Faye, winegrower

“Faye is a total and committed winegrower, mastering every aspect of the profession with enthusiasm and rigor. She strives to create remarkable, unique wines which are faithful to the la Fattoria Lavacchio terroir and more importantly to herself”.

Marino Lottero

The initiation

Let us start by stepping back in time. Faye grew up on la Fattoria. She was only five years old when her parents purchased the estate. With her siblings, Nathalie and Fabian, she spent all of her free time on the land, at a time when the estate’s properties barely had running water.

The Lottero trio ran through fields, woods and among vines on foot, by bike or on horseback, breathing in great gulps of total freedom. They savored the dishes given to them by sharecroppers on the estate, helped press olives and carried out other farm tasks.

When she wasn’t experiencing unforgettable moments such as these, Faye studied at the international high school of Monaco, where she met her future husband, Dimitri, who played professional soccer for AS Monaco. The couple went to live in Chambéry in Savoie, France to study law. It was here where Faye discovered wine at Sunday lunches. Faye sampled fine Bordeaux, Burgundy and Jura wines. She tasted them as a non-specialist, while already striving to understand which nectars she enjoyed most. Well and truly bitten by the wine bug, Faye began diligently reading the magazine, “Vins de France”. It was too late; the enology virus had inoculated Faye’s veins.

A career change

At the end of the nineties, Faye was already weary of her new job as a lawyer. At the time, the young woman’s only professional pleasures were the dinners she organized for friends and clients. She loved choosing wines and making use of her sense of hospitality. She dreamed of nature and authenticity.

After several discussions with her father and husband, she felt that her destiny was linked to la Fattoria. Dimitri was behind her 100%; he was ready to start afresh as well. The two adventurers were not afraid. They left behind their comfortable lives and went to live on the Estate to expand the agri-tourism activity. It was the start of the 2000s and the couple began to welcome visitors from the four corners of the world to discover life on the farm.

Faye gave cellar tours. Meticulous by nature, she wanted to understand everything to be able to explain to visitors. With this in mind, she went to study for the first level of her enology degree in Florence, at night school. Her passion grew stronger. Marino saw her change. He understood that Faye already had a clear vision of what la Fattoria should become. He also knew how much energy the young woman was capable of expending to make her vision a reality. She took the helm of the Estate and became a winegrower. It was a new challenge for Faye, who accepted to go back to high school to take her agricultural entrepreneur diploma.

Faye’s vocational journey began. She started to question how the teams were put together. She asked questions and more importantly, she built her vision of the way she wanted to produce at la Fattoria. Faye composed a new team and hired an enologist and an agronomist. It was 2003, the first Pachàr wine, a Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon blanc blend, came to fruition. The promise was beautiful. Faye’s work could begin.

An everlasting apprentice

Like a child thirsty for knowledge of the world, Faye keeps asking “why?”. She examines procedures, common beliefs and her own actions. This mindset spurs her on. Thanks to Faye, la Fattoria earned the first organic label for a Chianti Rufina vine. The Estate is also a pioneer of biodynamic farming methods in Tuscany.

This constant questioning helps Faye to innovate and led her to notice that wines containing a lot of sulfites caused her husband Dimitri to have asthma attacks. Faye questioned the use of sulfites during the vinification process, resulting in her creation of the “Puro” range of wines without added sulfites.

Faye is perpetually curious about wine, she scours wine fairs, tasting everything she can. Her palate is being continually defined and honed to enable her to build the vision she has of a great wine which reflects the very expression of la Fattoria’s terroir.

It is this terroir which directs Faye’s work and not the other way round. Indeed, at the heart of the biodynamic philosophy lies observation, listening to the earth, plants and seeds. This attentiveness leads to constant questioning, far from the diktats of fashion, to serve wine itself.

The Tramontane wind has not finished blowing between the vine branches in the Montefiesole hills.

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