Sicily

Masseria del Feudo (Organic)

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The Estate

Masseria del Feudo is the brainchild of 2 entrepreneurial young people, Francesco and Carolina Cucurullo.  The project is part of a wider plan of exploitation and verticalisation of 4 production lines: wine, fruit, olive oil, and zootechnics.  The size of the estate is about 110 hectares, and is managed by the Cucurullo family, well into their 4th generation.  In addition to the vineyards where different varietals, both native and international, have been tested (Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Chardonnay, Inzolia, and Grillo), there are also peach cultivations with 13 varieties at different times of the year, and milk cow breeding with a nearby cheese factory for the transformation of milk into dairy products.

Company Philosophy

Masseria del Feudo represents a combination of modernity and tradition.  Francesco and Carolina’s project is oriented today towards wine-making and agriculture, in a land where innovation is supported by tradition.  Their company philosophy is to promote social responsibility for the environment and to produce quality goods.  One aspect of production through which they live out this philosophy is their use of organic fertilizer obtained from the livestock-breeding premises.

The Terroir

The farm is situated about 450 meters above sea level.  On the topographic peaks there is a calcareous terrain, whilst on the medium-low slopes and along the valleys there is a predominance of marly clay.  According to pedological aspects, the lands are classified as medium-texture brown soils.  They are balanced soils and sometimes clay soils, with a good presence of main chemical elements of fertility and with a clay content of 25-30%.  As far as the agronomical point of view, this kind of soil has a high potentiality for good quality tree cultivations, such as fruit trees or grape vines.  The vineyards (and the olive trees) are organic, meaning that organic manure, fertilizers, and antiparasitics such as sulphur, copper, and white oils are used.  The farm is certified by Ecocert Italia, which undertakes annual testing of all production lines.

The Climate

Temperatures are usually mild since most of the estate faces to the southeast.  The most prevalent wind is Scirocco, which brings frequent rains and low temperatures.  Meteorological stations in Agrigento, Naro, and Canicattì often make an accurate monitoring of weather characteristics in order to comprehend the environmental characteristics which determine the quality of agricultural products.

The Vines

Masseria del Feudo’s vineyards are located on a strip of land which has been cultivated since 1860.  It was in this area that early experimentation took place, both for traditional indigenous varietals and foreign ones, such as Chardonnay.  The vineyards are located on a hilly terroir of about 18 hectares.  Average density is 4,000 plants per hectare.  The method of cultivation used is espalier with a runner pruning system.  The average age of the vines is 8 years old and the soil is composed of medium-texture clay.  Red grape varietals that are cultivated here are the indigenous Nero d’Avola and the foreign Syrah.  White varietals include the indigenous Ansonica and Grillo and the foreign Chardonnay.

The Winery

The winery is located inside the old rural buildings of the Masseria.  The overall capacity is 2,000 hectoliters.  Refining and wine-making vats are made of stainless steel and cement, and all have digital temperature control.  Within the winery, a micro-winemaking line has been implemented, which creates a space for experimental testing of new grapes and new wine-making techniques with each harvest.  Such research is aimed at increasing the value of peculiar characteristics of the terroir.  The temperature-controlled barriques are located in a room inside the old millstone which fits 100 Alliers barriques, each at different toasting and with a capacity of 225 liters.  Refining is done in the horizontally placed wine bottles for 3-10 months prior to the wine entering the market.

Experimental Micro-Winemaking

The company has made investments by buying a line of experimental micro wine-making made of a mini crusher-stemmer and 5 hectoliter insulated tanks equipped with digital temperature control.  The aim is to test, on a small scale, clones of grapes and alternative techniques of wine-making, in order to include them into production process.


Grillo_AP_USA_2015

Grillo di Sicilia

Grape Varietals: Grillo Doc Sicilia

Location: Caltanissetta, hill in the heart of Sicily, 450 meters above sea level

Vinification: Organic cultivation and manual harvest in the third week of August.  Short maceration, gentle pressing, and fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats.  Refining on the lees and in bottle.

Tasting Notes: Straw yellow color with golden reflections.  It opens with delicate aromas of citrus, acacia honey, and flowers.  Spicy flavors of white pepper and black currant.  The fruit flavors give the wine a fullness and sweetness, which is well supported by a fine saltiness and acidity.  Hydrocarbons on the finish.

2015 Reviews:

“Here’s a fresh value white wine from Sicily that will wash down easily with salad lunches or light seafood dinners. The 2015 Sicilia Grillo is a versatile white wine with ample zest and aromatic intensity. The bouquet offers lemon, white peach and yellow rose. The acidity is crisp and will keep your palate feeling revived and clean.”-Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

“A white with pretty energy and intensity. Full body, lots of fruit and enduring freshness. So long and flavorful. Fun.”-91pts, James Suckling

“Bright straw. Orange blossom, lemon peel and aromatic herbs on the nose. Then clean and precise, offering easygoing fresh citrus fruit and herbal flavors. Finishes long and classically dry, with lingering perfume.”-90+pts, Ian d’Agata, Vinous

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INZOLIA_AP_USA_2015

Inzolia di Sicilia Il Giglio

Grape Varietals: Inzolia Doc Sicilia

Location: Caltanissetta, hill in the heart of Sicily, 450 meters above sea level

Vinification: Short maceration, gentle pressing, and fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats. Refining on the lees and in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Straw yellow color; the wine has a pleasant fruity aroma-intense, fresh, and floral with hints of candied fruit peel and cedar.  The palate is soft on the attack and is sapid and balanced.  The finish is vibrant and fresh, with notes of almond.

2015 Reviews:

“The 2015 Sicilia Inzolia Il Giglio is a refreshing and thirst-quenching white. The wine offers pretty aromas of white flower and citrus with more zesty acidity at the back. Its streamlined and compact mouthfeel makes it a good choice to serve with a light lunch by the pool. This wine offers amazing value.”-Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

“A very attractive inzolia with intense lemon and mineral character. Just a hint of saltiness. Medium-bodied, crisp and clean.”-90pts, James Suckling

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NERO D'AVOLA_AP_USA_2015

Nero d'Avola di Sicilia Il Giglio

Location: Caltanissetta, hill in the heart of Sicily, 450 meters above sea level

Grape Varietals: Nero d’Avola Doc Sicilia

Vinification: Organic cultivation and manual harvest in the second week of September.  Long maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats.  Refining in concrete vats and in bottle.

Tasting Notes: Intense ruby red color; notes of menthol, together with sweeter ripe red fruit and pepper hints in the bouquet.  Intriguing and complex.  On the palate, the Nero d’Avola is velvety and sapid, with a vibrating finish.  It also has an acidity typical of the varietal, which is a nice complement to the fruity aftertaste.

2015 Reviews:

“An unbelievable value, the 2015 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Il Giglio is a fresh and tonic red wine that is brimming with primary fruit. It offers cherry and blueberry with some bitter almond at the back. It would pair with burgers or carnitas tacos.”-Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

“Aromas of smoke, dried meat and dark cherries. Full to medium body, firm and velvety tannins and a silky finish.”-91pts, James Suckling

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