Fabio Ferracane is a Sicilian winemaker from Marsala who travelled the world before moving back to his land. His wine is natural: ‘authenticity’ is the key of his success, and everybody can find it in each bottle. He cultivates many different grape varieties such as Catarratto, Grillo, Nero d’Avola and Merlot, these vineyards are kissed by the ocean breeze and the view is on the Aegadian Islands. Sicilian Secrets interviewed him for you.
It was thanks to my enology studies that I realized that true wine is not chemistry but territory.
Q: How did you begin your activity?
A: Everything started thanks to my father. When I was a child, I used to follow him, I remember when he said that he wanted to drink only his homemade wine. Both viticulture and enology have been the pillars of my family, I got closer step by step. I studied in Italy, then went abroad and finally, was back to Sicily.
Q: Before to move back to Marsala you lived abroad, what did you learn from this experience?
A: Since when I was a kid, I had a dream: Australia. I was fascinated by the idea to discover a new world. So, I decided to do a personal and professional experience. In 2010 I graduated but even before to complete my studied I had started to apply for some jobs. They called me for an interview, it went well and they made me an offer, actually I had to finish my final project but decided to leave it incomplete, quickly get my degree and go to Australia. I spent there almost a year and became the right-hand man of the enologist. In Australia they don’t produce so much natural wine, but it was an opportunity to understand what happens in our industry. I think that it’s important to look around and not only straight.
Q: …and then you decided to believe in the potential of Sicily.
A: In 2012, thanks to what I had earned in Australia and the input I had had managing a small company, I said to myself ‘why can’t I do it what I did in Australia in my vineyards?’. I wanted to produce some wine from my grapevines, the wine of Fabio Ferracane. Even if I started this adventure in a year of crisis with only 2,896 bottles, today I reached 16,000 bottles.
Q: Which are the characteristics of your wines?
A: Territoriality, for me wine means territory. What you find in your glass is the territory of Marsala. Wines have a salt and mineral character…many people say you can taste the sea! Salt touches your palate.
Q: How do you tell Sicily through your products?
A: When someone tastes my wine, the best experience is the view you can enjoy from Marsala. You can feel the flavor of salt pans, it’s a tale about sun of Sicily, salt and calcareous territory. In the glass there are my origins. Grapes belong to us and we completely take care of the product. When a tourist comes here, I always say that in this wine there’s our climate, our history.
Q: Fabio Ferracane means natural wine, what about this choice?
A: Our vineyard need that we continuously move the soil, otherwise the heat kills the plants. The idea to produce natural wine began because my dad used to produce some wine for our family, and I decided to go on with this tradition. Even if I’m an enologist, first of all I produce wine because I have to like it so without any treatment. I’m following the original thought of my dad but with some extra care: I select the best grapes and then make wine.
Q: Traditional job and web: what does it mean for you to be part of a digital platform dedicated to natural wine like Italian Winery Experience?
A: To be on Italian Winery Experience is fundamental because it gives the opportunity to show outside many sides our company and also to explain the philosophy of the winemaker. People can understand what we are doing, no Photoshop just reality, from how we work in the vineyard to wine tasting. We cannot avoid being part of the web! Before lockdown I wasn’t so interested in social media, then I realized that we need them, so we use them to communicate our identity.