All the elegance of a Sicilian Chardonnay
Chardonnay, the most widespread international white grape vine variety in Sicily, is characterised by its innate elegance and its splendid sensory properties which have influenced the best products of world oenology. The Di Gaetano family have chosen to cultivate it in the Dàgala Borromeo Estate, where the exposure and terroir permit this variety’s aromatic content and intensity of fragrances to find their best expression. The deep, fertile soil, of a sandy loam nature, forges a balanced wine with a full, fresh flavour. It is the perfect interpretation of the unmistakable Mediterranean style that only white Sicilian wines are able to express. Chiaramonte Chardonnay exhibits all the nobility of this variety thanks the care and precision of Firriato’s cultivation methods.
Chardonnay, the most widespread international white grape vine variety in Sicily, is characterised by its innate elegance and its splendid sensory properties which have influenced the best products of world oenology. The Di Gaetano family have chosen to cultivate it in the Dàgala Borromeo Estate, where the exposure and terroir permit this variety’s aromatic content and intensity of fragrances to find their best expression.
- Appellation: DOC Sicilia
- Vine: Chardonnay
- Terroir: hilly
- Soil: Mid-mixture, mostly clayey
- Exposure: west (250 mt. a.s.l)
Dàgala Borromeo is a splendid corner of the Trapani countryside, where green vineyards integrate perfectly with the colour of the earth. The vineyards on this estate enjoy a dry, well-ventilated microclimate, with a marked difference in temperature between day and night.
Historical tradition and oenological innovation
The Chiaramonte family reached Sicily in the 14th century after the Norman era. Attracted by the beauty of the island they settled there and performed important tasks in the service of King Peter II of Sicily and King Louis of Sicily. Today, their noble lineage has been revived through the name of three wines from Firriato’s Classic range. Chiaramonte Bianco is a single varietal Chardonnay. The world’s most famous and celebrated vine has, like the noble Chiaramonte family, found in Sicily its home of choice.
The characteristics of vintages
2020 harvest generally affected by a variable climatic trend compared to 2019, with temperatures above the seasonal average – in particular between the months of January and February – and a certain drought from May to late September.
Vintage 2019 was generally affected by the colder and rainier climatic trend compared to the averages of recent years. Temperatures were below the seasonal average during the flowering period and favorable climatic conditions were also recorded during ripening. The vegetative development of the plants was optimal, with perfectly functioning foliage, and a reduction in the average weight of the bunch which favored an increase in the average quality.
After a winter and a spring with abundant rainfall, summer did not make the thermometers soar and the sugar level was lower than in 2017. September recorded a slight increase in moisture and minimum temperatures compared to last year, but without ever causing particular phytosanitary problems. At the beginning of the third part of the same month there were copious rains (on the 21st and the 22nd) that slowed down the harvest, but fortunately without compromising the health of the grapes.
Mild winter with appropriate moderate rainfalls and mild spring eased the regular vegetative process of the vines. Fortunately the lacking of precipitations over the springtime and the heat wave of the first part of June did not make plants undergo water stress. Broadly speaking this climate situation brought to a regular vegetative process and vines came to harvest time in extraordinary conditions. Among July and August temperature reached very high level compared to typical seasonal average.
The summer season 2016 has been characterised by mild cimate, few rainfalls without excessive heat. After a winter characterised by few rainfalls, spring season began with cool temperatures lasted over flowering until the months of May and June when spring concluded with some rainfalls.These climatic conditions fostered a great vine life-cycle in the vineyard.
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. The start of winter was cold, with the strong reduction of sporigen due to the Spring 2014 greatly damp.
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. Parallel there were recorded temperature day/night very marked in all companies Firriato which helped the development of aromas and flavours.
The year showed to be fruitful. Either regarding the quantity, and definitely regarding the quality “very interesting wines regarding the aromatic profile” had been obtained. Because of the climate, the harvest lasted till the last week of September. The year 2013 gave a slower harvest and then a gradual maturation.
Chardonnay grapes are harvested by hand on the Dàgala Borromeo estate from the start of August, which is when they reach 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.
Finely chop the onion, celery, fennel, garlic and chilli. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, celery, fennel, garlic and chilli and sweat gently until soft. Add the wine, tomatoes or passata, squash and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season and gently break up the tomatoes.