Guastaferro is located at Taurasi, the home to the red grape Aglianico in Campania, South Italy. The story of the winery is a classical Italian family story – The son Raffaele takes over his father’s vineyard, where grapes are grown for big Taurasi houses such as Feudi di San Gregorio and Mastroberardino (remember their legendary 1968 Reserva!), to establish the family’s own name.
What really makes Guastaferro stand out is their 2.5 hectares holding of pre-phylloxera old vine of 175-200 years old, and the rest of their vines are also grafting of these pre-phylloxera vines.
Why such old vine survive in Guastaferro’s vineyard? The pre-phylloxera vineyards are mainly located in Contrada Piano d’Angelo, covered by the volcanic ash sand. This volcanic soil provides great shelter for the vines during the phylloxera time, because the louse cannot survive in the dry volcanic soil. The Guastaferro family also takes great care of their vines by keeping the traditional “tennecchia” training system, a system that the Celts brought to south Italy. The vines are trained together with tree (or a column) to over average human height. This system gives the vines strong support for less humidity and fresh air. (see picture below)
This treasure from the past allows the world to have a taste of ancient winemaking, and makes the family now one of the leading boutique Aglianico producers. It has became almost a fashion to relate least known wine region to the famous one, and quite many of these fall into cliché. However, there are sheer similarities between Taurasi and Barolo as both are producing wine with intense, polished and continuous tannin. Taurasi, as a region, is known by many as “Barolo of the South”.