A number of years ago, Salvo’s love of the grapes and soils of Etna, in particular, led him to initiate a project called I Vigneri. It takes its name from an association that existed in the Etna region in 1435, Maestranzi dei Vigneri, an association of vineyard workers that greatly influenced the wine culture of the Etna region. Today, I Vigneri is an association between Salvo Foti, other vine experts and local grape growers who bring their long experience among the particular vines of Etna to their work in the vineyard and cellar.
The vines for the red wine, Vinupetra, are concentrated at 700 meters altitude on the north side of the volcano near the town of Calderara. Here, the climate is more like the north of Italy than Sicily, winters are harsh and cold, the summers are hot and dry and there can be extreme fluctuations between night and day temperatures. The soils are broken or decomposed lava stone of varying depth mixed with sand. Many of the vines are rehabilitated old vines, some over 100 years-old, planted at 10,000 plants per hectare in albarello(goblet) system, the only system Salvo considers for producing great fruit under the climatic conditions of Etna. All of these factors allow for work only by hand or mule in the vineyards.