In the family’s historic winery at Marsala, dating to 1851, Donnafugata receives its visitors in a spacious courtyard dotted with citrus and olive trees typical of 19th century bagli (cellars).
It is here that the 2008 vintage began with two important novelties: a subterranean barrique cellar and an imposing 50-Kw photovoltaic system for the production of solar energy.
The new barriccaia—Suffused light, muffled sound in an atmosphere, charged with powerful aromas. Anyone standing on the elevated gangway is certain to be astounded by the stacks of barrels. The capacity is an ample 1,600 sq.m. (17,222 sq.ft.), linear and very functional, the new underground winery combines in a single place all the production elements for Donnafugata wines matured in wood: Angheli, Tancredi and Mille e una Notte and in part the Chiarandà. The underground system responds perfectly to the requirements of a static and esthetic order.
The temperature is a constant 15-16° C. (59-61° F.) and the thermal dispersions are reduced to the minimum, resulting in a substantial savings in energy. Humidity also remains naturally at an ideal level (80-85%) due to the characteristics of the tufaceous rock from which the cellar was carved. An electronic system controls these parameters and ensures that they remain constant.
Initially, the crus were matured separately and then progressively assembled during maturation. The barrels used—93% are barriques and 7% tonneaux—may differ by maker, zone of provenance of the wood and method and intensity of their toasting. The choice of wood involves up to 30 different types and is oriented toward maximum respect for the varietal characteristics of the individual wines.
After the opening of the new barrique cellar, additional space was recovered in the historic cellars for the fining in the bottle of the most important wines.
The new photovoltaic installation – At the historic cellars in Marsala, Donnafugata has created a new 50Kw photovoltaic system. The installation consists di 350 sq.m. (3,767.37 sq.ft.) of mono crystalline panels, of a greed-connected type that produces on average 79,000 Kw annually.
For years, Donnafugata has considered the quality of the environment as a production factor on a plane with many others: the land, climate, variety and choice of cultivation. For that reason, the estate had already constructed its first photovoltaic installation, for 18 Kw, on its property at Contessa Entellina with a roof of 140 sq. m. (1,507 sq.ft.), which assures average annual production of 28,000 Kw.
Donnafugata was among the first wine estates in Italy to adopt a system assuring a clean source of energy. That sensibility has already received an important recognition: admittance to the Kyoto Club, the Italian association promoting the adoption of policies aimed at the reduction of carbon dioxide.
A decision—that of focusing on a clean and renewable energy source—which takes its impetus from Sicily’s solar potential, an important step in the framework of the Enterprise Nature Culture project for which Donnafugata is involved in the production of quality wines, while respecting the environment and promoting the territory.
During 2008 another 50Kw photovoltaic facility will be constructed at the Donnafugata estate at Contessa Entellina and it will permit total production sufficient to satisfy 70% of the winery’s requirements.
Baldo M. Palermo [email protected] phone +39 0923 724226
Laura Ellwanger: [email protected] phone. +39 0923 724258
Nando Calaciura [email protected] mob. +39 338 3229837