Home » Food and Drink

Sicilia, Coveted Jewel Of The Mediterranean And Wine Clubs Alike

Sep 17, 2008
One of Italy's finest wineries, Donnafugata is located on the island of Sicilia in Marsala with vineyards in the hills near Contessa Entellina and also on the island of Pantelleria off the coast of Tunisia. Owners Giacomo Rallo and his wife Gabriella Anca Rallo are both from ancient wine-making families and, together with daughter Jose` and son Antonio, work together in the business. The estate at Marsalla has been in the Rallo family for 150 years. The winery itself has periodically been updated and today employs the latest technology.

In the 1980s, the family renamed the winery Donnafugata, which translates to 'fleeing woman,' after the summer palace that appears in 'The Leopard,' one of the most famous Italian novels of the Twentieth Century, written by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1896 - 1957). Many of the wines are named after characters in the novel. The winery specializes in the ancient grapes of the region, such as the red Nero d'Avola and the white grapes Ansonica and Catarrato, the tasty favorite of many wine clubs. But the Rallo family has also planted the classic wines enjoyed by wine clubs, the international varieties of Cabernet and Chardonnay, which they blend with native grapes.

Ajello

Located below Trapani in the southwest part of Sicilia, the Ajello family has farmed their estate for three generations since 1860. The family has planted 68 acres to the indigenous varieties Grillo, Insolia, Catarratto, and Nero d'Avola and has also planted the international varieties Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, all of which are picked by hand.

The estate has recently enlisted the leading Italian enologist Stefano Chioccioli. 'We let nature do most of the work, trying to capture in bottles the wealth, the vitality, and the structure of the magnificent grapes that our vines produce for wine clubs and the public, knowing that our role is merely that of guardian of these intrinsic qualities,' says Salvatore Ajello. The winery's flagship wine, the Ajello 'Furat,' highly desired by wine clubs, was named after Asad ibn al Furat, a Tunisian who conquered Sicily in 827 A.D. when it had been part of the Byzantine empire.

Feudo Maccari

Fascinated by the countryside after a visit to Val di Noto in the late 1990s, Tuscan businessman, Antonio Moretti purchased his estate, just one mile from the sea and 240 feet above sea level. He has recently enlisted highly regarded consulting enologist Carlo Ferrini. The old Nero d'Avola vines on the property are trained on trees as they have always been, but the newer vines are trellised with modern systems. So far, the winery is producing only Nero d'Avola wines, which are receiving critical acclaim by experts and wine clubs.

Some wine clubs say that today, Sicilians have less Italian blood in their veins than Phoenician, Greek, Arabic, Norman, Spanish, or French. Because Sicilia is on a crossroads between Europe and Africa, it has been overrun by many different cultures, which have left their traces on this beautiful island, the largest in the Mediterranean. The Greek cities of Sicily flourished during the 6th and 5th centuries BC, and their ruins are some of the most impressive outside of Greece, especially the Valley of the Temples near Agrigento.

The Romans took over in the 3rd century BCE, followed by the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Byzantines. The Arabs ruled from the 8th to the 11th century, although not much has survived from their rule. The Norman era began in 1060, and the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalu are their brilliant achievements as is Santi Peitro e Paulo outside Taormina. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the accomplishments of the Spanish Vice-regal court, especially the palaces and churches of Palermo.

Nature also has its achievements in Sicilia, its magnificent beaches, remote hill towns and plains, its mountain ranges, and spectacular Mount Etna, one of three active volcanoes, which has rendered the land immensely fertile. In fact, Sicilia has more vineyards than any other region. The western province of Trapani alone produces more wine than the entire regions of Toscana or Piemonte.

But much of this wine is either shipped north as blending wine or distilled into industrial alcohol and does not usually reach wine clubs. The proportion of DOC wine is only 2.5%, most of which is Marsala, Sicilia's proudest wine despite decades of degradation when it was flavored with various sweeteners. The English created Marsala in the late 18th century and made Sicilia its prime source. Marsala, as well as Moscato and Malvasia, rank with the best fortified wines of Europe.

Sicilia has now switched its emphasis to lighter, dryer wines, both whites and reds. The pale white, dry Bianco d'Alcamo is the only DOC wine made in significant quality. The dry white and red wines of Etna, whose vines drape over the lower slopes of the volcano show notable class, as does the pale red Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Increasingly prominent are the fruity aromatic whites, Inzolia, Catarratto, and Grecanico.

Native reds have also achieved prominence, such as Nero d'Avola, Nerello Mascalese, and Perricone. The newly introduced French varieties, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are also producing exciting results and have become the coveted jewel of wine clubs.
About the Author
Kent Campbell is a co-author for Celebrations Wine Club in collaboration with Anna Maria Knapp. Celebrations Wine Club is one of the few wine clubs offering the best wines of Sicilia for over 18 years.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 172
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources