Spotlight on Faro: The Greatest Wine Region You’ve Never Heard Of
With one of the smallest appellations, wine consumers can be forgiven for never hearing of Sicily’s Faro DOC. However today this ancient wine is getting a fresh update thanks to dedicated winemakers.
Faro DOC was created on 3 December 1976. The local wine dates back to ancient times with the name “Faro” coming from Pharii, an ancient Greek population that settled and grew grapes as far back as the fourteenth century B.C.
Made exclusively from indigenous varieties that are suited to Messina terroir, the Faro DOC appellation sits in the eastern corner of Sicily. The soil is compact and slightly acidic at higher altitudes and alluvial towards the coast. The key difference, however, is the Peloritani hills, which, when combined with the Strait of Messina create a cooling effect that protects the grapes from Sicily’s hot summers.
How Faro is Made
Faro DOC must be made of 45-60% Nerello Mascalese, with 15-30% Nerello Cappuccio, and 5-10% Nocera. Galioppo, Nero d’Avola and/or Sangiovese are also allowed and can make up to 15% of the blend.
The wine must age for at least one year.
Faro Wine Profile
Faro is noted for its light-bodied profile similar to Pinot Noir. However, the balanced acidity and tannins allow the wine to age upward of six years. The bouquet often shows signature notes of red berries, herbs, and hints of warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. On the palate, Faro is round and fruity with elegant minerality.
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