Tasca d'Almerita Regaleali Bianco 2000
Ideal as an aperitif and for all kinds of fish, shellfish and seafood dishes.
For eight generations, the Tasca d’Almerita family has been devoted to Sicily, its land, its unique nature and its surprising and inimitable resources. Their story began in 1830 with the purchase of Tenuta Regaleali, a green oasis spanning nearly 550 hectares in the center of the island where 8 generations have fostered the past, present and future of Sicilian winemaking. Regaleali is an unpredictable and breathtaking place, even for the experienced traveler. Luscious hills roll endlessly in several shades of green, with vineyards unlike any other in the world. “Nordic” features in the deep south, like the perceptible diurnal temperature excursions between day and night, the mountainous context, and the quality of the light render this place a winemaking paradise. A mosaic of exposures, mixed soils and elevations create a proper outdoor viticulture laboratory where 25 red and white varietals are planted across 382 hectares of vines. In the year 2000, after more than 150 years of leading Sicily’s efforts in sustainable agriculture and advancing quality wine production at Tenuta Regaleali, Alberto Tasca (8th generation family and current CEO of Tasca d’Almerita) turned his eyes toward a new endeavor in the Tasca Family’s efforts to conserve and promote the very best of their island. With a strong patrimony at his back, Alberto Tasca boldly extended the Tasca family name to four other prestigious Sicilian winegrowing regions, creating the current portfolio of estates: Tenuta Capofaro on the Aeolian island of Salina; Tenuta Tascante on the living volcano that is Mt. Etna; Tenuta Whitaker on the Phoenician island of Mozia; and Tenuta Sallier de La Tour in the DOC Monreale.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes grow in every region throughout Italy—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean.
Italian Wine Regions
Naturally, most Italian wine regions enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a notable coastline, if not coastline on all borders, as is the case with the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The Alps in the northern regions of Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy and Alto Adige create favorable conditions for cool-climate grape varieties. The Apennine Mountains, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south, affect climate, grape variety and harvest periods throughout. Considering the variable terrain and conditions, it is still safe to say that most high quality viticulture in Italy takes place on picturesque hillsides.
Italian Grape Varieties
Italy boasts more indigenous grape varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most Italian wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but are declining in popularity, especially as younger growers take interest in reviving local varieties. Most important are Sangiovese, reaching its greatest potential in Tuscany, as well as Nebbiolo, the prized grape of Piedmont, producing single varietal, age-worthy Piedmontese wines. Other important varieties include Corvina, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course the white wines, Trebbiano, Verdicchio and Garganega. The list goes on.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.