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An overview of the territory that makes Cantine del Notaio wines unique and special.

The Basilicata Region is a small and uncontaminated area in the green heart of Southern Italy. And in the north of the region there is Mount Vulture. The slopes of this majestic extinct volcano offer an ideal nutritive habitat to century old Aglianico vineyards and olive groves, as well as harbouring a land rich in history, art, nature, landscape, and a tradition of food and wine and of great hospitality.

The Aglianico grape has been well known since ancient Greek times. Celebrated by the Latin poet Horace, it grows at the slopes of the Mount Vulture. And this is the origin of the three natural factors determining the constitution and ripening of these grapes: firstly, the volcanic soil is fertile and rich in mineral elements; then the tufo rock layers, deep down, acts as a water reservoir during the driest periods of the year, what the local farmers call “milking the tufo”; thirdly there is a unique micro-climate. The bunches of Aglianico are carefully selected and knowledgeably handled; they will yield a strong wine with a notable personality, precious ruby red color and complex aromas. For this reason, Cantine del Notaio has paid special attention to its choice of vineyards. Its 30 hectares of vines, some of them more than a hundred years old, are distributed amongst the most vocated hillsides of the Mount Vulture area, (the villages of Rionero, Barile, Ripacandida, Maschito e Ginestra).

An important part of its project is also to exploit the cultural traditions of its terroir, and it has begun this by reviving its own ancient grottoes dating back to 1600 and used by Franciscan Monks. These natural caves are cut into the volcanic tufo rock and guarantee exceptional conditions for the ageing of wine. Its French oak barriques thus rest in a perfect natural balance of temperature, constant humidity and ventilation. These intertwined grottoes reach under the village itself, creating a highly suggestive underground maze. They radiate from a tiny charming square, called the Facìle, typical of local architecture. With a horseshoe shape caused by the subterranean excavation of the tufo grottoes, the square collects and channels rainwater. The term Facìle thus derives from the word bacìle, local dialect for basin. And within these grottoes Cantine del Notaio has staged a permanent animated model crib, depicting the making of wine. A process both physical and spiritual, involving the ancient arts and crafts linked to a previous world rich in values and traditions.

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