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Sicily and the Loire, Summer 2012

Sicily June 2012

Sourced on my “ Lunar de Miele” near Alcamo which is a 40 minute drive south from Palermo, on this tough and brutal island, we discover  Bosco Falconeria one of the first “ organic” vineyards here.

The drive is fun. Very good fun. Windy hot roads take us up into the hills near Alcamo and then from there we head along a red dirt track into olive groves and rough and dry farmland that is simply hot! Really hot! Its over 40 degrees outside.

We ended up staying for about six hours and after a lovely vineyard and farm tour we sat down for a feast prepared by Mary, the founder of the farm and vineyard together with Toni and their

It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had on Mr Whirly’s vineyard tours. We ate the most lovely lunch: fresh ricotta cheese, Mary’s own take on the famous Sicilian dish, Caponata,

We tasted some lovely wines during the lunch, most joyous of all was their Cattarato 2009, which I found very complex, full of layers and different mineral tones and a pure delight to drink.

( opposite is the house at Bosco, the delightful donkey  and the lovely little tractor!)

Winemakers notes on the Cattarato grape:

“ The Catarratto grape from our farm used to be taken in casks by cart to the little port town of Balestrate, where it was sold to make Martini, Carpano to be made into vermouth. It was usually about 17-19% alcohol. The production of lighter wines for table wine through a change in pruning and harvesting only became really important in Sicily in the last 50 years. Tonino took over the management of the farm in 1966, but none of the vines that were here then are still in production. Most of our present vineyards have been planted within the last 20 years. The usual productive life span of vineyards in Sicily is about 25 years, and they are replanted only after an interval of about 5 years.

The grapes are the Catarratto comune and the Catarratto extra-lucido. Training the vines on canes is a traditional practise in this area, known as “all’alcamese”.

the Loire….to follow shortly!