Tre Bicchieri Award. Gianfranco Sabbatino from Le Casematte in Messina Speaks
Please Note: This article has been translated from its original format into English.
“Twenty years ago, almost by accident, I started working in the wine sector, a thousand miles away from what was my profession.” Gianfranco Sabbatino, who was an accountant before, reports on the site of his company. “But the ever greater desire to enhance this long professional experience, which over time has become a passion, in something of mine has finally materialized in 2008 ago when, after much research, I finally found in Le Casematte a valid reason that justified what for me it is a definitive choice of life ”. Former footballer Andrea Barzagli, who joined the company shortly after, shares his choice.
Casemates in Messina
Their splendid company dominates the Strait of Messina from the high hills that overlook it. Here the protagonists are the impetuous and sudden winds, impregnated with brackish water, which seem to lash the vines located on the steep terraces, punctuated by some casemates (military forts), which give the maison its name. But the name also reflects another thing: “I like to think of mine as a small but solid reality”, Gianfranco always says, “with thick walls and foundations that are well sunk into the ground like the roots of the vine”. We interviewed him.
How difficult is it to promote a wine, which is also very good, if the denomination and the area are not known?
I don’t deny the difficulty, especially abroad, but this is overcome by the enthusiasm we have for the area of origin and production. Through our wines we communicate (and sell) the territory.
Speaking of how exciting our territory is. Suffice it to say that in the Messina Strait you experience the fantastic union of two seas.
What were the markets that have best received your wines in recent years?
Japan, USA and Switzerland.
At the beginning the Swiss are hesitant, but tasting our wines they convince themselves.
Basically because our wines have quite unusual characteristics to be Sicilian, they are decidedly less concentrated, less full-bodied.
How would you describe your wines?
Smooth, elegant, with a pleasant acidity.
Not the first time you receive this award, how much did you count at the beginning and how much does it count on the market now?
Regardless of gratification (for me this period of the year is always highly anticipated!), It is another way to make ourselves known, especially abroad. A foreigner who consults the guide is then able to contact us, the Tre Bicchieri award also facilitates communication and reduces distances abroad, as well as your international events.
What do you mean?
They are moments of encounter with the operators of the sector that one could hardly have normally.
Do other producers try to follow your footsteps?
In a little known niche territory if you don’t follow a path oriented towards quality, you don’t go anywhere. The game can only be played in this league.
Can Faro and Messina become important in the world of great wines?
I think so, it depends on time and sacrifices, both work and economic.
Edited by: Annalisa Zordan | Gambero Rosso
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