of the Elena Catalano Estate are located in the municipality of Benevento, on Monte Pino hill, 5 to 6 km from the town centre. The altitude of the vineyards is approximately 400 metres above sea level. The vineyards extend over a single slope for a total of 10 hectares.
The vineyards lie in the hilly area with the layout of rows of vines planned according to the rittochino scheme, which is an agricultural arrangement on sloping land that regulates the flow of water to reduce the risk of erosion and landslides.
The hilly area
of Monte Pino is surrounded by the reliefs of the carbonate masses of the Taburno-Camposauro to the north-west, and the Avella-Partenio in the south-west. This orographic situation has a crucial and decisive role in the microclimatic characteristics of our vineyards. The annual rainfall is around 800 mm, with the rainiest period through the winter months of November to January. The driest period is summer. The average monthly temperature pattern is typical of the hilly areas of the Mediterranean basin with an average of 13-14 degrees Celsius in April, (the coolest month) to 24 degrees Celsius in August (the hottest month).
change from the year 2000, however, is showing a strong rise in the average monthly temperatures compared to the previous twenty years (data from Regione Campania Region Data Source). This phenomenon, associated with the change in the monthly distribution of rainfall, is leading to the so-called “tropicalization” of the area. From the agronomic point of view, the production site in Monte Pino is characterized by the presence of good soil, where the percentage of clay allows it to be well-drained, and it is rich in limestone and minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. All these elements are reflected in the production of our Monte Pino wines, making them unique and of high quality.
Our history begins when Ferdinando Catalano comes back from the United States, after a positive entrepreneurial experience of 10 years, and buys the current estate located in Monte Pino, the largest of the eight hills surrounding the city of Benevento ( Campania ). Since then, our family hands down from generation to generation passion for nature, as well as food and wine, which is reflected in our daily work: in particular in the professionalism and respect for the care of the historic vines of the Sannio-Taburno (namely Aglianico, Falanghina and Coda di Volpe) which made us, for more than a century, producers of high – quality grapes for winemaking in the area. The current generation, which Elena represents, is taking up the challenge of winemaking and bottling at the origin, encouraged by the experience acquired over the years and convinced of being able to boost the territorial expressiveness of its production. Under the guidance of the oenologist Alessio Macchia, the company consultant, we are studying the best winemaking methods to bring out the potentialities of our grapes. Our 2013 harvest marks the birth of the Elena Catalano brand wines.
In this venture, we have promised to treat this small company as an oasis, whose rhythms must be the natural ones dictated by the plants and seasons, and not by the obsession with productivity and earnings. We therefore promise to treat our vineyard as a garden, nurturing healthy plants, without forcing production at the expense of quality. We honour this promise by keeping the production levels below the kilogram-per-plant and maximizing manual work in the vineyard to avoid the use of products that would be harmful to the plants and the surrounding environment. By doing this we want to maintain the perfect equilibrium that nature has given us.
We have also promised not to rush to sell our wine on the market, but to learn from plants and nature to have patience. Instead of launching into a full production right now to maximize revenue, we choose to limit our wine making in order to study and understand our wine, tasting it to appreciate its evolutionary dynamics and its potentialities.
In the last few years, having tasted the wines with our families and in the company of friends, winemakers, sommeliers and winelovers, we can proudly say that we have created a very high quality product, unique in its kind.