Corinth, Nerello Mascalese, Nocera
Manfredi Franco has a background as a lawyer, which obviously isn’t the most straightforward path to becoming a winemaker. Nevertheless, he has always had an enormous passion for food and wine. A passion that was further nourished during his studies in Rome and later in Milan, where Manfredi was a frequent guest at restaurants and got to know the owners and sommeliers. In 2019, this was even noticed by Guida dell’Espresso, a major Italian restaurant guide, as he was awarded the Best Customer of the Year Award. According to Manfredi he was also drinking and eating “a lot and well” during that time.
Manfredi originally comes from Marsala on the west coast of Sicily, where he has returned to make wine inspired by tasting his way through Rome and Milan. At the same time, Vincenzo Angileri from Viteadovest in Marsala has been a great inspiration and even a turning point in his life. Every summer during his studies, Manfredi came back to the island to study and explore the world of wine under the guidance of Vincenzo Angileri. In 2020, Manfredi could release his first vintage from vineyards around Marsala, which today consist of a modest 1.5 hectares with 20-25-year-old vineyards of Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto, Nerello Mascalese, Nocera and Corinth. Work is done by hand according to tradition and with minimal intervention.
In the cellar, Manfredi also has a natural approach and works with spontaneous fermentation, natural yeasts and only a little added sulphur before bottling to stabilize the wine. Production is quite modest at only around 3000 bottles, but the aim is to increase production gradually so that the project can become viable in the long term.
Manfredi Franco wants to make honest wines that express the soil of Marsala and its special characteristics. His white wine is quite rich yet elegant allowing the different grape varieties to stand out together with their terroir. His reds are a step away from the full-bodied and alcoholic wines that are found across the island and a step towards a more juicy and fruity expression, yet with quite a bit of tannins.
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