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AZIMUT

  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC
  • MERLOT MENFI DOC

    Azimut was my father's first wine.
    Awaited and cherished like a dream that takes shape, which then becomes possible and finally comes true with passion and every day's work.

    Azimut, from the Arabic word as-sumuth that means "the way". I chose this name because being farmers and winemakers is not just a job, but implies a profound and conscious commitment.

    With Azimut I started experimenting with wild yeast in 2001: a peculiar choice in Sicily, when very few people knew about natural winemaking.

  • MERLOT MENFI DOC

    Azimut was my father's first wine.
    Awaited and cherished like a dream that takes shape, which then becomes possible and finally comes true with passion and every day's work.

    Azimut, from the Arabic word as-sumuth that means "the way". I chose this name because being farmers and winemakers is not just a job, but implies a profound and conscious commitment.

    With Azimut I started experimenting with wild yeast in 2001: a peculiar choice in Sicily, when very few people knew about natural winemaking.

  • MERLOT MENFI DOC

    Azimut was my father's first wine.
    Awaited and cherished like a dream that takes shape, which then becomes possible and finally comes true with passion and every day's work.

    Azimut, from the Arabic word as-sumuth that means "the way". I chose this name because being farmers and winemakers is not just a job, but implies a profound and conscious commitment.

    With Azimut I started experimenting with wild yeast in 2001: a peculiar choice in Sicily, when very few people knew about natural winemaking.

  • Wine sheet
    Grape variety: Merlot grown in Tenuta Belicello, Vigna del Pozzo
    Soil: deep dark alluvial soil made of clay banks that allow fresh groundwater to flow South from the upper part of the Belìce Valley
    Vineyard: planted in 2004, vertical shoot positioning, spur pruned cordon
    Winemaking: skin maceration for about 15 days in steel tanks, with regular pumping overs
    Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
    Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
    Refining: minimum 1 year in large neutral Slavonian oak casks, and 1 more year in bottles
    Average production: 3.500 bottles/year

    Download the wine sheet in pdf


  • The story

    When I was a child, wine was just a game.
    September was a great fun for all the family: we made wine in my grandfather's old vats, squeezing the grapes by hand and using makeshift equipments, we filtered the juice with linen pillowcases from my mother's trousseau, just an exciting and innocent game.
    My first real job was away from home: I was an accountant at the time, and I had been dreaming forever of a diplomatic career, but in a few years my motivations to come back to my roots grew so strong that I decided to plan my future life in Sicily.

    We started for real in mid 1990's, experimenting winemaking with merlot grapes and bottling a few dozens of bottles in my grandfather's old cellar. They were very naif experiments, we would open those bottles with friends and relatives during our family annual wine event, but there was no real plan on a serious wine business.

    As the time passed by, the quality of our Merlot improved dramatically, and we decided to submit some samples to professionals: at Vinitaly 2000, one of the most relevant international wine events, we got enthusiastic support and one offer to export our wine to the USA. We couldn't believe our ears!
    That's why we decided that we should, at least, try, and the first label was designed for Azimut in 2001.
    Since then, my life has changed completely, and Azimut is the wine that showed me the way.

  • Winemaking
    The core part of Tenuta Belicello is a fertile area consisting mainly of alluvial soils made by clay banks that allow the water flowing South from the upper part of the Belice Valley. The particular microclimate of this area convinced my father on introducing international grapes in Vigna del Pozzo, where he adapted the varieties that became the new frontier for Sicilian viticulture and greatly contributed to the enological renaissance of Menfi's territory.
    Clay soils favor grapes' ripening, thus mitigating the Merlot's typical herbaceous notes, and enhancing the development of fruity cherry aromas and a perfect tannic ripeness.

    Selecting the best moment for picking is a crucial point to make superior quality Merlot wines, because the grapes get ripe about the second half of August and are very sensitive to high temperatures. Our vineyards are equipped with a drip irrigation system, which we use as a “rescue” option in the warmest years, in order to help the vines’ metabolism.

    Harvesting at night is usually the best option to protect the fruity aromas of Merlot and to prevent undesired oxidations. The grapes are brought to the winery immediately after the picking: they are destemmed and crushed and the must spontaneously ferments for two weeks in stainless steel tanks. After spontaneous malolactic in old French barriques, the wine refines for a minimum of 12 months in large 30 hl neutral Slavonian oak casks, and for one more year in bottles.
  • Food match
    I love Azimut very much: it is the first wine we ever made and it reminds me of my father and of our first attempts in winemaking. But this is not the only reason. I love it because - despite being made with an "international" grape - this wine has not an international taste, but a very Sicilian one.

    It is a fascinating and intense red wine, and it smells of currants, blueberries, and red roses.
    The mild earthy notes that can develop in the hottest vintages are always balanced by the fresh influence of the Mediterranean Sea, which adds multiple layers of mint, rosemary and wild oregano to the aromatic complexity of this wine. On the palate, it is round and full bodied, and it shows smooth tannins that are well integrated with a very pleasant acidity.

    It is perfect with pork meat, especially if baked or roasted with a spicy sauce, with stuffed turkey, with cured meats such as Pasqualora di Camporeale sausage, and with Pecorino cheese.

    SERVING TEMPERATURE: 57 - 61 °F
    Pour Azimut in wide Bordeaux style glasses and serve it at a fresh temperature that will milden the wine's structure and the alcohol feeling. A fresh temperature is mostly needed during the summer.

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