Sicilian winery Feudo Luparello is owned and run by Walter Bartolomei, one of Italy’s foremost independent winemakers. His other vineyards may be familiar to fans of Italian wine; Ciù Ciù and Costadoro, both located on the Adriatic Coast. Walter and his brother, Massimiliano, worked with Feudo Luparello as consultants for years before purchasing the vineyard and winery in 2015.
Like many wine regions, Sicily boasts its own indigenous grapes. And like most indigenous grapes, Sicily’s native varieties are thought to be the most effective at extracting unique flavours from Island’s landscape. Feudo Luparello use their Sicilian varieties wisely, giving them junior partners of international grape varieties. This results in wines that are accessible and delicious, while still being unmistakably Sicilian.
Feudo Luparello Grillo Viognier
This week’s white wine is made from a blend of 70% Grillo and 30% Viognier. Obviously, Grillo is the native Sicilian component of the blend. Grillo is well adapted to withstanding Sicily’s heat and is best known as the grape behind Marsala, Sicily’s fortified wine.
While it is sometimes accused of having a neutral character, here Grillo gives the wine a fresh acidity and tempers the richness and texture of the Viognier. There are lovely floral scents and stone fruit flavours coming from the Viognier. Together, the two grapes create a balanced and engaging wine that could be enjoyed with fish in a tomato sauce like the traditional Sicilian Tonno Alla Ghiotta.
Feudo Luparello Nero d’Avola Syrah
Like its white counterpart, this week’s red Wine of the Week is a 70/30 blend of a native Sicilian grape and an international stalwart. Nero D’Avola makes up the lion’s share of the wine and is supported by Syrah. Named after the city of Avola just north of Feudo Luparello, Nero D’Avola is the most widely planted black grape in Sicily.
Feudo Luparello’s vineyards are around three kilometres from the coast, well within reach of cooling sea breezes. This maritime influence makes the Nero D’Avola smooth and elegant, avoiding the rough character the grape can sometimes develop in the baking heat further inland. Syrah and Nero D’Avola give this wine piles of rich dark fruit flavour along with a little black pepper spice. Feudo Luparello have succeeded in making a wine that’s well balanced and lusciously textured. Beef, aubergines or artichokes with black or white pepper would all work well with this wine.
If Autumn in Ireland is getting you down, you’re more than welcome to sample some Sicilian sunshine at Wines Direct in Arnotts (Dublin 1) or Mullingar from Monday, September 11th. We’ll even have a real live Sicilian on hand in Arnotts to add some local knowledge to the experience!