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Vintage 2013 at Donnafugata. The harvest at Contessa Entellina

A good vintage, with peaks of excellence, the premise of harmonious and balanced wines.

Contessa Entellina – September 2, 2013 – The 2013 vintage was characterized by fairly balanced climatic trends, with a relatively mild winter, fresh spring and cool summer. In general, it rained more than in 2011 and 2012, vintages among the driest in recent years. From October 1, 2012  to September 30, 2013 the rainfall reached 767 mm in 12 months, a higher value compared to the Sicilian average of the last 10 years (660 mm in 12 months, source “Regione Siciliana – SIAS – Servizio Informativo Agrometeorologico Siciliano”). As a matter of fact 2013 featured one of the coolest summers in the past 20 years (compared to Sicilian average).

  “2013 has been an excellent vintage. We had a mild winter, with good rainfall, which was followed by a cool, ventilated spring – explains Antonio Rallo, owner of Donnafugata and the company’s production manager -. July and August passed without excesses of heat and with an excellent temperature range between day and night. In late August some rainfall and lower temperatures than usual allowed the white grapes to preserve the fruit and freshness intact, and the red ones to reach optimal phenolic ripeness.”


Climatic conditions and cultivation methods in the various viticultural environments at Contessa Entellina.

There was a slight delay in budburst and flowering in spring (April-May).

Topping the vines in June encouraged the growth of new leaves, physiologically active in the last stages of ripening.

Veraison happened in July and the temperatures were within the seasonal values, always characterized by extreme temperature variations between day and night (even greater than 22° C). From the initial estimates the vintage appeared to be slightly more productive than 2012 and cluster thinning was performed from the middle of the month, in order to make the production in line with the quality objectives of the company.

The harvest began in August at Contessa Entellina where the winery receives the grapes that come from 10 different districts located in the heart of Western Sicily.

Grape picking began on August 5 with the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, for the sparkling wine base, in the higher (470 – 500 m) and ventilated vineyards that are able to ensure the excellent acidity in the grapes used to produce the Donnafugata Brut; it was followed on August 10 with the nighttime harvesting of the Chardonnay, first variety to ripen in the areas of Duchessa and Mazzaporro, among the earliest due to their location down in the valley. Harvesting at night is a technical choice that allows to preserve the grape aromas, saving 70% of energy in the cooling before pressing.

August ended with the following varieties: Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, for which harvest started in Mazzaporro and finished in the other districts; between late August and early September the Merlot and Syrah in Casale Bianco were harvested, the first of the reds to ripen, thanks also to the reflectance of the limestone-rich soil, with the typical white color of this district.

To follow the picking of the Grillo grapes in the hilly area between Marsala and Salemi (the Alfaraggio, Baiata and Pioppo districts) that, thanks to good ventilation and discrete temperature differences between day and night, ensure grapes with good acidity and moderate sugar content, excellent for SurSur, Donnafugata’s new white.

During the first week of September, the Ansonica, Cataratto, Nero D’Avola were harvested. In the second week of the month it was time for the Nero d’Avola and Fiano in Miccina, cooler and more ventilated than Mazzaporro. Tannat, Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouchet were picked in the third week. The harvest concluded with the picking of Cabernet Sauvignon in Contrada Pandolfina and the last parcel of Catarratto on September 21. A good vintage, with peaks of excellence, the premise of harmonious and balanced wines.


Public Relations:

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

Laura Ellwanger [email protected] te. 0039 0923 724258

  • 2013-11-08_CS_Vintage-2013_Contessa.pdf
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