The Porta del Vento wine estate is situated at 600 metres a.s.l. in a valley forming part of the Valdibella (Camporeale) district in the province of Palermo, in the Alcamo and Monreale DOC appellation areas. Ten hectares were planted to vine between 1974 and 1984 in a vineyard – the highest of the province – having a light sandy soil resting above a sandstone crust. Expert farmers aligned the vines in rows along the steep slopes, orienting them northwards, in order to protect from too much sun. The area is very windy with great day-night temperature swings.
Grapes are certified organic and only appropriate sulphur- and copper-based products are hand-sprayed directly onto the plants to avoid the accumulation of substances in the soil. Hand-hoeing is practised along the rows. The winery does not use any chemical weed and pest control products or fertilisers. Marco tries to understand and maintain the balance of the spontaneous vegetation (grass), paying particular attention to biodiversity. The hand-picked grapes are collected in boxes and taken immediately to the wine estate cellar, where they undergo a fermentation process. Wines are racked as little as possible and no filtration as not to deprive them of the elements that make them truly unique. Thus they express the terroir and convey wonderful emotions to discriminating wine enthusiasts.
Overshadowed by other Italian wine regions for decades, Sicily is now enjoying a deserved respect thanks to a new generation of ambitious winemakers. The focus is now on quality as opposed to quantity, and this shift in attitude is the reason behind the new popularity. Sicily is the largest of the Mediterranean islands and the southernmost region of Italy. The hot winds from Africa blow on the coasts of the island allowing the Nero d'Avola, a late-maturing varietal, to fully develop and ripen. The best wines are found in the island’s east, mainly to the north in the volcanic area of Etna and in the south where the Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Eloro appellations are located.
Although many international grape varietals are grown in Sicily, its best wines are made from indigenous grape varieties such as Nero d'Avola, Frappato, Cataratto, and Albanello. Soils vary greatly from one region to another and contain limestone, red sand, clay, volcanic tuff or, frequently, a combination of these. In addition to these unique soils the altitude of the vineyards, the type of viticulture, and the winemaking styles also have an important impact on the final product. The best winegrowers and winemakers successfully manage these challenging components and produce outstanding wines.