Welcome back to the “Our Italians” series of interviews. In these, we focus on food artisans, experts, and producers in Italy or abroad. These passionate individuals are committed to sharing the best in Italian food, wine, and traditional products, through family-owned businesses and small scale enterprises, and we’re here to introduce them to you. Today we introduce you to Giuseppe Vaccaro, third-generation grower at Case Alte, a vineyard located in Camporeale, just outside of Palermo in Sicily.
Camporeale is a small town of about 4000 inhabitants, located in the Val di Mazara. It is situated between the two provinces of Palermo and Trapani, which fought over the fertile territory for about 150 years. The local economy here is closely-linked to agriculture and the production of its main products: wheat, olive oil, and wine. At Casa Mia, we love discovering new producers and meeting them face-to-face to share their stories. We are always excited about the younger generation who are following their family’s footsteps and bringing a fresh modern approach to their businesses. Entrer Giuseppe Vaccaro.
Casa Mia: Where are you located?
Giuseppe Vaccaro: We are in Contrada Macellarotto, Camporeale, in the province of Palermo, Sicily.
CM: Tell us a little bit about the territory in Camporeale
GV: Our vineyards are in a very hilly area, at about 500 meters above sea level. The land has sandy soil with very fine gravel that cannot retain too much water.
Tell us about the team and history of Case Alte
It all began with my grandfather, Giuseppe Vaccaro, a man of great experience — deeply in love with his land. In the 1950’s, Giuseppe realized there the territory had great potential. He decided to start making wine in his small shop using the grapes from his estate. With the help of his son Calogero, they undertook the cultivation of Catarratto, Grillo, Syrah and Nero d’Avola, using only organic farming processes. In 2010, encouraged by my interest, I began working side by side with my father, Calogero. We invested in the construction of a small cellar, and began producing our own wines that express our love for the land and pride in our own very special vineyards.
Which wines do you produce?
Currently, Case Alte focuses on four labels. We vinify single-varietal wines using only Catarratto, Grillo, Nero d’Avola and Syrah grapes.
What changes have you seen over the past 3 years?
Surely we have grown with our experience in the cellar in the recent years. This gives us the opportunity to improve the quality of our wines. We are shifting our attention towards more sustainable and artisanal winemaking practices.
What’s in store for the future of Case Alte?
We intend to maintain Case Alte as a family-run company. While continuing to improve the quality of our wines, our focus will always be on maintaining the craftsmanship of our production.
Any advice for young winemakers?
I recommend going in search of traditions and discovering how to bring value and enhance your land in a modern way.