The owner of the prestigious Palari is Salvatore Geraci. Salvatore is a passionate winemaker who produces a limited number of bottles in Eastern Sicily. He has rediscovered the ancient Faro wine of the Sicilian tradition and is known as an iconic winemaker. His philosophy is to make wines of the highest quality that represent the essence of Sicily with the allure of Burgundy wines. Located in the smaller Faro DOC, Palari extends for about 7 hectares on the hills above the Strait of Messina. The Palari domain is the best known name within the miniscule DOC Faro, which contains only 21 hectares of vineyards spread over 17 domains in the northern tip of Sicily, near Messina. In 1985, Salvatore Geraci, owner of Azienda Agricola Palari, bought a number of vineyards with the ambition to put the name of Faro on the list of great Italian wines and it is he who single-handedly made Faro an official Appelation again The domain extends over 6 hectares and also features 1.5 hectares in the DOC Faro. The rest falls under the new DOC Sicilia.
The vineyards are located high (600 meters above sea level) are stone terraces with steep slopes - the linear distance from the sea is 1.5 km. Terroir is seaside and the soil is mainly made of limestone with clay - the land is guided naturally from the beginning. The harvest is completely manual with a bizarrely low yield of less than 30 ql / ha.
The Palari wines from Faro are three red wines of which the main grape is always the Nerello Mascalese with a blend with other indigenous grapes. Blend for Palari top wines and the bestseller the Soprano is the same, but grapes are from different plots and have different ripening periods. Wines are organic, not certified and yeasts are indigenous. Minimal sulphite and no filtration. All wines are permanently awarded with Tre Bicchieri, Cinque Grappoli and internationally ranked 90+ by Robert Parker.
In addition to the Faro DOC, Palari also has a winery located on the flanks of Mount Etna located in the classic area between Passopisciaro and Solicchiata and extends over approximately (only) 2 hectares. Terroir is volcanic and the soil consists mainly of pozzolan, ash and clay. The vineyards are located at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and are naturally managed from the start. The 80-year-old vines are harvested manually and again the yield is very low at less than 30 ql/ha. The Enat wines are two Rocca Coeli (red and white), both made from indigenous grape varieties. Wines are organic, not certified and yeasts are indigenous. Minimal sulphite and no filtration.
The wines of Palari belong to the absolute top of Sicily. In all cases we work organically. The vines are planted separately (i.e. non-guided) on the very steep slopes. Yields are low and everything is done manually. Modern techniques and the very best French oak barrels are used in the cellar, although less new wood has been used in recent years to allow the fruit to speak as much as possible.
There is no rush at Palari and everything takes its time. The top models often remain on the domain for 5-6 years before they become available (in dribs and drabs) and without exception the wines can age very nicely.
Review: Wine Advocate - Parker
Date: 30 April 2014
Author: Monica Larner
Salvatore Geraci makes one of the icon wines of southern Italy: Faro Palari. An architect by training, this charismatic Sicilian from Messina approaches every detail with extreme precision, from the health of each of his vines to the ambitious restoration of his family manor into a modern winery and tasting room. The magic of his wine, however, is his vineyard. Running late after a long day of appointments, I had the chance to visit his property after nightfall – a fact for which Salvatore has probably not forgiven me. Despite the blackness around us, I cannot exaggerate the beauty of this place. Salvatore’s vineyards (and much of the Faro appellation) remain perched on impossibly steep terraces that look over the Straits of Messina straight into Reggio di Calabria and mainland Italy. We reached his vineyard by Jeep, traveling up a dirt path more appropriate for mountain sheep than motorized vehicle. Using his cell phone to cast an eerie blue light, Salvatore shows me the thick, knotted trunks of his ancient head-pruned vines. The lights of the Italian mainland shimmer in the near distance and muffled horns can be heard from the busy maritime traffic that channels through the Straits. Since the time of the ancients, this thin watery passage – with its dangerous currents and riptides – has sparked both fascination and fear. The legend of the Fata Morgana, a mysterious mirage said to disorient even the most experienced seamen, is born here. The rocky northern corner of Sicily hovers so close to the southern tip of Calabria creating unpredictable wind tunnels and suction. Nothing is subtle about these surroundings. Everything is extreme.