Monday, March 14, 2016

Donnafugata: Charming Wines From Sicily

I’ve been invited to some great wine lunches, but having lunch with Josè Rallo from Donnafugata Wines was simply magickal. I got to experience their wines during a quaint tasting at Black Barn, NYC.


Donnafugata is a wine producer that is a passionate interpretation of Sicily and its sensorial universe in a bottle. The Rallo family founded the winery 160 years ago. Today it is run by the fifth generation with Josè and Antonio Rallo at the helm. 

What also makes their wine unique is that it intertwines art, wine, and sustainability. Each bottle of wine has a unique artsy label with it’s own story so that it is takes you and your tastebuds on a journey.

To kick off the lunch we received a glass of SurSur 2014 as we ate appetizers. The aromas in the wine are fruity with wild flowers, it reminded me of a nice crisp perfume. It’s made with 100% grillo grape, a wonderful vine that Italy is known for. This would be the perfect wine for spring and summer months to pair with fish, salads, and seafood. You can use it for everyday or anytime drinking.

For lunch we moved into our own private room. That’s when Josè broke out into song. Her voice is quite lovely and was such a nice touch when tasting the wine. This was the first time and hopefully not the last that a winemaker sang to me.

The next wines up were the Tancredi 2011 and Mille e Una Notte 2010 to go with the entree.

The Tancredi 2011 is made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Nero d'Avola grapes. The aromas are dark berries, balsamic, licorice, and spice. In other words, this is one sexy red. Great for pairing with grilled meat or slow cooked food. Two of the best things in life. As the the Mille e Una Notte 2010, it’s elegance in a glass. Made with Nero d'Avola, Petit Verdot, and Syrah grapes, it’s the perfect wine for red meat, lamb, or fish dishes. This wine was probably my favorite from of the day. When you want to impress this is the wine to bring along.

Last but not least came the Ben Ryé 2013  that was served with dessert. This natural sweet wine is made with Zibibbo grapes. With hints of apricots, candied citrus, and flowers, this wine is quite divine.


You can visit Donnafuga next time you are in Sicily. They offer tours and tastings on their vineyard. If you aren’t planning to visit Sicily anytime soon, pick up their wines in your favorite wine shop, no passport required.

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