Over the past few months, I’ve had the luck to meet two of the more interesting and traditional winemakers in the Cinque Terre: Walter de Batté and Luciano Capellini. In many ways, they each exemplify what it is that we at Voyager are trying to bring to our clients: a taste of the genuine and passion for this territory.
It is only through passion that you can undertake winemaking in the Cinque Terre. The land is unforgiving, hard, and steep, your vines subject to crumbling walls and rampaging boars, your output so small that while you can make a living out of it, you’ll never make a fortune.
Both of these vintners have winemaking in their blood, their vineyards running back generations in their families. But that doesn’t mean that it all was handed to them on a silver platter. Like with so many other families, over time, lands fell into disarray, sons and daughters chose to pursue careers other than farming. And so the loving work of recuperating lost lands, lost traditions (like de Battè’s insistence on following the original Mediterranean practice of letting the juice sit on the skins) and lost ways is a big part of what they do.
And the final products? Wonderful. The two labels are very different, each winemaker following his own inspiration, processes, and tastes to produce high-quality wines that remain memorable. And even more memorable is the experience of drinking them with their makers on one of our tours while visiting the Mediterranean gems of Riomaggiore and Volastra.