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Wild Inzolia grows on the beach in Menfi
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Inzolia is one of the most ancient native grapes of Sicily, where it is grown since time immemorial: its favorite terroir is the sicilian coastline, where the Mediterranean Sea washes beautiful sandy shores.

Inzolia is indeed a low acidic variety: this genetic treat is the reason why many Sicilian producers located far from the seaside blend their wines with more acidic juices. You may find Inzolia blends combined with Chardonnay or Catarratto in Western Sicily, and with Carricante on the slopes of Etna.

But if your vineyard is located by the sea, no blending is necessary to make a nicely balanced wine.

Being planted close to the sea for many centuries, a vine increases its ability to dialogue with the brackish environment in terms of nutrition opportunities and resistance to diseases: what we get after 3,000 years is a perfect adaptation to terroir. The saline air protects the grapes from fungal infections, and enriches their flavor profile with a sapidity that naturally offsets their sweet taste. This is what happens in Menfi, and in our Tenuta Belicello, where the microclimate is influenced by constant ventilation and abundant presence of salts and marine trace elements.

Menfi beach is a 15 kilometers long coastline shaped by the Mediterranean wind. It is covered by a rich and varied spontaneous vegetation that gives life to an extraordinarily beautiful landscape: wild rosemary, ampelodesmus, sea lilies and St. Joseph's beard (Carpobrotus acinaciformis).
Right here, among golden sand dunes, some ungrafted vines of prephylloxera Inzolia grow, a real living monument to biodiversity and to the viticultural traditions of our territory.

This short video and the photos prove the ingenious adaptation of Inzolia vines to an environment that is normally considered "hostile" to viticulture.

 

 

 

 Photo and video credits: Franco Gagliano and Filippo Buttafuoco.

Tags: Menfi DOC, inzolia, #SicilianWine, video, sicilian grape varieties

THE SHORT STORY

THE SHORT STORY

Grape variety: Inzolia grown in Dietro le Case vineyard
Soil: clay soil with calcareous components, very rich in limestones and sea minerals
Vineyard: planted in 1960s, head-trained bush vines
Winemaking: skin contact for 48 hours in steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: 4 months on fine lees, in steel tanks
Aging: one oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment
Average production: a few dozen bottles every some years

Download wine sheet

WINEMAKING

The grapes are handpicked the first half of September, when they are fully ripe. The traditional pruning system - called "a pezzo e spalla" - and the age of the vines, allow slow constant ripening cycles and a great aromatic concentration.

The fermentation is spontaneous, with 2 days skin contact. After soft pressing, the fermentation continues for 8 days in steel tanks. After malolactic is completed, the wine refines on fine lees for about 4 months and is then racked into one single oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment.

The wine is bottled directly from the barrel no more than 2-3 times every decade.

TASTING NOTES

Altrimenti has a bright amber color, enlivened by golden hues. Its nose is predominantly tertiary, where fruity notes of apricot and ripe figs blend onto an intense and aromatic herbal background, enriched by roasted and dried nuts.

It is dry and full bodied to the palate, with a distinct savory personality that harmoniously meets a tannic finish.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 54 - 58 °F
Pour Altrimenti in wide glasses, at a fresh but not chilled temperature.
Please avoid freezers and blast chillers, as well as a prolonged time in your home refrigerator: this wine is not filtered nor fined, and any temperature below 40 °F will mortify its complex aromas.

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