Posted on 10/21/2020
Wine Maker – Barbara Tamburini
This October, the 2020 harvest has come to an end in Sicily as well, with the last red grapes being taken to the winemaking cellars. Duca di Salaparuta is pleased to confirm that the quality of the grapes, both autochthonous and allochthonous, is very high, with some special grapes, both red and white, of excellent quality. Harvesting began in the first days of August, starting with white grapes: the first grapes harvested were Pinot Grigio, followed by Chardonnay grapes, and then Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Grillo, Zibibbo and Inzolia. In the meantime, during the last week of August, the red grape harvest began, starting with Merlot, followed by Syrah, Frappato and Nero d’Avola.
The last rainfall in spring provided soils with a water reserve that allowed the grapes to ripen regularly in the summer, even though summer temperatures remained rather high during the day. The breezy and dry weather, along with variations in temperature between day and night, played a significant role in ensuring the preservation of the aromas of the various grape varieties on all Duca di Salaparuta Estates.
Excellent results were achieved with regard to the white wines obtained at the Suor Marchesa Riesi Estate, a wonderful example of the varietal character of Sauvignon Blanc, as well as that of Zibibbo, which are both elegant and lively wines. We were particularly satisfied with Vermentino, a fresh and cheerful wine with a remarkable personality, which is just as good as the wine of the Italian regions where this grape variety is traditionally grown. As for Grillo and Insolia, we selected specific grapes from some vineyards and decided to make them into wine in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature, while others, the ones considered as the “best” grapes, produced a must that fermented directly in barriques placed in a cold room, therefore with perfect temperature control. In the first case, we obtained fragrant and fresh wines, while in the second case we obtained more outstanding wines, which is still being refined in the small oak barrels where they were born.
Moving on to red wines, the Merlot is of good quality, as is the Nero d’Avola. In fact, thanks to all the different equipment at our disposal, we have managed to obtain wines that express a very well-defined varietal character, with similar yet different characteristics, each one suited to the winemaking goal we had set ourselves in the beginning. The Frappato is, once again, a very fragrant wine, fresh and lively on the palate. We were also very satisfied with the Pinot Noir, both with regard to the grapes to be used for the sparkling wine base, harvested in the first 10 days of September, and for the remaining part, harvested later in order to allow for the polyphenols to reach polyphenolic maturity, which is necessary to obtain an elegant, full-bodied red wine that will then be aged in barriques. Last but not least, as regards the Nerello Mascalese in the Vajasindi Estate on Mount Etna, the grapes are almost in the final stages of ripening so that they can be harvested in the last week of October.