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2016 at Donnafugata, a year of emotions and new challenges

From the death of Giacomo Rallo to the election of Antonio Rallo to lead Unione Italiana Vini, from the Etna and Cerasuolo di Vittoria project to the great verticals of Ben Ryé and Mille e una Notte, from the presentation of the Collections to the launch of the new website.

With 2016 a year full of emotions, results achieved and engaging challenges on the horizon, closes for Donnafugata. Definitely a year that will remain in the hearts of all wine lovers for the loss of Giacomo Rallo, founder of Donnafugata together with his wife Gabriella. For his humanity, his capacity for vision and wish to form a team with his fellow producers, Giacomo Rallo was a protagonist of the renewal of Sicilian wine, whose values will continue to bear precious fruit.

2016 had big surprises from the start with the reportage produced by Monica Larner for Wine Advocate, on Ben Ryé and the heroic viticulture of Pantelleria. A tasting of 22 vintages for a unprecedented vertical of the wine, symbol of the island where, to extreme conditions such as the incessant wind and very steep slopes, the wisdom of the Pantellerian farmer has responded with terraces, dry stone walls and the agricultural practice of the alberello vine, recognized as UNESCO heritage. A territory of outstanding natural value as recognized by the establishment of Pantelleria as a National Park, the first in Sicily.

From one symbol label to the other, from Ben Ryé to Mille e una Notte; at Vinitaly Donnafugata paid homage to Giacomo Tachis and Mille e una Notte, wine born from an ambitious project that Giacomo Rallo wanted to share with the enologist who died this year: produce a great wine at the Donnafugata estate in Contessa Entellina. As for Ben Ryé, also Mille e una Notte was protagonist of a historic vertical of all the vintages produced, carried out by Ian D’Agata for Vinous.

The fiftieth edition of Vinitaly will also be remembered for the official presentation of Donnafugata’s new collections that deviate from the patterns of classic segmentations and recount wines through the eyes of fans. A reversal of perspective that focuses on people’s experience and expectations; the winery therefore presented four key desires that guide the wine enthusiasts’ choice towards as many collections: the search for exclusivity that leads to the “Icon” wines, charm for the wines that display “Mediterranean Elegance”, harmony with the “Versatile rich in character” and joy for the “Fresh and Fruity”. A new way to live a range of wines distinguished by pleasantness and complexity.

Donnafugata’s stand, in the visual component of Vinitaly, also presented a strong attraction to the artistic labels, symbol of the winery, enhanced by Paola Lenti‘s creations. A marriage between two excellences of Made in Italy in the name of craftsmanship.

In May an important acknowledgment arrived for Antonio Rallo, elected – and it is the first time for a Sicilian – President of Unione Italiana Vini, the main organization representing the Italian wine sector.

With the 2016 harvest Donnafugata achieved, in eastern Sicily, its objective to produce wines under the prestigious Etna, Cerasuolo and Vittoria denominations. Antonio and José Rallo: “A long term project shared with our parents Giacomo and Gabriella, to propose the excellence of Sicilian wine, from Contessa Entellina to Pantelleria, from Etna to Vittoria, all territories with extraordinary potential.” On Etna Donnafugata counts on 15 hectares of vineyards in production, with Nerello Mascalese and Carricante, on the northern slope of the volcano, in Randazzo; in the lands of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Frappato, 18 hectares of vineyards, with Nero d’Avola and Frappato.

Important novelties also in wine tourism with the launch of a website completely dedicated to welcoming, where you can find information on the different tasting journeys proposed, and book on-line the visit to the historic cellars in Marsala, open all year round, and Pantelleria, in summer, thus ensuring participation in events such as Cantine Aperte (Open Cellars) and Calici di Stelle (Goblets of Stars).

Another important novelty was the opening of a new multifunctional space dedicated to tastings and a show room for all Donnafugata labels: the quintessence of the sartorial welcoming concept of the winery that opened its doors to wine enthusiasts in the late ’90s, to promote the culture of wine, through a tale of emotion that is perceived in the tasting and remains in the heart and in the mind.

Lastly, 2016 closes with the launch of the new website to live the emotions of the world and colors of Donnafugata, specially designed to put the person, their desires and their navigation experience, first. A journey that, through the story-telling mode, narrates the winery’s values, protagonists, territories and wines. The challenge is to evoke maximum involvement, offering privileged glimpses and proposing an immersive experience.

Definitely an intense year. And Donnafugata’s journey continues.

Marsala, 30 December 2016



Baldo M. Palermo [email protected]

Laura Ellwanger [email protected]




  • Com-St-2016-12-30-Un-anno-a-Donnafugata-ENG.pdf
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