Sete in Italian means “thirst.” Sete boys’ sacred mission is precisely to quench our unending and ever-growing thirst for living, vibrant, fearless wines that speak to the heart and soul of terroir, uniqueness, and passion. Sete Project, strangely enough, is born out of the passion for beer and many evenings at the local pub of two childhood friends, Arcangelo and Emiliano.
The passion for beer soon mutates into a burning love affair with natural wine after Emiliano spends two vintages in 2010 and 2011 working with iconic natural wine pioneer Gianmarco Antonuzi of Le Coste di Gradoli. Often sleeping and eating in the vineyard and in full symbiosis with the wines, Emiliano found the vinnaturist way and began a beautiful journey with his comrade Arcangelo.
Sete was born in Priverno, in the Lazio region of central Italy about 100 Km South of Rome, about halfway between the Eternal City and Naples. Located between the Monti Lepini mountain range and the Circeo National Park, precisely in the Amaseno river valley, Priverno lies in an area with an ancient and rich agricultural tradition, which in recent decades has sadly seen many vineyards, even revered old ones, explanted or abandoned.
This area of Southern Lazio is a flourishing land brimming with biodiversity and rich with buffalo farms, producing heavenly mozzarella, and local produce such as broccoletti, artichokes, and Itrana olives. Small vineyards however still do survive, sometimes lovely tended by elderly local farmers and sometimes semi-abandoned, made stronger by spontaneous herbs, fruit trees flowers, and aromatic plants often seen as the devil by the conventional wine industry.
It becomes then Sete’s sacred mission in 2013 to build not only a winery but to give light to an “agri-cultura” - agri-culture - a cultural and social project consecrated to saving and bringing back to glorious life the old vineyards in the Amaseno valley, precisely in the municipalities of Priverno, Roccagorga, Maenza and Roccasecca dei Volsci. In the words of the Sete boys:
“Our mission is to valorize native grape varieties, recovering and vinifying separately the grapes of each single vineyard particle. We want to cultivate the land in harmony with nature and tell throughout its wines the stories of the place where we were born and where we grew up, the land where we came back and where we decided to stay.”
Sete began either purchasing grapes or renting old vineyards from local elderly farmers, who are also an unending treasure trove of lost agricultural wisdom, always working the land to the strictest natural standards. The grapes they choose to work are often forgotten but surprisingly deep and expressive local ones, such as Ottonese, Cesanese, Moscato Bianco, Nero Buono, Bonamico, Malvasia Puntinata among others. There are no eno-technicians nor external winemakers to be seen obviously and the wines are characterized by explosive, terroir-driven flavors, acidity, sapidity, and amazing drinkability.
Every year, wines reflect the vintage and Arcangelo and Emiliano’s interpretation of it. No need to emphasize that, aside from strictly natural work in the vineyard, the wines see only wild fermentation, no invasive winemaking techniques, no fining or filtration and not the merest hint of added SO2.
At Primal Wine we are very proud to support the Sete boys and their mission and we currently carry 4 of their wines: white wines Tropicale, and Flora, red wines Baffo and Nero Buono.
Author: Giovanni Segni ©