Marco De Bartoli Grappoli del Grillo 2012
Bukkuram, from the Arabic “father of the vineyard”, was the original name given to this southwestern-facing plateau by North African settlers who brought Zibbibo (Muscat of Alexandria) in the 700s. 'Padre della Vigna' is the original wine of this estate, and only produced in the best vintages. It is aged for a minimum of three years in barrel before bottling.
The 45-100 year old vineyard is surrounded by low stone walls protecting it from the forceful but warm Atlantic winds known as "sirocco' coming from the north coast of Africa. These low stone walls are also used to dry the clusters of Zibbibio after they are picked by hand. The adjacent cellar is hosted in a historic dammuso (typical farmhouse) of the 18th century.
The vineyard is trained as low, free-standing bushes with the “alberello pantesco” system, declared by the UNESCO World Heritage agricultural practice in 2014.
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 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 varieites 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 wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Full-bodied and delicately aromatic, Grillo is one of Sicily’s most valued white grape varieties. While it is an important ingredient in Marsala, it also makes a delicious dry white on its own or does well blended. Somm Secret—Grillo is a natural genetic cross of Sicily’s indigenous Catarratto with Muscat of Alexandria and typically grows well in the gobelet system (bush vines).