Italian winery south of Palermo Sicily
with about 170 hectares of vineyards, of which 13 hectares on the island Pantelleria
, The vineyards are between 300 and 600 meters high in the Belice Valley in the municipality Contessa Entellina (since 1993, a DOC). It was founded in 1983 by the Rallo family, which has been growing wine since 1851, now in its fourth generation. The production, bottling and refining facilities are located in the old basements of the Rallo family in Marsala. The vineyards of Donnafugata are the historical place where the writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957) plays some parts of his famous novel "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard). It became famous then by the filming of the substance with Burt Lancaster in the main role. The name was given by the Queen Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine (Donnafugata = fleeing woman), who fled Naples before the Napoleonic army. The winery landmark is a woman's head with waving, long hair.
The white varieties Ansonica, Catarratto, Chardonnay, Damaschino, Grecanico, Sauvignon Blanc and Müller-Thurgau are cultivated, as well as the red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nero d'Avola, Perricone and Syrah. In part, the vintage takes place at night under spotlight, which prevents in the cool nights during the day in the great heat soon onset of fermentation. This method is said to have been practiced by the legendary Elimi people in the fourth century BC. The DOC wines include the Barrique-aged white wine "Chiarandà del Merlo" (Ansonica and Chardonnay), the red wine "Mille e una notte" (a thousand and one night from Nero d'Avola), the red wine "Tancredi" (Nero d'Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon) and the sweet white passito "Ben Ryé" and "Kabir" (Zibibbo = Muscat d'Alexandrie) from the island of Pantelleria. Every year around 1.6 million bottles are produced, among them grappa