Friday, March 20, 2015

Sicilian wines with Antonio Moretti & Feudo Maccari

In two weeks on Saturday April 4th our Italian Food, Wine & Travel bloggers group (#ItalianFWT) will be featuring Sicily so I wanted to get everyone in the southern Italian mindset and share with you a wine that I recently had from the winery Feudo Maccari.

Sicily is the largest island of Italy at the tip of the boot. The climate here is Mediterranean and one of the hottest, arid conditions for grape growing. There are also the influences of the winds from the north as well as the hot African scrirocco winds that help to prevent diseases and mitigate the hot climate.

Feudo Maccari is located in the Val di Noto, a UNESCO world heritage site found near Ragusa and Siracusa at the southwestern tip of Sicily. A special feature of the wine produced here is due to the black volcanic soil that is rich and fertile. The winery uses the alberello method,also known as bush training, which is traditional to use in Sicily where the vines are close to the ground and not trellised. It helps create maximum sun exposure with the leaves covering and protecting the grapes and phenolic substances.
Landscape of Noto, Sicily
Landscape of Noto, Sicily
Owner, Antonio Moretti, has focused his passion on his 3 wineries: Tenuta Sette Ponti located in Arezzo (Tuscany), Poggio al Lupo in the Maremma (Tuscany) and lastly Feudo Maccari which he began with his daughter Monica Moretti. They started producing wine at Feudo Maccari in the late 90's when they combined with a number of owners 50 plots of lands, about 250 acres, for their winemaking around the town of Noto. The winery also possesses 3 estate vineyards: Maccari, Vendicari Guaranaschelli and Bufalefi.


One of the grapes of Sicily that is largely planted throughout and is one of the prominent red grapes is Nero d'Avola. I wanted to share the 2011 Feudo Maccari Saia Nero d'Avola IGT that I tasted. The name of the wine “Saia” is actually an Arabic word named after the irrigation canals of Sicily. They began producing this wine in 2002. It's a 100% produced with nero d'avola grapes aged in french oak. This wine has been a highly rated 90+ wine in many vintages by James Suckling and Wine Spectator along with having won numerous Tre Bicchieri awards,which is one of the highly acclaimed awards for Italian wines.  The 2011 Saia was a deep ruby that consisted of black fruit, sweet spice and was a little peppery.  A dry wine with nice fruit, crisp and persistent on the finish.

I can't wait to share more wines and foods from Sicily over the next couple weeks and I know we'll have lots of great stories from the rest of our Italian bloggers group so come back or join us with your experiences live on twitter, #italianFWT! Have you been to Feudo Maccari or Noto, Sicily?