L to R: Nino Santoro, Vineyard Manager and José Rallo, Owner, Donnafugata Winery.
With the Italian Wine Professional course from Italian Wine Central slated to take place at our Napa Valley Wine Academy HQ in just two weeks, we wanted to highlight four wines that students will be tasting during the course. These four–two from Donnafugata Winery and two from Tenute Rubino–offer a snapshot of four important, and widespread Italian grape varieties.
Donnafugata 2014 ‘Lighea’ Zibibbo Sicilia IGT, Sicily, Italy (shop)
A wine made from Zibibbo grapes (Muscat of Alexandria) cultivated on Pantelleria island, typically harvested in the later half of August, pressed, fermented in stainless steel and aged in the bottle for about tow months prior to release. “The dry version of Zibibbo, this aromatic white has a true Mediterranean soul. Bright straw yellow with greenish hues, its brightness becomes grape, pear, melon to the nose; the flower merges with fruit, almond and rosemary. Beautifully caressing, it enchants with the typical features of Zibibbo, pulpy and persistent.” — Donnafugata Winery
Donnafugata 2014 ‘SurSur’ Grillo Sicilia IGT, Sicily, Italy (shop)
A wine made from the Grillo grape, just 13% in alcohol. The grapes are pressed and the must is fermented in stainless steel, then age in bottle for three months prior to release. Pair it with seafood appetizers, vegetarian firs tcourses and roasted fish dishes. “SurSur, the new single-variety wine from Donnafugata, made from Grillo grapes, is crisp and fruity, with notes of white peaches and grapefruits combined with hints of aromatic herbs.” — Donnafugata Winery
Tenute Rubino Punta Aquila Primitivo Salento IGT, Puglia, Italy (shop)
Fermentation lasts a little over a week in stainless steel with extended maceration and roughly four months of aging in French wood tanks. Aged in the bottle 4-6 months prior to release. “This full and enveloping wine shows ethereal, fragrant and rich notes. It displays scents and nuance of cherries in brandy, mulberry jam, blueberry and blackcurrant, humus, tobacco and ginger, black pepper and herbs. Dynamic, coherent and of strong impact, it shows fascinating mineral aromas that well combine with the powerful structure of the fruit, the acidity and the pleasant and exuberant tannins. It’s a warm and complex wine with a flighty personality, generous and vibrant, intense and concentrated, surprising while aging.” – Tenute Rubino
Tenute Rubino ‘Oltreme’ Susumaniello Salento IGT, Italy (shop)
Fermentation in stainless steel with extended 10-day maceration period and roughly two months of aging in the bottle prior to release. “Fragrant with fresh notes of red fruit: cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and mature plums. Sapid, mineral and round, with pleasantly soft tannins. A balanced and velvety wine, with an elegant and persistent texture; its harmony, persistence and elegance are truly enchanting. Its varietal notes stand out clearly.” – Tenute Rubino
Special thanks to Donnafugata Winery and Tenute Rubino, as well as our partner GranVia Società & Comunicazione, for providing these wines for our Italian Wine Professional courses.
ITALIAN WINE PROFESSIONAL INTENSIVE
[Offered from Napa HQ]
INSTRUCTOR GERALYN BROSTROM, THE CO-FOUNDER OF ITALIAN WINE CENTRAL AND THE IWP, WAS RECENTLY AWARDED THE VINITALY INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY “ITALIAN WINE EXPERT” (IWE) CERTIFICATION–THE FIRST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES TO RECEIVE THE HONOR!