Intense and inviting on the nose, Donnafugata Mille e Una Notte opens with an ample bouquet of black fruit notes of blackberry and black mulberry, as well as liquorice and fine spicy hints of black pepper and chocolate. The palate perfectly reflects the nose, with soft and elegant tannins and a lingering finish.
Mille e Una Notte is a blend of Nero d’Avola, Petit Verdot, Syrah and other red grapes grown on the Contessa Entellina estate. The climate in this area brings mild winters with little rainfall and warm, dry summers with significant differences between day and night-time temperatures. Vineyards for this wine sit on hills at 200-600 metres above sea level. The soils are clay loam and are rich in nutrients and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. The vines are planted at densities of 4,500 to 6,000 plants per hectare. They are trained to vertical shoot positioning and are cordon spur pruned.
The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region’s native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has four estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 283 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; 36 hectares in Vittoria to the south eastern point of the island; 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria; and 18 hectares on the slopes of Etna. Donnafugata means ‘fleeing woman’ and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon’s troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the ‘Mille e Una Notte’ label.