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In 2010 a new wine-tourist record set at Donnafugata: more than 10,000 visitors

Acquainting them with the territory, vineyards and winery, Donnafugata shows how premium wine is created

Premium wine promotion has found a great ally in wine tourism. Therefore Donnafugata keeps increasing its investments in hospitality, as it believes that opening its doors to the public is the best way of communicating with transparency both its wine-making spirit and its products.  With enthusiasm, professionalism and cordiality in 2010 the Donnafugata staff welcomed a good 10,914 visitors (15% more than in 2009). From the simply curious to sector operators – the visitors who chose to learn about Donnafugata at first hand, travelling to Marsala, Contessa Entellina or Pantelleria could enjoy organized  tours aimed at giving unique and memorable experiences.

Donnafugata has broadened its offers with various standard yet flexible packages to suit the visitor’s needs and specific interests. In addition, it has created its own specialized team that develops projects, works in synergy with different operators and welcomes tourists from all over the world.

Donnafugata’s wine-tourism staff loves to remove any barrier between themselves and the visitor, including language barriers: besides the official languages Italian and English, the winery can present itself in French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Latvian. Donnafugata’s tireless young employees are already working to develop a series of important new projects for 2011, first and foremost those using the new technologies, the web and social networks.

Through guided cellar tours in Marsala, at Contessa Entellina and on Pantelleria, visitors are given the opportunity to learn about the entire production process, crowning this experience with a wine tasting or maybe even a wine-food pairing with typical Sicilian cuisine.  Visitor interest stems from a passion for wine as well as a desire to get to know the winery better and learn its secrets right from the source.

Figures show an important growth trend[1] demonstrating that wine can be a locomotive sector in tourism and can contribute, for example, to making tourist flows to Sicily less seasonal, a goal that the tourism sector has been aiming at for some years. In fact, the tourist influx is becoming better distributed throughout the year, with more people arriving even in the months traditionally considered low season on the island. And in particular regard to foreign tourists, they are arriving almost uniformly year-round[2]. A significant help in this trend was the arrival of Ryan Air at the Trapani-Birgi airport, with low-cost flights from many European cities.

Also worth noting is that the presence of foreign tourists is growing, in 2010 up 10% from 2009. Marsala was the most popular attraction, while opening the estate Contessa Entellina for the first time in summer proved to be an encouraging success.

Foreign tourists are 33.3% of the total and constantly on the rise, whatever their provenance: the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden or Japan. Visitors to Marsala or Contessa Entellina often continue along itineraries exploring the treasures of western Sicily: the temples and acropolis of Selinunte, the Segesta archeological park (amphitheater and Doric temple), the island of Mozia with its salt beds and the natural reserve “Stagnone” are only some of the preferred destinations.

On Pantelleria, as well as enjoying endlessly sunny days and a sea of breathtaking beauty, there are many opportunities for recreation and relaxation: from trekking along specially-marked trails to steam baths in natural grottoes to the therapeutic and beauty-care mud baths at the famous Specchio di Venere (Mirror of Venus), the enchanting salt water pond on the island.

Italians flock in particular to traditional events like “Open Cellars” (the last Sunday in May), “Goblets of Stars” (August 10) and the new annual event, the feast of San Martino (in November). All these events draw increasingly knowledgeable tourists and are part of the nationwide events organized by the Italian Wine Tourism Association. Even though the inflow of the three events was limited through reservations and maximum numbers in order to guarantee an excellent welcome for accredited and paying guests, they still drew about 2000 people last year.

For 2011 these events have already been scheduled: “Open Cellars” will be held in Marsala on May 29 and “Goblets of Stars” at Contessa Entellina on August 10, like every year. You can make reservation by writing to [email protected] or calling +39 0923 724245/63.

In Marsala, by reservation from Monday to Saturday Donnafugata receives groups organized by tour operators or individual groups of wine-lovers. The Pantelleria and Contessa Entellina wineries are open to the public in summer. We recommend logging on to  to learn about the services offered and take advantage of all the info found in the “Wine Tourism” section. You can also book a tour online (filling out the appropriate form in the “Wine Tourism” section of the website ) or by sending us an e-mail or calling the numbers given above.

[1] Up 15% from 2009, which was up 4.5% from 2008.

[2] With a slight drop in December/January and peaks in October.


Public Relations:

Baldo M. Palermo [email protected] tel. 0039 0923 7242267

Laura Ellwanger [email protected] te. 0039 0923 724258

  • Com_St_2011_03_31_Enoturismo_ENG.pdf
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