Estate: Marco De Bartoli was born into two of the largest Marsala-producing families [Pellegrino and Florio) of the time. In 1978, following a successful career as a race car driver, Marco decided to revitilise the family vineyards and grow and vinify his own wines. The 20 hectare estate is close to the town of Marsala, at the westernmost tip of Sicily. In 1984 Marco acquired additional vines and a winery on the island of Pantelleria, closer to Tunisia than Italy. For snapshot into Marco’s life, click here.
Marco passed away in 2011 at the age of 66, his three children “carry the De Bartoli flag and his commitment to quality-driven, estate-grown wines that walk the line between old-fashioned and modern in the most graceful of ways”. They are committed to preserving and promoting indigenous grapes of Sicily, such as Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto and the red Pignatello [Perricone].
Winemaking: ‘Sole e Vento’ is a “tip of the hat to the two different sunny and windy islands from which it originates”, Sicily and Pantelleria. Grillo grapes are from 21 year old vines in sandy loam, level vineyards in Marsala, whilst Zibibbo hails from 29 year old vines in the volcanic, terraced slopes of Pantelleria. Organically farmed, hand harvested with only indigenous yeasts used in fermentation. Aged 7 months in stainless steel tanks, on its own lees.
Tasting Notes: Bright gold in colour with aromas of lemon, lake water and sea salt minerals. A sunny fusion of bright lemon and basil flavours, with grapefruit and saline minerals on the refreshing finish. Easy drinking, bright and unique, I was absolutely enamored with the herbaceous basil.
Blend of Zibibbo and Grillo [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Terre Siciliane IGP
Bottled by Società Agricola de Bartoli srl
Estate: Founded in 1850, the Murgo estate is headed by Barone Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo and located on the steep slopes of Mount Etna. Along with his sons Michele, Pietro, and Matteo, Barone del Murgo has been modernizing the winery and vineyards in order to constantly improve upon the quality of the wines, yet keeping the wine as an expression of the specific volcanic soils and traditions of Etna.
Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed using sustainable methods. Fermented and aged in stainless steel “to preserve the crisp acidity and juicy freshness”.
Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of lemon and sea salt minerals. Simple and refreshing with light lemon and citrus zest flavours along with bright acidity, culminating in a dry finish of slightly smoky, sea salt minerals.
70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto
Etna Bianco DOC
Bottled by Aziende Agricole Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo SSA
Estate: The Tasca d’Almerita family of estates consists of the Regaleali, Capofaro, and Whitaker estates. The Tasca family has farmed the Regaleali estate since 1837. Today the 8th generation of the family, Count Lucio Tasca, oversees all of the nearly 600 hectares of vineyards along with his sons, Giuseppe and Alberto. The family is committed to sustainability; they are behind the ‘SOStain’ programme, an organization that guides companies towards increasing their sustainability. The name of the wine reflects the “thousands of roses, brought in from all over the world”, that flourish throughout the Regaleali estate.
Philosophy: Passionate about eco-sustainability, the Regaleali estate is nearly completely self-sufficient; all of their food is grown on the estate and they are working toward a carbon neutral rating. Their goal of achieving eco-sustainability “is a self-regulated, pro-active scheme to reach our goals through positive actions both in the short term and in the mid-to-long term” that they achieve using “science, technology and organization”.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the Santa Rosa vineyard at the Regaleali estate from vines planted in 1986. “Fermented in stainless steel tanks and partially macerated with the skins of Nero D’Avola.” Aged for 3 months in stainless steel tanks.
Tasting Notes: Copper pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry and clean minerals. Tasting similar to the aromas, with red fruits and minerals culminating in citrus zest notes on the dry finish. Fresh and fruity with a zippy finish, this is a gluggable Rosé to enjoy all summer long.
100% Nerello Mascalese
Terre Siciliane IGT
Bottled by Conte Tasca d’Almerita SOC. AGR. a R.L.
Winery: For many generations the Pozzi Family has been making and selling wine. Beginning in Cremona, northern Italy the current owner’s great grandfather established relationships with local growers and producers and travelled throughout Italy selling their wines. The winery and vineyards were established in northwestern Sicily in 1860, today 4th generation winemaker Daniele Pozzi, who continues expanding the family’s connections, heads the estate.
Philosophy: The family’s motto is “Res non Verba” [Deeds not Words], and aims to produce high quality wines at affordable prices.
Winemaking: All of their wines are “made to be enjoyed upon release and have a ripe, fruit-forward style”. Vineyards are located in the hills surrounding Marsala, Salemi and Mazzara del Vallo in northwestern Sicily and have an average vine age of 25 years. Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards with clay soils in western Sicily. “Finished in stainless steel instead of oak, which lets the fresh fruit character of Sicily’s native Nero d’Avola grape shine through.”
Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry pie, spiced oak and dusty earth. Cherry driven with streaks of pomegranate, red currant and sour cherry dusted with a shake of white pepper. Baked cherry, vanilla and toasted oak comprise the dry, lengthy finish. A good value and companion to everyday dishes like pizza and pasta.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Enjoy with rich pastas and grilled meats.
Nero d’Avola [I could not verify varietal percentage, although it must be at least 80% for DOC status.]
Produced and Bottled by Cantine Europa SCA
Winery: Judeka was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate Sicilian entrepreneurs, led by Valentina Nicodemo. Beginning with nothing but land, they have quickly developed into a stunning winery captained by a group of passionate winemakers. With an awareness of the impact winemaking takes on the environment, the winery is driven to be as carbon neutral as possible. A photovoltaic system provides all of their electricity needs, an artificial wetland system has been introduced to treat wastewater, which is then returned to the vines in an irrigation system.
Philosophy: “Respect for nature and the consumer.”
Winemaking: Strict organic methods are followed in the vineyard and winery.
Tasting Notes: Brilliant ruby red in colour with aromas of black cherry, strawberry, clove, and the slightest wisp of menthol. Flavours mirror the aromas; a sublime combo of soft tannins and bright acidity backs black cherry, black currant and a hint of rosemary. Blackberry and warmly spiced clove notes linger on the savoury finish. Friendly and engaging, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.
Produced & Bottled by Judeka SRL
$20 [average price]
Rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast