Although this vintage certainly underwent various climatic fluctuations, the anxiety caused by the 2018 rainfall was eventually resolved by a good quality harvest with varying characteristics typical of the different areas of the island, definitely superior to 2017 and mostly in line with preceding years.  At a distance of a few months and when the first wines we have produced are about to appear, we can without a doubt speak of great results for the white wines in general, particularly for those from Etna, and for all those from south-east Sicily.

As for each year we will describe the harvest in more detail area by area, beginning with Menfi where the largest acreage of our vineyards lies.  A particularly dry winter lead us to fear the same results as those caused by the drought in 2017, but the February rains reassured us as did a mild spring and the beginning of an ideal summer, with cooler temperatures than usual.  The rain arrived later and was sometimes very heavy, but although we were worried we were given almost a month of excellent conditions for the harvest, until the middle of September.  Our management of the vines brought us healthy grapes from the beginning to the end, and the vintage was significant for its particularly aromatic whites and balanced reds, even if less intense and concentrated when compared with those, for different reasons, of 2017.

The summary of the vintage in south-east Sicily is completely different; it was brilliant, without continuous rain (the figures during 2018 were 560 ml rain in the Vittoria area and 600 ml in the Noto area, most of which fell after the harvest) and without excessive heat.

The vintage at Vittoria has resulted in both Frappato and Nero d’Avola being perfectly balanced, with excellent levels of phenolic and sugar levels at maturity, and also with production higher than last year.  Our Frappato and the two Cerasuolo have registered almost perfect varietal characteristics.

Also Noto, perhaps even more than Vittoria, records a very fine vintage; a rainy February and March, spring and summer without excessive heat, almost no rain or just enough to provide a healthy boost.  Thus, if Nero d’Avola is at its best, also Moscato has produced a particularly aromatic showing.

On Etna the month of July with no rain was an ideal preparation for the harvest of both Carricante and Nerello Mascalese, and with an August without excessive heat we arrived at ideal conditions for it, including really good quantities.  The vintage was excellent for whites, above all for Carricante which arrived at the winery before the October rains began and which we are certain promises exceptional quality.  It was that rain, arriving while we gathered the Nerello Mascalese grapes, which conferred on them a less alcoholic, fresher and more autumnal profile.

We conclude with Capo Milazzo, where the rainfall of June and August were more important, mitigated however by wind and the great permeability of the soil.  The results are less intense and concentrated Nero d’Avola and Nocera, but which are definitely more fresh and very varietal.

Menfi, January 2019

Alessio Planeta