Humidity naturally accumulated by the soils, thanks to spring rain, together with drip irrigations focused on some vineyards have perfectly compensated the lower rainfall characterizing vintage 2011, rainier than normal, on average in Sicily.
Donnafugata production, both at Contessa Entellina estate and on the island of Pantelleria, reports a decrease of around 10% due to the climatic trend reducing the number of berries per bunch, during but set phase.
At the Contessa Entellina Estate, the picking begun on August 10th with the night harvest of the Chardonnay, the first variety to ripen.
In August other grape varieties were harvested: starting with Sauvignon Blanc on the 16th, Viognier on the 18th, Merlot on the 26th. At the beginning of September, instead, were picked Nero d’Avola, Alicante, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Ansonica. Harvest continued on September 7th with Grecanico, on the 8th with Catarratto, on the 13th with Petit Verdot and starting from the 17th with Tannat. The picking of grapes ended on October 3rd, following the traditional rhythms of this area of Sicily.
In conclusion, harvest quality achieved the goals fixed. Results are very good for white grapes: the wines obtained are fresh, rich in aromas and well balanced thanks to the spring climatic trend characterized by mild temperatures and rainfall. Also this year great red Sicilian wine expectations were met, by healthy grapes well ripen from both an aromatic and fenolic point of view and to high atmospheric temperature ranges characterizing the second part of August.
On of the island of Pantelleria, Donnafugata’s vineyards are located in 11 different districts (contrade), being an important example of heroic viticulture on its terraced slopes. The long summer, with temperatures not excessively high, allowed an excellent concentration in aromas and sugars, thus obtaining ideal grapes for the passito production.
Here Zibibbo harvest begun on August 17th and ended on September 19th. The collection of grapes on Pantelleria is generally well-structured, even concerning one single variety: 11 productive contexts (various districts all around the island), with different pedoclimatic conditions and grapes that, consequently, reach their ripening within the space of various weeks. The grapes collected in the different vineyards are destined, partially to the withering and, partially, to produce fresh Zibibbo must. After all, a wine like Ben Ryè totally reflects this complexity of contributions that, just in this natural Passito, finds its best expression.
Baldo M. Palermo [email protected] tel. 0039 0923 7242267
Laura Ellwanger [email protected] te. 0039 0923 724258