A great vintage for Zibibbo and the Pantellerian alberello
The climatic trend recorded on Pantelleria from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 was fairly normal, with slightly less rainfall (488 mm) than (516 mm) the 2013 vintage. Temperatures, on average, were lower, as in the rest of Sicily, with a stable and moderately warm climate.
This was the setting of the 2014 harvest on the island of Pantelleria, which recorded a small increase in production compared to 2013, especially in some districts, quantified at around 10%. The grapes reached full ripeness a few days later, they were perfectly healthy and intact. Donnafugata began the harvest in the district of Martingana on August 18, with the grapes destined to dry naturally in the sun and wind of the island: a process that requires on average from 3 to 4 weeks. The harvest concluded on September 25.
The interactions between soil, exposure, proximity to the sea and vine age (some vineyards are more than 100 years old) determine a staggered ripening between the 12 districts where Donnafugata cultivates Zibibbo. This requires, even though Pantelleria is a small island, a harvest that lasts approximately 40 days.
“The conditions for the 2014 harvest – explains Antonio Rallo, production manager of Donnafugata – were more than optimal. The vineyards enjoyed a stable and moderately warm climate. We are dealing with an important harvest: healthy and perfectly ripe grapes with a rich and very complex aromatic profile. The withering also came to an end in the best way possible and the manual destemming, an operation that requires great attention, brought perfectly destemmed and further selected dried grapes to the cellar. An exceptional vintage to celebrate the nomination of the Pantellerian alberello as UNESCO Heritage of Humanity.”
The climatic conditions and the main cultivation practices in the different viticultural contexts of Pantelleria
From the agronomic and viticultural point of view, the climatic trend favored the budburst and flowering of the Zibibbo plants in the months of April and May.
Unlike last year, during this last harvest there was no damage caused by the sirocco: in fact, blowing during flowering, this wind can determine a lower production especially in some districts.
Topping the vines in June encouraged the growth of new leaves, physiologically active during the next phase of the ripening of the grapes.
Veraison happened in July.
The Donnafugata vineyards on Pantelleria – a total area of 68 hectares distributed over the whole island – are an example of heroic viticulture, characterized by terraces, dry stone walls and lots of manual labor. In the Khamma cellar the individual lots of Zibibbo were processed separately, enhancing the distinctiveness of these viticultural contexts. The harvest began in the district of Martingana and continued in the other districts of Bukkuram, Khamma, Favarotta and Bugeber (a bit higher up and mostly exposed to the east) with the harvest of the grapes for withering and those destined for the must for the production of Ben Ryé, the pluri-decorated Passito di Pantelleria.
In September we harvested in the Barone vineyards (district located in the hinterland of the island, with a particularly high elevation above sea level, facing east), where the grapes from the younger vineyards are used for the production of Lighea, Donnafugata’s dry Zibibbo, while the grapes from the historical vineyards (50-60 years old) constitute the base of the sweet wines, Kabir (Moscato di Pantelleria) and Ben Ryé.
The harvest concluded in the last week of September in the Mueggen, Gibbiuna and Ghirlanda districts (cooler and later) with the picking of the grapes destined for Lighea.
Baldo M. Palermo email@example.com tel. 0039 0923 7242267
Laura Ellwanger firstname.lastname@example.org te. 0039 0923 724258