Firriato Ribeca Sicilia 2003
Harmonium, Ribeca and Santagostino are wines that have made the company famous, along with its lead players. Wines of the utmost prestige, bearing witness to a production style capable of giving due value to wines produced in Sicily. Harvest after harvest, Firriato has implemented a modern wine making plan based on viticulture that enhances and valorises the varietal features of every vine planted. A production philosophy that in just a few years has become the unmistakable mark of a style that has led to the production of wines with a strong sense of identity. They are recognisable right from the first sip, have been awarded accolades from critics and are enjoyed by wine lovers all over the world. Over the years, the challenge became even more exciting when the company set itself the goal of presenting new wines that are a perfect reflection of Sicily. The original production area in the countryside of Trapani was increased, investing in Etna and the Aegadian Islands. The new estates, Cavanera on the volcano and Calamoni on Favignana, have enabled Firriato to present itself to the world with a complexity of soil and climate conditions that only Sicily manages to encompass in one large land bathed in sunlight.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.