Terre di Giurfo
In my search for outstanding vineyard locations in each region, that led me to Terre di Giurfo in the Sicilian region of Vittoria. Wine regions in general often have far more variation than what might be implied as a fairly similar set of characteristics across each region and that is definitely true of Vittoria in Sicily.
Vittoria is in the southeastern corner of Sicily and is centered around the city by the same name. But, the vineyards around the city, and which account for most of the production in the region, are on flat, dusty, and what can be very hot farmland as opposed to parts of the region with more hills further away from the city. On my visits to wineries within the region I also definitely noticed differences between tasting wines produced near Vittoria and wines produced in parts of the region with higher elevations further from Vittoria.
At Terre di Giurfo, which is in rolling hills about five miles northeast of Mazzarrone and which is about 15 miles north of Vittoria, I found wines that had more freshness and expressiveness than other wines that I had tasted in the area. Feeling the fresh breezes at their hilltop winery which is surrounded by their vineyards was one indication of the freshness that I then found in their wines but the hills also have more concentrations of limestone which I could also taste in the expressiveness of the wines.
The estate also had a good selection of native varietals and my initial selections were two whites, Insolia and Grillo, and three reds, Nero d'Avola, Frappato, and Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the renowned blend from the area which combines the structure and richness of Nero d'Avola with the aromatics and expressive fruit of Frappato. The farming on the estate is also of the highest quality with organic farming in the vineyards and manual harvesting of all the grapes.
Expansive hilltop vineyards of Terre di Giurfo
Winery on top of the hill
View from the Winery
"Alaki" Insolia 2020 (OF, NF)
Aromas include rich yellow fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and hints of honey. Flavors include pear, honeydew melon, white peaches, and hints apples and cherries. There is a medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a refreshing minerally finish with an interesting hint of bitterness.
Food pairings would include sole, shrimp, crab, branzino, red snapper, halibut, swordfish, tuna, clams, seafood soups and pasta, paella,veal, pork, chicken, grilled sausages, pasta dishes with light sauces, Asian seafood, chicken, noodle dishes and salads, chile verde, pork and chicken enchiladas, and green salads.
"Suliccenti" Grillo 2020 (OF, NF)
Aromas include white flowers, guava, ripe apples, and ripe honeydew melon. Flavors include honeydew melon, pear, and cherries. There is a medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a refreshing minerally finish.
Food pairings would include sole, shrimp, crab, scallops, seabass, halibut, swordfish, paella, seafood pasta, salads, and soups, veal, pork, chicken, Asian and Mexican seafood, pork and chicken dishes, Asian vegetable salads and noodle dishes, vegetable casseroles, and green salads.
"Alaki" Nero d'Avola 2019 (OF, NF)
Nero d’Avola is the main red grape of Sicily and it is known for its dark skin and rich fruit flavors. This wine has aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, nectarines, and strawberries. Flavors include dark cherries, strawberries, blackberries, and currants. There is a medium body, good balance and acidity, and a refreshing medium to full finish.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, beef stew, veal chops, pork chops, roast pork, grilled chicken, tuna, swordfish, Asian and Mexican beef, pork, and chicken dishes, chile verde, pasta with meat sauce, charcuterie, and mild cheeses.
"Belsito" Frappato 2020 (OF, NF)
There are aromas of dark cherries, blackberries, dark plums, and rich red fruits. Flavors include cherries, dark plum, and strawberries. There is a medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a refreshing minerally finish.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, veal, pork, chicken, pasta with light meat sauces, shrimp, sauteed seafood, calamari, paella, seafood pasta, pasta with light tomato sauces, Asian pork, chicken, seafood, and noodle dishes, charcuterie, and mild cheeses.
"Maskaria" Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2015 (OF, NF)
The Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a blend of 40 percent Frappato and 60 percent Nero d’Avola. Aromas include rich dark fruits such as dark cherries and blackberries, currants, raspberries, and the rich aromas of old roses. Flavors include black cherries, boysenberries, strawberries, and nectarines. There is a medium body, perfect balance and acidity, good structure, and a refreshing minerally finish with a hint of tannins.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, short ribs, beef stew, lamb, veal, pork, chicken, pasta with meat sauces or seafood, paella, Asian and Mexican beef, pork, and chicken dishes, charcuterie, and mild cheeses.