Azienda Agricola Il Serralh since 2007
The company philosophy has been from the beginning focused on the path of tradition, with an obsessed pursuit of perfection, understood as the pursuit of beauty inspired by the unique and magical place.
Il Serralh was first established in 2007 under the hand of Maestro Gabriele Ferro with the idea of transforming his 7 hectares (17 acres) of terrain on Pantelleria’s south side, an area called La Serraglia, facing Tunisia, into land that would produce some of the Italian island’s most-renowned agricultural products; over time, he created his “little retreat,” which now produces sweet Zibibbo grape, fragrant oregano and delicious capers. From its beginnings, the philosophy of Serralh has been to move forward with an emphasis on tradition and the adamant pursuit of perfection, as well as a nod of the beauty inspired by this unique and magical place. In the summer of 2016, Ferro met a young couple from Turin, Massimo and Benedetta Bracco, who had moved with their family to Pantelleria. Ferro’s experience and a shared passion for wine and the island’s beauty easily convinced them to work together at Il Serralh srl and focus primarily on wine. The heads of Il Serralh srl are dedicated to both agricultural and wine innovation as well as product innovation, the results of which are wines steeped in tradition but appealing to more modern tastes. Agricultural efforts have been made to convert the winery to an organic operation, which we consider essential for a place such as Pantelleria, in which the climate and the terrain are both extremely ideal for this kind of cultivation system. In this case, what we call “innovation” in this regard is really tradition. In eliminating chemical treatments from our land and turning the day’s activities in the field into more of a personal relationship, we find a more of a balance between the agricultural “system” and the agricultural producer; there’s a return to the intimate rapport between the farmer and his field, in which the land isn’t there just as the means to earn a good living but plays a more integral part of culture and tradition, one where the fruits of the field aren’t just salable products but a source of pride for those who have cultivated them, a mentality that harks back to the way things were once done and viewed. On part of our land, we are planting a variety of indigenous red grapes, including Perricone (better known as “Nivuru Nostrale” locally, which translates as “our black wine”), in order to keep in line with traditional thinking–practiced over centuries by local vintners–that has preferred the selection of Zibibbo or Perricone as the maximum expression of this territory. The production of an excellent wine begins with the soil. We believe you must have respect for the land, the plant and the life cycle, and you must work with passion and love. Even during the harvest period, it’s fundamentally important to respect the laws of nature; during this time of active picking, we take care not to overcrowd the crates with the grape bunches and, when they’re full, we take everything in directly to get pressed. During the production process, activity is minimal, with an eye toward preserving the quality of the raw materials and making the most of its worth while still controlling the necessary technological aspects–not so much as to intervene with the raw materials but, rather, the opposite, to limit or actually eliminate the “corrective” actions and protections of the initial must process and the resulting wine afterwards. In this context, we have chosen the use of ozone to sanitize local premises and production equipment, opting to use inert atmosphere to avoid the degradation of the wine and means of production in use at the winery; all of this is done to refrain from adding anything unnecessary. Our goal, above all, is to produce honest wines, wines that discredit commercial slogans demonizing the use of sulfites. We have chosen to use sulfites prudently and proportionately to address the real needs of wine and the vintage, not as a winery convenience. Our philosophy is focused on using that which is indispensable, with the understanding that this is only achieved by attentiveness in the field and inside the winery. The fruits of these efforts result in balanced, fresh wine that respects tradition and offers a true taste of this Mediterranean island. Its fragrance reflects rockflower and aromatic herbs such as myrtle and juniper, all part of the general foliage that grows wild and covers the hillsides, and on first sip, the wine will pleasantly swirl around the palate offering a sense of the surrounding sea and the heat of the African sun. In short, our wine aims to embody all the inherent characteristics of the island.