Sustainability is a value that is part of Donnafugata’s DNA. For over 30 years we have been committed to producing wines while respecting the environment and humanity: from good practices in the vineyard to activities that support the territory and culture. In 2021 we strengthened our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance Sustainability, in line with the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda, by joining the SOStain Sicily Foundation
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Since 2009, we have been committed to the protection and the enhancement of Sicilian biodiversity through an experimental vineyard with 19 native varieties, for a total of 30 biotypes. They are vine varieties that are widespread throughout Sicily (including Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Ansonica, and also varieties that are relics from the past (Alzano, Nocera, Vitrarolo and others), almost completely extinct. Following this experimentation, we decided to plant Nocera, one of the most important varieties of the island’s tradition.
In 2010 in Pantelleria, we planted 33 biotypes of Zibibbo from different areas of the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Greece and southern Italy).
The goal is to identify which Zibibbo clones express the best viticultural and oenological potential within the context of the island of Pantelleria
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
We maintain and manage over 40 hectares of natural areas (equal to 10% of the company’s surface area) which constitute a habitat for native species: places that contribute to strengthening biodiversity and preserving the ecosystemic peculiarities of the territory
The SOStain regulations for Sicilian viticulture are structured in 10 minimum requirements that companies must comply with in order to certify their sustainability. The SOStain logo is visible on our bottle, combined with a Qrcode, to consult the sustainability performance achieved by Donnafugata.
REQUIREMENT 6 – VINEYARD INDICATOR
The overall judgment regarding the environmental impact of the management of our vineyards is Good, with a value of 0.54 out of 0.91
REQUIREMENT 7 – ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Our electricity consumption per liter of processed wine is equal to 0.66 kWh, a figure lower than the maximum limit of 0.7 kWh/l, which certifies energy sustainability in the production of wines.
REQUIREMENT 8 – WEIGHT OF THE BOTTLES
The average weight of our bottles (750 ml) is 538 grams, a figure lower than the maximum limit of 550 grams which certifies the sustainability of our products.
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
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
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 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.
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
A team of people, men and women, oriented towards excellence
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.
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