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Donnafugata Does It Again!

Every time I receive wine from Donnafugata, my heartbeat quickens and my palate tingles with anticipation. Whether I taste Donnafugata wines while surrounded by the beauty of Sicily or in the comfort of my home, each bottle and style of wine always performs its magical spell on me.  Before I even open a bottle, the whimsical and captivating labels seduce me.

Donnafugata has wineries and 405 hectares of vineyards located throughout Sicily, including historic aging cellars at their Marsala winery. 

Today we’re going to explore a few of their wines from Etna and Vittoria in eastern and southeast Sicily.


The Vittoria DOC area is located in southeast Sicily where Donnafugata has 36 hectares of vineyards in production. Nero d’Avola and Frappato are grown in the territory of Acate and the wines produced here fall under the denomination of Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG and Frappato DOC. The vineyards enjoy a Mediterranean climate with cooling sea breezes during the summer and a large diurnal temperature range that helps to promote greater acidity in the grapes. The soils are medium-textured, sandy and mingled with calcareous tuff.

Bell’Assai Frappato di Vittoria DOC 2017 is made with 100% Frappato which is one of the most ancient Sicilian grape varieties. It is believed that its origins began in the Ragusa province around 300 years ago. The wine is cherry red with enticing aromas of a flower garden, spice, strawberry and cherry that segue onto the palate with additional notes of pepper and orange peel. This is a refreshing and light wine to drink. The tannins are soft and the flavors linger for a very satisfying finish. Drink as an aperitif or pair with fish, light pasta and cheese.
Alcohol:  13.5%
SRP:  $28

Every artistic label of Donnafugata wine has a story called “Dialogue With Art”.  And in the story of Bell’Assai, Donnafugata “wants to celebrate the love for the beautiful".

The name Bell’Assai means “very pretty” in Sicilian.  Donnafugata’s Dialog With Art is as follows: “Bell’Assai is a girl with personality who offers to the sweet Sicilian breeze the fruits of the vineyards and the scents of the countryside. She represents the spirit of those enterprising families with the love for beauty which have always been animating the territory of Vittoria.”

Donnafugata has approximately 18 hectares of vineyard production on Etna, all in the DOC zone, located in eastern Sicily.  The vineyards are on the north side of the volcano and are spread out among 5 districts, with the highest altitude of 750 meters above sea level in Randazzo. While this area benefits from the Mediterranean climate, the proximity of the active Mt. Etna volcano plays an important role in the surrounding soils. The soil is rich with volcanic nutrients thanks to volcanic ash and rock, which in turn provides nutrients to the grape vines and ultimately helps to create more concentrated flavor and complexity in the wines.

Sul Vulcano Etna Rosso, DOC 2016 is made with 100% Nerello Mascalese, a dark-skinned grape variety that is most commonly grown on the volcanic slopes of Etna.  The wine is a soft ruby red with delicate aromas of cherry, strawberry, floral and spice. Tannins and acidity complement each other with a lovely palate of red fruit, sour cherry, sweet spice, and a dash of pepper on a lengthy finish. It is an expressive and impressive wine! Serve with antipasto, stews, grilled fish, meat and spicy Asian cuisine. 
Alcohol:  13.5%
SRP:  $35

Here is the Dialog With Art for Sul Vulcano:  “A goddess-volcano stands out on the label. Its intense colors, red, yellows, iridescent blacks, are those of the highest active volcano in Europe. An ancient, powerful and feminine deity: “the Mountain” as Etna is called by the locals. “Sul Vulcano” is a declaration of love: a pure wine, fragrant and elegant, that lets you breathe the energy of this unique place located in the center of the Mediterranean.”  I love the goddess-volcano!

Like all of Donnafugata’s wine labels, they tempt you and pull you into the emotions of the wine before you even have your first sip.  And once you taste their wines,  you will be magically transported to the mesmerizing island of Sicily!

Until next time…

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