From the death of Giacomo Rallo to the realization of the production project on Etna and in the Vittoria area, from the election of Antonio Rallo to lead Unione Italiana Vini to the great verticals of Ben Ryé and Mille e una Notte, and the launch of the Collections and the new website.
Every year Vinitaly in Verona represents a long-awaited turning point for Italian wine. And for a winery like Donnafugata, present in grand style at the Verona kermis, it is the right time to take stock, present novelties and projects.
Exactly one year ago, with the fiftieth edition of Vinitaly, the new Donnafugata Collections officially saw the light of day. A “Copernican revolution” to deviate from the patterns of classic segmentations and exalt the wines through the eyes of fans; 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 character” and joy for the “Fresh and Fruity”. A new way to live a range of wines distinguished by pleasantness and complexity and that permeates the website www.donnafugata.it, recently completely renewed.
In May, the loss of Giacomo Rallo, founder of Donnafugata, aroused great emotion in the wine world. A man who, for his humanity, vision and wish to form a team with his fellow producers, was a protagonist of the renewal of Sicilian and Italian wine, whose values will continue to bear precious fruit.
In the same month, 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 wine industry, with over 500 members accounting for 80% of Italian exports.
2016 was the year of the great vertical tastings of the Donnafugata icon wines. It started with the reportage produced by Monica Larner for Wine Advocate, dedicated to the heroic viticulture of Pantelleria and 22 vintages of Ben Ryé. And then with Ian D’Agata, for Vinous, Mille e una Notte was protagonist of a complete vertical, with no less than 17 vintages tasted, starting from the first vintage, 1995, to that of 2011.
Then, 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 commented on the announcement of the new acquisitions: “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.” At the tasting counters at this year’s Vinitaly there will be the preview of Bell’Assai 2016 Frappato di Vittoria DOC, the debut wine of the project.
Important novelties also in wine tourism with the launch of visit.donnafugata.it 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 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).
A fruitful year in terms of media; Donnafugata was, in fact, protagonist of some television productions that recounted the winery’s territories, harvests and relic varieties.
From Contessa Entellina to Pantelleria, American Monique Soltani conducted her reportage for WineOh.TV, documenting the harvest. Colin West of Wineram Productions – one of the most talented star-spangled filmmakers – included the nighttime harvest of the Chardonnay at Contessa Entellina and the Zibibbo harvest on Pantelleria in his long-awaited feature dedicated to the harvest in the “old world”, that will be presented at the Napa Valley Wine Film Festival. On Der Spiegel TV, in Germany, Donnafugata was chosen by Andrea Vogt for the only installment filmed in Italy of a cycle of three episodes dedicated to relic varieties, with a feature entitled “Relic Wine Hunters: Secrets of Sicily”.
International attention that testifies to wine journalism’s great interest in Sicily and in the production commitment of Donnafugata.
Definitely an intense year. And Donnafugata’s journey continues.
Baldo M. Palermo [email protected] tel. +39 0923 724226
Laura Ellwanger [email protected] tel +39 0923 724258