Special Guest: Elena Fucci Winery, Basilicata, Italy

According to the already established tradition on the Yellow Road, under the heading "Special Guest", we try to introduce you to people (and their enterprises) who have been able to achieve unique results in their work. Today our guest is Elena Fucci, owner of the Elena Fucci winery in southern Italy. Her patrimony is 6 hectares of vineyard on the slope of the extinct volcano(!) Mount Vulture. Her winery produces only one appellation, Titolo wine. Red wine Titolo.

Elena Fucci

So, Elena Fucci, the owner of the winery Elena Fucci, answers the questions of the Yellow Road.

1- Please tell us a little about yourself

2 - and about Titolo wine...

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.

Elena Fucci

...and her famous wine TITOLO

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.

It 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.

Elena Fucci's old vineyard

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.

Elena next to the famous terroir ...

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.

Basilicata region on the map of Italy]

and Lakes at the site of the crater

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 wine making 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.

Within this fertile land, the vines regard Mount Vulture with pride and fear, almost seeking a confirmation of quality for the grape and the wine with every day that passes. The context is unequaled beauty: sun, rain, snow and winds that signal the change in seasons.

Portrait on the background of the winery

New harvest

On these hills that seem to never end, close to an important vine, Aglianico del Vulture, Salvatore Fucci and his daughter Elena work with passion to improve the characteristics of this unmistakable and unique wine. Those characteristics do not exhaust themselves in the perfume or in color, in clarity or in flavor, but they reside within the personality of the wine and only one wine. TITOLO, in its equilibrium and in the capacity to transmit the original sensations to those who drink it.

The actual winery has been obtained from the old premises under the family residence (Torre TITOLO) where the grandfather Generoso placed the tractor and agricultural equipment. A first extension was performed by digging directly into the volcanic rock to accommodate the barrel cellar. The cellar is equipped with all the necessary equipment from harvesting to bottling and labeling using every available space (even the garage dad Salvatore) in order to ensure the best care possible to our TITOLO.

Recently the new winery was completed, built adjacent to the old cellar and in communication by a tunnel dug in volcanic rock. The new structure is built according to the principles of ecological design using recycled materials and recycling and with technologies for reduce to zero the impacts and energy consumption.

3 - Titolo wine is 100% Aglianico. Are there famous mixtures with this grape?

The disciplinary of Aglianico del Vulture DOC is only 100% with Aglianico grape, actually don't exist officially a blend with other variety. For the importance of this grape, is not easy find a variety to combine, and I'm not a fun of this idea of blend.

4 - Monte Vulture is 1326 meters high, your cellar is about 600 meters high. How often do you have to visit the top (at the crater) of a volcano?

In reality, the structure of the Vulture volcano is different from the classic image we all have. The craters are not at the top of the mountain but are at an altitude of about 600 meters inside the mountain which is completely the result of the volcanic eruptions. Today the crater houses a natural lake.

5 -Your grape variety (Aglianico) has been mentioned since the 7-6th century BC. Are there such ancient white grapes?

Unfortunately no. Basilicata is purely a wine-growing region of red grapes. In the past there were excellent varieties of Malvasia, but over time they have been lost as they were abandoned by the farmers or even uprooted. Today the production of white wines focuses on varieties of Greco and Fiano, which however are not at the level of those of nearby Campania.

6 - What is your favorite wine (red or white)? And why?

My favorite wine is bubbles! Italians and French ... Why ? The bubbles is the wine of the party, celebration… of happiness ! ( )And im a producer of red wine only , so I’m very attracted by bubbles

7- Share your successes in wine making: awards, prizes...

I am a humble person, and I usually do not pride myself on awards and achievements, even if the best of awards is that of consumers when they choose you from hundreds and hundreds of bottles.

If I really have to get out of balance, a result of which I am proud is that of bringing together all the wine guides and magazines year after year.

8 - May I ask you to take one or 2-3 photos of your favorite places?

Elena Fucci vineyards

Elena Fucci vineyards

The famous extinct volcano Mount Vulture, its area is comparable to the area of Vesuvius - 27 sq. km

Mount Vulture view

9 - Is there any reliable data on the last eruption of your volcano?

The volcano Vulture was active until the upper Pleistocene, that is, up to about 130,000 years ago, with long periods of quiescence. Secondary volcanic phenomena also occurred in contemporary times, up to 1820.

10 --Yellow Road - blog about white wines -

Which white wine producer (from Italy or another country) would you recommend for Yellow Road?

I think the best are for the production of white wines in Italy are: Alto Adige, Friuli and Campania.

But there i salso a good expression in each region of Italy. One of my preferred are the Sauvignon Blanc of Gaja.

11 - Do you have time for any cultural events?

Unfortunately, the work of winemaker is very hard and with little free time. So holiday and other type of activities are very hard to have.

Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"

Ключевые слова: Sergey Evtuhov, Elena Fucci, Titolo
топик прочитан 807 раз
добавлен 6 сентября, 13:42


23 сентября, 20:30
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