For over 30 years, we have been committed to producing wines that respect the environment and people: from good practices in the field to activities supporting the local area and culture.
In 2021, we strengthened our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance Sustainability, by joining the SOStain Sicilia Foundation.
In 2022, we identified our 9 main SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in line with the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.
We have identified our SDGs, i.e. the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our daily commitment, our good practices, from the vineyard to the winery, and our commitment to the land, culture and human capital cover 9 SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals. We share a common responsibility towards our planet.
For over 10 years we have been using a system for the production of wine that ensures the eco-sustainable management of agricultural activities, while preferring techniques that guarantee a lower impact in order to protect the environment and our biodiversity
Sustainability and excellence are pursued with agronomic choices that help rationalize and save natural resources such as water, air, soil, and energy.
We process the soil according to the minimum tillage technique, we carry out emergency irrigation through the drip systems, we practice pruning and thinning to control the production load, and we use sustainable materials in the plant-system.
We have minimized the use of crop protection products thanks to the integrated pest management techniques, the observation of climatic parameters (rainfall, temperature, humidity, etc.) up to the control of parasites using the pheromone traps. A production system able to protect the plant and animal biodiversity in the vineyard, while also ensuring the regular balance for a more sustainable, resilient, and quality agriculture.
We do not use chemical weeding and fertilization on our lands.
Thanks to the mechanical removal of weeds, the use of organic fertilization and the green manure of legumes among the rows, we preserve and improve the microbiome of the soil.
The protection of soil biodiversity is one of the main principles of sustainable agriculture: it contributes to control plant-diseases, environmental stresses such as drought, and to avoid soil erosion.
In 1999, Donnafugata breathed new life into a century-old vineyard in Pantelleria.
Planted with Zibibbo, it contained several ungrafted plants that had survived phylloxera and were over 100 years old. Unique vines, an example of agricultural resilience, capable of resisting very well to drought, limestone and salinity, with a vegetation-production balance that produces exceptional grapes
In Pantelleria, we recovered 5 hectares of one-hundred-year-old olive trees of the Biancolilla variety which are cultivated on terraces.
Specimens just over a meter high, capable of covering an area of more than 30 square meters, are a “historical relic”, an example of agricultural resilience
Since 2009, we have been committed to the protection and promotion of Sicilian wine biodiversity. In Contessa Entellina we have an experimental field where we grow 19 native varieties, including the Nocera relic variety. In 2010 in Pantelleria we planted 33 biotypes of Zibibbo, coming from different areas of the Mediterranean, with the aim of identifying clones of Zibibbo capable of withstanding the extreme conditions of Pantelleria and of best expressing the viticultural and oenological potential of the island
One of our first sustainable choices was to produce energy from renewable sources and to adopt good practices for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions
Since 2002 we have been committed to the production of clean energy thanks to three photovoltaic systems installed on in the Contessa Entellina estate and on in that of Marsala, for a total of 118 kW. An evolving path, which will see new investments aimed at further reducing our environmental impact
Built in 2007, it is an example of sustainable architecture: having been dug into the tuffa rock (calcarenite), it is possible to reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain the desired temperature and humidity parameters (15°C and 85%).
We harvest the Chardonnay grapes during the hours when the bunches have the lowest temperature: a choice that allows us to reduce energy consumption by 70% for cooling the grapes while safeguarding the aromatic content
Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our choice of the most sustainable packaging for our premium products. The choice of cap and bottle is essential to preserve the quality of our wine and protect the environment.
Nomacorc Ocean is the world’s first cap obtained by recycling plastic collected in coastal areas (Ocean Bound Plastic) to give it a second life: a concrete action to safeguard the marine ecosystem. Our 2022 Damarino is the first wine in the world to use the Nomacorc Ocean cap, an excellent example of the circular economy and a further step forward in Donnafugata’s commitment to protecting the environement and the oceans.
Innovation and circular economy are the watchwords of the “100% Sicily” project conducted by O-I, a leading producer of glass containers, and the SOStain Sicilia Foundation. A lightweight bottle made entirely in Sicily using 90% recycled glass, which enables us to reduce indirect CO2 emissions from transporting the glass: the bottles only have to travel a few kilometres to reach our wineries. A Made in Sicily example of a circular economy.
To reduce our CO2 emissions, we use increasingly lightweight bottles. In Italy, we have adopted the 100% Made in Sicily bottle made from recycled glass; in the United States, Canada and other foreign markets, we use a lightweight bottle with a screw cap. This good practice falls under requirement No. 8 of the SOStain specification.
The Donnafugata Gardens are unique examples of biodiversity and represent an extraordinary connection between knowledge, agriculture and landscape. Each estate has its own garden in perfect harmony with the surrounding area.
The Contessa Entellina estate is home to Gabriella’s Garden, a green space that elegantly connects the family home to the surrounding agricultural landscape: a three-level journey that respects the area’s morphology and continues towards the plantations. Thoughtfully designed by Gabriella, it reflects a concern for beauty and respect for future generations, expressing Sicilian elegance in a bold combination with influences from her travels. Millennia-old biodiversity is condensed in the beauty of an intimate and personal garden.
In the Pantelleria estate, the garden is in the very nature that characterizes this island: Mediterranean scrub, terraces, zibibbo, dammusi and dry stone walls. The Khamma Path winds through plants typical of the Pantelleria landscape, centuries-old olive trees and caper plants. From the Khamma observatory, you can admire the magnificent dialogue between nature and agriculture, between the blue of the sea and the black of the shimmering lava stone from which everything seems to mysteriously come to life.
In the Vittoria winery, surrounded by vineyards, citrus groves, and paths lined with rosemary and olive trees, the garden is transformed into a verziere with tubs overflowing with aromatic herbs. This astonishing space unites the plant and wine worlds, evoking olfactory memories and visual emotions. Here, we celebrate the value of aromatic herbs, such as the surprising Sicilian herbs, sages and chillies, and understand that taking care of the earth means taking care of oneself.
The Randazzo winery, within the Etna park, is flanked by an unspoilt grove that reflects the changing seasons. Here, the garden is really forest and undergrowth. The experience on this estate offers an immersion in a mountainous environment, enriched by the presence of water that is reflected in the variety and richness of nature. Along the route through vineyards, sciaras, brooms, oaks and chestnut trees, you can encounter numerous seasonal wild herbs, some of which can be used in cooking or as natural remedies.
The charming inner courtyard of Marsala’s historic cellars preserves a treasure: a collection of extremely rare varieties of ancient citrus fruits from Kolymbethra Garden, a FAI-managed property in Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples. This gift is invaluable for the conservation of Sicilian agrobiodiversity.
For years we have been committed to enhancing the territory and protecting the landscape, from the promotion of culture up to the well-being of our collaborators
Donnafugata’s bond with FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (National Trust for Italy) owes much to Marco Magnifico, to professor Giuseppe Barbera and to their relationship of esteem and friendship with Giacomo Rallo, the founder of the Sicilian winery, who seized with enthusiasm the wish that a Giardino Pantesco (Pantellerian Garden) was donated to FAI. As a result, Donnafugata decided to restore the garden among the vineyards in Pantelleria and open it to visitors. The garden is a symbol of ancient agricultural architecture and self-sufficient with regards to water supply.
Donnafugata has always supported the territory and the local culture by collaborating with realities such as: the Scuola Normale di Pisa, the Giuseppe Nenci Prize, the Tomasi di Lampedusa Literary Prize, the restoration of the Madonna and Child (15th century AD) from the “Pepoli” Museum in Trapani, the Tapestry Museum in Marsala and the Antonio Pasqualino International Puppet Museum in Palermo
A peculiarity of Donnafugata is the role of women within the company organization. A way of doing business desired by Giacomo and Gabriella Rallo from the very beginning; a cutting-edge model. Today 45% of our employees are women. Finally, a great value which is represented by the continuous and professional training of our human resources department in each work environment.
We have been committed to quality certification for years: a path started in 2000 that has led us to continuous improvement through adherence to European, International standards and protocols in order to pursue the highest standards for environmental protection, the use of natural resources and consumer protection.