A single day of celebration isn’t enough to celebrate such an important milestone, especially if it’s the perfect opportunity to inaugurate their new tasting room that overlooks the Sicani Mountains.
After hosting several events for the press & trade, in collaboration in Mangia Resorts Chef Davide Gallina, the family has organized a Food & Wine Experience on September 24th, dedicated to the public, where wine lovers can celebrate “25 years Bio Days” with the family.
Twenty-five years after the winery’s first organic certification, organic production has always been the defining identity of the family, who became “Guardians of the territory” in 1968 with Aurelio and Barbara, who invested so much to create the company that is managed today by sons Gunther and Klaus.
“We have a strong link to this land and we are organic because we live here. I drink the water from my wells and make a vegetable garden on my land. We are custodians of this territory. There is a strong bond to our land that has guided our life choices and that we are trying to protect for the future and for those who will live here”Gunther Di Giovanna, owner of the Di Giovanna winery and president of the Terre Sicane Wine Route.
A love for the land and sustainable agriculture has defined Sicily’s wine history. In the Terre Sicane, Aurelio Di Giovanna made the important change, along with Diego Planeta and other visionary producers, who, towards the end of the 90s, put an end to the logic of quantity and gave life to quality bottled wine, beginning with international varietals and then with Sicilian native vines, which have been conquering the international market since 2010.
Today, Di Giovanna focuses on native Sicilian vines like Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Grillo, Catarratto Lucido and some international varieties like Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot. After 25 years of loyalty to the organic method, the winery ranks among the first in Sicily to become certified organic is a leader in its market segment, exporting 85% of production to many countries around the world.
“It was not a commercial choice to convert the entire company to the organic method in the early 90s, with the aim of preserving and safeguarding the biodiversity of the territory and at the beginning paradoxically even entailed a competitive disadvantage. Only later did it turn out to be positive also from an economic point of view, thanks to the growing attention of consumers to sustainable production”Gunther Di Giovanna, owner of the Di Giovanna winery and president of the Terre Sicane Wine Route.
A choice that we retraced with a vertical tasting of five Vurrìa Nero d’Avola vintages, the queen grape of the Paradiso vineyard in Contessa Entellina, cultivated at around 400 meters above sea level. Paradiso vineyard is the largest of the 5 family vineyards (Fiuminello, San Giacomo, Miccina, Gerbino). Nero d’Avola grows on a tuffaceous soil, rich in minerals and organic substances, enjoying all the pedo-climatic qualities that Monte Genuardo, an exceptional forested mountainside can offer.
The vertical tasting conducted by Head Sommelier of Verdura Resort Nando Papa, revealed territorial expression of Nero d’Avola and the change in production style over time.
The 2004 Vurria Nero d’Avola, the year of construction of the winery on the San Giacomo estate, still expresses all the power of Nero d’Avola. The 2007 vintage marks the generational change, as father Aurelio hands over the winemaking to his children who with the 2010 Nero d’Avola a new era with a wine that maintains power, but also control and freshness. The 2015 Vurria, with a shorter ageing time in barrel, gives greater freedom of expression to the excellent raw material that we find thrilling, like an exuberant eighteen-year-old. The vertical tasting concludes with the 2017 Vurria, that promises to show even greater results with time.
Five different vintages, challenging ones from the climatic point of view, gave rise to excellent wines that fully express “Vurria” the legitimate desire of two fearless and courageous producers. Two brothers who gave up careers to get on the tractor and won have won. Gunther and Klaus have safeguarded and enhanced their territory and produced excellent wines, that today are talked about in international restaurants. A territory where they also produce an excellent olive oil, Gerbino extra virgin olive oil.
Gerbino Extra Virgin Olive Oil was used for the finishing of a three course fish menu, by chef Davide Gallina. The menu was characterized by harmonious flavors, thanks to the simplicity and goodness of the local ingredients, that paired perfectly with a selection of Di Giovanna’s wines: Rufulìa Catarratto Pet-Nat 2021, Helios Grillo 830m.DOC Sicily 2020, Camurrìa Orange IGP Terre Siciliane 2018. An enjoyable lunch to inaugurate the new tasting room, which enchants with its elegance and magnificent panorama. A new location, in the heart of the Terre Sicane, ideal for enjoying exclusive wine & food experiences.
To answer the question that Aurelio Di Giovanna asked, as we enjoyed the panorama from the tasting room terrace: “Are we in Sicily?” The answer is inevitably…
Yes, we are in the beautiful Sicily but in one free from cultural limits that have so often and heavily limited it. We are physically in Sambuca di Sicilia, but in a reality that has learned to value the important contribution of brilliant women like Mrs. Barbara and Melissa Di Giovanna, who with professionalism and a different mindset, have given international life to this corner of the world.
With a gaze towards the future, they truly represent their territory with authentic organic wines & olive oil.
If you’d like to visit the Di Giovanna winery and participate in the Food & Wine Experience “25 years Bio Days” event on 24 September 2022, click the following link to purchase your tickets: https://www.winerytastingsicily.com/events/en/e/di-giovanna-celebrating-25-years-in-organic-farming-with-a-public-event/