Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Un Sogno with a View - Le Vigne Di Raito, Raito (Sa)

The rain had stopped just long enough that Sunday morning for me to take a quick walk with Patrizia Malanga through her vineyards.  Vineyards with a breathtaking view of Raito, Vietri and Salerno.  It was hard to imagine that this little angle of paradise was practically abandoned a little over 11 years ago. Maybe it was the view, her drive and determination, or love of a challenge that led Malanga to purchase this property, plant vineyards, and make wine.

But which vines?  Which wines?  Well, it's the Amalfi Coast.  One might think this would be the best spot for rows and rows of whites like Falanghina or Biancolella.  The perfect wine to sip alongside a plate of linguine and clams or even grilled fish.  Maybe.  But Malanga decided to go in another direction.  She went for the reds...Aglianico and Piedirosso.

It all sounds so romantic.  Buy a few acres.  Plant some vines.  Make some wine.  But walking through her property, just as the wind kicked up, I could only imagine what a major uphill battle that was.    Uprooting plants/vines that she didn't want or need...fighting to conserve the lemon trees that she wanted.  Not having any experience in winemaking, but drive and determination she began working with wine maker Fortunato Sebastiano (Vignaviva) and as of 2009,  Gennaro Reale.

Malagna has only produced three vintages of her one and only wine Ragis, 80% Aglianico and 20 % Piedirosso,  The first vintage being her 2007.  Twelve months in wooden casks.  Another 12 months the bottle.  The same for the following vintages...she along with  Reale experimenting with different wood...looking for that right combination.

Malagna continued her story as we both watched the skies.  That sunlight that had met me earlier at the gate at the bottom of the hill had disappeared.  Skies were now grey.  Wind was picking up a little.  I didn't mind.  I was enjoying the view.  To my far left, at the foot of her property, Raito's Ceramic Museum located in Villa Guariglia. A perfect beginning her latest undertaking...  a different kind of winery tour.  One that allows the enotourist to learn about the areas rich artistic history, walk through the vineyards, and sit down to a wine tasting with lunch. And if that isn't enough, a ceramic lesson at a friend's studio on the other side of her vineyard.
We continued our quick walk...
through her property ....splattered with nature, wrapped around upcoming renovation projects...
more amazing views...

...the sun joined us again.

Joined us as we reached Malagna's wine tasting  terrace.  Where she culminates her winery tour with a wine tasting, a lunch, a little conversation. A chance to try the latest vintage, Ragis 2009, continue with the 2008, and end with a 2007.  Appreciate how each vintage is different, speaks for itself.  Enjoy each glass over typical appetizers and pasta dishes of the region.
Like the 2009, the vintage that has many people talking.  Understandably.  An excellent example of how Aglianico and Piedirosso can compliment each other in the glass...at the table.  Intense enough to hold it's own with a plate of Neapolitan ragu, but smooth enough to pair with a simple dish of bean soup and a drizzle of olive oil....just a drizzle.
Not the downpour that was on its way, reminding me that it was time to go.  At the same time inviting me to return for another visit.  When it wasn't so windy.  Wasn't so wet.  When I could stroll though the vineyards instead of take a quick walk.  When I could visit the ceramic museum or even try my hand at painting my own creation.

But most importantly, when I could see down for a vera degustazione with Patrizia over a plate of pasta that she has prepared for me herself....

Le Vigne Di Raito

  • Via San Vito 9 Raito
  • 84019 Vietri sul Mare(Sa)

Italian Version

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