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Beneath Sicilian stars, the nighttime harvest returns.





At Donnafugata the night of San Lorenzo, August 10th, will be a magical one. “Calici di Stelle” (“Goblets of Stars”), the annual event promoted by the Wine Tourism Movement, will truly be a night not to miss for anyone who loves wine and wants to know more about its terroirs and production techniques.

In the splendid vineyards of the Donnafugata estate (at km 60 of the Palermo-Sciacca highway – S.S. 624), traditionally opened to the public for this event, right that night the night harvest of the Chardonnay grapes grown in its “La Fuga” vineyard will begin. This coincidence had been unforeseeable until just recently because the harvest was expected to begin mid-August.

After keeping a close eye on how the grapes were ripening Antonio Rallo – head of the winery’s production staff – dispelled all doubts and set the starting date for picking the Chardonnay for precisely the night when wine-lovers and wine tourists usually come to visit the estate and its cellars and to taste Donnafugata wines. A magnificent surprise that many will be able to enjoy in person, perhaps while sipping a glass of “La Fuga” Chardonnay itself.

In any case, the hours for Calici di Stelle remain those previously announced: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Reservations, which are required, can be made with a toll-free call to 800 252321 or via e-mail at [email protected]. The tasting fee, payable at the entrance, is 5 Euro, plus a 5-Euro deposit for the tasting glass, which will be refunded when the glass is returned.

Donnafugata began the nocturnal harvest in 1998 and since then, year after year, it has become a reference technique for preserving the quality of the grapes’ aromas, reducing to a minimum the risk of micro-fermentations that the elevated daytime temperatures in Sicily in August might trigger if the grapes were picked during the day. It thereby ensures that the full bouquet of the little Chardonnay grapes will be retained.

Nighttime temperatures at the Contessa Entellina estate are a great deal cooler so the grapes reach the cellar perfectly intact and ready to be cooled and gently pressed. But in addition to maintaining the qualitative level of the grapes, the nighttime harvest also brings other benefits: picking is less tiring and less energy is needed to cool the grapes before they are pressed.

“Calici di Stelle” 2009 at Donnafugata

When: Monday, August 10, 2009 – from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Event: Calici di Stelle (Goblet of Stars) the traditional Italian Wine Tourism Movement event to celebrate Bacchus and toast the falling stars on the Night of San Lorenzo.
How to get to Donnafugata: Donnafugata lies precisely at kilometer 60 on the road S.S. 624 from Palermo to Sciacca. Note: coming from Palermo, you will first see the winery on your left and just ahead on your right you will take the overpass to get to Donnafugata. Coming from Sciacca, the winery will be on your right, proceed about 800 meters, on your right take exit “C.da Cavallaro”, proceed under the road and turn left going back towards Sciacca. Proceed 800 metres, take right and follow the overpass to the estate.

From Mazara del Vallo take the highway A29 towards Palermo: after 20 kilometres exit at Castelvetrano and follow signs for Menfi and Sciacca; after 25 kilometres exit at Menfi and follow the signs first for Sambuca di Sicilia and then for the road S.S. 624 Palermo-Sciacca; at the rotary called “Misilbesi”, take the road S.S. 624 in direction towards Palermo and continue for about 12 kilometres until kilometer marker n° 60.

Donnafugata estate is in Contessa Entellina community, but DO NOT follow the signs for Contessa Entellina; stay on road S.S. 624 Palermo-Sciacca (see “How to get to Donnafugata”).

The evening’s features: 1.     A visit to one of Sicily’s most beautiful and best-tended vineyards by moonlight.

2.     Guided tour of the vinification cellar and photovoltaic installation for solar energy, a renewable and non-polluting power source.

3.     Video of grape harvesting and wine making at the Donnafugata estates in Contessa Entellina and on Pantelleria (duration: about 10 minutes).

4.     There will be a special selection of Donnafugata wines for tasting during the evening, including old vintages, difficult to find on the market.

Price: The price of the tasting is € 5 to be paid at the entrance. In addition we ask that you leave a € 5 security deposit for the wine glass, which will be given back when the wine glass is returned.
Wine sales: Yes.
Info-line: Would you like more information on the event, how to get to it or anything else? Call us on the phone: (+39) 0923 724206 or 0923 724216.
If you get lost On August 10, 2009 (and that day only) you can get information on how to get to Donnafugata by calling this mobile phone number: (+39) 335 7709505 anytime during the day or evening.
Reservations: Reservations required at the toll-free phone number +39 800 252321 or via e-mail a [email protected]. Just give a last name and the number of people in your group.
Where to stay? Here are some hotels and farm holiday accommodations in the area at Contessa Entellina (PA): Abbazia di Santa Maria del Bosco, C.da S. Maria del Bosco – tel. +39 091 8351301;  at Sambuca di Sicilia (AG): Don Giovanni Hotel, Contrada Pandolfina – tel. +390925944001; Azienda Agricola “Massaria Ruvettu”, C.da Cicala – Tel. +39 0925 946059 [email protected] ; at Sciacca (AG): Grand Hotel delle Terme (4 stelle), Viale delle Nuove Terme n.1 – tel. +39 0925 23133 at Menfi (AG): Tenuta Stoccatello (agriturismo), Km 6 S.P. Menfi-Partanna – mobile +39 333 9035428 ; Azienda Agrituristica “Baglio San Vincenzo”, C.da San Vincenzo – mobile 339 242 6103 ; at Selinunte Castelvetrano (TP): Hotel Paradise Beach, C.da Belice Mare – tel. +39 0924 46333  fax +39 0924 46477, ; at Mazara del Vallo (TP): Kempinski Giardino di Costanza Resort (5 stelle), Via Salemi km 7,1 – tel. +39 0923 675 000 fax +39 0923 675 876;
Where to eat? Here are some trattorias and restaurants in the area (reservations required) at Marinella di Selinunte: (Castelvetrano): Lido Ristorante La Pineta, Via Punta Cantone – tel. +39 0924 46820; at Menfi: Ristorante da Vittorio, Via Friuli Venezia Giulia n.9 – Tel. +39 0925 78381; Ristorante Il Vigneto, C.da Gurra di Mare – tel. +39 0925 71732. at Sciacca: Ristorante Al Porticello, Via Lido Esperanto (c.da Stazzone) – tel. +39 0925 22060; Ristorante La Lampara, Vicolo Grande II Caricatore n.33 – tel. +39 0925 85085; Ristorante Porto S. Paolo, Largo S. Paolo n.7 – tel. +39 0925 27982; Hostaria del Vicolo, Vicolo Sammaritano n.10 – tel. +39 0925 23071; Reggia di Kokalos, Via Villa Boccone 11 – tel. +39 0925 991560.

on Sicily:

The Sicilian research engine: ; Sicily Region:; Vacations in 20Sicily:; Palermo Province Tourism Board:




Public Relations:

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

Laura Ellwanger [email protected] te. 0039 0923 724258

  • Com_St_2009_08_06_VendemmiaNotturna_ENG.pdf
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