Elena Fucci

Region:          Basilicata

Production:    15,000 Bottles

Site:               www.elenafuccivini.com

 
   
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BackgrounD

The winery was founded in 2000 at a time when the Fucci family was discussing whether to sell the beautiful vineyards surrounding the house where Elena grew up.

The vineyards were purchased in the 60’s by Elena’s grandfather Generoso, who chose to buy the highest part of the vineyard in Contrada Solagna of Titolo at the foot of Mount Vulture (an extinct volcano). Over the years that followed, Generoso and his father took care of the vineyards selling the grapes after harvest and keeping just enough to produce some wine for personal consumption.

The family’s first thought was that “six hectares of land was too much to keep for fun” thus they decided to sell the land, also in consideration of the fact that the children’s future studies at the University would take them far from their home town of Barile. Interested buyers were numerous, but at the last moment Elena had a change of heart. She could not bear the idea that someone may take away from the family the vineyard were she was raised (the house is located right in the middle of the vineyard) or accept the possibility that another name may do something great with the oldest vineyards on Mount Vulture; the majority of which are 55-60 years old, while some were planted over 70 years ago. Thus, she completely changed the plans she had for her future and the future of her family. She decided to invest in the area and in the resource that allowed her father, her grandparents and great-grandparents to live and grow in Vulture.

When Elena confided to her parents the idea and intention to study enology at the University, they were immediately delighted and willing to lend a hand. Especially her father, who seemed to harbor this dream for some time. In fact, Elena found him to be well versed in agronomy and everything else that would be needed to start this new venture. The winery came to life with the 2000 vintage concurrent with her studies at the Faculty of Viticulture and Enology. Initially, they were assisted by an external consultant, while in 2004 all facets of the winery were taken over by Elena. The choice from the beginning, without any regret, was to stake everything on a single label, the “TITOLO” envisioning it as a high quality, first class wine or “cru”. A unique wine for objective reasons related to the yields of the vineyards and the quality of the vines, considering their age. A unique wine to best represent the characteristics of the Aglianico grape and the territory of the Vulture, where the particular mix of microclimate and terroir transmits to our wine one of the best and most unique expressions of this fabulous area that is Contrada Solagna del Titolo.

 

Video by Monica Larner

Italian Editor for Robert Parker The Wine Advocate

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One of the greatest compliments given to the “TITOLO” is its recognizability among other wines; recognizability that is based on the representation of the territory from which it comes. Whoever comes to visit the winery and the company, will visit southern Italian vineyards located in a mountainous, inland area at an altitude of 600 meters. They will visit a type of volcanic terrain, a strong mineral soil, dark in color and pozzolanic, which clearly catalogues in its layers the history and life of the Vulture volcano (walking between the rows one can always see the extinct Mount Vulture volcano just a few hundred meters away, an ancient volcano which gave rise to the lava cliffs upon which the vines, house and town of Barile are located). One can note the eruptive phases composed of lava flows, lapilli and ash, interspersed with periods of stasis composed of layers of clay. All of this is reflected in the glass when you savor the bouquet and taste the wine.

 

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Elena’s interpretation of the territory is defined by industry insiders as “modern but not modernist”. Modern for being able to understand the real needs of the Aglianico variety in terms of maturation and aging, but always without changing the characteristics of the fruit that the vineyard yields in this wonderful corner of Italy. Not to mention the history of the Fucci family, the knowledge that has been passed down from past generations, who had this craft and art in their blood, especially Generoso, who despite being 86 years old personally takes care of the vineyard on a daily basis. Every year, each vintage is a struggle as they barely have time to bring the grapes into the cellar before Grandpa Roso is ready to prune the plants in order to have everything in order just in case the next season commences prematurely.

 

They started the journey conscious of being able to do a good job, but unpretentiously, considering the great heritage of Italian wine. Nonetheless, they have managed to make a name for their company, a satisfaction that goes beyond the awards from national and international wine guides, a demonstration that the past and the future can, together, allow a small company like theirs to become a great company known and appreciated the world over thus making the territory better known to all.

The work the family does in the vineyard is not only viticulture, it is also the art of gardening and in this way they are able to provide much care to the vines. A complete respect for nature and its cycles without the use of chemicals; even the vines are tied up with broom fibers that are dried during the summer. To Elena the work in the vineyard is essential (they only vinify grapes grown in our vineyard) and when the grapes arrive in the winery and the winemaking begins she is worried, in a way, that she may ruin the fruits of the harvest. Fortunately, the satisfactory end result makes all the hard work in the vineyard and cellar worthwhile.