The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient...
cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has four estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 283 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; 36 hectares in Vittoria to the south eastern point of the island; 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria; and 18 hectares on the slopes of Etna. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e una Notte' label.
The grapes for this wine are grown in vineyards on the north side of Etna, in five districts between Randazzo and Passopiscaro, at altitudes of 730-750 metres above sea level. Soils there are volcanic, deep and rich in minerals, and allow strong root growth. Vines are trained to Vertical Shoot Position, and are planted at a density of about 4,500 plants per hectare.
Autumn and winter saw little rainfall. However, thanks to the loose volcanic soils, the roots of the vines were able to access deep water stores and, therefore, they did not suffer despite the dry weather. Summer temperatures did not reach excessive heights, and some rain towards the end of August helped the vines remain healthy and their growth remain regular. The grapes were able to ripen slowly and regularly, due to mild temperatures in September and October. 2016 has given wines with intense aromas, marked minerality and softness, finesse and harmony.
The Carricante harvest began on 30th September and continued into the first few days of October. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 14-16°C. The wine was then aged partly in tank and partly in second and third use French oak barriques for 10 months. After bottling, the wine spent seven months in bottle before release.
This wine opens with elegant notes of aromatic herbs, citrus fruits and flint. On the palate, it is fresh and savoury, characterised by its distinctive minerality and remarkable persistence.
|Grape varieties||100% Carricante|
|Winemaker||Antonio Rallo, Antonino Santoro, Pietro Russo|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.