Work has been completed on construction of the new winery, an architectural gem immersed in the natural beauty of the island.
The view opens on a spacious natural amphitheater marked by terraces supported by dry-stone walls upon which the vineyards are spread out. We are on the island of Pantelleria in the contrada (district) of Khamma on the Donnafugata wine estate, which manages more than 12 hectares (29.6 acres) of Zibibbo vines trained in the alberello (head-trained) system. The new Donnafugata vinification cellar is installed in this scenario, an extraordinary and unique environment. In a superb natural setting, this architectural gem that—for its lines, volumes and facings of lava rock trimmed by hand—seems to have always belonged to this stretch of volcanic land along with the dammusi (traditional habitations on Pantelleria) and the ancient farm storage structures that existed before the new buildings were erected. Retaining those structures preserved the integrity of the landscape of this area on the margins of the ancient settlement of Khamma.
With the new production setup—designed from start by architect Gabriella Giuntoli, creator of the most beautiful dammusis—the aim was to leave a sign of absolute adherence to the island’s architectural heritage to reaffirm the principle of equilibrium between nature and the human presence, which strongly determine the identity of Pantelleria.
It is a true declaration of love for the island that Donnafugata has addressed it through the solutions adopted for the construction of the winery and the building in which the offices, the wine shop and three guest units will be installed. Between the winery and the main building, there is a small garden typical of the island in which it is possible to pick oranges, mandarins and lemons, which have traditionally grown on Pantelleria.
“My wife, Gabriella, and I have long had this project in our hearts,” explained Giacomo Rallo, Donnafugata’s founder, “and we have pursued it day after day during our walks through the century-old vineyards of Khamma. We have completed a gesture of gratitude toward this island and its finest product. Passito di Pantelleria. When the conditions for realizing that project had been determined, we began with an enthusiasm and a motivation that involved everyone, families, collaborators and, obviously, the territory. The new winery will be used in the next vintage and it will be with great emotion that I see Ben Ryé born in this new jewel box. This will fill me with joy.”
From the technical profile, the new winery was planned to carry out the vinification of Zibibbo, which yields Lighea and also and above all contributes to the production of the Moscato and the Passito di Pantelleria, from reception of the grapes to pressing, from drying to fermentation. A perfectly functional structure that meets the objectives of Extreme Quality that Donnafugata has been pursuing and that on Pantelleria finds in the production of naturally sweet wines their maximum expression with full respect for the environment and biodiversity.
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