See that quincunx, how beautiful it is! What can you observe more graceful?

Marcus Fabius Quintilian, 35-95 AD

The Consortium I Vigneri

In 1435 in Catania, in the shadow of Mt. Etna, the Guild of the Vigneri was founded. This association of winegrowers had the main scope to initiate the new generations to the knowledge of how to grow vines and produce wine around Europe’s highest volcano.

Almost six centuries later, Salvo Foti brings back the association of I Vigneri. Salvo had understood that to make a real Etna wine - and not just a wine produced on Etna – he couldn’t do without the native men of the Muntagna. Around him, Salvo saw how the ancient knowledge was in peril of disappearance with a generation growing older. Hence the intuition to create a group of men with which to revitalize the ancient vineyards on Mt. Etna, men of all ages - just as the vines they take care of - where the old can pass on their gestures and their wisdom to young people.

Because it is through gestures and symbols that the farming culture perpetuates itself through time.

The Vigneri are able to do all the work that needs to be done in the vineyards throughout the year, just as it always had been on Mt. Etna: they crop, plow, plant and graft, repair the dry stone walls which support the rough lava stone terraces. Other than on the strength of their hands, they can only count on the help of Ciccio the mule. Every October they are the main characters of the great feast of vintage on the volcano and, once a year, they bring in an old winery the shares of grapes that are granted to them by the owners of the vineyards to produce their own wine with the same gestures of their predecessors in the early fifteenth century.

Before making wine, treating and cultivating the vines, we must learn to cultivate the men

Six producers, old vineyards, scattered throughout Sicily – from Mt. Etna to the Aeolian Islands and Pantelleria, to Pachino and Caltagirone. They all rely on the work of the Vigneri, under the leadership of Maurizio Pagano and Salvo Foti.

The real stars of the wine world are the growers who with their sacrifices, day after day, learn to understand, interpret and communicate with the vines.

The group is based on respect for the land and the common winemaking philosophy: bush-trained vines, native grape varieties, protection of the environment and respect for mankind.

Today it is not difficult to make a good wine. It is difficult to produce an excellent wine respecting men and the environment

Each of the associated producers maintains their identity, but communicates its adherence to the common philosophy by using the Vigneri bottle for their wines, showing the relief with the symbol of the consortium, the bush vine that has its roots in 1435.

A man, just like a bush vine must always be rooted firmly in the past, in the soil, live the present with a vision for the future, in harmony with all living beings, with our surroundings, with nature, with our Earth, of which we are a part and not the masters.
The members

> I Vigneri di Salvo Foti

> I Custodi delle vigne dell’Etna

> Tenuta di Castellaro

> Daino

> Savino

> Ferrandes

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Excerpt from the Consortium’s bylaws (Italian)

All quotes: Salvo Foti