Donnafugata’s new product of excellence: a distillate embodying the character of Ben Ryé, fruit of heroic viticulture on the island of Pantelleria.
Donnafugata’s new grappa comes from the pomace of Ben Ryé. A distillate of excellence that harmoniously and elegantly expresses the character of Pantelleria, the volcanic island of sun and wind lying between Sicily and Africa. From here comes the pomace of dried Zibibbo grapes used to vinify the award-winning and worldwide beloved Passito Ben Ryé.
The pomace is fermented to best express the aromatic wealth of the grape variety. It is distilled in continuous stills, with a small portion distilled in discontinuous copper stills. Afterwards, collaboration between Donnafugata and the master distiller results in an optimal blend of the grappas from different distillations. Meticulous maturation in small oak barrels from 4 to 6 months gives extraordinary complexity.
The olfactory profile of Ben Ryé Grappa covers a host of sensations, prevailing among which are seductive aromas of apricot and raisin. Mellow and engrossing, it floods the palate with a caressing structure revealing notes of dried figs and honey. To be enjoyed at the end of a meal, with dried fruit, chocolate, fruit gelatins and creamy desserts.
Antonio Rallo of Donnafugata explains that “the arrival of this new label is the result of our efforts on Pantelleria, an exceptional example of heroic viticulture: tiny plots of land wrenched from the mountainside in innumerable terraces; drywalls in the island’s lava stone; vines grown in the typical Pantelleria bush shape, kept very low in basins to be protected from the wind.”
“Harder work and more passion than elsewhere – Rallo continues – is needed to cope with the difficulties of extreme viticulture. Sacrifices rewarded by the extraordinary aromatic wealth of the Zibibbo grapes that in some cases, as in the Khamma vineyard, grow from indigenous (not grafted) vines that are over a hundred years old and survived the phylloxera thanks to the island’s volcanic soil – an incredible heritage of biodiversity. This is a grappa that we consider an excellent ambassador for the island and the great character of Ben Ryé”.
The name Ben Ryé – from the Arab “son of the wind” – is an invitation to discover Pantelleria and its millenniums of history. On Pantelleria, Donnafugata has 168 acres of vineyards in 11 different areas. The Khamma vinification cellar is an example of architecture blending into the landscape, a natural amphitheater of terraces rising towards Monte Gibele and sloping towards the sea.
In addition to Ben Ryé and the new grappa, Donnafugata also produces from grapes grown on Pantelleria, Kabir Moscato, Zibibbo Grappa and – blended with the Cataratto grown on its Contessa Entellina estate – the white wine, Lighea.
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