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Antonio Ferrari

1959 is recorded as the hottest year of the century in Puglia, not the typical conditions that allow for greatness in winemaking. However, it was a Piemonte negociant who had the foresight to create Puglia’s crowning sweet wine. Antonio Ferrari developed a passion for Puglia’s land, its unique Primitivo varietal, and the local farmers while investing in a cellar before heading back to the hills of Piemonte. However, his heart remained in the South and looked to create a wine from this soil.

With the advanced state of the overripe grapes of 1959 dehydrating on the vines, Ferrari had the Primitivo grapes trucked up to his Piemonte vinification center. At the time he had calculated the potential alcohol content to be 21% and expected to create a historically big, high alcohol wine. He had the print shops develop the labels with the estimated alcohol content and began to prepare his distribution. However, during a rapid temperature change in the cool hills of Novara, fermentation stopped at about 14%, leaving residual sugar and a sweetness to the wines. Realizing what had happened and envisioning the wine’s destiny, he placed the juice for ten years in the best Slovenian casks he could find before leaving it for another 35 years in a cement cask at the Ferrari winery. During this period, Antonio gave only one bottle of this mystical wine away, as he felt the market was not ready for this masterpiece. Over two years ago Antonio passed away and his daughter now looks to complete her father’s journey.

Solaria Jonica lands somewhere between a Recioto and a Port, displaying the lavish opulence of the finest dessert wines. With 45 years of age on it, the wine miraculously still displays a vibrant ruby color and boasts aromas of blackberries and espresso. On the palate, the tell-tale flavors of raisins, chocolate, and licorice are followed by massive concentration and warmth which are matched only by its depth and lush richness. The wine never becomes overly sweet or syrupy and is held in check by its awesome flavors and focus. Prepare your palate for a marathon finish.

Solaria Jonica
Region: Puglia