which can accommodate up to 10 people. Nearby, there are ruins of a rocky monastery, and landscape cliffs over the Dniester River. Visiting this place, combined with tasting the wines of Master Pavliy, will turn into a lifetime experience. The winery is accessible only by a car, there is no tourist infrastructure.

Winemaker Bohdan Pavliy is the pacemaker among craft winemakers: he has been engaged in winemaking for over 20 years.

Biologist craft

More than 25 years in the alcoholic beverages business, more than 15 years of winemaking experience, love and passion for wine, travel to old classic and organic family wineries in Europe and America – all this contributed to Igor Petrenko’s idea of ​establishing his own winery.

From the very beginning to this day, the motto of Biologist craft winery and its owner has always been the same: “Maximum quality with a natural approach to winemaking”. Undoubtedly, it is Igor Petrenko who is a chief winemaker and ideologist of Biologist, but consultants Masha Skorchenko and Tanya Zinkevich are also engaged in the production.


Today, Biologist’s line includes white, rosé, red and orange wines: Aligote, Chardonnay Orange, Rose Pinot Meunier, Odessa Black, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Rkatsiteli Orange. White and red wines are aged from 3 to 9 months in an oak barrel. “French and Ukrainian barrels are used in the production process, and both have an interesting effect! – Igor Petrenko says. – The team at Biologist is always on the lookout for new flavors and blends. I would like [to produce] more interesting and distinctive wines! Therefore, an experiment is our way to get an original, new and inimitable wine”.  The winery’s annual volume is about 10,000 bottles.

The winery is experimenting with stamp and wild yeasts, using one grape variety, which, according to the producers, gives an interesting and unexpected result. Biologist craft winery is in constant search, movement, and continuous creation process. Igor Petrenko says that in their narrow circle they call Biologist craft winery “a scientific center for experiments and research”. And it is indeed so! For example, at the present stage, Biologist’s team is learning how to make orange (amber) wine and testing the process of production of Pét-Nats, and plans to master the production of such wines as Amarone. In addition, they have been experimenting with labels: “On one label, we tried to display our fauna (we have a huge number of butterflies in summer), and in the second series, we decided to reproduce the main participants of the process in a cartoon format,” – the winemaker says.

pet nat

Biologist winery is equipped with everything necessary for vinification, but special attention should be paid to the “smart refrigerator” that is individually designed and capable of maintaining the desired temperature (heating or cooling), which, according to the producers, is extremely important.

Most of the vineyards (13 hectares), which are located in Odessa Region (Ovidiopol and Bolgradsky Districts), are rented by Biologist craft winery. There, producers are gradually switching to organic processes: in order to strengthen immunity of the vines, they use products of plant and mineral origin. The average age of the vines is 14-19 years. Aligote, Rkatsiteli, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Merlot, Cabernet, and Odessa Black are cultivated.


But Biologist craft winery also has its own vineyard, an experimental plot of 0.5 hectares, which is located near Kyiv in the village of Lesniki. “We are gradually developing it, creating new slopes, and terracing it,” – the chief winemaker informed us. “In 2018, we carried out a soil analysis and, on the basis of its results, we have laboratorially selected seedlings in Austria (Tchido nursery and others)”. At the present stage, in Lesniki, such varieties as Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Gruner Veltliner, Müller-Thurgau and others are grown.

Grapes from rented hectares are transported in a refrigerator for about 6-8 hours directly to Lesniki, where sorting out and all further vinification processes take place. “If we talk about time in terms “from the vine-yard to the press”, it takes, on the average, from 12 to 24 hours”, – Igor Petrenko emphasizes.

Initially, Biologist craft winery sold its products through the HoReCa segment and wine boutiques, and only a small part through its website. But during the quarantine, online sales increased. Incidentally, on the winery’s site, products can be bought both in bottles and in sets. The set is more convenient – you won’t have to make difficult choices 🙂 For example, one of the popular Biologist’s sets is called: “I don’t drink, I taste”, and it contains four colors: “Aligote”, “Rosé Meunier”, “Rkatsiteli Orange” and “ Pinot Noir “. Invite friends and taste!

wine biologist

The producers promote their brand through wine tourism, tastings, collaboration with restaurants, customers’ recommendations and social media. “We communicate with everyone offline and online! We are looking for bloggers and opinion leaders, and sometimes they are looking for us”. The winery also opened a tasting terrace at VDNKh (“Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy), Pavilion 6, Biologist Terrace, where it invites everyone to taste natural wines.

During receptions at their winery, producers talk about vineyards, vinification, and conduct tastings. Igor Petrenko’s guests are restaurateurs, sommeliers, cheese-makers, ordinary lovers of natural wine, winemakers and even famous politicians. “Without doubt, these meetings contribute to the promotion, but to a greater extent, we value the experience and communication that we get along the way. In fact, we are expanding horizons!” – the winemaker says.

igor petrenko

Whenever he can make it, Igor Petrenko travels along the wine routes, this is always a [good] experience. “When occasion offers, I go to France or Italy to exchange experience and gain new knowledge,” – the winemaker says. “It’s never too late to learn!”

The main goal of Biologist craft winery is the development of the culture of consumption of natural craft Ukrainian wine. It should become fashionable to drink Ukrainian wine!

Oh, we nearly forgot to mention – if you’ve already enjoyed your visit to Biologist craft winery, make sure that your friends do not fade from your memory. At the winery, you can purchase a gift certificate for a visit to Biologist.

The motto of Biologist craft winery and its owner has always been the same: “Maximum quality with a natural approach to winemaking”.

Legend of Saracena or no so dolce vita of passito

Our correspondents came to the very edge – albeit not of the Earth, but of Italy, in order to get acquainted with the world’s unique dessert wine production – Moscato Passito di Saracena.

Saracena is located at the foot of the Pollino massif, dividing Calabria and Puglia. This is a cosy place without tourists, where your only desire is to “lay low” (or rather, ascend to one of the mountain peaks) and think about the purpose of life… And nothing helps philosophize better than a glass of Moscato Passito di Saracena.


Very few wine critics can get to Saracena. To see the place where the world’s unique wine, Moscato Passito di Saracena, is produced, the D+ team has come a long way along the deserted coast of Calabria. It took several hours of a rather high-speed drive from Taranto by car to get to a small medieval town of Saracena and Cantine Viola winery, that clung like a swallow’s nest on the rocks above a deep gorge.

However, we did not regret a single minute spent on the road: we were lucky to get acquainted with people who rehabbed an old production. And, of course, to taste this world’s unique sweet wine, created with the help unusually sophisticated technology and possessing a perfect balance and luxurious, truly southern bouquet. No wonder it has been supplied to the Pope’s court for centuries.

However, Moscato Passito di Saracena nowadays has its own “Papa” – and he personally met us at the door of his house. The head of the family of winemakers Luigi Viola, surrounded by the whole family, was patiently waiting for us, who were wandering for several hours by car along the tangled roads and paths of Calabria.

Many years ago, a school teacher, Luigi Viola, after retiring, decided to devote his life to the wine, which Saracena has been famous for centuries. “… There is a thriving city of Saracena, known from past centuries for its Moscato wine. It is obtained from grapes that the Saracena people have once brought from Masqat,” ethnographer Norman Douglas wrote in 1915 in his book “Old Calabria”.

The salvation of Moscato di Saracena dessert wine, the name of which has almost been erased from the Italian winemaking card since the end of the 20th century, became the purpose of life for the Viola family.

Luigi could not allow the great name of nectar, which was served at papal meals in the 16th century, to be so ingloriously forgotten. And besides, the vineyards and production used to give work to generations of local residents, and when winemaking was on the decline here, the mountain town became empty too – young people started to leave their native lands in search of work.

And so, since 1999, Luigi has been reviving local Moscato that was close to disappearing. In this mission, his whole family joined him: the wife Marguerite and three sons – Roberto, Alessandro and Claudio.


The production process of the local Moscato Passito di Saracena wine has been handed down fro

m generation to generation – and this is really fantastic!

Cantine Viola Moscato Passito di Saracena wine is made from 4 varieties of grapes harvested by hand. Wine production consists of 2 parts. From the selected berries, 50% of Guarnaccia Bianca and 50% Malvasia, harvested in early October, they manually squeeze the grape must, which is then boiled away to 1/3 part and cooled down. The second part of the yield from the autochthonous varieties of Moscato di Saracena and a small percentage of Addruocca (Addruocca is a dialect word which stands for a very fragrant grape variety) are harvested in September, but then they are slightly dried, and the best berries are manually selected. Then they remove seeds from almost raisined grapes and squeeze them. Both parts of the must are mixed and stored in stainless tanks during 7 months for slow fermentation using local yeast, then bottled and left for another 6 months in bottles according to winemakers’ rules of the 16th century. Wine has excellent potential – from 10 to 20 years.

moscato passito

This is how Moscato Passito di Saracena was produced many centuries ago, but today this process of producing sweet wine is at variance with the regulations prescribed by current Italian legislation. Despite the fact that Moscato happened to be outlawed, Saraceni winemakers place traditions above anything else, and, relying on the “indulgence” of the Pope, continue to adhere to their own ancient rules. Thanks to their stubbornness, the present world can enjoy this amazing wine.

Moscato Passito di Saracena is characterized by untypical to passito saturated orange colour, aromas of dried figs, honey, candied citrus fruits, apricot, and has good acidity.

The best way to try this wine is a combination with almond cookies, marzipans, pastry made from shortcrust pastry stuffed with orange jam, dried fruits, chocolate or pecorino cheese.

cantine viola

The vineyards of Cantine Viola are located in Saracena, in the Rinni region, at an altitude of 350 m above sea level. They are cultivated in accordance with the Bioagricert organic certification. Vines for the famous Mocato di Saracena occupy 2 hectares. The annual production of this wine is 10 thousand bottles of 0.5 litres. Apart from Moscato Passito, the wine collection of the winery also includes rose wine Rosso Viola, white Bianco Margherita, and grappa, which is produced by distillation of grapes from which Moscato Passito di Saracena is produced. It is curious that the younger generation of the family founded a brewery a floor lower to the winery and produce unique beer based on oilcake obtained from the production of Moscato Passito di Saracena.

Moscato Passito di Saracena is recognized as the best sweet wine of Italy year after year and for four years in a row gets the highest score of Gambero Rosso — “Three glasses “.

Photo: Olga Pinevich-Todoruk, cantineviola.it

Our correspondents came to the very edge – albeit not of the Earth, but of Italy, in order to get acquainted with the world’s unique dessert wine production – Moscato Passito di Saracena.