An itinerary among nature, cultural identity and the great wines of Sicily.
The Tenuta di Donnafugata will be open to the public Saturday morning, April 7, for visits to the vineyards and winery and also for tastings.
Marsala: March15th, 2007. For Donnafugata the territory is an inexhaustible gold mine of identity and, in the Contessa Entellina countryside—the final extension of the province of Palermo into the Valle del Belìce, where the Sicilian estate has vineyards and cellars—this vocation assumes a more meaningful significance. Because of its desire to promote the valorization of the territory, the Sicilian wine producer has since 2004 supported the program of events of the Pasqua Albanese (Albanian Easter).
We are in fact in the places that gave refuge to Albanians fleeing their homeland ahead of the invading Ottoman Turks. In this diaspora, they settled in Sicily (and elsewhere) among the high mountains and undulating hills of the Palermo area. There the Albanians founded five communities: Santa Cristina Gela, Mezzojuso, Palazzo Adriano, Piana degli Albanesi and, precisely, Contessa Entellina.
It is an enclave that, despite the passage of more than five centuries, has preserved use of the ancient Albanian language, its own popular traditions and, above all, its particular religious practices that, due to the Byzantine Greek rite, distinguishes it from all the other Christian communities. The celebration of Easter constitutes for this community of 30,000 inhabitants the year’s most solemn feast with the densest significance, where spirituality and popular tradition meld to affirm the profound and never interrupted link that binds these people to the culture of the Levant and to their land of origin.
To live the rites of Holy Week in these five arbëreshë communes is an emotional experience loaded with fascination. But it is also the occasion to discover products of a sunny and generous countryside that in wine has secured an expression of real excellence.
On Saturday, April 7, the vigil of Easter, the Tenuta di Donnafugata will be open to visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The estate is located at Kilometer 60 on the Palermo-Sciacca limited access highway S.S. 624. The house will present tours with commentary of the Chardonnay vineyards (those of the nocturnal harvest) and the cellars where both whites and reds are vinified. And at the end, there will be a major tasting of the estate’s premium wines: the white Chiarandà from Ansonica and Chardonnay grapes, Mille e una notte from Nero d’Avola, Donnafugata’s most imposing red, and the elegant Ben Ryé, Italy’s most highly regarded Passito di Pantelleria.
For information and reservations (obligatory), contact the wine/tourism number: tel. +39 0923 724245 (Monday through Friday) or write to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). The mobile phone number, + 39 338 771 8805, will be active only on Saturday, April 7.
Baldo M. Palermo email@example.com phone +39 0923 724226
Laura Ellwanger: firstname.lastname@example.org phone. +39 0923 724258
Nando Calaciura email@example.com mob. +39 338 3229837