We are happy to announce our new Gambino Vini wines from Linguaglossa, Sicily, Italy.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean to the very south. Sicily has nine provinces: Palermo, Catania, Messina, Siracusa, Ragusa, Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Trapani. It’s varied landscapes add to its beauty, charm and character. Sicily has an amazing coastline (all the provinces have one, except Enna) and mountains, such as the volcanic Mount Etna. Sicily is known for its great cuisine (arancini, pasta alla Norma, caponata, italian ice, spumone, ) which has Greek, Spanish and Arab influences. The region is also notorious for its beaches, such as Cefalu and Mondello. However, Sicily is not only known for its outstanding food and breathtaking beaches–it is also known for its wine region.
Gambino Winery lies nestled on the slopes of Mount Etna an active Volcano. This family-run winery is located on the northeast side of Mount Etna, close to the Mediterranean Sea and the National Park overlooking the sea of Taormina. Gambino’s vineyards have an ideal climate and soil for winemaking and this natural environment is 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level with sunny and airy terraced vineyards offering breathtaking panoramic views. Gambino vineyards represent one of the best models of high altitude Etna vineyards.
Francesco Raciti Gambino, owner and winemaker, learned his craft from his father and today uses both traditional and sophisticated methods to ensure that grapes and quality are their priority, not mass production. Therefore, Gambino does everything organically— no pesticides or sprays are used—and all harvesting is done by hand. The Gambino Vini philosophy is that “wine equals a mix of knowledge and generation,” in which there is a combination of old and new, of experience with technology.
Terroir plays a huge role in the production of wine. Mount Etna is active and is in an almost constant state of activity—the lava transports nutrients to the vines. Volcanic ash and rocks facilitate prime conditions for the vines to absorb water and nutrients. This unique climate, ground condition and fertile volcanic soil (“ripiddu”) which is rich in mineral salts that naturally supplies an equilibrated sugar content of the grapes and a proper relation between acids and alcohol. The high altitude also helps the grapes retain acidity. At the highest altitudes, the change in temperature between night and day can be considerable—up to 13-15°C ( 54 -59°F) in July and August—contribute to the distinctive mineral quality and taste of the wines, by allowing a phenol and aromatic ripening that is essential for the color and taste of the red grapes and for the aroma of the white wines.
Gambino maintains that, while their region is not always easy, it is an “interpretation made up of experience, contingency and long-sightedness.” Gambino Vini absolutely captures the essence of Etna and its scorched earth.
Regarding their portfolio of wines, Francesco Raciti Gambino explained that it is “the small details that must be the expression of the place where the grapes are grown.”
Established in 1968, the Sicilian Wines D.O.C, representing the oenology of Etna, lies between 500 and 1400 meters altitude and is one of the the oldest Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC).,
The wines include:
FEU D’O BIANCO, made from Grillo and Carricante grapes grown in chalky, volcanic soil.
FEU D’O ROSSO, a red made from Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese
DUVANERA, a classic Sicillian red made from Nero d’Avola
ALICANT SICILIA ROSSO a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon/Grenache blend.
TIFEO BIANCO, a white wine from two indigenous varietals: Carricante and Catarratto.Tifeo Etna Rosso
Each of these wines are delicious and unique. We will be sharing more about these wines in the weeks to come.