It’s with these words “A star is born” that Vinous has blessed the very first vintage of Calogero Statella’s very own estate, Famiglia Statella. It’s a very enthusiastic confirmation of everything we already thought about Cal, as he is known amongst his friends. The easiest way to connect Cal to greatness is to let you know that he’s been the winemaker at Terre Nere since 2007. But if a decade of experience at this pioneering estate on Etna that led the charge to bring attention to the incredible potential of Nerello Mascalese isn’t enough to convince you of Cal’s winemaking acumen, there are a few other things you should know.
Cal established himself as a brilliant student at the prestigious enology school in San Michele all’Adige, and then went on to the University of Milan to study viticulture. Under the tutelage of Attilio Scienza, the head of the department and the foremost expert on viticulture, Cal wrote his thesis and graduated at the top of his class in 2001. The Italian wine giant Mezzacorona immediately plucked up Cal after graduation—but that wasn’t before he had spent a harvest working for a man who became one of his closest friends and confidants, Elio Altare. It was his internship with Altare in 2000 that introduced Cal to not only Marco de Grazia, for whom he would eventually work, but also to his next great passion: the wines and vignerons of the Cote d’Or, where he travels at least once a year to taste and meet with winemaking friends. In 2007, after working for Mezzacorona to oversee their Sicilian operation, Feudo Arancio (production of 20 million bottles per year!), Cal left to work for Marco at Terre Nere. A happier marriage has never been seen! With Cal’s help, the already high quality of Terre Nere went soaring, and after nearly a decade of crafting wines with Marco de Grazia, Calogero was able to realize his dream of having his own vineyard.
Pettinocciarelle is located in the Solicchiata township at 765 meters above sea level with a soil that is often compared to the Guardiola cru: it’s quite sandy, so the aromatics of Cal’s wines are really off the charts. The vines are 15 years old, and have always been farmed organically, so from the very first vintage the wine carries the label “MADE WITH ORGANIC GRAPES.” Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled stainless steel, and the maceration time is 12 days, after which the wine is racked into 500-liter oak casks of second and third use (none of it new) for ten months. It’s a rare thing to hit the jackpot in your very first vintage, but Cal really did. This is quality that must be experienced to be believed, and we encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. The first vintage of the Pettinociarelle cru only made 4,000 bottles, and it’s not to be missed!