Abruzzo, Trebbiano and two of its Extraordinary Cellars
The Rallo family has been producing wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars are transformed into a tunnel under the city. It was one of the first families to begin producing high-quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala began to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's indigenous varietals. Today Donnafugata has four estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 283 hectares in Contessa Entellina, on the hills east of Marsala; 36 hectares in Vittoria towards the southeastern tip of the island; 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria; and 18 hectares on the slopes of Etna. Donnafugata means "woman on the run" and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who fled the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband Ferdinand IV of Bourbon when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the palace of Santa Margherita Belice, also the favorite residence of the famous writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Arabian Nights' label. The wines blend Sicilian tradition with a modern approach. The 'Vigna di Gabri' combines Ansonica (Inzolia) with Chardonnay, Viognier, Catarratto and Sauvignon Blanc, the percentages of which vary according to the vintage. The "Sherazade" instead is produced exclusively with Nero d'Avola. The 'Mille e Una Notte', a multi-varietal blend that includes Nero d'Avola, Petit Verdot and Syrah, is a wine of exceptional structure and strong personality. Their Vittoria Frappato "Bell'Assai" is a very pure example of this local varietal: a light bodied, floral and spicy wine. Etna wines come from high altitude vineyards at 730 - 750 meters above sea level. A part of the white, exclusively from Carricante, is aged in used oak to enhance its consistency, while a component of the red, based on Nerello Mascalese, is kept in stainless steel to enhance the freshness and intensity that characterize the wines of the Etna.
Located in Loreto Aprutino in the province of Pescara, the Valentini winery boasts a centuries-old winemaking tradition. Francesco Paolo Valentini is a well-known figure in the world of wine. The company is spread over 65 hectares of vineyards dedicated to the production of Trebbiano, Montepulciano and Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo. The annual production is around 50,000 bottles. It is not possible to identify the production method as Organic or Biodynamic as the approach in the vineyard is unique and artisanal. An extraordinary producer, who reserves the visit to the cellar to a select few and keeps his wines like children and treasures.
Emidio Pepe Winery:
A balance in the vineyard, achieved after years of work, thanks to the expert hands of the winegrower Emidio Pepe who, with his 55 years of harvest experience, has been able to perfectly determine the nourishment of the plants, the tillage, the pruning and the vegetation of the vines, limiting any type of intervention in the vineyard and in the cellar. No chemicals are used, even in the toughest years and conditions. No selected yeast to start the alcoholic fermentation and no added enzyme to favor the genesis of the perfumes. Only natural products are used such as copper crystals, mine sulfur and biodynamic preparations, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. All this just to restore the terroir, climate and culture through the distinctive personality of Montepulciano and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo. Emidio Pepe is a historic company that for years has been offering extraordinary ready-to-drink wines for lovers of decisive and impetuous wines or to be left in the cellar to age and to acquire those much sought-after tertiary aromas that fascinate vintage wine drinkers.