Angelo’s knowledge of each individual block, and the characteristics of the grapes produced on them, is fundamental to his hands-on winemaking approach. Drawing on skills and knowledge passed down through his family from generation to generation, he works with small, select parcels of fruit, utilising wild yeast, open fermenters, basket pressing and long barrel aging to produce unmistakable character and depth.
Listening to, and watching his father as he went quietly about turning the gift of each vintage into fine wine was how Angelo learned most of the techniques of good wine making. Angelo recalls hearing his father say often, “A good wine starts in the vineyard. There are no short-cuts. Be patient, look after the land and take care of your vines.”
And he’d continue, “The wine making process can’t be rushed. It’s simple and natural and takes care of itself, as long as you understand the stages it goes through, you only need to nurture it.” He’d finish by saying “Don’t over-work it – the wine needs time to rest in order to develop.”
Understanding the different characteristics that each section of the vineyard will impart to the grapes growing on it is the key and knowing how to bring these together to achieve a desired result. Acid, tannin and fruit characters such as blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, black currant and mulberry are just some of the flavours which can be found in grapes grown in different sections of the vineyard.
Differences in elevation, soil types, clone variety and micro-climates will all influence the characteristics of each vine and therefore the wine. In fact, absolutely everything that happens in the vineyard can ultimately enhance the quality of the wine. Consequently, that’s where most of the work in the creation of wines from the De Fazio Vineyard occurs.