Volcanic wines are currently a hot topic among wine critics and enthusiasts worldwide, and Paternoster is very much of the moment: it is a volcanic wine in the literal sense of the term and stands on an extinct volcano. Paternoster is located in the relatively unknown southern Italian region of Basilicata, on the slopes surrounding Mount Vulture, and has long been considered one of the region’s most important wineries. Along with neighboring Taurasi in Campania, the area around Mount Vulture is considered one of the top areas for the production of the Aglianico grape – earning it its reputation as the “Barolo of the South” by many leading wine writers.
Don Anselmo, the winery’s founder, learned the art of winemaking from his father and started the winery in 1925, producing the very first bottles of Aglianico del Vulture. This historic winery now has more than 90 harvests under its belt, and has developed a reputation for producing elegant wines with a strong and authentic soul.
The Paternoster estate now encompasses 50 acres of black soil of volcanic origin in different wine-growing districts in the countryside of the small town Barile, including the prestigious crus Don Anselmo and Rotondo. The wines age in traditional Slavonian and French oak casks, where they develop important aromatic notes, color nuances, and complexity. The estate is part of the Tommasi Family Estates collection of wineries; the family has focused on quality production, organic practices, and eco-sustainability.
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Aglianico del Vulture DOC
Don Anselmo is a landmark wine made from 100% Aglianico grapes, the native varietal in Basilicata for which the region is renowned. It is dedicated to the winery's founder, Anselmo Paternoster, and represents the history, roots, and continued importance of the Paternoster family in the area of production of the wines, Vulture. The grapes come from small and particularly old vineyard parcels in Barile, located at 2000 feet above sea level, with naturally low yields (35- 40 quintals per hectare). The soil is volcanic, with a significant levels of lava and ash.
Aglianico del Vulture DOC
In 1997 Paternoster added the name “Synthesi” to what previously had been labeled simply as Aglianico del Vulture; the word synthesi refers to “synthesis” in English, as the wine is made from grapes grown in different sections of the Vulture. Synthesi is an Aglianico intended for drinking young, and is an excellently priced example of what the grape is all about.
Volcanic wines are currently one of the hot topics in the wine world, and the Vulcanico Falanghina is having its moment in the sun. The name “Vulcanico” highlights the fact that the grapes are harvested from vineyards near the base of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano. The Vulcanico combines the freshness, balminess and delicacy of the Falanghina grape with the brightness and generosity that one would expect from a white wine from southern Italy. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks for 10 days and remain in contact with the lees for approximately 5 months.
Wine Advocate - “The 2015 Aglianico del Vulture Don Anselmo sees fruit sourced from a 4.5-hectare single vineyard located at 600 meters above sea level. The wine opens to tangy fruit aromas that are brooding and thick. Background aromas of tar, smoke and cigar ash give the wine dimension and complexity.”
Pierangelo Tommasi is the Executive Director of Tommasi Family Estates. He is one of nine members of the current fourth generation of this historic winemaking family, six of whom run the wine business and two of whom run hospitality. Pierangelo inherited a passion for wine from his father and uncles, who from the time he was a small child took him through the vineyards driving the tractor and to harvest grapes.
As soon as he finished his studies, Pierangelo went to work full-time at the estate. He started his training as a warehouse worker, working his way up in the company to his current position overseeing exports and marketing. Today he is one of the family’s key members, also guiding the business strategy and development of the Tommasi brands. Pierangelo is married with two small children and a pampered golden Labrador; he indulges in his passion, soccer, as both a player and a fan.
November 1, 2018 - A journey through Basilicata region - in southern Italy, to discover the heritage of Paternoster and the soul of Aglianico by the gestures of the best Italian artisans.