• My name is Marilena Barbera
    and I am an independent winegrower.
    I live and make my wines in Menfi, Sicily.

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Oscar Qualità Prezzo
@ Gambero Rosso Berebene 2012

I am always very happy to receive positive comments on our wines. This time, I am more than happy that the Oscar quality-price of the Gambero Rosso goes to our Nero d’Avola 2010.

And this is for many reasons.

I’ve just come back from the United States, where I have spent the last two weeks travelling from California to Colorado, and from Arizona to South Texas. Many of the new accounts I visited, were they restaurants, wine bars or wineshops, all commented on Nero d’Avola in the very same way: I don’t think that Nero d’Avola is a quality wine. Then we go on tasting our wine, and always a hint of surprise appears on their face: I didn’t imagine this was so good! 

Exactly. A lot of the Nero d’Avola in the US market (but this is the case in other markets too) is just not good. Too many labels are just labels. 
Too many of the bottles you find on the shelves in huge retail stores for 9.99 bucks or less is just bulk wine, that some big bottlers buy from big cooperative wineries that only make cheap mass wine, and then stick a nice label on it. Easy money that are destroying the image of a respected, beautiful wine that many Sicilian vintners have contributed to promote, with years of sacrifice, around the globe. 

I feel both sad and worried, because there is no future in the wine business without quality and without respect for tradition and terroir. And those growers and winemakers who work hard every day, pursuing the best quality possible at the best price possible, are challenged by speculators with no scruples, and are forced to reduce their margins, yet very small, to compete at their same level. 

Yes, the wines always speak for themselves, and the good wines will always have a market: but you need to have the opportunity to show them, and there must also be someone, sitting at the opposite side of the desk, who understands quality and cares about it.


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My story

My story

We have been winegrowers for three generations: a 100 years long story, a legacy of love and respect
Wine book

Wine book

Always up-to-date with all available wines and vintages: ready for browsing, or for immediate download

Photo album

Photo album

My book of photo shots from my vineyard in Sicily, available in HR for download - please cite the source

Video gallery

Video gallery

My YouTube channel with harvest stories, tastings, travels and meetings with very special people


Between a road map and a winery notebook, a personal digital moleskine with notes on winemaking, tastings and events, people I meet, places I see: my everyday life in the wine world.

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