Campania (Avellino), Italy
Located in the town of Cesinalli, in the province of Avellino, Campania, I Favati produce sensational Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo, Aglianico and Taurasi. The winery’s origins date back to the early 1900s when the ancestors of the current family began making wines for their own table and to share with close friends. Today, the winery is owned and operated by brothers Piersabino and Giancarlo Favati, and by Rosanna, Giancarlo’s wife. Farming around 16 hectares in some of the choicest plots in the region, at elevations that can exceed 500 metres above sea level, I Favati offer wines with a stunning array of depth and complexity. Combining both traditional sensibilities with modern technology, the aim is to harvest the best fruit at optimal ripeness in order to produce elegant, mineral-driven whites and structured reds that really showcase the depth of which Aglianico is capable. Farming is quite traditional, following organic practices on hilly vineyards with steep slopes of largely clay soils. Almost all work in the vineyards is done by hand and great care is taken to ensure that each parcel is properly tended to.
While they could certainly produce more, I Favati typically bottle between 40,000 and 50,000 wines each year, keeping only the best fruit for their cuvees. Moreover, rather than release wines before they are ready, they hold vintages back for several years until they feel they are appropriate for release. For the reds there is some judicious use of new oak, which is allowed to seamlessly integrate to produce wines of incredible structure, depth and concentration. And as much as they are renowned for their reds, I Favati have developed a reputation for producing some of the most elegant, mineral and concentrated Fiano di Avellino in the appellation.
Overall, I Favati combines the best of traditional and modern techniques. The regular Fiano is sourced from the Pietramara vineyard in Altripalda at over 420 m above sea level. Fermentation takes place at cool temperatures in order to preserve the fine fruit and mineral-laden character for which the grape is so famous. The resultant wine has sensational texture and wild flavours of melon, smoke, and green fruit. In addition to the regular Pietramara, I Favati also produces small selections from vines at the highest points in the vineyard, with the best exposure to the sun. These grapes are then macerated on the skins for as long as 36 hours, aged for several months on their lees and bottled without any filtration. The results are wines of incredible depth, concentration and aging ability. Several vintages are currently available. The reds are equally impressive. The Aglianico is harvested in the first weeks of November, once it has reached perfect ripeness. The production of the Aglianico d’Irpinia I.G.T. and Taurasi DOCG wines begin exactly the same: a selection of the best grapes, then vinification and fermentation in large steel tanks, followed by racking into barrel (a combination of barrique and large casks). After about 12 months of aging, wine destined to become Taurasi continues aging in botti, while the wine assigned to become Aglianico I.G.T. is declassified. It is removed from oak, allowed to soften for around two months in large steel tanks, aged for at least two more months in bottle, and then released for sale.