In our dreams, it’s always summer in Sicily. The vineyards and the olive groves are bursting with goodness, and the winemakers are all handsome, good-natured and very busy.
We interviewed Antonio Rallo last winter when he came to Chicago as the new president of Sicilia DOC. And recently we had an opportunity to taste a couple of summer wines from his Donnafugata vineyards. From their “fresh and fruity” collection comes the very first US release of Sherazade Nero d’Avola 2015, made from Sicily’s best known indigenous red grape. Light, pleasant and enchanting, with brilliant ruby and purple hues and aromas of strawberries and raspberries with hints of mild pepper. In other words: the red you don’t expect, ideal for the aperitif.
2015 Donnafugata SurSur Grillo Sicilia DOC (SRP $23) is a young, fresh and fruity Grillo that pairs beautifully with food and stands happily on its own. The name Sur Sur means cricket in Arabic (a language once also spoken in Sicily) and the label shows the scents and colors of spring. This single-variety wine is crisp and bright with notes of white peaches and grapefruits combined with hints of aromatic herbs.
These are modern wines made from native grapes, examples of authentic Sicilian flavors, ideal for the summer and perfect to share with friends in a relaxing moment of leisure.