With winemaking in his family blood, Vito decided to attend the University of Udine in Friuli where he obtained a degree in Enology in 2003. After stepping off the campus he worked at a number wineries in northern Italy for a few years before returning to Sicily in 2005. Vito came home to open the old family winery in Alcamo, 30 miles west of Palermo. Upon his return in 2005 to Alcamo, Vito became the Enologist for organic farming for a local winery. His family winery started by Vito’s grandfather, also named Vito, began production in 1958 only to close due to economic hardship in 1993. Vito was determined to revitalize the family winery. So, between 2005 and 2010, while working for others, he spent part of his time doing just that. While the winery site and building are still the original, the tools for making wine are the most modern of our day.
In 2010, Vito released his first vintage of wines under the winery name Vino Lauria. Vito is a master of organic farming practices. His harvesting practices and approach to winemaking delivers wines of more restraint and balance than you find in many offerings from Sicily. While others go for power. Vito goes for balance. Except for Perpetuo, a Grillo dessert wine, all offerings are from organically certified vineyards.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Full-bodied and delicately aromatic, Grillo is one of Sicily’s most valued white grape varieties. While it is an important ingredient in Marsala, it also makes a delicious dry white on its own or does well blended. Somm Secret—Grillo is a natural genetic cross of Sicily’s indigenous Catarratto with Muscat of Alexandria and typically grows well in the gobelet system (bush vines).