Adega do Vulcão
Faial & Pico, Azores, Portugal
Wines with volcanic soul and Atlantic purity
Gianni Mancassola and Cinzia Caiazzo fell in love with the Azores’ extreme landscape and embarked on a journey of fascinating discovery. With the Atlantic archipelago as their new home, they started different projects born out of their connection with the islands’ soul – one of which is Adega do Vulcão. The purity and character of the Vulcão wines is testimony to the deep relationship with this unique volcanic terroir.
Location: Faial & Pico, Azores, Portugal
Working with us since: 2020
Interesting fact: Another one of the couple’s projects is Aqua dos Açores, a boutique perfume range with the same ethos as Adega do Vulcão, taking inspiration from the Azorean landscape and with a focus on sustainability. With a faithful following in multiple countries, the perfumes and home fragrances created by Cinzia are an olfactory journey to the heart of the Atlantic – just like the Adega do Vulcão wines.
Adega do Vulcão’s wines
There’s a main, and distinct driver to the wines of Adega do Vulcão: their precise minerality and texture. The reason behind this is all in the project’s name: Adega do Vulcão – the Winery of the Volcano.
It was on a quest to rediscover and make the most of the untapped potential of the Azores’ volcanic terroir – and little-known winemaking history – that Florentine couple Gianni Mancassola and Cinzia Caiazzo started the project in partnership with friend, and renowned Italian winemaker, Alberto Antonini.
Cinzia and Gianni’s fascination with the Azores happened by chance, in 2008, while on holiday on the islands. They would soon decide this was to be their new home, one to nurture new desires and projects in tandem with the local, extreme, landscape. One of such projects is Adega do Vulcão.
The winery’s inception involved a mission to stitch together over a hundred tiny plots of land spread across the volcanic ash bed left behind when Vulcão do Capelinhos erupted in 1957-58 on the Faial island. The patchwork of plots, abandoned by its multiple previous owners, was thoroughly recovered, replanted and is now producing wines that have gained wide recognition from critics and sommeliers worldwide. The land where the ash from the eruptions was deposited 64 years ago is characterised by a unique mineral composition, excellent drainage and balanced microclimate.
Across the strait of Faial, on the island of Pico, the team also sources fruit from three hectares of old vines in Lajido da Criação Velha. These old vineyards are in the heart of the World Heritage site, planted along the cracks of the lava crust (‘lajido’) and sheltered by an intricate system of basalt stone walls that protects them from the ocean winds. With natural very low yields, these vines deliver fruit of incredible quality and concentration.
The key to the project is to let these powerful terroirs express themselves, through minimal intervention winemaking and relentless work in the vineyards. A goal they’ve undoubtedly achieved.