Bonavita

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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Faro, Sicily
People: Giovanni Scarfone, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Bonavita 2020 Rosato, Terre Siciliane IGP Login AG 92 In Stock
Bonavita 2017 Rosso, Faro DOC Login AG 92 In Stock

Northeast of Mt. Etna, towards the Strait of Messina, is a wine region called Faro. There are currently (as of 2014) only five wine producers in Faro. Giovanni Scarfone is the winemaker and owner of Bonavita. Bonavita's vineyard parcels are located on the family's small, organic farm, which sits on top a large hill above the town Faro. Wind influence from the Strait of Messina protects the grapes during the summer heat. The oldest estate vines are 80 years old, and the youngest are 10 years old. The farm has been in the Scarfone family for generations. Today, Giovanni tends to the vineyards, the chickens, and the other vegetables on the farm.

Lower down on the hill is Giovanni's wine cellar: the garage of his parent's home. 2006 was his first commercial vintage for Bonavita. Until then, only the family consumed the wine produced at Bonavita.

Faro is similar to Etna Rosso in that both appellations contain Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio, and both are in north-eastern Sicily. Faro is different from Etna in that it also contains the grape Nocera, for added acidity; it is grown at lower altitude, 800 feet above sea level compared with as much as 2,600 feet or more for Etna; and the soil is limestone and clay, rather than the granular lava of Etna.

Social Media
Bonavita Facebook
Instagram: @bonavitafaro

Vinous 9/2017
"The Faro denominazione sits in one of Sicily’s prettiest countryside, located at the extreme north-eastern tip of Sicily separated from Calabria and the Italian mainland by the Messina strait. If Faro and its wines are starting to garner interest, a lot of the merit must go to small quality estates like this one. Bonavita is run by Giovanni Scarfone and his father Carmelo, with the aid of consultant Vincenzo Angileri. Bonavita’s north-exposed vineyards look out towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, differently from Le Casematte and other Faro estates that look towards the Ionian sea and whose vineyards have mainly south/southeastern exposures. At Bonavita, there is a mix of mainly sandy tufa or clay-calcareous soils, and the area is quite rainy and very windy compared to other parts of Sicily. Bonavita owns 2.5 hectares planted to Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Nocera."


Vinous 12/2016
"I can’t say enough good things about this young estate and its wines (the first vintage dates back only to 2006). The estate is located in Faro Superiore near Messina and run by the talented Giovanni Scarfone, a trained viticulturist; it is only six hectares large (two-and-a-half planted with grapevines, at roughly 250-300 meters above sea level; one vineyard of 60-plus-year-old vines was owned by Giovanni’s grandfather). Both the Rosato and the Rosso are simply outstanding, gorgeous wines (blends of Nerello Mascalese, mainly, with Nerello Cappuccio and a little Nocera), characterized by an extreme purity of fruit, vibrant acidities and uncommon levels of precision and focus. Bonavita is absolutely a name to watch."


Vinous 11/2015
"One of the most exciting new wineries to emerge in Italy in some time, the Bonavita estate makes outstanding wines of noteworthy purity and precision. Owner Giovanni Scarfone organically farms a few hectares in Faro Superiore right above Messina in Sicily's extreme northeast. Given the small volumes made, finding these wines isn't always easy but is well worth the search."


Jancis Robinson 5/2012
"Bonavita’s small holdings have been in the Scarfone family for more than 100 years, first supplying domestic needs, until Giovanni, after studying agriculture in Bologna, decided it was time to go home. He converted the vineyards into organics but he told me that his father and his grandfather never used any chemicals anyway. The yields he gets from the vines are so little, some 29 hl/ha in total, it made me wonder aloud if this volume is economically viable at all, which Scarfone answers with a boyish smirk. Scarfone vinifies the wine in the cellar underneath his house. The whitewashed space is just large enough to hold a couple of small stainless-steel tanks, and he ages the wine in small used oak barrels, which have found a home half a level lower than the stainless-steel tanks and are accessible only by climbing through a small hole. A true garagiste, if ever there was one."

Reviews

  • Bonavita 2020 Rosato, Terre Siciliane IGP
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (6/3/2021)

    The bright, translucent cherry color of Bonavita's Rosato is always the first thing to stand out, and the 2020 is no different. Yet what comes next seals the deal, as an absolutely stunning bouquet emerges, mixing spritzes of lime and tangerine with mint leaf, crushed stone and flowery undergrowth. This impresses further with silk textures that flesh out across the palate, pliant and packed full of ripe berry and melon tones, yet the impression isn't one of sweetness, as savory herbs come forward toward the close. It's persistent, staining the senses with purple-tinged florals, licorice and hints of hard red candies, but also remarkably fresh and teeming with energy. This blend of Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Nocera is easily one of the top Rosato of the 2020 vintage.
  • Bonavita 2017 Rosso, Faro DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (6/10/2021)

    The 2017 Faro is spicy and perfumed, the violet and rose tones giving way to peppery herbs, earthy minerals and musky black cherry. Its fleshy and enveloping textures are well balanced by zesty acids, as waves of tart wild berries and sour citrus wash across the palate, leaving a tactile mix of minerals and grippy tannins in their wake. This tapers off lightly structured and with a pretty inner sweetness, resonating on a vivid note of salted black licorice. In a word, spellbinding.