Co-founder of Ellory, and erstwhile Quo Vadis and Spring sommelier Jack Lewens has gone off to get his hands dirty in Campania, in the name of building a new independent wine brand. Establishing a kind of co-op with Ellory teammate Ed Thaw, investors Michael Sager (of Sager & Wilde), Stevie Parle and Jackson Boxer (Brunswick Hous), and winemaker Bruno de Conciliis, Lewens will be fully involved in the process from vineyard to bottle, making a change from the usual restaurateur's (legitimate) dual marketing ruse of labelling someone else's juice to suggest as their creation.
Cilento's bountiful olive oil, mozzarella, anchovies and figs are part of the attraction for the project's chef partners, who will all be able to serve Vigneti Tardis' first (2016) cuvée from mid October this year. They will also benefit from a direct import scenario, and the potential for a worldwide market based on their 4.5 hectare plot. Expect an elegant incarnation of the indigenous red aglianico variety, known for its big tannic thump; and white fiano with complexity and an element of skin maceration, albeit stopping well short of the voguish orange wine territory. All will be certified organic by 2019, and distributed principally within the restaurant sector.
Lewens told Eater London: "I worked my first full harvest in Cilento in 2007, and I've been back every year since. I've been waiting for the right opportunity to make wine here, and to bring together resources within the restaurant industry."