On the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, the Antonio Mazzella vineyard has been producing wines since 1940.
Located on the southern side of the island at 150m above sea level, the road and soil conditions were poor, and as a result, cultivating grapes was difficult at the best of times. Not to unperturbed, the Mazzella family persevered, and today the area is productive and sustainable with 10 hectares of land under vine.
Here, local varieties Biancolella, Forastera & Piedirosso grapes are grown in steep inclines, with the terraces facing the sea, the wine makers use a monorail to navigate the site.
The Forastera grape variety is not linked to the grape variety of the same name in the Canary Islands. The grapes DNA are completely different and not related. That said its origins are shrouded in mystery. The word forastiero is a name given to someone who is foreign, i.e. not from Italy. It seems that the Forastera grape variety may have originated in Northern Italy, and brought to the island during the Phylloxera outbreak towards the end of the 19th Century.
Harvesting and pressing is done by hand in the winery where the wine process begins, the must is left to mature in ancient cellars dug into the tufa rock for 3 to 5 days, followed by 5 months fermentation in stainless steel tanks where they remain until they are transported to another part of the island for final bottling & release.
Grape Varieties: Forastera 85 %, Rilla 15%
Production Area: Municipality of Ischia Grotta di Terra 200 metres above sea level.
Tasting Notes: Pale straw yellow in complexion, on the nose, herbacious notes. On the palate the taste is fresh and minerally.
Serving Temperature: 8-10C
Ideal With: Ideal as an aperitif