Sandro FayLombardia, Italy
The Societa Agricola Fay was founded in 1973 by Sandro Fay who decided to expand the small, family estate’s activities.
Since 1998, Sandro has been aided by his children Marco and Elena. The estate is 15 hectares on the terraced Valtellina mountain, where they grow mostly Nebbiolo, locally called Chiavennasca. The vines are grown at an altitude between 350 and 900 metres. The soil in their vineyards is mainly sandy, resulting from crumbled granitic formations. The style of Nebbiolo that they make is different from that of Barolo, but is no less note worthy - Sandro even makes an Amarone style from Nebbiolo called Sforzato which is made with 90 day dried grapes, which is fabulous. To meet Marco, son of Sandro and current wine maker at Vini Fay, you would never know his wines are served at some of Europe's finest tables (eg served from Magnum's at Simon Rogan's Claridges restaurant). He is the most softly spoken and humble bloke you could ever hope to meet. Still only in his thirties, he spends considerable time in the vineyard on the steep terraces where the Nebbiolo grows high up in the Valtellina valley and where in winter the temperature can be - 15 degrees. Marco and his wines deserve all the plaudits they get, this is wine hard made, steep slopes, low yields, freezing temperatures make for hard physical graft and Marco does it happily with a big smile and great humility.