Our next stop was Basilisco, a winery at the foot of Vulture. This, in contrast to Cantine del Notaio, is a small winery with 25 hectares of land and an annual production of 40,000 bottles. It is a one-woman operation and Viviana makes it look effortless.
She guided us into her vineyards to show us the vines, olive trees and stratifications of this rich volcanic soil. All of her vines are original, that is, none were affected by phylloxera as it is believed the insect couldn’t penetrate the volcanic soil. Some of the vines are as old as 85 yrs and have roots that are 6 metres deep. The rain chased us back to Basilisco’s production site where Viviana treated us to a tasting of her 3 wines paired with a fantastic homemade lunch prepared by Maria, who works for Viviana at harvest time. We ate in the cellar and the atmosphere couldn’t have been better.
It was pouring outside and while we could certainly feel the humidity, the warmth of this reception made us forget about the weather. The first wine we sampled was Sophia – a white blend of Fiano and Traminer. The next two reds we tried were both 100% Aglianico but from two different vintages Basilisco 2009 and Teodosio 2011. All of these wines were lovely pairings for the local delicacies we were offered – orecchiette with tomato sauce, frittata, local salamis, mozzarella, and crunchy fried dried red peppers. We took our delicious lemon cake dessert to go as we were in a hurry to get to our next stop – Matera, the ancient city of stone.