Tag Archives: Nero d’Avola

Welcome to Australia Lamoresca….


Filippo Rizzo and his wife Nancy met over a decade ago while Filippo owned and operated a small restaurant in Belgium. At that time Filippo was among the first to be talking about and serving natural wines anywhere outside of Paris. His family had ties to Sicily and he was truly passionate about the preservation of the land and the importance of additive free wine. After years in restaurants and retail Filippo decided to get back to the land the best way he knew how, become a winemaker. With a scant 11 hectare farm, 4 of which are under vine, Filippo and Nancy have built the tiny Lamoresca estate from the ground up. While reviving his own olive groves and vines, Filippo spent several vintages with his comrade and fellow winemaker Frank Cornelissen making wine high on the slopes of Mt. Etna. La Moresca is the only winery for roughly 50 square km’s and Filippo and his farm hand Gaetano work the land endlessly by hand. 

Lamoresca is located in the southern most corner of the province of Catania, between Etna and Gela on the southern coast, at ~450 meters above sea level. The area has a combination of deeply compressed sandstone soils mixed with calcium and iron rich clay. The old vines are a mixture of nero d’avola, grenache and nerocapitano (frappato) for the reds, and the extremely rare vermentino corso and some roussanne for the white; all of which are worked without the aid of any chemical or pesticide. The wines are naturally fermented without temperature control and no sulfur is used at all throughout the process. courtesy of Selection Natural

I have always thought of Sicily as a very special place especially for growing vines but a trip back in July took that love to a whole new level. We spent a magical week driving around Sicily with the volcano (Mount Etna) always in the background. During this time, we drank and ate like kings and when I got back I could not stop drinking the likes of Cos and Passopisciaro.

One of the wines that I drank in Sicily and had ready about were those of Lamoresca and these artisan wines made by Filippo Rizzo and his wife were the exact reason why I think Sicily is such a amazing place. These magical wines are made in minuscule quantities, with 15,000 bottle in total produced each year.

Well the good news is that these wines will be available via Mondo Imports from the middle of November and whilst quantities are tiny (84 bottles of the 2012 Bianco, 400 bottles of the 2012 Rosso and 84 bottles of the 2011 Rosso) they will be well worth seeking out.


Sicily: an amazing array of food, wine and culture….

Amazing fruit and vegetables grown on the fertile soils of Mount Etna.

This week I have working on a newsletter on the wines of Sicily. Looking back at my photo’s made me remember just how much I loved Sicily. What an amazing place. Next year I will return their in June with my family and I cannot wait.

For those who have been to Italy but not to Sicily, one tip: go. It is an experience that you will never forget. The island is such a vibrant mix of culture and architecture and it is an obvious reminder that not that long ago, Italy was a mix of different cultures with Sicily being the most different.

The photo above was taken on my trip to Sicily in 2011 and the quality of the fruit and vegetables grown on volcanic soils beneath Mount Etna was the best I have ever eaten. When matched with the amazing quality and array of wines produced from this amazing island, it is easy to see why so many people fall in love with Sicily.

You cannot go to Sicily and not eat Pasta all Norma…

Like these mix of cultures, the wines that they grow on Sicily are all quite different. From the rich and full flavours of Nero d’Avola, to the almost Burgundian Nerello Mascalese grown on Mount Etna, their wines showcase just how different soils, alititudes and of course grape varities can be on this amazing Island.

Every year I head back to Italy and on each visit, I either spend my time solely in the north or south of Italy. This year I visited Italy in March (where I spent three weeks in the north of Italy) and June (where I spent two weeks in the south of Italy) and for me personally, I do not have a preference and find both the north and south captivating.

When I think of the wines of Sicily my mind always heads straight to Nero d’Avola which has been for centuries been seen as the workhouse of the region. this rich, robust red is full bodied yet light on it’s feet. Due to the volcanic soil that it is grown on, it has amazing minerality and complexity that makes it fantastic drinking for under $20 a bottle. If you want to get serious about Sicilian wine, then I you need to head to Mount Etna and the amazing old vine Nerello Mascalese grown at high altitude and on differing lava flows.