The regal taste of an international wine
Altavilla della Corte
IGT Terre Siciliane
Of all the international vine varieties, Syrah is the most diffuse in Sicily. These grapes are cultivated by Firriato on their Borgo Guarini Estate on the western coast of Sicily. This variety has found an ideal habitat on the island for conveying all its distinguishing characteristics. The hillside climate and the temperature difference between day and night contribute towards highlighting Syrah’s features. In Altavilla della Corte these are revealed through elegant enveloping tannins that go together perfectly with hints of ripened fruit and undertones of vanilla. The deep ruby red appearance of Altavilla della Corte Syrah pre-empts the characteristic spicy notes of the vine’s bouquet, and distinguishes its warm, Mediterranean spirit.
Of all the international vine varieties, Syrah is the most diffuse in Sicily. These grapes are cultivated by Firriato on their Borgo Guarini Estate on the western coast of Sicily. This variety has found an ideal habitat on the island for conveying all its distinguishing characteristics.
- Appellation: IGT Terre Siciliane
- Vine: Syrah
- Terroir: hilly
- Soil: mid-mixture, mostly clayey
- Exposure: south (300 mt. a.s.l)
The complex of different orographic and climate conditions on the Borgo Guarini Estate varies from area to area. There are twelve different orders of soil present in the world, seven of which can be found in Sicily and an impressive three— Entisols, Inceptisols and Vertisols— on the Borgo Guarini Estate. This feature gives the wine a spicy bouquet, bringing out the peppery vein typical of Syrah’s aromatic profile.
Altavilla della Corte - Syrah
Syrah and Firriato’s Style
Syrah’s origins are somewhat debateable and have been lost in the folds of time. According to some historical sources it is a vine imported from France, while for others it is connected to the ancient Persian city of Shiraz or the Syracuse tyrant Agathocles, who imported it from Egypt. Today, Sicily is the Italian region with highest number of hectares planted with Syrah. Such is the diffusion of this vine in the island’s vineyards that it is now considered a native variety. Syrah, like other native vines, therefore gives further confirmation of the versatility in high quality viticulture that seems to be the island’s natural calling. With this label’s name, Firriato pays homage to the Altavillas—one of the most influential Norman families in historical events in Sicily and southern Italy.
ALTAVILLA DELLA CORTE SYRAH
The characteristics of vintages
In 2017, the climate trend led to a regular vegeto-production cycle. At the beginning of summer, thanks to a good vegetative curve, the plants presented themselves in excellent phytosanitary conditions.
Very complex in terms of weather, the heat and rain Fall 2014 resulted in the appearance of a significantly reduced spontaneous sward and characterized by the presence of species microthermal (those that adapt and grow at low temperatures). In late they turn out to be the most wild and cultivated plants seed.
It was an unforgettable vintage thanks largely to an almost uniform and very balanced climate, the spring was rightly rainy with cool summer which favoured ripening slow and gradual. There is talk of “a summer without Scirocco wind”, July is spent without excessive heat.
The vintage looks fruitful, both in quantity and especially in quality were obtained “wines of interesting profile”. Because of the climate the gathering lasted until the last week of September. The year 2013 has enabled a slower collection and then a gradual maturity: the harvest was delayed by two weeks.
The manual harvest of the Syrah grapes began at Borgo Guarini at the end of August, when they reached full ripeness thanks to the favourable soil and climate conditions. 2012 saw a winter that was not too harsh, with scarce rainfall, a humid spring and a muggy and sunny summer. The slightly warmer weather trend of the previous years and significant differences in temperature between day and night produced juicy, aromatic fruit with an elegance and pleasantness true to the Firriato family’s style and production philosophy.
Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Potatoes and Sausage
In a large pan add: the roughly chopped spring onion, the celery stick, the finely chopped plum tomatoes, the parsley sprigs and the peeled and diced potatoes. Add water and leave the potatoes to cook. Cut the sausage into 2cm long pieces and brown in a non-stick frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Set some of the browned sausage aside for garnishing the dish before serving.