Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stemmari's Dalila: A Sicilian Wine with a Love Story

As some may know that have been following me my 6 months of studying for the IWS (Italian Wine Specialist Certification) culminated this past Sunday and I felt good coming out of it.  I can’t wait to share with you all the wonderful knowledge I have gained throughout this process and if I can get my hands on some of these unique wines throughout Italy we have lots of fun grapes and wines to explore.

The group that I run, ItalianFWT standing for Italian food, wine and travel, covers month by month all regions within Italy relating to these 3 areas of concentration.  At the beginning of the month we featured the largest island in Italy, Sicily.  I had received some samples from Prestige Wine Imports on the wines of Stemmari, but unfortunately had come down with the flu that week.  I recently sampled one Sunday night, 2012 Stemmari Dalila.  It’s a wine made of 80% grillo and 20 % viognier that is aged in French oak for 8 months.
Feudo Arancio & Stemmari winery
The winery’s name, Stemmari, originates from the root “stemma”, which correlates to the coat of arms that is displayed at the winery that was once used by nobility during the 17th Century, according to Prestige Wine Imports.  The Stemmari winery is located in the town of Acate in the Ragusa province of Sicily located in south eastern Sicily. Stemmari and Feudo Arancio winery in SicilyThe Stemmari brand and Feudo Arancio are one in the same if you have heard of both names.  Owned by one of the wine giants in Italy, Mezzacorona, the Stemmari brand is a large exporter to the US.  Their portfolio of wines include single varietals like nero d’avola, chardonnay, pinot grigio, moscato, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and even a sparkling grillo.  Yes, I said sparkling grillo.  Can’t wait to try that one!  They even have some blends as well as the Dalila wine I’m sharing with you today.

2012 Stemmari Dalila grillo viognier blendThe 2012 Stemmari Dalila bottle as you can tell from the picture is beautiful.  Having played classical piano for 10 years I was a big fan of the music notes on the label with the classic gold trim.  Yellow in color with a hint of green this wine was a medium bodied wine and rich on the palate with intense tropical fruit combined with nice acidity.  It had similar expressions to a chardonnay with a hint of oak.  Definitely a meatier white wine with good body.  With Sicily’s intense heat and sunny days it’s no surprise the ripeness of this wine.  This bottle retails for about $12 average (

Where does the name Dalila come from?
There is great story or rather a “romantic idea”behind the name of this wine, Dalila, and the label that Stemmari shared with me. The music notes on the label actually go to a song that describe the love story between the daughter of the owner who had owned the winery, Dalila, and one of the workers, Cantadoro. One of the other wines from their portfolio is named Cantadoro as well with the similar label. I know many people buy bottles based on the label and this is one of those bottles that's eye catching and to have a story follow it like that, how can it not intrigue you?
Stemmari winery in Sicily
I can’t wait to share with you some of the other wines from this winery.  Have you visited Stemmari or what are some of your favorite winery visits in Sicily?

You can find more about the Italian wine regions including Sicily using this beautiful and detailed map.

Most pictures property of Feudo Arancio at

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