Riccardo Fratus and Riccafana
The story of Riccardo Fratus and his cellar
Riccardo Fratus welcomes us in his studio, located right above the cellar where his wine is born. The owner of Riccafana, the organic winery in Franciacorta located at the foot of Monte Orfano, seems an oasis of peace. At his feet he still wears his dirty boots, Riccardo Fratus, has just returned from a tour of his precious vineyards.
Riccardo Fratus, how are your vineyards today?
Well very well. Although last year was particularly difficult, our vines recovered very well. This is the strength of Monte Orfano. A rich and strong land, and a climate that goes well with the vine we grow.
A land that she knows very well.
This is the land where I was born and raised. Riccafana is owned by my family since before I was born. I have always looked with great charm at the estate, the woods and the vineyards perched on the slopes of Monte Orfano.
When did you understand that this land would also become your job?
It’s a long story. I began to get interested in the cellar, which at that time was only intended for a small production, once back from the military. It was the early 90s. My family also owns the Touring a Coccaglio hotel, and I should have gone to work there.
Then what happened?
Then, after a couple of years during which I alternated the work in the hotel with the one in the cellar, I decided to devote myself entirely to what was my greatest passion. Making wine. I communicated my decision to my father, who initially did not take it very well …
What did your father tell you?
I still remember perfectly what he did. It was July 1997, and he sent me to the rows at 6:30 in the morning. He gave me a shovel and hoed me the Riccafana plots, all through the summer. He thought I was leaving, and instead at the end of the season I was more in love with that land than before.
From then on her story began in Riccafana
Yes, from that moment I dedicated myself entirely, body and soul to the cellar. When I started working on it, the production was low, no more than 20,000 beats, designed almost exclusively for the needs of the hotel. Today we are 120,000 bottles and we export all over the world.
Continuous growth. How did he do?
I immediately fell in love with the process and the production of wine. Together with expert wine producers and agronomists, I studied our land, our grapes and our wine. I tried to instill in the bottles that same passion that I have always had for my land.
With her came the turn of the organic
Yes. I understood before it became a fashion, that respect for the land is the key to success. I immediately believed in organic farming and respect for the land as tools to create a quality wine. Many others have come after me. But at the beginning of the 2000s, we were the few who believed and trusted our land.
What is your greatest satisfaction?
My greatest satisfaction is to see the consumer finish the bottle with joy and pleasure. This for me means to have offered a story, a taste and a look at the world to others. My wines are this: they are a continuous dialogue between my land, my passions and people who are lucky enough to know them.
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