Tenuta Tremollito is an organic vineyard situated in the picturesque province of Catania in Sicily.
I came across their wines by chance, as the best stories often occur. A gentleman who attends the same yoga class as me heard me talking to our instructor about my career in the wine and spirits industry. He told me about his friends who had established an organic vineyard in Sicily and promised to put me in touch. This is how I “met” Enzo and Margherita who have kindly told me all about their venture and gave me a bottle of their Nero d’Avola.
Enzo is originally from a small town called Vizzini in the province of Catania, but emigrated to London when he was 21. Having made their careers in the city, he and his wife, Margherita, decided to purchase a property to renovate in Sicily.
Eight years ago they bought an old country house which included an abandoned vineyard. They began creating their dream home and reviving the vineyard with the aim of producing wines which reflect their region.
At the time, Enzo and Margherita were interested in wine, but didn’t have any formal experience so enrolled on a sommelier’s course.
Their personal values and ideals meant they wished to produce their grapes organically and to plant native varieties.
The estate is situated at 650m above sea level on the slopes of an extinct volcano. Enzo and Margherita have planted over 21,000 vines with Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Insolia, Nerello Mascalese and Cataratto. These native varieties thrive in the volcanic sand, clay and limestone conditions which are distinctive of the area.
The vines and grapes are allowed to grow without the intervention of chemical fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.
Enzo and Margherita enjoy returning to Sicily for the harvest and are fully involved in picking the grapes and the subsequent vinification processes. The grapes are vinified in their own cellar with the help of a renown oenologist. Minimal intervention is practised during winemaking too with only products and procedures authorised by the organic regulations being utilised.
All of Tenuta Tremollito’s elegant labels depict a character from Giovanni Verna’s novels. Giovanni Verga was born in Catania in 1840 and immediately went to live with his father in Vizzini where citrus groves and vineyards were abundant. He used this upbringing as the landscape for his writing and became one of Italy’s most important 20th century writers.
The Nero d’Avola showcases the protagonist from Rosso Malpelo, Verga’s 1878 short story.
Tasting Note - Rosso Malpelo, Nero d’Avola
Aromas: Rich, supple red berries, raisins and capsicum with a touch of black pepper and bramble jam.
Palate: A round, supple body and silky mouthfeel. Bright. Ripe raspberry characters with gentle bramble stalk underneath. A fresh, clean finish with good length.
It is fantastic to see two people pursuing their dreams and following their own environmental and lifestyle ideals. Sicily is perfectly suited to organic viticulture and I’m so pleased they’re keeping the native varieties thriving.