A visit to the wineries Cantine Spadafora, founded in 1915 by Ippolito Spadafora, is a journey into the heart of the wine-making tradition of Calabria. It is a fascinating journey, which allows reliving the magical transformation of Magliocco, produced in the hills of Donnici, into an elegant and austere wine, characterized by black berry of ancient cultivation, belonging to the family of Magliocchi grapes. These grapes distinguish themselves for their bunch, as small as a fist or ‘mallet’ (hence the name, the Italian term for ‘mallet’ is ‘maglio’). An elegant, fine wine is obtained, slightly tannic, with an intense red colour, and remarkably long-lived.
The visitor is welcomed in an environment where tradition and modernity are skilfully combined; darkness and silence are the only companions of the long rest of the wines, which are placed for aging in oak barrels.
The password for a century of activity is commitment. Ippolito Spadafora, owner of the family business, now at the fourth generation, explains: «Commitment in the care of our vineyards, selection of the grapes during the harvest, vinification of the grapes in the cellar, process of refinement and evolution of our wines».
The result consists in wines characterized by a distinct personality, expression of the terroir from which they come, combined with technological modernization, in which nothing is left to chance, where tradition blends with technology and ongoing research aimed at the recovery of memory. Spadafora adds: «Today our family proudly treasures the heritage we built in a century of work. In all this, we aim at absolute quality, pursue excellence of our wines in an indissoluble link between history, territory, and human work».
The vinification is carried out using the technique of soft pressing of the carefully selected grapes, which come from nearby vineyards; fermentation temperatures are constantly monitored in order to extract the primary varietal aromas; finally, the aging takes place in both steel and wood, according to the characteristics of the wines. «A space intended for aging has been created inside the cellar. Here the wines rest in precious French oak barrels, for a period ranging from six to twelve months, before being placed in the bottle for a further refinement. Then, when they have reached the desired balance of taste and smell, the wines will be proposed on both Italian and foreign markets, in Europe and Canada, for delighting even the most demanding and refined customers».
In this wonderful setting, inserted in the path of the ‘Strada del vino e dei sapori del Brutium’, Spadafora wines are not produced by chance. They are the result of nature - earth first, and then the heady sun in the daytime, refreshing cool in the evening, dew at night, and breezes in the morning - combined with man's passion, culture, and tenacity.
The classics wines
Novello Donnici - DOC is a pleasant wine, soft and elegant, characterized by an intense red colour with violet reflections; an intense and persistent flavour, with evident notes of berries, especially raspberry and black currant. It goes very well with a cut of meats and not very mature cheeses; it is excellent with roasted chestnuts.
Libeccio is a fresh, lively white wine, with good tastiness, balanced, with fairly intense and persistent floral scent, a delicate hint of pineapple on a background of yellow flowers; it is excellent as an aperitif and goes well with simple courses of sea cuisine, such as grilled cuttlefishes or anchovies marinated in lemon.
Scirocco rosato is a red wine with ruby reflections tending to purple, fresh, lively and balanced.
Maestrale rosso is characterized by a deep ruby red colour with violet reflections; it is fresh, pleasant, soft, rightly tannic, intense, with hints of blackberries and currants.
Montecristo and Pian del Lago are two wines which express their land, because they are vinified exclusively by using such autochthonous grapes as Magliocco, Greco, and Malvasia.
Monamour rosa is a sparkling fresh and pleasant rosé wine. It is characterized by never intrusive bubbles, dry and delicate taste. Monamour bianco is pleasant, with just perceivable floral notes, and characterized by dry and delicate taste.
Domus rosa sparkling wine and Domus bianco sparkling wine are fresh, welcoming, pleasant, dry on average and lively.
Solarys is a passito wine from late harvest. It is intense and persistent, with hints of apricot jam and dried figs, sweet, warm and enveloping, elegant and fine. It is a ‘conversation’ wine, which must be tasted with typical regional sweets.
Aqua di Donnici is a distilled from grape marc, transparent and crystalline. Its flavour is intense and persistent, with aroma of red berries, wide and complex bouquet, spicy hints of currants and blueberries. Its taste is warm and enveloping, soft and velvety as time goes by, elegant and fine.