Winery to Watch 2016

Italy: Girolamo Russo

Giuseppe Russo left a career as a pianist and music teacher in 2005 to take over his family’s Passopisciaro estate after his father’s death. Russo began bottling under the family name in 2006, and farms his 37 acres organically, including alberello-trained vines in the Feudo di Mezzo plot that are up to 100 years old. He culls fruit from several vineyards for ’a Rina, a fresh and vibrant Etna Rosso, and he ages his single-cru wines from the Feudo di Mezzo, Feudo and San Lorenzo vineyards in used barriques and tonneaux to showcase nerello mascalese’s delicate red berry flavors. Russo has increased his production ten-fold since 2006, to 60,000 bottles a year, and recently planted five acres of carricante that will go into Nerina, a white wine named for his mother.