Pantelleria - Donnafugata
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Pantelleria

The island of sun and wind.

Where the alberello vine has UNESCO World Heritage status

In 1989 we fell in love with the extreme nature of Pantelleria, a volcanic island between Sicily and Africa. Since then, we have started an innovative project of quality and heroic viticulture.

A close look at the Estate

The territory, the vineyards and the climate

At Pantelleria the vines are cultivated on very low “Pantelleria” alberellos, on small terraces, bordered by drystone walls made with lava stones (listed as Unesco World Heritage Status). A context that requires a sizeable workforce, about three times the average requirement of a quality-oriented vineyard while also including the maintenance of about 40 km of drystone walls.

68

Hectares

16

Contradas

40

Recovered drystone walls

5

Hectares of olive groves

Terrain

Altitudes from 20 to 400 m. a.s.l., complex orography, typically volcanic with land cultivated mainly on terraces. Sandy soils of volcanic origin with sub-acid or neutral reaction (pH from 6.5 to 7); deep and loose soil, well endowed with minerals.

Vineyard

The vines are cultivated manually inside hollows on low Pantelleria alberellos, registered in the Unesco World Heritage list. Plant density from 2500 to 3600 plants per hectare with yields ranging from 40-60 quintals per hectare; 1.6 – 2 kg per plant.

Climate

Mild winters with little rain (460 mm per year). Breezy summers favour the quality of the grapes on the plant and on the trellises while drying, acting as a “natural fungicide”.

Tailor-made wine process

In the vineyard

Heroic viticulture

The extreme nature of Pantelleria requires complex agronomic choices: the vines are grown in a system of very low alberellos on terraces bordered by drystone walls made of lava stones. Everything is done by hand, from the grape harvest to the detaching of the grapes from the bunches,, on up to the maintenance of the drystone walls. We dedicate ourselves to a context of heroic viticulture through unceasing care and commitment.

Pantelleria alberello

The only Unesco Heritage agricultural practice

On Pantelleria we cultivate the vines inside “hollows” and with a pruning system that allows the plant to grow horizontally, almost creeping on the ground, so the plant is protected from the wind. Pruning is short and the harvest is manually-done as also the selection of the bunches. Pantelleria alberello as a “highly sustainable and creative agricultural practice” has been recognized by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Ben Ryé

Ben Ryé among the world’s great sweet wines

Our passito of Pantelleria Ben Ryé, the son of the wind, is the symbol of the island’s heroic viticulture. The process is based on the natural drying of fresh grapes on racks, the manual destemming of the grapes from the bunches and a sartorial vinification that gives life to a wine with a unique balance.

Environmental sustainability

Producing while respecting the environment and the human being

A deep love for our land has always been in the soul of Donnafugata. A desire to produce quality wines that respect the environment: “From the vineyard to the bottle, there is no quality without sustainability”

Drystone walls and protection of the landscape

We have recovered, and we maintain every year, over 40 km of drystone walls made of lava stones (Unesco World Heritage Status), which help to prevent the soil erosion, protect the landscape and the biodiversity.

The UN Agenda 2030
Goal 15- Life on earth

Hundred-year-old vineyard and resilience

In 1999 we restored a Zibibbo vineyard with several ungrafted plants over 100 years old: unique vines, an example of agricultural resilience, capable of resisting drought and giving Ben Ryé an exceptional aromatic profile.

The UN Agenda 2030
Goal 2- Zero hunger

Experimental vineyard and biodiversity

Since 2010 in Pantelleria we have been committed to promoting wine biodiversity by creating an experimental vineyard with 33 biotypes of Zibibbo coming from different areas of the Mediterranean

The UN Agenda 2030
Goal 15- Life on earth


From the Sustain Sicily Foundation to the UN 2030 Agenda: for sustainable development

Find out about our commitment
Terroir and grape vines

The Contradas

Each district differs in sun exposure and altitude ranging from 20 metres above sea level to 400 metres, a multiplicity of micro-terroirs that gives to the grapes unique characteristics 



Karuscia

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:60 m a.s.l.

Exposition:North/Northeast

Bukkuram

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.7)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:175 m a.s.l.

Exposition:Northwest

Bugeber

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:100 m a.s.l.

Exposition:Northwest

Favarotta

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 13%

Altitude:180 m a.s.l.

Exposition:North

Khamma

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:130-200 m a.s.l.

Exposition:Northeast

Punta Karace

Soil:rocky and sandy of volcanic origin (pH 7)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:60-100 m a.s.l.

Exposition:Northeast

Mueggen

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:200-330 m a.s.l.

Exposition:East

Tracino

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.3)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:130 a.s.l.

Exposition:East

Ghirlanda

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 5.9)
Total limestone 13%

Altitude:160 m a.s.l.

Exposition:flat

Gibbiuna

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6)
Total limestone 8%

Altitude:290 m a.s.l.

Exposition:East

Serraglia

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 5.9)
Total limestone 13%

Altitude:180 m a.s.l.

Exposition:East

Barone

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6)
Total limestone 8%

Altitude:340 m a.s.l.

Exposition:East

Martingana

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.9)
Total limestone 8%h

Altitude:30-60 m a.s.l.

Exposition:South

Monastero

Soil:sandy of volcanic origin (pH 6.6)
Total limestone 14%

Altitude:210 m a.s.l.

Exposition:Northwest


The varieties

Zibibbo

Zibibbo is an aromatic variety native  of Northern Africa, subsequently spread throughout the Mediterranean basin. The name Zibibbo recalls the Arabic “Zabīb” which means “dried grapes”. In the hot, dry and windy context of this volcanic island, Zibibbo, grows as an albarello and finds the optimal conditions for accumulating sugars and developing a set of fragrances without equal.The variety is suitable to produce aromatic dry wines and sweet wines with a great balance, such as the Passito of Pantelleria.

The wines of the estate

Ben Ryé 2020 Passito di Pantelleria Doc

Ben Ryé 2020 has a golden color with bright amber hues. The very intense bouquet ranges from fruity notes of apricot and candied orange peel, to hints of Mediterranean scrub. On the palate the fruity hints of aromatic herbs are...

Kabir 2021 Moscato di Pantelleria Doc

Kabir 2021, bright straw yellow with golden reflections,  is characterized by a rich and fragrant bouquet with scents of tropical fruit (passion fruit) combined with flowery notes of orange blossom and delicate savory nuances. The nose is perfectly reflected on...

Lighea 2021 Zibibbo Sicilia Doc

Lighea 2021 has a bright straw yellow color with greenish hues. The nose offers a rich and fragrant bouquet where the classic notes of orange blossom are combined with citrus hints (cedar and bergamot) and exotic fruit (lychee). On the...

Olive groves

In the terraces, we cultivate 5 hectares of one hundred-year-old olive trees of the Biancolilla cultivar; our olive groves are pruned horizontally and to a height of just over 1 metre, the yield is very low and they are harvested manually. A tailor-made process that originates our delicate extra virgin olive oil Biancolilla.

Find out about Biancolilla
Come and visit us in Pantelleria

Guided tours, professional tastings and refined combinations with specialties of local cuisine await you. A hospitality that you can enjoy all year round. 

Visit the Pantelleria Estate
The other estates

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