The Story of Piedrasassi's Vin Santo
Piedrasassi’s Vin Santo is the brainchild of our good friend and business partner, Peter Pastan. Peter has always had a strong affinity for Italian wine, and after seeing the potential for exceptional fruit ripeness in Ballard Canyon (particularly in Sangiovese), he suggested that we make sweet wine, as some of the grapes seemed more suited for dessert-style bottles. Peter researched extensively on how to craft traditional style Vin Santo, and although hanging grapes is the classic method in Tuscany, he ultimately decided to dry the grapes using perforated plastic baskets, similar to how producers craft sweet red wines in the Veneto.
Additionally, our Vin Santo (as far as we know) is the only one in the world to be produced using a solera system, meaning that we always have two years of wine aging in ½ barriques. When we top off our barrels, we always use the oldest new wine. “It's a perpetual system that's both very simple but also provides for a semi-consistent and delicious wine – it’s something that can actually be referred to as unique,” Peter describes.
When the wine is ready for bottling, usually just before Thanksgiving, our winemaking team gathers to hand bottle, hand label and hand wax 375mL Vin Santo bottles. Often just after harvest has slowed, it's a slow and manual process that offers moments of quiet reflection, conversation and togetherness.
We believe in the beauty of enjoying Vin Santo year-round, though there is something undeniably special about sharing a bottle with loved ones during the holidays. For those who enjoy food and wine pairing, savoring a pour alongside a slice of traditional Panforte is a delight. On the contrary, those keen on drinking their dessert will find this to be a lovely substitute.