Uncorked: Alberto Tasca d’Almerita
Alberto Tasca d’Almerita is the CEO of Tasca D’Almerita in Sicily, which owns Regaleali in central Sicily, Capofaro in Salina, Tascante in Mt. Etna, Mozia Fondazione Whitaker in Mozia and Sallier de la Tour in the Monreale area. Known for his relentless championing of indigenous grapes in Sicily and sustainability, Alberto is at the centre of a wine revolution in Sicily. In this interview with dbHK, Alberto chats about his late entry into wine, his source of happiness and his first ever vintage in Mt. Etna, Tascante 2008.
What vintage are you?
What bottle sparked your love of wine?
Three different wines shocked me when I was young. I started to love wine at the age of 21 (very late). They were a 1991 Chardonnay Botrytis Tasca d’Almerita, 1989 Château Haut-Brion and 1995 Kracher Eiswein (from Austria).
What would you be as a wine?
A person can be many different wine categories. I love life and the different experiences that life can offer you, but in each category I love personality and authenticity. I don’t love fake life as I don’t like fake wines.
Where are you happiest?
When I am in touch with strong nature or nice and real people. The vineyard is my home.
What’s your greatest vice?
I’m addicted to instinctive feeling and the taste of everything.
Best advice you ever got?
Many! What have I learned though? “Our brain is our best friend and our worst enemy” and “Comfort zone is where you grow your enemy!”
Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
Mmmm difficult to imagine a life with just one wine! And above all really impossible to save it. I will drink it for sure! At the moment, my choice would probably be the first vintage I made in Etna, Tascante 2008, just because it means a lot to me, and because I still want to improve for the future!
What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?
The best is dealing with nature and human factors. With both you can interact as best as you can but for sure you cannot control them (think long term). The worst? The commercial rules.
What’s on your wine bucket list?
The perfect wine doesn’t exist …And when you get close to taste it, your idea of perfect always changes a bit.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My family, my team and my special friends from all around the world.
Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)?
Until I get 110 out of 100, I will never be satisfied. The best satisfaction always come from people that you don’t know or people that are far from you in terms of culture, age and passion.
Which wine would you like to be served at your funeral?
I would love to have everybody bring their favourite wine.