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.