There are two reasons that led me to choose Fiano for the first chapter in what I hope will be the very long story of a wine called Le Passanti.
The first reason is that I like Fiano. I believe that Fiano is a variety perfectly suited to our climate and year after year, I become more convinced of this.
The second reason is viticultural. The characteristics of the bunches, with well sized berries, not too large, well separated from one another and with sufficiently thick skins, makes them ideal for hang time on the vine. Once harvested, they respond well to temperature- and humidity-controlled drying.
2007 was a somewhat warm year, with little rainfall. And ripening was accelerating, as often happens in such years. The Fiano as harvest at the end of August and it was already slightly dried on the vine. It was placed in crates that contained a single layer of bunches. We did this in order to allow air to circulate between the berries, thus facilitating their gentle desiccation. In early November, 2007, we de-stemmed the bunches by hand. At that point, they had already lost about 50% of their wine. When we pressed them, we obtained a thick, sweet must that underwent a long and slow fermentation, first in stainless steel and then in large casks. The wine was then aged for 3 years in cask.
I have to confess that the aging of this wine took such a long time because of how it continued to change, month after month. As I tasted the wine every so often, there were many moments when I began to wonder whether or not it was worth it. There were even times when I let myself forget about this wine.
But now it’s here and we’re ready to hear your thoughts. Luckily for me, you’re usually more generous with your impressions than I am!
—Gianni Cantele, winemaker