Firriato is a unit of measurement, a clear concept, the result of a business decision capable of transforming itself into promise and devotion. Recalling a production history that holds such importance for the world of high-quality Sicilian wine in a few brief lines could result in a rash and inadequate summary. Because Firriato is a company that is a living, warm-blooded organism that thrives on nature, identity and passion. We are in the province of Trapani, one of the most magical parts of the wine region of Sicily, where centuries of vine growing have given this area a natural ability to produce wines with a strong sense of identity. It was the start of the eighties when Salvatore Di Gaetano, a businessman with a passion for his homeland, saw the right elements in this picture-postcard landscape to bear the fruit of his freely declared passion: high-quality wine. Firriato is the crowning achievement of this dream, a company that in three decades has become one of the biggest production companies in Sicily, a reference for Made in Italy excellence acknowledged all over the world. Right from the onset, Salvatore Di Gaetano has gambled on the oenological potential of traditional vines. Nero d’Avola, Perricone and Nerello Mascalese, but also Zibibbo, Grillo and Catarratto, with Firriato have all become wines that have crossed the oceans, reaching far away cities and entering into the heart of enthusiastic wine lovers. Harmonium, Ribeca and Santagostino are wines that have made the company famous, along with its lead players. Wines of the utmost prestige, bearing witness to a production style capable of giving due value to wines produced in Sicily. Harvest after harvest, Firriato has implemented a modern wine making plan based on viticulture that enhances and valorises the varietal features of every vine planted. A production philosophy that in just a few years has become the unmistakable mark of a style that has led to the production of wines with a strong sense of identity. They are recognisable right from the first sip, have been awarded accolades from critics and are enjoyed by wine lovers all over the world. Over the years, the challenge became even more exciting when the company set itself the goal of presenting new wines that are a perfect reflection of Sicily. The original production area in the countryside of Trapani was increased, investing in Etna and the Aegadian Islands. The new estates, Cavanera on the volcano and Calamoni on Favignana, have enabled Firriato to present itself to the world with a complexity of soil and climate conditions that only Sicily manages to encompass in one large land bathed in sunlight.
Firriato’s strength lies in the consistent choices it has made. Especially those that focus on nature, biodiversity, protecting the landscape and innovation. A profile that is most emblematic in the management of its vineyards, considering that all of them are certified organic. Only a large, well-run company is capable of managing six agricultural estates so different from each other, dealing with a complex range of tasks that require constant overseeing and attention. This is something that Salvatore Di Gaetano and his family are proud of and know that the company’s entire team share that pride, both in the vineyards and in the winery.
Today the strong affection for Sicily has been given new strength thanks to the arrival of Irene, Salvatore and Vinzia’s daughter, and her husband, Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato, who are taking the family dream forward with passion.
If the wine-producing region of Sicily has gained great acceptance on an international level, it is partly due to Firriato, as it has actively contributed to revealing the value of Sicilian wine to the rest of the world. The Di Gaetano family’s company was one of the first production companies on the island to look beyond the national border, passionate in raising the awareness of a unique territory, a crossroad of cultures and ancient civilizations that tell of a history ranging from the Phoenicians to the Arabs, from the Normans to the Spaniards. A cultural success before becoming a commercial one, concrete evidence of a hard-working and productive Sicily capable of taking on the role of ambassador of Italian excellence throughout the world.
The name FIRRIATO takes its origin from the rural material culture of western Sicily, where the term was used to indicate the area close to the main house. A well defined and protected area where the most valuable crops were planted, starting with the vineyard. Firriato is an Italian term meaning enclosed, which by some strange linguistic trickery relates to the term Clos used in reference to French estates.
The history of the term firriato also lies in the rural districts of Sicily, along the old roads passing through the estates of the island’s noble agricultural families. Crossing the centuries, it reaches us with the pride of years of harvests past, not forgotten by a vine and wine culture that has ancient roots in the region of Trapani. The logo created by Firriato consists of an emblem designed to convey the identity and spirit of the company. The message is expressed in such a connotative and symbolic manner that it appears to enclose the universe in a small, defined space, as if protecting the value that makes it unique and inimitable. It is a reference to rationality, squaring the circle, order ruling chaos. A symbol that summarises the history and philosophy of a company: method, territory, pride and love as strong as steel. The classical notion nomen est omen, that is the theory that a name can have a significant role in determining key aspects of something or someone, has proved right once more, because the FIRRIATO wine production takes inspiration from the French term clos and Piedmont term girato. Behind a great wine there is always a great wine-producing territory with characteristic soil and climate conditions. All of Firriato’s agricultural estates have a distinguishing feature connected with the exposure, microclimate, soil composition or ventilation. Each one expresses its own identity. This diversity is an asset that must be protected and enhanced from soil to bottle.
The Cellar: when technology innovation and enhance the value of nature. The key to the success of Firriato rests on an ineluctable axiom: the perfect and meticulous care in all aspects of the production, from the vineyard to the cellar. Firriato, over time, has earned a place in the elite of the brands most appreciated by international wine critics and consumers since it was made custodian of a heritage of grapes of great depth and high quality which is able to bring to fruition with unique wines complexity and production style. Harvest after harvest, the challenge was to be able to maintain high standards of excellence, with the scruple to exploit the unique characteristics of each grape variety from exclusive production contexts. Every year in the cellar no operations are performed standardized: diraspature, pressings, punching, replacements and refinements are not sequential steps but unique interpretations careful to reveal and enhance what nature has shaped during growth and ripening of the grapes. The winery is organized so as to preserve those values Tasting the grapes, looking for those unique characters that wines Firriato, already at the stage of conception, are able to express. At each stage, the team of technicians, cellar and all the employees, has the task to preserve with care, the excellence of a raw material, for integrity and organoleptic complexity, has no equal. The state of the art processing facilities, cold technology, and the appropriate capacities of the vats, are all ranked according to how many production rules tailor-made for each lot of grapes in a position to give the wine in the glass that personality consistently at ‘identity of the territory from which it comes to life. Each step in the cellar has supervised by Salvatore Di Gaetano, with each member of the team, make sure that there is a correspondence, speaking with precision in ongoing processes to ensure and improve from year to year, the identity and characteristics of each label. All stages of vinification are carried out with precision and care and are daughters of a wealth of knowledge gained through years of research and study with the use of all the innovations in technology. The structure of Paceco is the heart and strategic Firriato as well as the main center of aging and bottling company. In this cellar are carried out all the operations of the vinification of the grapes coming from the estates of agro Trapani and from that vineyard is the jewel of the island of Favignana. Here is also home to the laboratory where the check is performed and the system of management of quality wine brand Firriato. In recent years, major investments have been made to control the temperature in the different stages of processing, maturation and aging of wines in barrique. The structures of the white grapes for wine-making are characterized by modern technologies with cold fermentation in stainless steel for the continuous monitoring of temperatures to ensure correct refinement of the whites; while the steps for making red wine has been made with techniques that seal the unique characteristics of each batch of grapes. Paceco is the main venue for the aging of wine Firriato. The cellar is located in an area where temperature and humidity is maintained constant, ideal for the aging of the large red mark Firriato. The wines aged in French oak barrels, with a selection of different roasting for individual labels. As in agriculture, even in the Cellar is the technical and production team to determine each choice. To oversee all the President Salvatore Di Gaetano with winemakers Peppe Pellegrino and Giovanni Manzo. Cavanera Etnea: The Estate of Cavanera is a stand-alone from every point of view. And ‘here that Firriato vinified wines of the volcano. The property is accessed by a small iron gate, the narrow driveway leads to the area overlooking an ancient building that encloses an unimaginable treasure: in two separate sections, below the level of the floor, two ancient tombs millstones, with tanks stone, terra cotta or channels dug into the hard basalt. The vineyards of Mount Etna are the last to be harvested. The wine-making, in order to preserve their organoleptic integrity is immediate. The pressing of white grapes and the rasping and grinding of red grapes are produced with the latest design of processing facilities in order to preserve the unique characteristics of a raw material freshly picked from the plant. The aging of red wines in casks of French oak, in a room with constant temperature and humidity. Complete the productive structure of the machining area dedicated to the classic method.