Cantine Viola – Moscato di Saracena #164

Via Roma, 18, 87010 Saracena CS

Special place in the world

Nestled at the base of the Pollino massif, which spans Calabria and Puglia, lies Saracena. This serene haven, untouched by tourism, beckons you to unwind and contemplate life’s mysteries. And what better companion for philosophical musings than a glass of Moscato Passito di Saracena? Saracena remains largely undiscovered by wine critics, yet it holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the world’s unique wine, Moscato Passito di Saracena. In 1999, driven by his passion for nature and agriculture, Luigi Viola embarked on a mission to reintroduce Moscato di Saracena to the wider public. He couldn’t bear to see this renowned nectar, once served at papal meals in the 16th century, fall into obscurity. Moreover, the decline in winemaking had led to economic hardship in the mountain town, prompting many young people to leave in search of work. Since then, Luigi and his entire family – his wife Marguerite and their three sons, Roberto, Alessandro, and Claudio – have been dedicated to reviving the local Moscato tradition. It’s no surprise that this exquisite wine, supplied to the Pope’s court for centuries, holds a special place in the world of wine enthusiasts.

Renowned Passito

Today, Moscato Passito di Saracena has its own “Papa”. However, Luigi Viola’s fervor not only saved this exquisite meditation wine from extinction but also safeguarded the unique winemaking process that sets it apart from other dessert wines worldwide. Today, the Viola family continues to uphold this legacy, producing Moscato Passito di Saracena with unparalleled sophistication, balance, and a distinctly southern bouquet. Moreover, ethnographer Norman Douglas documented in his 1915 book “Old Calabria” the thriving city of Saracena, renowned for its Moscato wine, crafted from grapes brought centuries ago from Masqat.

Cantine Viola not only wine…

Cantine Viola’s vineyards, situated in Saracena within the Rinni region at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level, adhere to the Bioagricert organic certification standards. Covering 2 hectares, these vineyards are dedicated to cultivating the renowned Moscato di Saracena. The winery annually produces 10 thousand bottles of 0.5 liters of this exquisite wine. In addition to Moscato Passito, the winery offers a diverse collection of wines, including the Rosso Viola rose wine, the Bianco Margherita white wine, and grappa crafted from the same grapes used for Moscato Passito di Saracena. Intriguingly, the younger generation of the Viola family has established a brewery on a lower floor of the winery, crafting unique beer using oilcake derived from the production of Moscato Passito di Saracena.

Savoring the Flavors: Wine Tasting and Gastronomy

Visitors can arrange vineyard tours and wine tastings at Cantine Viola by pre-booking through the website’s contact information. These tastings are paired with meticulously selected local and national delicacies of the utmost quality and authenticity, including cheeses, cured meats, traditional desserts, and more.

Moscato Passito di Saracena – unique technology

Now thanks to the dedication of the Viola family, Moscato di Saracena not only avoided extinction but also preserved its unique winemaking process, distinguishing it among the world’s dessert wines. Indulging in the world’s unique sweet wine, Moscato di Saracena, crafted with remarkably sophisticated techniques and boasting a perfect balance and luxurious, authentically southern aroma, is truly a remarkable experience. The production process of Moscato Passito di Saracena wine at Cantine Viola is steeped in tradition, passed down from generation to generation. The wine is made from a blend of four grape varieties, all hand-harvested. The production process involves two main steps. First, a mixture of Guarnaccia Bianca and Malvasia grapes, harvested in early October, undergoes manual pressing to extract the grape must. This must be then boiled down to one-third of its original volume and cooled. The second part of the yield comes from Moscato di Saracena and a small percentage of Addruocca grapes, harvested in September. These grapes are partially dried, manually selected, deseeded, and pressed. The resulting must is combined with the first part and fermented slowly in stainless steel tanks for seven months using local yeast. After fermentation, the wine is bottled and aged for an additional six months according to traditional winemaking practices dating back to the 16th century. This wine has excellent aging potential, ranging from 10 to 20 years.