The grapes to produce the Grillo “SurSur” Donnafugata, were gently pressed upon arrival at the winery and the must was fermented in stainless-steel tanks at a temperature of 14-16°C. After fermentation the wine was aged for two months in tank and then for a minimum of three months in bottle before release.
“SurSur” is made from Grillo grapes planted on the Contessa Entellina estate and neighbouring areas. Vines are planted at 200-600 metres above sea level, with approximately 4,500-6,000 vines per hectare. The vines are trained using vertical shoot positioning and pruning is cordon spur, leaving 6-10 buds per vine. Soils are mainly clay loam with a limestone content of 20-35%.
The Rallo family is the Donnafugata Estate owners and has made wine in Marsala since 1851. Their ancient cellars tunnel are situated 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.