Winemaker's Notes:Sicily's most elegant wines come from this small producer located in the hills around Messina. On the hills overlooking the Straights of Messina, the great DOC wine, “Il Faro” has been produced since the beginning of antiquity as they love to say. Archaeological discoveries prove that winemaking in the Messina area was flourishing as far back as the 14th century B.C. This led to a prosperous economy that continued to thrive for centuries. Unfortunately these good times couldn't roll forever. At the beginning of last century, the vines were nearly devastated by the phylloxera and production fell off dramatically during the following years. Wine production continued its gradual decline and reached its lowest point in history in 1985 with the DOC wine-bearing area at serious risk of extinction. In the splendid Villa Geraci seat of the new Palari Winery, proprietor Salvatore Geraci has devoted himself to the production of his ancient and noble wine with the objective of reviving (assisted by the help of modern technology) that quality that has made “Il Faro” famous throughout the world. The vineyard lies in the “Palari” wine district of S. Stefano, Messina, and is planted with native grapevines of names as old as the fascination they evoke: Nerello, Nocera, Cappuccino, Tignolino, Cor'e Palumba, Acitana, Galatena and others.... All of which are embraced by the regulations for the production of the Faro DOC. The terrain is blessed with a unique microclimate - due to its dramatic rise of altitude of 420 metres above sea level within just five kilometres. It is set up with “alberello” head-pruned trellis and has a medium slope of 78 degrees requiring the grapes to be gathered and placed into 20 kg baskets by hand. Because of this labour-intensive requirement and the rigid selection which the grapes must undergo, the total yield of grapes for each plant is only 1 kg. The soft-pressing of the grapes, the temperature controlled fermentation, the aging in French oak barrels, and the refinement in air-conditioned rooms - all carefully monitored under the watchful eye of the winemaker Donato Lanati - make possible the creation of this important wine of such noble and old tradition. The winemaking philosophy under Salvatore Geraci is simple: make two wines with the same indigenous grapes but with different selections. His Rosso del Soprano, a blend based on a wine known in antiquity as Mamertino, comes from the native nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio, and nocera grapes. The Rosso del Soprano, a blend of the two Nerellos as mentioned and aged in used oak barrels, tastes like the offspring of a meaty Pinot Noir and sun-drenched Grenache. On the nose a mix of berry smells (squashed strawberries) and a touch of earthiness tending towards mushroom, on the palate gentle warmth unfolding to reveal subtle hints of spice, pepper and liquorice. As with the Faro there is a lightness of touch - these fruits may have roasted under a Mediterranean sun, but they are seasoned by the earth and stones.