Pierre-O Bonhomme Visit (2021)
This visit to Piere-O Bonhomme took place in July, 2021.Read more…
A Tribute to Olivier Lemasson
A Tribute to Olivier LemassonRead more…
François Pinon (1951-2021)
François Pinon (1951-2021)Read more…
Bellivière's "Vignes en Foule" Experiment
Bellivière's "Vignes en Foule" ExperimentRead more…
A 2019 Visit to Matassa's New House and Vines
This visit with Tom Lubbe took place in June, 2019Read more…
Video: A Day in the Life of Nadia Verrua
Video: A Day in the Life of Nadia VerruaRead more…
A Video Tour of L'Acino
A Video Tour of L'Acino's VineyardsRead more…
An interview with Rodrigo Filipe from 2020Read more…
De Fermo Interview
An Interview with Stefano Papetti Ceroni from 2020Read more…
De Fermo Producer Profile
De Fermo Producer ProfileRead more… //= $article['id'] ?>//=$article['url']?>//=Yii::t('app', 'Read more…')?>
San Martino (Basilicata) Interview
This interview with Lorenzo Piccin took place in March, 2020.
Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about the origins of the estate.
The San Martino winery was born in 2008. I started studying
In 2007 I decided to go to school because I wanted to dive deeper into the transformation of grape juice into wine, to know how the plant and soil would affect the outcome. The more knowledge I absorbed, the more I felt the need to follow my own path and ideas. It made me want to try something different, to do something more. To combine the knowledge I’d acquired from a lifetime with my father with what I’d learned in school.
I started by making a single
Grifalco still exists right? And you are still part of it?
Grifalco is a family business. My father passed away last February (2019). But he’d been sick since 2011 and I’ve been making the wines there since. My brother is in charge of the
So you rent six hectares on the side for San Martino?
I bought them after a while.
Do you also farm the family land?
Yes. I farm both.
Why did your family move from Tuscany to Basilicata?
It’s all because of
In 1988, my twin sister and I were born. My mother was at home alone with us since her family was in Rome. My father was out all day taking care of the animals and it was really tough. They were alone in the middle of the country: the closest neighbor was four kilometers away. It was simply too hard to continue. So they decided to sell all the animals, make their own wine from the two
Much to their surprise, their star rose very quickly. By the late 90’s, the winery was one of the most famous in
So my parents got sick of this and decided to sell everything. They started to look for somewhere to start again, the hope being to find a great region that has not been taken over by money (much like
So you stayed in Tuscany?
I finished high school in
How long of a drive is that?
12 hours. I take an overnight bus and sleep through the drive. My back is not always happy with me, but it’s ok.
Do you feel this is how you will continue to function? Do you like this lifestyle?
I chose this life and I like it. I believe it’s a good balance. If I was alone and without a family, I would probably move to
When I think of my children going to school in
Let’s talk about the area the winery is in.
We’re in the sector of
It’s amazing. And what’s great is that the region did not succumb to what started happening in the 1980’s, with everyone buying and planting the same, single
Another thing that’s very unique is that the only grape here is
The soils here are
It’s also surprisingly cool for being so far to the South right?
We are amongst the last to
Is there any other type of agriculture there?
A lot of olive oil. If you go more south you’ll find meat.
Let’s talk about the work in the vines.
Since the beginning, my idea was to be as non interventionist as possible. When you look at the vineyards here, it’s great because there are none planted in bad places. Most are in fact already planted in the best areas. And that helps a lot. For me, working
Grifalco has been
And in the cantina?
Because of our climate, production is very low. This is the balance of our vineyards and I do not want to push them harder. So the balance in the vineyards is like the balance in the
How do the three wines differentiate themselves?
The goal is to produce three distinct expressions of
"Arberesko" is meant to be more of a classic expression of the
"Kamai" is from the oldest vineyards, around 80 years old. After
Can you tell us about the whole vulture thing? It’s the name of the appellation, you have them on your labels...
Federico Secondo was the king of the south about 1000 years ago. He owned what is now the south of Italy. He was an amazing character who could speak six languages (Italian, Latin, Greek, German, French...) and was quite eccentric. He built many castles all over because he loved hunting. One of his claims to fame was that he loved to hunt with falcons. He was so passionate that he wrote a book on how to train falcons for hunting, and in fact this book is still used today! There are many images in this book, including the one we used on the