An Interview with Hauner Winery
The Hauner Vineyards
What is the history of the land you are on? What was it used for before your winery owned it or did someone else own it previously?
Malvasia on the island of Salina was introduced by the Venetians and the origins of the plants are Greek. It has been cultivated here since the early 1900s, a period when Phylloxera was destroying the vineyards in the area. In the Sixties, the Hauners went to the island on vacation and decided to bring back the tradition of cultivating Malvasia there, recuperating vineyards that survived Phylloxera, grafting the plants on strong American rootstock. This was so successful, that it led to the building of the first modern wine cellar on the island in the late 1970s.
What clones and selections are used?
We’ve only used native grapes from the island of Salina: Malvasia and Corinto Nero for the sweet wines and Izolia, Cataratto, Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese and Nocera for the white and reds.
Where does the water sources for the vineyard(s) come from?
There are no sources of water on the island and the climate is particularly dry (average rainfall per year is 600 mm) but the microclimatic conditions are very unique, especially because of the vast diurnal temperature changes, which end up generating the perfect amount of humidity, favoring the growth cycle (it’s no coincidence that Salina is called the green island).
What trellising systems does the winery use? Why do you prefer that system?
Spurred cordon for white and red wines. We prefer Guyot for Malvasia because the first three buds don’t result in fruit.
What are the different soil types from each of the vineyard sites? What do these soils do for your wines?
We have vineyards on two different islands – Salina and Vulcano – though both are volcanic, the soils are different. Salina has ancient volcanic soils made from tuff and pomace while Vulcano has more recent soils, which are sandy and rich in minerals, especially Sulphur.
Do any of your vineyards have names? If so, is there a story behind those names?
The names of the vineyards come from the places in which they are located.
If you have large vineyards, do you only use a portion of the vineyard to produce specific wines? How did you choose what portions to use?
Viticulture in Salina is made of small parcels destined to one cultivar.
The Hauner Winery & Winemaking Process
What makes your winery different from others in the region? In Italy?
Our winery is deeply linked to the history of the island. My father moved to Salina and began making wines using all his artistic passion, breaking the molds of tradition, and bringing a neglected grape variety back to life: Malvasia delle Lipari. Today, even though fifty years have passed and the wine industry has drastically changed, we continue to make wines with the same independent spirit, following our instincts about life and wine production on these fantastic islands.
What is the winery’s long term plans regarding production levels, vineyard replanting, style of winemaking, consumer targets, etc..
Our long-term plans are changing, also due to the complicated period we are going through with Covid-19. We just bought four new hectares on Vulcano and plan to plant a new white and red vineyard.
What vintage had the most challenges and what were those challenges? How did you overcome them?
On average, the annual production is similar from one vintage to the next because our area doesn’t have major climate problems, given the drought conditions that we’ve always had. The vines are used to it. Even harvest is similar from one year to the next.
What cooperage does the winery use?
For the most part, we prefer stainless steel, as it is a neutral material that guarantees freshness and genuineness in our wines. For some types of wines, for example, our Malvasia Riserva and the Rosso Antonello, we use French oak.
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