Morgante Nero d'Avola 2001
The Morgante winery represents one family’s initiative to employ five generations of viticultural experience. In 1994, Antonio Morgante, with the enthusiasm of his sons, Carmelo and Giovanni, decided to vinify their vineyard grapes. This decision represented the beginning of a strong commitment to achieve the best results with indigenous grapes while keeping an eye toward innovation. In 1997, the family hired Riccardo Cotarella as their winemaker. Cotarella, widely recognized for his work crafting compelling wines from Italy’s native varietals, shares the Morgante passion for producing great red wines from Nero d’Avola. The Morgante winery is located in the pristine countryside of southern Sicily, a hilly region located about 1200-1800 feet above sea level and just 45 miles from the splendid Valley of the Temples of Agrigento. The property comprises 500 acres of vineyards and almond trees, and the region is ideal for viticulture, with a Mediterranean climate and soil that ranges from clay and calcareous to marl. In Sicily, Nero d’Avola is the undisputed red grape for wines of excellence, and it is this vine that the Morgante family has always cultivated. All aspects of production — from vineyard to cellar — are rigorously controlled by every member of the family, all of whom are dedicated to making wines of the highest possible quality.
In 1997, the family hired Riccardo Cotarella as their winemaker. Cotarella, widely recognized for his work crafting compelling wines from Italy's native varietals, shares the Morgante passion for producing great red wines from Nero d'Avola. In Sicily, Nero d'Avola is indisputably the red grape for wines of excellence. And it is the vine that the Morgante family has always cultivated. All aspects of production from vineyard to cellar are rigorously controlled by every member of the family, each one dedicated to making wines of the highest possible quality.
While picturesque hillsides, endless coastlines and a favorable climate serve to unify the grape-growing culture of this country. The apparent never-ending world of indigenous grape varieties gives Italy an unexampled charm and allure. From the steep inclines of the Alps to the sprawling, warm, coastal plains of the south, red grape varieties thrive throughout.
The kings of Italy, wines like Barolo and Barbaresco (made of Nebbiolo), and Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino (made of Sangiovese), as well as Amarone (mostly Corvina), play center stage for the most lauded, collected and cellar-worthy reds. Less popular but entirely deserving of as much praise are the wines made from Aglianico, Sagrantino and Nerello Mascalese.
For those accustomed to drinking New World reds, the south is the place to start. Grapes like Negroamaro or Primitvo from Puglia and Nero d’Avola from Sicily make soft, ammicable, full-bodied, fruit-dominant wines. Curious palates should be on the lookout for Cannonau, Lagrein, Teroldego, Ruché, Freisa, Cesanese, Schiopettino, Rossese and Gaglioppo to name a few.