Donnafugata Winery

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Donnafugata literally means “a woman on the run” and it refers to Queen Maria Carolina, the wife of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who fled Naples and took refuge in this part of Sicily in the early XIX century. This very location was also mentioned by the writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in his famous novel “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard”), as one of the country possessions of the Prince of Salina.

This winery, located in Marsala (province of Trapani), still retains and uses the original cellars built in 1851: a living example of industrial archaeology with the typical Mediterranean “baglio” layout, featuring a large internal courtyard dotted with citrus and olive trees, as well as wooden trusses.

The true philosophy of this winery has always been aimed at achieving excellence through painstaking attention to details and creating a close relationship with the surrounding environment. Donnafugata cultivates a plurality of international and indigenous grape varieties in 10 different districts, such as “Ansonica”, “Catarratto”, and “Grecanico” – the latter, of Greek origin, as the name implies.

Donnafugata also undertakes eco-friendly and cultural development of the surrounding territory: since 2013, it has been closely monitoring its environmental impact by calculating its Carbon Footprint – the actual Ecological Footprint, in this case – making some remarkable step towards the reduction of its environmental impact.

Donnafugata also cultivates vines on the island of Pantelleria (in Khamma), where it recovered a 17-acre “Zibibbo” vineyard with centenary plants in 1999. Those precious vines are completely ungrafted, thus proving healthier and longer-lived when compared to grafted varieties. They’re also more resistant to drought, limestone and salinity. Those specimens grow on sandy soils of volcanic origin, where the presence of phylloxera is very limited; the more harmonious and comprehensive vegetative-productive balance thus guarantees grapes of exceptional quality.
The cultivation in those secluded areas has always been an example of priceless skill and painstaking dedication: after all, Pantelleria is known for its very low sapling-trained vines, as well as for its arid and windy climate. Viticulture on the island represents a form of protection of the territory, which otherwise would collapse and become uncultivated. Wine production is also a most profitable asset for the island economy; furthermore, the conservation of the vineyards means preserving the entire landscape made of artefacts that require constant attention and maintenance, such as the dry-stone walls and the windbreaks.

In 2008, Donnafugata recovered and donated to the FAI (The National Trust of Italy) one of the few restored examples of Pantelleria gardens – open to the public; it’s a typical form of rural architecture with a circular plan fitted with high dry lava stone walls – it is blessed by a peculiar microclimate for the cultivation of orange trees (Citrus sinensis L. “Osbeck”), sheltered from the wind and the droughts, and not even requiring irrigation.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Via S. Lipari, 18 - Marsala(TP)

0923 724206

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