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I’ll Drink to That: Salvatore Geraci of Palari

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Episode 299 of I’ll Drink to That has been released. It features Salvatore Geraci, proprietor of the Palari winery in Sicily.

Salvatore Geraci recently purchased vineyard property on Etna, as he revealed in this interview, and that brought about a conversation with Geraci comparing the terroir and style of Etna wines with those of Faro. Faro is the zone for the wines from the area around Messina, and it is that zone which Geraci pretty much single handedly saved from extinction as a winemaking area. As on Etna, the Faro wines are largely composed of Nerello Mascalese. But there are clear differences between the wines from these two places, beyond the fact that Etna is quite popular today with many producers and Faro remains a small surface area with few producers. There are differences in the terroir of the places. On Etna the vineyards are on volcanic soil, but in Faro the vineyards are sandy. And the vineyards of Faro are closer to the sea. There is further a difference in elevation. And all of these facets play out in the resulting wines. This is an interesting discussion because as the red wines from Etna have become very popular in the last decade, it is perhaps easy to forget that there is another region of the same island making wines from a similar mix of grapes. In the differences you can determine more of the particulars of each kind of wine. It is also worth remembering that Palari Faro in a very short time achieved a reputation as one of Italy’s best red wines, and from an area that was previously almost completely forgotten. The particular story of how that came about is included in this interview, and it touches on the influence of someone who had a large impact on Italian wine, Luigi Veronelli. If you want to know about some of the iconic wines of Sicily, really you need to listen to this interview.

This episode also includes a Warm Up from Erin about Sicilian wine.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine