The land, his land, it’s the constant topic of Corrado’s conversations. There is little to do, it’s in his DNA. When he talks about his winery his eyes lit up, like when he talks about his daughters. So it was not strange when he decided to study agronomy devoting himself to research, and to study indigenous varietals, their characteristics, and the best conditions for them to them grow.
And Valeria? That is a completely different story. For her the winery is her love for Corrado. The joy of seeing him happy. Valeria has in her the past the sea and the mountain, not the countryside. Her best memories are linked to the mountainside when, a kid, the peasants used to bring milk and fresh vegetables to her grandparents. In her past there is going to the sea, sailing, traveling and studying. All this in towns. Valeria is Corrado’s encouragement. With her happiness and energy she conveys the best of Vini La Favola to the rest of the world. Everyone has his burden!
His estate stands upon a hill in the far right-end corner of Sicily.
When Corrado goes down the northern side of the hill to reach the olive grove, Mt. Etna salutes him. If he goes down along the southern side, all he can see is the deep blue of the seas in front of him. The paths among the vineyards are calcareous-white and at night time with a full-moon, our land shines. He’s not completely wrong when he says he lives in paradise. He has inherited this land from his mother who left it to him, second of four brothers. This land had belonged to his Dad and, before, to his Grandfather. He could have inhereted other tracks of land, but instead he inherited this one called, irony of the situation, Buonivini (good wines).
It’s no surprise that he decided to farm them organically, or when he dedicated some of his land in order to experiement on his vines. Nor was it strange when he decided to use only green energy and not to have production residuals. Every day he spends hours in the vineyards looking at his vines thinking about new methods or new utensils.
If you’re puzzled about the perfectionism and maniacal attention with which he looks at his sprouts, Corrado will just look at you like saying: “How can I possibly behave differently? How else could it be? Well, he is this land.
Lots of responsibility! Corrado then created the new implants using the plants already present in the old vineyards.
As you all know Sicily was colonized long ago by the ancient Greeks. Corrado devoted himself to learn more about Eloros, the ancient Greek colony from the VI century BC that was only few kilometers from our vineyards. From its port many ships left full of wine. That is why, with other experts and friends, Corrado ended up writing the specifications of ELORO DOC.
He is really proud about this and about being respected for his capabilities. Just like his grandfather, Don Corrado di Natale was. His name is still remembered in the area. His wine reached the Island of Malta in tall ships but people don’t remember him for his wealth, but instead for how he cared for the poor, which he went out of his way to help. Still today in the maps of the dell’Istituto Geografico Militare (the Italian Army Geograhic Dept.) our winery atop of the hill is named after him Case Di Natale (Di Natale’s houses). “I don’t want to make the best wine in he world” Corrado keeps repeating, but a wine that will contain all this and convey this little piece of land.
It can be done, he firmly believes it. You only need to feel the sun and wind, you must feel the land and become one thing with the vine. You must feel what the plant needs and what is asking you. Just like Corrado’s granddad, gone blind, still went to prune the vineyards just by touching the plants.
It is not a matter of choice it is simply a way of life with not many compromises. If you see it this way then you feel the land and the land tells you that it doesn’t need anything else. It already has lots of sun, wind and very little water. But it has been this way for such a long that the land has learned to go without it. We just have to help it. That is why Corrado has dedicated part of his vineyards to reaserch. He collaborates with universities and reaserch labs interested in bio agricolture and has planted lots of different indigenous plants to preserve bio-diversity. It is a matter of coherence.